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அழகி மென்பொருள்
  
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Temples in and around GST Road

Courtesy: Kumar, Chennai

Here is a collection of less known temples in and around GST Road and OMR. Most of them are surprisingly as old as 1000 years and have a great history.

This is a research done by a group of colleagues in Infosys - their main pass-time during weekends is to visit temples in and around chennai and write about it.

They have a list of more than 250 old temples in and around chennai (Red hills, OMR, ECR, GST Road etc.,)

1. Nandivaram, Guduvanchery – 200 mts from Guduvanchery bus stand – More than 1000 years old.

A very old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple opens at 8 AM in the morning and will be open till 11:30 AM. The Lord here is christened Nandeeswarar as He came over here and sat for His great follower – Nandi. Eminent scholars of bygone eons have written about this temple in their hymns and mantras.

Get down at Guduvanchery bus stand – walk 50 mts in Tambaram direction. You will see a board indicating Nandivaram. The temple is just 5-10 minutes’ walk from bus stand.

2. Kalyana Anjaneyar temple – On GST, 50 mts north of Valliammai Polytechinc Stop (SRM Valliammai), on the service road. This is the only place where you can see Lord Hanuman with His wife. Interesting! The most eligible bachelor too has a wife, by some mythological terms. This temple has a big bell and the vigrahas of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lord Lakhsmana and Lord Hanuman are kept inside the bell. The vigrahas of Lord Hanuman and His wife are now at a village some 8 kms from Uthiramerur. The Lord went some 8 years back to get consecrated over there, but still a picture hangs there with the Lord and His wife showering their blessings.

Get down at Valliammai Polytechinc Stop – walk 50 mts in Tambaram direction.

3. Lakshmi Narashimha Swamy temple – MM nagar –100 mts from MM nagar station – Opposite to Ford factory in Vivekananda Nagar.

Though this temple was constructed just 15 years back, the deity here is more than 1200 years old. This temple is maintained by a family and is their own temple. There are no timings for this temple and they help you serve the Lord whenever you go. The main deity is Lord Narashimha and Thaayar. Please note, proper attire is required here because it is a family owned temple and they are very pious and religious.

Take the road that crosses the railway track just after MM nagar station. Turn left and travel around 100-200 meters to reach the temple. 4. Kalatheeswarar temple – Kattangulathur – 200 – 300 mts from Kattangulathur bus stand – More than 1000 years old.

This temple is situated to the west of GST road. This temple is famous as Rahu and Kethu Sthalam. Anybody with Kala Sarpa Dosham can go to this temple to get rid of the ill effects caused by it. The main deity here is Lord Shiva and He is a Suyambu moorthy here. You don’t see a navagraha here, but you see Lord Saneeswarar, Lord Suriyan, Lord Rahu and Lord Kethu as separate deities. You can perform your own Paalabishekam (pouring milk over Lord Rahu and Lord Kethu) here if you visit the temple on between 4:30 PM and 6:00 PM on Sundays which is Rahu Kalam. When I spoke to the archakar there he told they do special pujas on alternate Sundays, during Rahu Kalam, to get rid of Kala Sarpa Dosham. You will need to be there personally to perform the pujas.

Get down at Kattangulathur bus stand. Cross the railway track. Go straight for around 200 mts to reach the temple.

5. Oushadeeswarar temple, Thirukachur – 2 kms west of GST road on SP Kovil – Oragadam state highway – More than 1000 years old.

This temple is built by Kulothunga Chozhan, the First. This temple is considered very sacred and is perched atop a small hill called Oushadagiri. Oushada is medicine in English, marundu in Tamil. Giri is called hill in English and malai in Tamil. So this temple is called Marundeeswarar also. The main deity here is Lord Shiva and He has the same power as Lord Marundeeswarar in Thiruvanmiyur. It is believed that the great Sage, Agasthiyar, touted as the father of native medicine, got all the medicinal prescriptions from the great Lord directly and wrote everything. It is believed that if you worship the Lord here you will be relieved of all illness. The well water here is called “Oushada theertam”. The Goddess here is called “Andakara Nivarani” which translates in English as “The destroyer of black evils”. There is no cart or Dwajasthambam or Gopuram in this temple which is an interesting part. This is a remote temple and you would need a bike or car to reach this temple, though this is 2-3 Kms from GST.

Cross the railway track at SP Kovil towards Oragadam. Drive for 5 -7 mins you will see a board on the right hand side of the road. Take a right turn to reach Thirukkachur.

6. Kachabeshwarar temple, Thirukachur – 2 kms west of GST road on SP Kovil – Oragadam state highway – More than 1000 years old.

This temple is built by Kulothunga Chozhan, the First. The Moolavar here is called “Thiyagarayar” because it is believed Lord Vishnu prayed to Lord Shiva here during his Koormavatharam days to grant him greater strength. The Lord here is a Suyambu moorthy. The Lord here is also called as “Virunditeeswarar” – in Tamil as “Virundu + Ittu + Eshwarar”. He was bestowed with this name because He went in the form of a Sanyasi, begging alms to feed His followers. So Annadhanam in this temple is considered very sacred and famous. The Goddess here is called “Anjanakshi”. This temple is very big and the interesting part is that there is no Gopuram for this temple, though there is a Dwajasthambam and Cart. The cart is at a dilapidated state right now. ”. This is a remote temple and you would need a bike or car to reach this temple, though this is 2-3 Kms from GST.

