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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for List of Temples to Visit When in Chennai – Discover the City's Roots
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List of Temples to Visit When in Chennai – Discover the City's Roots

Chennai is a fast paced modern Indian city. But delve deeper, explore more and you will uncover the spiritual core of this vintage city. The temples, of course, are its axis; do visit the following.


Parthasarathy Temple

The best things to do in Chennai start with exploring this vintage shrine. Built way back in the 8th century this impressive temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu; it is a magnificent structure that displays the various avatars of this resilient god. Housed within are statues of Krishna the blue god and his other incarnations or descents; they are Vishnu, Rama, Narasimha, and Varaha. The holy shrine is popular amongst Venkateswara devotees. Separate entrances and shrines are dedicated to each god at this temple which is the oldest in Chennai and displays beautifully carved figurines along its façade. It is located in Triplicane.


Kapaleeswarar Temple

This temple in Mylapore is just 10 minutes for guests at Turyaa Chennai. It is a must explore for understanding Chennai's roots as it is believed to have been constructed by Pallavas around the 7th century. The main deity worshiped here is Lord Shiva together with Goddess Karpagamal who is an avatar of Shiva's wife Parvati. Here Shiva is worshiped as God Arulmigu Kapleeshwar. The place is a fine example of Dravidian architecture and a must visit for all culture buffs. The areas name is a derivation of the legend behind the temple where the Goddess Parvati is believed to have worshiped Shiva as a peacock – the Tamil word for peacock being myil.


Sri Vadapalani Andavar Temple

Lord Muruga is worshiped at this 19th-century temple which was built in 1890. The place is a popular venue for Hindu weddings and ideal for a taste of local culture. The place is extremely popular amongst worshipers who followed Sthanikar Shri V A Sundaraa Gurukkal who from his teenage years looked after the premises.


Ashtalakshmi Temple

The Goddess Lakshmi and her eight forms are venerated at this beautiful temple located along the shores of Elliot's Beach in the region of Besant Nagar. The eight forms of Lakshmi each represent rewards pursued in life; these are prosperity, success, courage, wealth, bravery, knowledge, and food. Built in 1974 each level of the temple houses an incarnate of the Goddess. The sculptured facades are quite colourful and beautiful to look at; each figurine carefully representing an important aspect of Hindu culture. Do make the short ride to the temple easily accessed via bus or taxi and enjoy not only exploring the shrine but also the windy precincts of the beach.


Mangadu Kamakshiamman Temple

This temple is located in the beautiful region of Mangadu which is a suburb of Chennai home to lush mangrove forests. The shrine is dedicated to Kamakshi Amman around which a fascinating legend weaves. The story goes that the Goddess Devi as a playful gesture closed the eyes of Lord Shiva, thus unwittingly plunging the entire world into darkness. She then sought pardon and was asked to serve a penance. This was done by Kamakshi Amman at the site the temple stands.

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