January 4, 2011

Ravishwarar Temple - Vyasarpadi, Chennai, India

Ravishwarar Temple, located in northern Chennai, is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is believed to be visited by the Sun God.

Chennai, the gateway to South India, the capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India, has a lot of important tourist sites and religious places. There is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, named Ravishwarar, located in Vyasarpadi in North Chennai, which remains unknown to the most of the public residing even in Chennai. The Ravishwarar temple belongs to Chola period. However, it is not known which Chola king built this temple or history of the temple.

As per the legend, the Sun God (Surya) worshipped Lord Shiva here and took bath in the temple tank to get rid of his Brahma Dosh (a kind of curse). Hence, Lord Shiva in this temple is named as Ravishwarar (Ravi means 'Sun' in the Sanskrit language), and the temple tank is called as Surya Teerth. The place was originally called as 'Banu Puram', whereas Banu means 'Surya' in Sanskrit. Later, as Ved Vyas, the author of Hindu Puranas and Mahabharat, lived in this locality, this place was started being referred as Vyasarpadi.

The Ravishwarar temple is located in the main road itself near Ambedkar College in Vyasarpadi area of North Chennai. As North Chennai is under developed, this ancient temple remains unknown to the Chennai citizens nowadays. There is a small Raja gopuram (tower) for this temple. The temple tank is located on the other side of the road. Once you enter into this small temple, there is a Gajastambha (flag staff) and Nandi statue near that. Opposite to the Nandi idol, the main shrine is located as usual. The main shrine has Ravishwarar, in the large Shiv linga form in a separate sanctum facing east direction. Next to this sanctum, you can find a separate sanctum for the goddess of the temple, Maragadambal facing south direction. The entrance of Ravishwar sanctum has the idols of Ganesha and Muruga on either sides. The idols of Surya and Chandra are also available in the main shrine. Apart from that the idol of Bhairav, Nalvar, utsav (metal) idol of Nataraj-Sivakami, and various other utsav idols are found in the main shrine itself.

There is a prakara (corridor) in this temple. As the temple is located in a lower region, the colorful statues of the tower are clearly visible in the corridor. The corridor has a shrine for Sundara Vinayakar, and Siva Subramanya along with Valli and Devasena. The sthala vruksha Vanni tree is also found in the prakara. There is a small shrine for Ramalingar Swamigal. The highlight is that you can find the idol of Vyas in this temple, which is generally rare to find. There is a small shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu named Munai Kaththa Perumal is found along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. Ayyappa, Hanuman, and Navagraha are also found in the prakara.

The outer side of the wall surrounding the main shrine has the idols of Nardana Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswarar, Koumari, Brahmamukhi, Vaishnavi, Maheswari, and Varahi.

When you get a chance, go and visit this ancient temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Ravishwarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Vyasarpadi, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the important temples of North Chennai; believed to be worshipped by the Sun God; believed to be the site where the saint Vyasa lived for sometime
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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1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot, I am planning to visit today with my family!