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12 Must Visit Temples in Chennai, Tamil Nadu for A Blessed Holiday Experience

The never-ending picturesque beaches, bustling roads in the city, modern shopping malls, innumerable street food stalls and peaceful neighbourhoods – Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is undoubtedly a magnificent tourist destination in India. But, Chennai is not all about these; Chennai is more about the spiritual places, religious temples with mesmerising architecture and the historical-mythological stories about the temples.

These temples are a representation of spirituality, culture, art, and tradition because they were built in the distinctive South Indian architectural traditions. All of the Hindu gods, including Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Sakthi, Murugan, Vinayaka, Guberar, Lakshmi, and many others, have temples throughout this capital city and make it a hub for religious tourism.

Here we will let you know about those 12 must-visit temples in Chennai that you should not miss on your trip. We will also let you know the interesting facts about Chennai temples, which we think will help you to decide on a spiritual trip to the city.

Summary of 12 Most Popular Temples in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Name of the Temple Location
Kapaleeswarar Temple Mylapore
Parthasarathy Temple Triplicane
Ashtalakshmi Temple Elliot’s Beach
Sri Marundeeswarar Temple Thiruvanmiyur
Kalikambal Temple George Town
Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple Besant Nagar
Chennakesava Perumal Temple George Town
Sree Ayyappan-Guruvayurappan Temple Nungambakkam
Vadapalani Murugan Temple Vadapalani
Vedapureeswarar Temple Thiruverkadu
Ekambaranathar Temple Kanchipuram
Karaneeswarar Temple Saidapet

Popular Tamil Nadu Temple Tour Packages

Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore

Kapaleeswarar Temple Mylapore

One of the most well-known Shiva temples in Chennai is Kapaleeswarar, which is dedicated to Arulmigu Kapleeshwar, a form of Lord Shiva, and Goddess Karpagambal, an appearance of Parvati. The magnificent architecture, which was constructed by the Pallavas in the seventh century, features stone and wood carvings, painted pillars, and Gopurams at the doorways, which look similar to Dravidian architecture.

The temple offers daily puja services for six times. The different pujas such as Kala Santhi in morning, Uchchikala in mid-day, Sayamkala in evening and Ardhajama in late Night attract flocks of devotees to the temple throughout the year. However, the best time to visit this top visiting place is during the festivals like Panguni, Arubathimooval and Theppam or float festivals.

Architecture of the Temple

The entrance to this Dravidian-style temple is marked by two gopurams (gateways). The western gopuram is smaller than the east gopuram, which is 120 feet taller. The gopuram is decorated with several ornate, gorgeous statues of gods and goddesses. By the temple is a large tank called a kalyani.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • As per legend, in a meeting, Brahma did not pay attention to Shiva, which made him angry and he removed one of Brahma’s heads. Brahma then came down to Mylapore and installed a linga here to please Shiva. Ever since, Lord Shiva is worshipped here.
  • Another legend goes, when Shiva was narrating Panchakshara Mantra to Parvathi, a peacock distracted her, which enrages Shiva. He turned her into a peahen. To return back to her own form, as Shiva advised, Parvathy started worshipping Shiva in Mylapore to get rid of her curse.
  • Parvathy used to worship Shiva under the Punnai tree, which still exists in the courtyard of the temple.
  • There is also a statue of a peacock that symbolises Parvathy.
  • Goddess Parvathy here is known as Karpagambal or Karpagavali, which means the heavenly tree ‘Karpagam’.
  • Goddess Parvathy here is also known as the ‘Goddess of the Wish Yielding Tree’ that fulfils every wish asked for.

Visiting Hours: 5 AM to 12 PM and 5 PM to 9 PM. Closed on Mondays.

Location: 12, North Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004, India

How to Reach?

Mylapore, where the temple is located, is well-connected with other areas of the city. The temple is only around six kilometres from Chennai Railway Station, from where you can take a bus or a cab to reach.

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Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane

Parthasarathy Temple Triplicane

Located in Triplicane area, Parthasarathy Temple is one of the popular ancient temples in Chennai. It is a structure that is over a thousand years old and is located in the middle of a busy city. The temple, which houses numerous shrines dedicated to various avatars of Lord Vishnu, welcomes thousands of Vaishnavites from all across the country.

