Usually, people know Chennai as a major industrial city and the seat of the municipal economy. However, it also houses several ancient religious shrines, some of which are declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of these temples date back to the 7th and 8th century CE, featuring the Dravidian style of architecture. Thus, plenty of pilgrims visit this city throughout the year, to worship in these famous temples.
How to reach Chennai
Chennai International Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in India, as it is the hub of several airlines, like IndiGo, SpiceJet, Alliance Air, Trujet, and Blue Dart Aviation. Moreover, it is the focus airport of GoAir and Air India. Thus, plenty of passengers from all over India and abroad prefer SpiceJet flight booking to reach Chennai. Three railway stations in Chennai, namely Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, and Tambaram receive numerous trains from different Indian cities throughout the day. Multiple state-owned transport companies run many buses to the cities of neighboring states. People may also drive their cars to visit Chennai, as this city is connected by multiple highways to Delhi, Mumbai, and several other large Indian cities.
Religious sites in Chennai
Kapaleeshwarar temple – This Hindu temple in Mylapore of central Chennai is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kapaleeshwarar Shiva lingam and Goddess Parvati as Karpagambal are worshipped in two different shrines. Moreover, many other deities worshipped in numerous shrines in this temple complex. Four major festivals are held in this temple, among which the Arubathimoovar festival is the prime one. There are two entrances called gopuram on the east and west of the temple.
Parthasarathy temple – This temple was built in the 6th century by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is known as one of the oldest temples in Chennai. Lord Vishnu is depicted in five forms here, namely Parthasarathy or Krishna, Rama, Yoga Narasimha, Ranganatha, and Gajendra Varadaraja in distinct shrines. As per the Dravidian style of architecture, gopurams and pillars are covered with intricate carvings.
Parrys Jain temple – It is a beautiful Jain temple in Chennai, made of white marble that is artistically carved to make facades and other exterior decorations. It is called Sri Chandraprabhu Jain Naya Mandir, as it is dedicated to the 8th Jain Tirthankara Sri Chandraprabhu Bhagwan. The architectural style of this temple in Sowcarpet, a neighborhood of Chennai resembles Dilwara Jain Temple in Mount Abu.
Ekambareswarar temple – This temple is located in Mint Street, which is in the commercial centre of George Town in Chennai. It has two Jain temples and Kandaswami Temple on either side. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is an old temple built in the 1680s by Alanganatha Pillai, who was an interpreter in the British India Company. So, it is also mentioned as Allingal’s Pagoda in old maps of Madras city.
Vadapalani Andavar temple – This temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan and it was built in 1890 as a small shed. The present temple was built in the 1920s in Vadapalani, a neighborhood of Chennai known for film studios. Apart from the main deity, several other deities, like Lord Shiva, Meenakshi Amman, and Varsiddhi Vinayaka, are worshipped here. A Rajagopuram on the entrance is the main notable feature of this temple.
Kandhakottam temple – This temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. Many other deities, like Shiva, Amba, and Ganapati, are also worshipped here. The beautiful idol of the main deity was brought from a village called Thiruporur in Chennai. It is located in Park Town, which is one of the busiest areas in Chennai and pilgrims need to pass through narrow lanes lined with numerous shops. It is only 15 minutes walking distance from Chennai Fort Station. There is a large water tank called Saravana Poigai at the backside of this temple.
Kalikambal temple – This Hindu temple is dedicated to Sri Kalikambal or Goddess Kamakshi and Lord Kamadeswarar. It is located in Thambu Chetty Street, which is a prime financial street in George Town locality of Chennai, close to Rajaji Salai or First Line Beach. The construction of this temple was completed in 1678 and the great Maratha ruler Shivaji was believed to worship here once. The 10-meter high Rajagopuram of this temple was built in the 1980s.
Therefore, a visit to Chennai can lead to the chance of worshipping in several famous temples of this city, which can satisfy their souls with peace and happiness.