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 stucco idols in the tower are very attractive. The temple tower is south-faced.

The sanctum is east facing. Shiv Linga in the name of Karaneeswarar is found in the sanctum. The Dwarapalas are big and beautiful. The entrance has the idols of Ganesh and Murugan.

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

At the entrance of the courtyard Kodi Mara Vinayak and Bala Subramanya are found. Facing the tower, there is another idol of Ganesh.

Next to Karaneeswarar sanctum, the shrine of the goddess Chornambika is located.

 The idols of Ganesha, Sekkizhar, 63 Nayanmars, Shiv Lingam, Bhairav, Chandikeshwara and Surya are found in the prakara. The outer wall of Karaneeswarar sanctum has the beautiful niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga.

A sub-shrine has so many utsav idols such as 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  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 consort Tripura Sundari. There is a separate shrine for Shaneeswarar and another for Anjaneya. Navagraha idols are also found here. 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 consorts Valli and Devasena.

At a small distance from the temple, the temple tank is located, which is big and beautiful.

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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