January 3, 2011

Santana Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Mugappair, Chennai

Chennai, the gateway of South India, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India. Chennai, which was earlier called as Madras, has a lot of tourist sites as well as ancient temples. Santana Srinivasa Perumal Temple, which is located in Mogappair area in Chennai, is one of the important temples of Chennai city.

Mogappair is a locality located between Anna Nagar and Ambattur in Chennai. In the main road connecting Mogappair with Ambattur, there is a famous school named DAV school. The road next to DAV school would take you to Santana Srinivasa Perumal Temple (located in Vellalar Street). The area got its name due to this temple. Even though the current temple structure is not old, it is believed the idol of the main deity of the temple Santana Srinivasa Perumal (a name given to Lord Vishnu in this temple) is 650 years old. There should have been a small temple earlier. As this deity is believed to give boon of a child for those couples who do not have child, the deity is called as Santana Srinivasa Perumal. The word "Santana" means child. Due to this, the area was named as "Maha Peru" meaning "boon of a child". In due course, the people started mispronouncing the area as Mogappair.

The construction of the current structure of the temple was started in 19th century AD and it got completed only in the beginning of 21st century AD. Except for the main deity - Srinivasa Perumal, all other idols in this temple must be new. The temple is well maintained and looks neat and tidy. There is a Raja gopuram (temple tower) for this temple. Once you enter into the temple, you can find the shrine of Sarva Sakthi Ganapati on your left side. Even though you can find Ganesh idol in some of the Vishnu temples in South India, it is very rare to find a shrine for Ganesha in a South India Vishnu temple. Then, there is a shrine for Veera Anjaneya where along with the main idol of Anjaneya, the metal (utsav) idol of Hanuman is also found.

The main shrine has Lord Santana Srinivasa Perumala (Vishnu) in the standing posture. The idol is gigantic and is 9.5 feet high. This seems to be a replica of the famous Balaji idol of Tirumala; however, it is taller than that of Balaji idol. The prakara (corridor) has the shrine for the Goddess named "Santana Lakshmi". Similar to any other South Indian Vishnu temples, Lakshmi is in sitting posture and looks very beautiful. The utsav (metal) idol of Lakshmi is also found in the same shrine. There is a separate shrine where the main idol as well as utsav idol of beautiful Andal is found. There is a shrine for Ayyappa and Navagraha too in this temple. I am not sure if there is any other South Indian Vishnu temple where Ayyappa and Navagraha shrines are found. Opposite to the main shrine, Garuda is available in a small shrine.

Whether you would need a boon for a child or not, this temple is worth visiting.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Santana Srinivasa Perumal Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Mugappair, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Childless couple get boon for child; replica of the famous Tirupati Balaji idol; 650 years old idol
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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