January 5, 2011

Sri Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal Temple - Saidapet, Chennai, India

Sri Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal Temple located in Saidapet area of Chennai is one of the oldest temples of Chennai city.

Chennai, the gateway to South India, has a lot of tourist sites and religiously important places. Sri Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal Temple, simply called as Saidpet Perumal temple, which is located at Saidapet locality of Chennai city remains as one of the oldest but unknown temples of the city.

Sri Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal temple appears to have been built in the 15th century AD by Vijayanagara kings. It is located at a distance of around 1 km from Saidapet sub urban railway station. There are few who claim that this temple belongs to 12th century AD.

The Saidapet Perumal temple has a beautiful tower. Once you enter inside the temple, you can find the Vijayanagar architectural style of elephant idols, Dhwajasthamba, and the other temple structures. The main shrine has the deity Prasanna Venkata Perumal (another name for Lord Vishnu) along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi on his either sides. The procession (utsav) idol of Perumal along with his wives are also found in the main shrine. There is a small utsav idol of Narasimha present inside the main shrine. Due to this idol only, the temple is called as Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal temple. It seems that the original temple had only the stone idol of Prasanna Venkata Perumal. All other idols including the stone idols of Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi were installed/included later.

There is a separate shrine for beautiful goddess Alarmel Mangai and another shrine for Andal. Garud idol is present facing the main deity. The shrines of Chakrathalwar, Ramanujar, Manavala Munigal, Tirumangai Alwar, Nammalwar, and Vigana are also found. There is an idol of Adi Sesha which believes to relieve the people from snake fear (sarpa dosh). There is a separate shrine for Lord Rama along with Lakshman and Sita, and a separate shrine of Hanuman facing Rama.

If you get a chance, visit this ancient unknown temple of South India.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Sri Prasanna Venkata Narasimha Perumal Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Saidapet, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Architecturally beautiful temple of Vijayanagara period; remains unknown tot he public
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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