September 21, 2009

Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Chennai

Murugan temple in Vadapalani area in Chennai is one of the most popular temples of Chennai. Lord Murugan (Skanda or Kartikeya) is the son of Lord Shiva. There are six most important temples  for Lord Murugan, which are called as Arupadai Veedu. One of those temples is situated in a small town named Palani, and Murugan is called as Palani Andavan in that temple. As Chennai is located in the north of Palani town, this temple for Palani Andavan is called as 'Vada Palani Andvan temple'. The word 'Vada' means north in Tamil language.

Vadapalani Murugan temple is located at the heart of the city and it is one of the famous landmarks of the entire city.

There was a Murugan devotee named Annaswami Tambiran who kept a painting of Lord Murugan in a small hut. During his meditation and worship, it is believed that he used to experience some divine power entering his body and inspiring him to utter some mysterious things (called as ''arulvakku'' in Tamil). His utterance relieved people in several ways, such as curing diseases, getting jobs, etc. After his demise, his follower named Ramaswamy used to give "arulvakku". It was during his time (in the early 20th century CE), this temple was built slowly with the funds collected from the public. You can find a small meditation hall in this temple even today where you can find the same old picture of Murugan.


The temple is very big and has entrances at all the four directions. The sanctum is facing the east direction. However, the entrance at the south direction is prominent and is used by the people as the main entrance. The five tiered Gopuram at this entrance is bigger than the other three towers of the temple.

The sanctum enshrines the beautiful idol of Murugan. He is in the standing posture and is of 4 feet tall. There are two prakaras around the sanctum. The wall around the sanctum has the niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga, similar to the typical shrines of Lord Shiva. It is rare to find such niche idols for a Murugan shrine.

The flag staff and bali peetha are found facing towards the sanctum.

In the inner prakara, there are many small sized idols such as Nalvar, Surya, Chandra, Chandikeshwara, Shaneeswara, Vaiyapuri Pandya, Vishwanatha Linga and Vishalakshi, Maha Lakshmi, Bhairav, Veerabhadra, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena,  Naga Subramanya and Nataraj.

There are many sub-shrines situated in this temple which include Vara Siddhi Vinayaka, Chokkanathar Linga, Meenakshi, Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena, Angarak (Chevvai), Arunagirinathar, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena and Hanuman,

A very big temple tank is situated outside the temple complex.

There is a big hall in this temple where generally marriages and important functions are arranged. Hundreds of marriages happen in this temple every year. Also, devotees sacrifice their hair by shaving their heads (mundan/mottai) in this temple.

Happy travelling.



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