Parthasarathy Temple, the famous Vishnu temple in Chennai, is one of the 108 sacred shrines to Vishnu that are included in the canonical Tamil literature known as Divya Prabandha, which was written by the Alvar saints between the sixth and ninth centuries. The temple is home to Narasimha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Ranganatha, and Krishna, five different embodiments of Vishnu. These are known by many names in Tamil. This eighth-century Dravidian architecture is also home to countless other shrines.

Architecture of the Temple

The temple was constructed in the eighth century CE by the Pallava kings, with significant expansions made by the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings later, The temple’s majestic Raja Gopuram, the entry tower with numerous stucco images, is enclosed by granite walls. The pillared halls, which are called Mandapams are decorated with a number of carvings and sculptures. The sanctum is decorated with a 9-foot-tall statue of Lord Venkatakrishna or Parthasarathy, who is accompanied by the deities Rukmini, Balarama, Satyaki, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. The processional god Parthasarathy’s visage is covered in wounds allegedly caused by Bheeshma’s arrows during the epic battle of Mahabharata.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • There are many mythological tales involved with Parthasarathy Temple, which is also one of the oldest temples in Chennai.
  • As per legend, the temple is closely related to the epic, Mahabharata.
  • In Mahabharata, Arjuna, the Pandava prince, needed a charioteer, and Krishna filled that role. Additionally, in the persona of Parthasarathy, he bestowed upon humanity the “Bhagavad Gita,” a priceless work of wisdom.
  • King Sumati was brought here by the wise man Veda Vyasa with an idol of Parthasarathy in order to worship Krishna as Parthasarathy.
  • The king arrived at this location and discovered the wise Atreya performing penance for the same reason. It is believed that they devotedly constructed the shrine for Parthasarathy.
  • Another legend goes, the Panchaveeras, the five warriors Venkatakrishna or Parthasarathy, brother Balarama, cousin Satyaki, son Pradyumna, and grandson Aniruddha, as well as Goddess Rukmini, were worshipped here by the Saptarshis, the seven popular sages.

Visiting Hours: 5:50 AM to 12:30 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Location: Narayana Krishnaraja Puram, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600005

How to Reach?

The nearest bus stop to get into the temple is the Vivekanandar Illam or Triplicane bus stand, which is connected to other parts of Chennai by a network of buses.

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Ashtalakshmi Temple, Elliot’s Beach

Ashtalakshmi Temple Chennai

A colossal structure by the shore of Bay of Bengal beside the famous Elliot’s beach, Ashtalakshmi Temple is one of the popular temples in Chennai. This extraordinary religious tourist place is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and her eight manifestations, each of which stands for success, procreation, money, courage, bravery, food, and knowledge. This temple in Chennai has four storeys, amazing constructions, pillars, and an elaborate roof design, making it one of the most beautifully crafted temples in the city.

Goddess Mahalakshmi and Maha Vishnu have shrines on the second floor, while Aadilakshmi, Dharyalakshmi, and Dhanyalakshmi are located on the first floor. Santha Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, and Gajalakshmi are worshipped on the third floor, while Dhanalakshmi is honoured on the fourth floor.

Architecture of the Temple

The length of the temple is 65ft whereas the breadth is 45ft. The Sundararaja Perumal Temple at Uthiramerur served as the inspiration for the shrine’s architecture. The temple’s construction in the form of Om, the original Vedic mantra, is one of its unique aspects. The temple’s walls are covered in intricate rock carvings, and the vibrant colour scheme reflects a variety of architectural styles, many of which were added following recent repairs. The temple also has 32 kalasams, which are pointed ornaments typically found on temple tower tops.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • Goddess Lakshmi is said to have emerged from the ocean when the Devas and Asuras were churning the Milky Ocean for Amrita, according to the Vedas and Puranas.
  • Mahavishnu and Goddess Lakshmi got married to each other.
  • The deity that bestows Ashtama Siddhi (eightfold successes) and Ashta Aishwaryam is Goddess Ashtalakshmi (eightfold wealth).
  • The temple is known as the Ashtalakshmi Temple since it is home to both Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi in all eight of her manifestations.

