January 12, 2011

Tiruvottiyur Agastheeswarar Temple - Chennai, India

Tiruvottiyur is a small town located near Chennai city, the city which is considered as the gateway to South India. The history of Chennai city can be dated only to few hundred years back. However, the neighborhood Tiruvottiyur is an ancient town. Tiruvottiyur is famous mainly because of the gigantic temple of Thyagaraja (Lord Shiva) and Vadivudai Amman. In the street where the temple of Vadivudai Amman and Thyagaraja is located, you can also find a small old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The name of this small temple is Agastheeswarar temple. It is believed that the great saint Agastya visited this temple, and hence the Lord got the name Agastheeswarar.

Even though Agastheeswarar temple of Tiruvottiyur is believed to be an ancient temple, the current structure of the temple seems to be new. It is not known who built this temple and the year when it was built. The temple is a small beautiful temple facing the north direction.

The main deity of the temple is Agastheeswarar aka Kubera Lingam, which is small in size and faces the north direction similar to that of the temple entrance and the tower. Near the sanctum of Kubera Lingam, there is a separate sanctum for the goddess Akilandeswari. The flag staff (dhwajasthambha) and the Nandi idol are found within the main shrine. The wall surrounding the sanctum of Agastheeswarar has the idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswarar. The wall surrounding the sanctum of Akilandeswari has the idols of five Goddesses.

The inner corridor of the temple has the idols of Selva Ganapati, Subramanya with Valli and Devasena, Surya (the Sun God), Bhairav, Nalvar (four main devotees of Lord Shiva), Kaliyamurti Nayanar - an important devotee of Lord Shiva, and Agastya - the saint who visited this temple.

The outer corridor (prakara) of the temple has the idols of Selva Ganapati, Nagas (snakes), Vinayaka and Murugan.

When you go to Tiruvottiyur, apart from visiting the famous Thyagarajar temple, do visit this temple too.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Agastheeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Tiruvottiyur,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: The temple visited by the saint Agastya
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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