January 2, 2011

Parasurama Lingeswarar Temple, Ayanavarm, Chennai

The Parasurama Lingeswara Temple located at the Ayanavaram area of Chennai city in South India is believed to be around 1000 years old temple.

Chennai, the erst while Madras, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India. Chennai city has a lot of tourist attractions as well as religiously important sites. Parasurama Lingeswarar Temple, located in Ayanavaram area, is around 1000 years old temple. Even though the current structure of the temple doesn't seem to be very old, the main idol - the Shiv linga (who is named as Parsurama Lingeswarar) is believed to be at least 1000 years old. As per the legend, Parasurama, the incarnation (avatar) of Lord Maha Vishnu, killed his own mother. In order to get rid of his sin, Parasurama worshipped Lord Shiva and that Shiva idol is called as Parasurama Lingeswarar. As per another legend, Lord Brahma aka Ayan took bath in this temple tank and worshipped Lord Shiva; hence, the place was called as Ayanpuram and later it became Ayanavaram.

The Parasurama Lingeswarar temple of Ayanavaram is not too big. There is a Raja gopuram (temple tower) for this temple. Once you enter into the temple, you can find Gajastambha and the idol of Nandi. The entrance to the main section of the temple has two small shrines for Maha Ganapati and Muruga. Inside the main section, you can find the main shrine dedicated to a thin and tall Shiv Linga idol called as Parasurama Lingeswarar. The entrance of this main shrine has the idol of Ganesh. On left side of Parasurama Lingeswarar shrine, you can find the shrine of Lord Nataraj along with Sivakami; there is a shrine where all the metal (utsav) idols are kept; behind that, there is another shrine for Bala Subramanya. The idol of Subramanya in this shrine appears to be big as well as ancient. The main section also houses the idols of Nalvars (the four important devotees of Lord Shiva) and a small Nandi idol.

The corridor (prakara) has a separate shrine for the goddess Parvathambigai who has four hands. It is rare to find the shrine of goddess in the prakara in Shiva temple; generally it is found next to the shrine of Shiva. This temple seems to be an exceptional. In the prakara, you can notice that the back side of the main shrine resembles the back side of elephant, which is a particular kind of temple architecture. The prakara (corridor) wall has the idols of Nardana Vinayaka (the dancing Ganesha), Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswara. There are separate shrines for Patteeswarar (Shiv linga), Navagraha, Sun (Surya), Moon (Chandra), Bhairav, and Sani. Even though this temple is related to Parasurama, there is no idol of Parasurama found in this temple.

Next to this temple, there is a separate temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is located.

When you happen to go to Ayanavaram in Chennai, don't miss to visit this ancient temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Parasurama Lingeswarar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Ayanavaram, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: The temple which is believed to be worshiped by Lord Parasurama
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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