Cross the railway track at SP Kovil towards Oragadam. Drive for 5 -7 mins you will see a board on the right hand side of the road. Take a right turn to reach Thirukkachur.

7. Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple, Aapur – 8-9 Kms from GST road on SP Kovil – Oragadam state highway.

This is a small temple perched atop a hill. You will need to climb the hill, say approx 600 steps to reach the temple. This temple is in a very isolated place and hence I would advise to visit in groups. Another problem here is monkey menace. There are lots of monkeys roaming around and they will run towards you when you start climbing. If you go by bike ensure you leave nothing in the bike nor carry anything in your hand. Use a backpack. If you go by car, ensure to lock the doors and cover up the glass windows. Do not try to intimidate the monkeys because they intimidate you back with more intensity and there is no place for you to run. I had a torrid time there with them and my heart was pounding and racing when I went up and came downhill. The steps to the temple are not covered and are at max 5 feet wide. On either side of the steps all you see would be bushes and rocks.

Take the SP Kovil – Oragadam road and travel approx. 8-9 Kms. You will see Aapur village on the right hand side of the road. This village is very small and hence you might need to pay attention to all the sign boards kept to stop at the right place.

Arulmigu Kandhaswamy Temple, Thiruporur, Tamil Nadu:

From Tambaram – Vandalur – Kelambakkam - Thirupporur

1. A very famous temple for Lord Muruga. The entire town is built around this temple and it has a very big temple tank brimming with water all year long.

2. The God here is Lord Muruga whose deity looks very different from the rest of the temples. The Lord’s face is very different here and He bears the name “Skandan” here.

3. The Lord here is depicted as a warrior, Samhara Subramanyar.

4. He is also enshrined in the form of a child, expounding the meaning of the oneness of creation Om to His father Shiva.

5. Skanda is enshrined with his consorts Valli and Devasena in an east facing sanctum.

6. No abhishekams are offered to these images.

7. This is a very old temple belonging to tenth century.

Sri Jambugeshwarar Temple, Illalur, Tamil Nadu:

From Tambaram – Vandalur – Kelambakkam – Thirupporur – Sembakkam

1. A very famous temple for Lord Shiva which is more than 2000 years old.

2. The deity here is the one of the largest I have ever seen.

3. The Lord is here “Jala Suyambu moorthy.” The sanctum sanctorum is built on a small lake and hence the Lord is called so.

4. It is believed Lord Vasuki – the serpent who spewed out poison during the process of grinding Mahendra Malai for nectar, came here and worshipped the Lord the get rid of her sins.

5. The pond for this temple is an “L” shaped one with another half under the temple.

6. It is believed the great Sage “Agasthiar” came here and worshipped the Lord.

7. The Devi here is called “Azhagambigai” and she is made of a single stone of Maragatham (I don’t know what it is called in English).

8. Very beautiful temple and very well maintained by the local residents.

9. There are a total of 27 Ganesh temples surrounding this temple which is really a big thing for such a small village.

Sri Vaithiyalingeshwarar Temple, Kattur, Tamil Nadu:

From Tambaram – Vandalur – Kelambakkam – Thirupporur – Kattur

1. Very old temple of Lord Shiva.

2. There is a temple for Lord Kala Bhairavar atop a hillock. The temple is big, but very isolated and none goes there it seems.

3. The temple remains open only in the morning and is closed after that.

4. Situated amidst a rich and dense reserve forest area.

5. A small Hanuman temple is also situated nearby.

Sri Vaadamaleeswarar Temple Hill Path, Oragadam, Tamil Nadu:

From Tambaram – Vandalur – Kelambakkam – Thirupporur – Oragadam through Manampathy-Mullipakkam road

1. Very old temple of more than 1500 years old.

2. Lord Shiva temple situated on top of a hillock.

3. The Sanctum Sanctorum is oval shaped with the Lord sitting very majestic in it.

4. It is believed the flowers garlanded to the Lord never dies off and remains fresh even after a week.

5. The temple is open only till 6 in the evening.

6. There are places nearby where erstwhile Chera, Chola and Pallava kings have used it as places for rearing their elephants. These places are now totally covered by reserve forests and are not accessible.

7. The locals say there are still huge iron chains within the forest areas that were used to chain the elephants and prepare them for war.

8. Very beautiful scenic view from atop the hill.

Sri Periyandavar Temple, Thirunilai, Tamil Nadu:

From Tambaram – Vandalur – Kelambakkam – Thirupporur – Oragadam – Thirunilai.

1. Situated 2 kms from Oragadam temple listed above.

2. Relatively new temple for Lord Shiva. Situated outside the village probably because of two reasons which I can imagine.

a. Either the Lord is so powerful or

b. They needed a little bit bigger land for the temple.

3. The poojas are done according to local traditions and they even allowed us to do Aarthi to the Lord.

4. Local traditions are rigorously followed in the temple.

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