Visiting Hours: 6:30 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Location: Elliots beach, 6/21 Paindi Amman Kovil, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600090

How to Reach?

The temple is around 10 kilometres from central Chennai where you can reach by taking a private cab or taxi.

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Sri Marundeeswarar Temple, Thiruvanmiyur

Sri Marundeeswarar Temple Chennai

Marundeeswarar Temple in Thiruvanmiyur is one of the top 10 temples in Chennai that deserves a second visit. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who appears here as Marundeeswar or Aushadeeswarar, referred to as the ‘God of Medicine.’ The largest temple in Chennai, Marundeeswarar Temple covers an area of one-acre land and is considered one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams. The magnificent architectural beauty of the temple is a sight to behold which features Dravidian architecture with a blend of Chola art and Pallava Dynasty.

The temple was extensively glorified in the seventh and eighth centuries by Nayanars (Saivite Saints), Tirugnana Sambandar, and Appar. The Chola Kingdom enlarged the temple in the eleventh century. Furthermore, due to its name, the Marundeeswarar Temple has long been a popular destination for worship, particularly among those who are ill or have other health issues. The food served here, known as prasadam, is a concoction of holy ash, water, and milk that is said to have healing properties.

Architecture of the Temple

The temple is one of the finest examples of Dravidian architecture. It features two entrances, one in the west and the other is in the east side. The temple can be accessed from both the directions, from West Tank Street (three gates) and East Coast Road (one gate). Moreover, both of these entrances are showcased with 5-tiered gopuram. The Vimana, the tower that houses the presiding deity above the sanctum sanctorum, is unique to the Marundeeswarar Temple and has ancient Chaturvastam architecture. Additionally, it contains a five-tiered Rajagopuram where Pongal pudding is served to the Lord called Nivedhana. The temple also comes with stucco figures that adorn the gopurams and the pillars come with diverse images. There is a hall or mandapam, which has 36 carved pillars and it houses Lord Shiva in his ‘Somaskanda’ form.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • Marundhu in the Tamil language means ‘medicine’ and Eeaswara is known as God. This temple is the place where Lord Shiva taught the medicinal qualities to Sage Agastya. That’s why it is named Marundeeswarar Temple.
  • Another legend goes, Sage Valmiki worshipped Lord Shiva to correct himself from his previous life as a robber. Lord Shiva appeared in front of him under the Vanni tree, which still exists in the temple.
  • Panguni Brahmotsavam is held in the temple in which this above-mentioned event is made.

Visiting Hours: 5 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Location: 8, W Tank St, Ambedkar Nagar, Lalitha Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600041

How to Reach?

The temple is located in Thiruvanmiyur which is connected with other parts of the city via a well-connected network of buses.

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Kalikambal Temple, George Town

Kalikambal Temple Chennai

One of the must visit temples in Chennai, Kalikambal Temple is dedicated to another form of Parvati, Goddess Kamakshi and Lord Kamadeswarar. The temple was previously located close to the sea, later shifted to its present location during British rule in the 17th century. Apart from Goddess Kamakshi and Lord Kamadeswarar, Kalikambal Temple also houses several local deities and a shrine of Navagrahas (nine planets according to Hindu mythology) that attract a large number of people from all across Tamilnadu.

According to historical evidence, in the 1600s, the Marathi king Shivaji paid a visit to this temple. As per legend, the temple is believed to be built by the Viswakarma Clan. Daily poojas are performed in the temple four times which are attended by the locals and tourists, both. Moreover, in April or Vaisakhi according to the Tamil calendar and during the festivals of Navratri and Vasant Navratri, the temple witnesses a large number of devotees.

Architecture of the temple: The sacred water of the temple is seawater whereas its sacred tree is the mango tree. It was shifted to its current location in March, 1640 CE and last renovations were done in 2014. The temple has a 10-metre-high tower, which is also referred to as rajagopuram. The tower was added in the 1980s. Apart from the main deity, Kalikambal Temple houses the shrines of Shiddi Vinayakar, Shiddi-Bhuddi Vinayakar, Mahakali,  Agora Veerabadhra and many more.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • Kalikambal Temple was previously built in the place of Fort St. George. Later, it was shifted to its current location as the Britishers started building the fort. That’s why the deity in the temple is also known as Kottaiamman where Kottai refers to ‘fort’.
  • As the legend goes, it was believed that the deity was once in a fierce form, but later she changed into a soft Goddess.
  • The main deity faces towards the west and as per legend, it is because she was worshipped by demi gods and saints.

Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 12 PM and 5 PM to 9 PM.

Location: 212, Thambu Chetty St, near DHL Express Courier, Mannady, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600001

How to Reach?

The temple is located in George Town, one of the prominent financial streets in Chennai. The place is well-connected with other parts of the city via a network of buses, cabs and taxis.

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Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple, Besant Nagar

Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple Chennai

The Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple, one of the popular Hindu temples, which is dedicated to Lord Muruga, is situated at Kalakshetra Colony in Besant Nagar, Chennai. Dr. Alagappa Alagappan once visited the sage Kanchi Paramacharya while he was camping in Gulbarga. He questioned the scholar as to whether one granite temple could contain all six of God Muruga’s abodes. The elder asked him to construct the temple and secured an acre of land in Chennai’s Besant Nagar neighbourhood near the water. The main reason for the construction of this granite temple complex in Chennai was to provide worshippers with a place to worship all six Murugas.

Festivals like Thai Poosam, Skanda Shashti, Panguni Uthiram and Aadi Kirthikai are celebrated in the temple in a great manner. Moreover, on requests of devotees, Rudra Homam, Skanda Homam and Ganpathi Homam are regularly conducted.

Architecture of the Temple

The temple has its Raja Gopuram in the western side, which is its uniqueness in architecture, as in Tamil Nadu, Raja Gopuram sits in the eastern side of the temples. Mela Gopuram in Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple has nine storeys and it is located above Yalimattam. Mela Gopuram measures 137 feet in height, 90 feet in length (north to south) and 65 feet in breadth (east to west). The Temple Gopuram is 49 feet long and 20 feet wide at its highest point. There are nine Kalasams (holy copper pots), which provide as a visual cue that the Gopuram has nine floors.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

As per Hindu mythological stories, after winning the battle with Surapadma (asura), Lord Murugan worshipped Lord Shiva in the place of the temple.

Visiting Hours: 7 AM to 11 AM and 5 PM to 8:30 PM.

Location: 1, Thirumurugan St, Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600090

How to Reach?

The temple is hardly one kilometre from Besant Nagar Bus Stand where you can reach by taking a bus or cab from anywhere in Chennai.

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Chennakesava Perumal Temple, George Town

Chennakesava Perumal Temple Chennai

The must visit place in Chennai during your Chennai pilgrimage tour is Chennakesava Perumal Temple. One of the oldest temples in Chennai, this temple was the first temple constructed nearby in the 1700s and acted as a wall dividing the town’s core from the British East India Company settlement of Fort St. George. The building houses a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s incarnation Chennakesava Perumal.

Three daily poojas are performed in the temple: one in the morning for Kaalasandhi, one in the afternoon for Uchikkala, and one in the evening for Saayaraksha.

Architecture of the Temple

The sanctum sanctorum, an ardha mandapam, and a mukha mandapam are featured in the temple. In the mukha mandapam, there are alwars. On the sanctum sanctorum is a Nagara Vimanam with three tiers. The ceilings of Mandapas have intricately carved reliefs of birds and other animals. Bas-reliefs on the Mandapa Pillars include Thayar Sengamalavalli, Krishna Leela, Donors, Flower Creepers, Lotus Medallions, and others. Both Sri Chenna Malleeswarar Temple and Sri Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple share the temple tank and the chariot. Additionally, there is a connecting corridor between these two twin temples.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • The twin temples, Chennakesava Perumal and Chenna Malleeswarar Temple, both were originally built in the place of the High Court building.
  • Both the temples were destroyed by the British to expand Fort St. George.
  • Due to public outcry, the British Government then gave some lands and money to Manali Muthu krishna Mudaliar, who built the new twin temples.
  • The other temple, Chenna Malleeswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Visiting Hours: 5 AM to 8 AM.

Location: 37QJ+963, Devaraja Mudali St, Rattan Bazaar, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600003

How to Reach?

The temple is located in Chennai’s one of the famous locations, George Town, which is well-connected with other parts of the city by all means of transportation.

