August 13, 2009

Vaaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai

Site Name: Vaaleswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Mylapore, 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

Vaaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, Chennai, is the fifth Sapta Sthana Shiva temple (seven important temples) in Mylapore. It is located in Gopathi Narayanan Chetti Street and the nearest landmark is Kolavizhi Amman Temple.

The first four Sapta Sthana temples are:

1) Karaneeswarar Temple
2) Theerthapaleeswarar Temple
3) Velleswarar Temple
4) Virupaksheeswarar Temple


As per the legend, Vaali, the great Vanara King, worshiped Lord Shiva in this site. Hence, the deity is named after him as Vaaleeswarar.

It is also believed that a Rishi named Govardana installed the Shiv Linga originally.

Temple Layout and Structure

The temple is probably Chola period temple. However, the renovations and extensions make us wonder if this is a modern day temple. Except for the idol of Chandikeshwara, I could not find anything ancient in this temple.

The east facing temple has narrow entrance and has no tower. The east facing sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga called as Vaaleeswara. In Ardha Mandap, Vaali is found with this hands folded and worshiping Shiva. The entrance of the sanctum has the idols of Ganesh and Palani.

In the Maha Mandap, the Goddess Periya Nayaki is found in a separate south facing shrine. The name is Periya (big) Nayaki, but her idol is very small in size.

The courtyard which has both the shrines of Vaaleeswarar and Periya Nayaki has the idols of Ganesh and Muruan at its entrance.

There is no flagstaff. But the bali peetha and Nandi are found facing towards the sanctum. Inside the Maha Mandap, there is another idol of Nandi found.

Nardana Ganapati, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta idols of the temple.

The sub-shrines of Ganesh, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Arunagirinathar, Shaneeswara, Navagraha, Veerabhagu, Bhairav, Nalvar, Surya, Chandra and Hanuman are all found in the prakara.

Another important shrine of the temple is Pancha Linga shrine. There are five Shiv Lingas found together. Although there are no records, it is widely believed that a Siddha's Jeeva Samadhi is located below these Lingas.

Do visit this temple and become as powerful as Vaali.

Happy travelling.

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