January 23, 2011

Pattinathar Samadhi - Tiruvottiyur, Chennai, South India

Pattinathar was a great Hindu saint, who lived in the 10th century CE. He had written a lot of songs and his lyrics are mostly written about the self realization concept of Hinduism.

Pattinathar was a wealthy merchant, who became a saint after realizing that his adopted son was an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He attained knowledge and self realization due to some incidents related to his son. He got rid of everything and started travelling to various temples. As last, he reach Tiruvottiyur. Tiruvottiyur is a small locality located near Chennai city, the city which is considered as the gateway to South India. Tiruvottiyur is mainly famous for its ancient gigantic temple of Vadivudai Amman and Thyagarajar.

Tiruvottiyur is the last site visited by the great saint Pattinathar. He attained jeeva samadhi (moksha) in Tiruvottiyur. His samadhi (tomb) is situated in a slum area near sea shore at around 1 km distance from the famous Tyagarajar-Vadivudai Amman temple in Tiruvottiyur. It is unfortunate that those who visit Tiruvottiyur just visit Tyagarajar temple and do not attempt to visit Pattinathar samadhi. One of the reasons is that it is located in a remote slum area. I wish the Government should take necessary measures to promote this site.

Pattinathar samadhi is basically in the form of a temple today. As per the legend, Pattinathar used to amuse people by performing some miracles. For example, he would get into a pit in one place and come out in another place. One day, he asked some boys to place over him a big vessel covering his entire body. When everyone expected that he would come out at some other place, it didn't happen so. When they removed the vessel, they found an idol of Shiv Linga instead of Pattinathar. Everybody realized that Pattinathar got transformed into a Shiv Linga.

Today, you can find this Shiv Linga in a small temple which is called as "Pattinathar Samadhi". Apart from Shiv Linga, the temple also houses the idols of Ganesha and Murugan. There is a Nandi idol opposite to the main shrine.

When you visit Tiruvottiyur, please ensure that you also visit the samadhi of the great poet and saint.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Pattinathar Samadhi
Site Type: Hindu Temple/Divine samadhi
Location: Tiruvottiyur,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: The tomb (samadhi) of Pattinathar, a great saint of Hinduism
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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