August 9, 2009

Theerthapaleeswarar Temple, Triplicane (Mylapore), Chennai

Site Name: Theerthapaleeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Natesan Street, Triplicane, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: 
One of seven Sapta Sthana temples of Chennai
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 
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

Theerthapaleeswarar temple in Triplicane is the second Sapta Sthana Shiva temple of Mylapore in Chennai (seven great temples of Mylapore). (The first temple is Karaneeswarar temple). Even though this ancient temple is considered as one of the important temples of historically rich Mylapore area, the area where the temples stands is part of Triplicane area nowadays.

The temple is located in a very congested area at Dr. Natesan Street near Lloyds Road in TriplicaneLloyds Road is an important location in Chennai. You can reach Lloyds road easily either by public transport or on your own vehicle. From there, anyone can direct you to Natesan Street. By looking at the current state of the temple, anyone hardly would believe that this temple had such a significance in the past.

Legend:

The current structure of the temple might be around 500 years old. However, as per the legend, the temple was worshiped by the sages Agastya and Atri.

In the olden days, there were 64 sacred ponds leading from this temple till the ocean. The current scenario is bad. Forget about 64 sacred ponds; you cannot find even a single pond. Even the temple remains little known and is located in an encroached lane.

When the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati happened in the Himalayas, all the Devas went there to attend the function. To balance the earth from the south, Shiva asked Agastya to go towards the south direction. On his way to Podhigai hills, Agastya took rest under a Vanni tree in the site where this temple is located today. As per the advice from Lord Shiva, he took a dip in the ocean and also performed pooja to the Shiva Linga idol using the sea water. As the sea water was used for abhisheka by the sage, the Lord was named as Theerthapaleeswarar. In order to help the dwarf sage Agastya to perform poojas, the Shiva Linga Murti reduced his height.


Temple Layout:

The east facing temple does not have tower but has an arch at the entrance. Although the temple is supposed to be very old, the current structure seems to be new.

The main deity of the temple is Shiva Linga named as Theerthapaleeswarar. The Goddess is Tripurasundari, who is found in a separate shrine. Theerthapaleeswarar and Tripura Sundari are very small idols.

Nardana Vinayaka, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) idols on the outer wall of the sanctum.

Some of the other idols and small shrines found in this temple:

  • Festival (utsava) idols
  • Nataraja
  • Bhairav
  • Lakshmi Narayana
  • Surya
  • Nalvar
  • Chidambara Vinayak
  • Chandikeshwarar
  • Subramanya with Valli and Devasena
  • Hanuman
  • Shaneeswara
  • Navagraha

Vanni tree is the Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) of this temple.

It is unique to find sea water being used for poojas in this temple.

Happy travelling.

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