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Sree Ayyappan-Guruvayurappan Temple, Nungambakkam

Sree Ayyappan - Guruvayurappan Temple Chennai

One of the most visited temples in Chennai is the first of its sort in the city and is devoted to Ayyappan, an avatar of Lord Vishnu and the Hindu god of growth. The temple was built in 1974 as a result of the demand created by the devotion of individuals who travelled to Sabarimala during the Mandalam and Makaravilakku seasons to perform the ritual of Ayyappan Vilakku. Now, worshippers come in droves to this temple to adore Lord Ayyappan, particularly those travelling to Sabarimala in Kerala on a pilgrimage. The temple also organises the annual event of Bhagavatha Sapthaham, which draws a large number of worshippers, as well as daily Annadanam for the poor and needy. All year long, a ceremony of some kind takes place on the temple grounds alongside the daily poojas.

Architecture of the Temple

The temple has two buildings beside each other and made of Kerala style in the heart of the city. It houses both Ayyappa Swamy and Guruvayurappan as the main deities.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • The temple was built in the 1970s and it features Kerala style.

Visiting Hours: 5 AM to 11 AM and 5 PM to 9 PM.

Location: 18, Madhavan Nair Rd, Mahalingapuram, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600034

How to Reach?

The temple is connected with other parts of Chennai by a network of buses, trains and metro rail. The Blue Line metro line connects it to different areas.

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Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Vadapalani

Vadapalani Murugan Temple Chennai

One of the prominent religious places in Chennai, this temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is an important place in respect to religious tourism in Tamil Nadu as the temple witnesses major footfall throughout the year. The temple is renowned among devotees for providing solutions to marital, academic and career issues. Devotees believe that seeking blessings from Lord Murugan here helped them overcome their situations and find serenity in their lives. Moreover, worshipping here is regarded as worshipping in the ancient Palani Temple. Even if one cannot visit Lord Murugan in Palani Temple, he still grants them blessings if they visit Vadapalani Murugan Temple.

Architecture of the Temple

The Vadapalani Temple, which houses temples to Lord Ganesha, Goddess Meenakshi Amman, Lord Shiva, Goddess Kali, Lord Bhairava, Chokkanadar, Dakshniamurti, Chandikeswara, and Mahalakshmi, exemplifies the grandeur culture of the Hindus. At the southern or main entrance, to the left, Lord Ganesha is represented by Varasidhi Vinayagar. It also houses a shrine dedicated to the planet Mars, indicating that Lord Muruga is Mars’ god. The shrine of Lord Shanmuga with Goddess Valli and Devyani adds to the allure of the holy complex. Additionally, visitors pray to Lord Hanuman, whose likeness is engraved on a pillar. There are 108 bharatnatyam dance gestures found on the eastern tower, which measures 40 metres in height. There is a tank in front of the temple. While entering through the eastern tower, people can see Dwajasthambam or kodi maram, which is the gold plated flagpole of the temple.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • The temple is situated at the place where Annaswamy Naikar worshipped Lord Murugan.
  • He went to worship Lord Murugan at Palani, which is considered one of the six abodes of Murugan.
  • While returning back, he found a striking image of God and started worshipping him at the exact place where this wonderful temple is located.

Visiting Hours: 5 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Location: Palani Andavar Koil St, Vadapalani, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600026

How to Reach?

Chennai Railway Station and airport is hardly 30 minutes away from this temple. And, it is connected with all parts of the city by several bus routes.

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Vedapureeswarar Temple, Thiruverkadu

Vedapureeswarar Temple Chennai

One of the famous Lord Shiva temples of Chennai, the historical Vedapureeswarar Temple, seems to be older than 1300 years. It is located on the bank of Paalaru River in Thiruverkadu. According to the architecture of this temple, it is suggested to be constructed during the Chola era. Vada Vedaranyam is the place’s ancient name. Since this temple houses Lord Shiva in his wedding form, worshipping him is thought to help lovers overcome impediments to marriage. In this temple, devotees love to celebrate their 81st birthday or “Sadabhishekam ”. In addition to the shrines dedicated to Lord Vedapureeswarar and Goddess Balambikai, there are also shrines and statues dedicated to the gods Varasidhi Vinayakar, Nagarajar (Adiseshan), Murugan, Dakshinamurthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma, Nalvar, 63 Nayanmars, Kasi Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Sekkizhar and many more.

