January 23, 2011

Temples of Tiruvottiyur

Tiruvottiyur is an historical town located near North Chennai of Tamil Nadu state in South India. Tiruvottiyur is famous mainly because of its gigantic ancient temple of Tyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman. You cannot find such a magnificent and old temple anywhere in the surroundings of Chennai city.

Tiruvottiyur has many important temples, apart from Tyagarajar temple. I have written about all those temples in separate blog posts. However, I thought it is worth mentioning about all the temples of Tiruvottiyur in a single blog post as it would be helpful to many travelers visiting Tiruvottiyur.

The center of attraction of Tiruvottiyur is certainly the gigantic temple of Tyagarajar and Vadivudai Amman which is also called as Adi Pureeswarar temple. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which should be at least 1300 years old. Various kings and emperors are associated with this temple. Various saints and poets such as Kambar, Ramalinga Adigal, Adi Shankara and Sundarar are associated with the history of this temple. Hence, this temple can very well be considered as a historical temple. As far as my knowledge goes, this temple must be the oldest and biggest temple in and around Chennai city. Vadivudai Amman, the goddess of this temple, is very powerful goddess and very popular among the public of Chennai city. The temple is so huge that it would take at least one hour for anyone to explore it completely. The Shiv Linga idols representing 27 stars, the temple tower, the sculptures, and Shiva in three different forms are some of the highlights of the temple.

The second temple which I wanted to mention is Dakshinamurti temple. Dakshinamurti is the yogic form of Lord Shiva. It's very rare to find a dedicated temple to Lord Dakshinamurti. There is a 400 years old temple for Dakshinamurti located near the main entrance of Thyagarajar temple. The highlights of this temple are the big image of Dakshinamurti and the idol of Dakshinamurti facing north direction.

Bull aka Nandi is the vahan (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. Even though there are temples dedicated to Nandi, there might not be any other temple where Nandi is found in the form of a human being. There is a small temple dedicated to Nandeeswarar located in the Southern Car Street adjacent to Thyagarajar temple, where Nandi is represented in the form of human. This is a rare temple.

Pattinathar is a famous Tamil saint and poet who lived in the 10th century CE. He attained samadhi (expired) in Tiruvottiyur. There is a samadhi temple (temple having tomb) of Pattinathar located near the seashore from a distance of around 1 km from Tyagarajar temple.

There is yet another Shiva temple in Tiruvottiyur, named Agastheeswarar temple. Even though the history and the period of the temple is not known, it is a fact that this is one of the ancient temples of Tiruvottiyur. It is believed that the temple of Agastheeswarar was worshiped by none other than the popular ancient saint Agastya.

When you visit Tiruvottiyur, ensure that you visit all the above temples.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Tiruvottiyur
Site Type: Hindu Temples
Location: Tiruvottiyur,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
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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