August 3, 2009

Temple of Lion Goddess

Site Name: Pratyangira Devi Temple
Site Type: Temple
Location:  OMR-ECR Link Road, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A rare temple
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India

Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road as this is centrally located in the city
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

Let me explore an unusual temple in this post. You would have heard of Lion God - Lord Narasimha; but, only few of you would have heard about Lion Goddess Pratyangira Devi. Pratyangira Devi has only very few temples in the entire world- hardly 3 or 4. Chennai's suburb Sholinganallur (around 25 km from Chennai railway station) has one temple for Devi.

Let me first brief the story of the Goddess, as she is one of the rare deities of Hinduism. Lord Vishnu took the form of Narasimha - a combination of lion and man to kill a powerful Asura. Even after killing the Asura, he couldn't control his anger and everyone was afraid of him. Lord Shiva took the form of Sharbeshwara- a combination of bird and man to pacify Narasimha. The bird had two wings - Shoolini Devi and Pratyangira Devi. Sharbeshwarawas not successful in his attempt and Pratyangira Devi could successfully control Narasimha and hence she obtained the name Narasimhika.

Pratyangira temple in Sholinganallur is a private temple located in the ring road connecting OMR and ECR. You can visit this temple along with ECR Sai Baba temple and ECR ISKCON temple on the same day.

The main deity of the temple is Pratyangira Devi. Apart from this, there are a lot of rare idols of various deities in this temple, which cannot be normally found in other temples. Some of the deities found in the temple include Varahi, Neela Saraswati, Sharbeshwara, Ganesh, Kartikeya, Hanuman, Kalikambal, Ayyappa, Shiva Linga, Guruvayurappan, Shaneeswar, Rahu, Ketu and Narasimha. There are some hugs idols for some Nagas and Agni. The temple is full of idols of almost all the Hindu deities. Do visit this place for a unique experience.

Happy travelling.


  1. The information provided by you regarding this goddess is new for me. Can you give me refernece of the origin of the mythological story? Thanks for this unusual place in Chennai
    Mangesh Nabar

  2. Good information provided by you...
    you can also visit this to get information about Amarnath Temple

  3. Splendid work on temples... Keep going.. Keep exploring. Best wishes.

  4. I have gone to Sarabeswara temple. Prathyankira is a new deity I have learnt now. Thanks!

  5. i have heard of this temple but never knew the legend behind it. thnks for the info