September 20, 2009

A unknown 12th century temple in Chennai - Koyambedu Vaikunthavasa Perumal Temple

In my last post, I wrote about Kurungaleeswarar temple in Koyambedu area in Chennai. Adjacent to that Shiva temple, there is a temple for Vishnu, which is Vaikunthavasa Perumal Temple. Both Kurungaleeswarar temple and Vaikunthavasa Perumal temple are together called as "Twin Temples of Koyambedu". I would request you to visit my earlier post to know how to reach the place, why Koyambedu got this name, and other related information.

Similar to Kurungaleeswarar temple, Vaikunthavasa Perumal temple is also believed to have been built by Kulotunga Chola III during the 12th century CE. As per the legend, the deity was worshiped by the sage Valmiki along with Lord Rama's sons Luv and Kush.

This temple doesn't have a Raja gopuram (temple tower), and it is comparatively small. The main deity of the temple, Vaikuntha Perumal (Vishnu) along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhooma Devi is seen in the standing posture. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Kanakavalli. There are also separate shrines for Andal and Hanuman. The temple tank is common for both Kurungaleeswarar temple and Vaikunthavasa Perumal temple. The highlight of the temple is the idol of Sita Devi which is present in the form of a pregnant lady in the prakara of the temple. Also, there is a shrine in which Lord Rama and Sita have dressed up like ordinary men, unlike other temples where they dress up like king and queen.

The Utsava idol is called as Azhagiasingar and there is an unconfirmed report that the Thelliyasingar deity in Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane, was kept here during the foreign invasion or due to some riots in the area. Another highlight of the temple is the ancient manuscript of the Ramayana in Telugu letters and its title is Vaidya Ramayanam and it is well preserved.

Go and visit this historically and religiously important temple. It's our duty to visit such ancient temples and to support them.

Happy travelling.

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1 comment:

  1. I like the way in you which write factual information for travelers unlike others