February 14, 2011

Nungambakkam Agasteeswarar Temple - Chennai, India

Nungambakkam is one of the most happening areas of Chennai city of Tamil Nadu state in India. I am not sure if anybody could imagine that there is an old Hindu temple located in this area. Nungambakkam has two main temples - Agastheeswarar temple and Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple.

Agasteeswarar is the name of Lord Shiva in the Nungambakkam temple. As per the legend, there was a prince named Booma Rajan who was a Vaishnaivite (who worship Vishnu). He was suffering from "sulai" disease. In his dream, Lord Vishnu appeared and asked him to worship Lord Shiva in this site to get rid of his disease. He did the same and got rid of his disease. Hence, Lord Shiva got the name 'Agaththu Ishwar'. Later, it became 'Agasteeswarar'. Vishnu, who appeared in the dream, is found in a separate temple named Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal temple nearby.

As per another version of the legend, this is one of many Shiva Lingas, installed by the sage Agastya.

Nungambakkam Agasteeswarar temple has a huge tank. You can find the idols of Ganesha, Murugan, and Nagas near the tank.

The east facing temple has a Raja gopuram (tower). Agastheeswarar is found in the form of a Shiv Linga in the sanctum. The Goddess of the temple Akilandeswari is found in a separate south facing shrine. It is said that after Tiruvanaika, Akhilandeswari is found only in this temple. As usual, Nandi and the flag post are located facing the direction of the main shrine.

The wall surrounding the shrine of Agastheeswarar has the niche idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. Similarly, the wall surrounding the shrine of Akhilandeswari has the niche images of Ichcha Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Gnana Shakti.

The inner prakara has the sub-shrines of Nataraj with Sivakami, Somaskanda, Nalvar, Chandikeshwara and Sandana Kuravars. The outer prakara has the shrines of Ganesha, Shanmukha with Valli and Devasena, Durga-Lakshmi-Saraswati, Vishwanathar-Visalakshi-Annapoorni, Navagraha and Bhairav. Nandi is found along with his consort Surasa in a separate shrine, which is unique. Surya and Chandra are also found in separate shrines. There is another shrine where the sage Agastya is found along with his consort Lopamudra.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Agasteeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Nungambakkam, 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 from the other parts of Chennai
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


  1. how many years old is this temple

  2. how many years old is this temple

    1. Not very old. Should be 400-500 years old. There is no record on this.

  3. pls locate the exact position of temple in map ?