Architecture of the Temple

The sanctum sanctorum’s vimana (roof tower) is constructed in a distinctive architectural style known as the Gaja Brishtam. The vimanam appears to resemble an elephant’s back as a result (Gaja – elephant, brishtam – rear). Tamilians refer to this as “Thoonganai Maadam” (thoong(um) = sleeping, aanai = elephant, and maadam = top of a temple). It is crucial to notice that the Navagraham is in the shape of an octagon and is situated on “Padma Pedam” at this temple. This temple is renowned for being a Navagraha dosham parihara sthalam.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • This is one of the temples where Sage Agasthiar is said to have received the blessing of seeing the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. A relief in the sanctum sanctorum shows the lord and goddess in their wedding pose, behind the main deity.
  • The four Vedas are said to have worshipped the Lord here in the shape of Vela trees (Acacia Nilotica). As a result, this location is known as “Vel Kadu” (kadu means forest in Tamil). Later, over time, the fortunate prefix “Thiru” was added, and the location is now known as Thiruverkadu.
  • Lord Murugan worshipped Lord Shiva and built the “Velayutha Theertham” (sacred holy water tank) at this temple. Within the grounds of the temple complex, this magnificent tank is still visible.
  • Lord Murugan is present here with a Shivalingam in front of him.

Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 10 PM.

Location: 34C7+JWP, Karpagambal Nagar, Tiruvallur District, Thiruverkadu, Tamil Nadu 600077

How to Reach?

The nearest bus stop to this temple is Sivan Kovil, which is connected to major parts of Chennai through a well-connected network of bus services.

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Ekambaranathar Temple, Kanchipuram

Ekambaranathar Temple Kanchipuram

One of the best places to visit on your Chennai temple tour is Ekambaranathar Temple, which is referred to as the largest temple in Kanchipuram. Covering an area of 20 acres, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was originally built  by the Pallavas but renovated by Cholas and Rayas. Ekambaranathar Temple houses 1,000 lingas and the main feature of them is that they are made out of one solitary stone. There are also 1,000 pillared halls in the temple. Another interesting fact about the temple, which is also one of the biggest temples in Chennai is there is a mango tree in the courtyard which is believed to be older than 3,500 years. The tree is found with four limbs that symbolise four vedas in Hindu mythology. People say that fruit from each limb tastes different although they are from the same tree.

Architecture of the Temple

The temple was built by Vijayanagara Kings and it covers an area of 23 acres. Ekambaranathar Temple features Rajagopuram at its entrance that measures 195 feet in height. The Rajagopuram is considered one of the tallest towers in South India. There are two halls in the temple, Vahana mandapam: vehicle hall and Sarabesa mandapam: Navaratri hall. There is another hall called Aayiram kaal mandapam, which has 1,000 pillars. In the courtyard, there is a pond and a Ganesh temple. In the sanctum sanctorum, the Shivalinga is showcased.

Special Things to Know About the Temple

  • The temple has the tallest tower and it is one of the biggest temples in Kanchipuram.
  • The temple is believed to have existed since 600 AD.
  • The Pallavas first built the temple and later, it was rebuilt by the Chola Kings.
  • Later, Adi Sankaracharya expanded the temple with the help of the rulers of the place.
  • As the legend goes, a Shivalinga was erected by Parvati beneath the mango tree. While she started worshipping it, the neighbouring Vegavathi River began to flood, endangering the Shivalinga by submerging it.
  • When Parvati became aware of this, she embraced the Shivalinga, and her touch caused Shiva to physically appear before her and marry her.
  • Shiva is known in Tamil as Tazhuva Kuzhainthaar, which translates to “He who melted in her embrace.”

Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 12:30 PM and 4 PM to 8:30 PM.

Location: Ambiga Adeeswar temple, Kilambi, Tamil Nadu 631502

How to Reach?

Old Kanchipuram Railway Station is at 16-minute-walking distance from the temple and you can also reach here by availing a bus or cab from any part of the city.

