January 4, 2011

Karaneeswarar Temple - Saidapet, Chennai, India

Karaneeswarar temple located in Saidapet is one of the famous temples of Chennai city, the city which is considered as the gateway to South India.

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India, has a lot of tourist sites and temples. Karaneeswarar temple in Saidapet area is one of those important temples of Chennai city. Karaneeswarar temple is located next to the Saidapet railway station. This temple is an old temple. However, it is not known who constructed this temple and the age of the temple.

Karaneeswarar temple has seven storeyed colorful tower (raja gopuram) which is very well visible from a very long distance. The idols in the tower are very clearly carved and too beautiful. The temple tower is south-faced. Once you enter into the temple, you can find the shrine of Lord Ganesha. You need to move towards your right to find the east facing main shrine. As usual, you can find the flag staff (Gajasthambha) and Nandi idol facing the main shrine. On either sides of the entrance of the main shrine, the idols of Kodi Mara Vinayakar and Bala Subramanya are found.

Inside the main shrine, the sanctum of Lord Shiva Linga in the name of Karaneeswarar is found, which is facing the east direction. The idols of Dwarapalaka are too beautiful. The entrance of Karaneeswarar sanctum has the idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga. Next to Karaneeswarar sanctum, the sanctum of the goddess Chornambigai is found. There is small corridor (prakara) surrounding the sanctums of Karaneeswarar and Chornambigai within the main shrine.

The main shrine houses a lot of very beautiful idols. The idols of Ganesha, Sekkizhar, 63 Nayanmars, Shiv Lingam, Bhairav, and Surya are found. The outer wall of Karaneeswarar sanctum has the beautiful idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswara. The main shrine also houses few sanctums where the utsav (metal) idols of Nataraj-Sivakami, Karaikal Ammaiyar, Somaskandar, Chandrasekhar, Bikshadanar, Shanmukha with Valli and Devasena, Murugan with Valli and Devasena, and some important nayanmars. All the idols are exceptionally good; especially the idol of Karaikal Ammaiyar is very lively.

The outer prakara (corridor) of the temple is too wide. There is a shrine for another Shiv Linga - this Linga idol is bigger than the main deity Karaneeswarar. The name of the deity is Vedagiriswarar. He is found along with his wife Tripura Sundari. There is a separate shrine for Shaneeswarar and another for Anjaneya. Navagraha idols are also found in another shrine. There is a shrine for Veerabhadra and Nandi idol is found opposite to Veerabhadra, which is generally not the case in other temples. There are two more shrines in the outer prakara - one for Palani and another for Siva Subramanya found along with his two wives Valli and Devasena.

At a small distance from the temple, the temple tank is found which is big and beautiful. Even though the age of the temple is not known, by looking at the idols, size and the structure of the temple, and the temple tank, it is evident that it should be very old.

When you get a chance to go to Saidapet, don't miss to visit this great temple of Karaneeswarar.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Karaneeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Saidapet, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the popular 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, train, and flight
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



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