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Karaneeswarar Temple, Saidapet

Karaneeswarar Temple Chennai

Lord Shiva is the main deity of the historic Karaneeswarar Temple in Saidapet area, which is one of the beautiful temples in Chennai. You will find a rank while visiting the temple. The rank is known as Gopathi Saras and it is believed to possess some mystical healing properties. People say if you dip into its waters on a full moon night, you will be cured. Lord Ganesha, Lord Karthikeya, Lord Surya, and Goddess Swarnambika all have shrines in the temple, but Lord Karaneeswarar is the primary one. Inside the temple, there is a garden as well. The yearly Chithirai Thiruvizha festival, the Pradosham days, and the ten-day Brahmotsavam, which is followed by daily preaching, all the festivals attract flocks of devotees and tourists to the temple. Additionally, Shivratri is also celebrated here in a grand manner.

Architecture of the Temple

The gopuram in the Karaneeswarar Temple has seven storeys. The gopuram comes with two prakarams which are the closed precincts of a temple. It houses a beautiful tank, idols of deities and a garden as well. The garden is also called nandavanam.

Special Things You Need to Know About the Temple

  • As the legend goes, Lord Indra once gave his divine cow ‘kamdhenu’ to Sage Vashishtha.
  • When the cow was not returned after so many days, Lord Indra got worried. He got to know that kamdhenu became an ordinary cow after being cursed by the sage.
  • As a solution, he had to make a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva between Mylapore and Thiruvanmiyur in the northwestern direction, the Holy Cow Kamadhenu can be redeemed.
  • He then commands the clouds (Kar) to shower and cool the region, resulting in the creation of a beautiful, lush pasture. He builds a Linga and prays to Lord Shiva, who blesses Lord Indra by elevating him to the rank of Gopathi and redeems the sacred cow ( Lord of Cows).
  • The Gopathi Saras is the name of the tank that Indra built. People who take a ritual bath on full moon days, it is stated that they get cured from their illness.

Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 11 AM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Location: 1, Karaneeswarar Koil St, Suriyammapet, Saidapet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600015

How to Reach?

Metro, rail and bus services are available between Saidapet, where the temple is located and various parts of the city. The nearest bus stop is G.H. Secondary School, at seven-minute-walking distance from the temple.

Other Interesting Blogs to Read

So, these are the list of 12 must-visit temples in Chennai which you must add to your itinerary while visiting the city. Chennai is filled up with so many spiritual & religious places that attract throngs of tourists from all across the globe every year. The ‘Religious Tourism Package’ of Chennai on our website could provide you with more details of these places. If you think we have missed out the names of any popular temples that should be added to the list, please write down the names below in the comments. We will work on your suggestions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Chennai temples famous?

The temples in Chennai are the sources of architectural beauty, mesmerising artworks, historical stories and a pure form of serenity. The deities found in the temples are related to different religions and mythological tales that attract religious enthusiasts and people who love to explore architecture.

Is there any dress code to visit the Chennai temples?

According to an order given by Madras High Court in March, 2022, devotees are expected to wear proper attire to enter temples in Chennai, as well as Tamil Nadu. Men should be wearing kurta-pyjama, dhoti and women should wear saree, half saree, salwar kameez.

Are foreign or western tourists allowed entry in Chennai temples?

Hindu tourists from all across the world are allowed to enter Chennai temples.

Which are the most famous temples in Chennai?

Some of the famous temples in Chennai are:

  • Kapaleeswarar Temple
  • Parthasarathy Temple
  • Ashtalakshmi Temple
  • Sri Marundeeswarar Temple
  • Kalikambal Temple
  • Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple
  • Chennakesava Perumal Temple
  • Sree Ayyappan-Guruvayurappan Temple
  • Vadapalani Murugan Temple
  • Vedapureeswarar Temple
  • Ekambaranathar Temple
  • Karaneeswarar Temple

Which are the must visit popular Shiva temples in Chennai?

The popular Shiva temples in Chennai are:

  • Marundeeswarar Temple
  • Kapaleeswarar Temple
  • Thyagaraja Swamy Temple
  • Vedapureeswarar Temple
  • Ekambaranathar Temple
  • Karaneeswarar Temple

Published: 05 Dec, 2022

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.