February 14, 2011

Vadapalani Vengeeswarar Temple - Chennai, South India

Vadapalani, one of the most happening places in Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India, is mainly famous for Vadapalani Andavan temple a.ka Vadapalani Murugan temple. There is another big temple in Vadapalani, which is located just diagonally opposite to the street of Vadapalani Murugan temple. This temple is much older and bigger than Murugan temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva called as Vengeeswarar.

Vadapalani Vengeeswarar temple is dated to the Chola period. This huge ancient east facing temple has a magnificent nine tiered Raja Gopuram (tower). The temple has entrances on all the four directions and there are smaller towers in the other three entrances.

The east facing sanctum enshrines big Shiv Linga idol named as Vengeeswarar. The vimana follow Gaja prshtha architecture style, which resembles the back side of a sleeping elephant.

The entrance of Ardha Mandap has an idol of Ganesha and two mid sized old Dwarapla idols. In the Maha mandap, there are idols of two sages namely Vyagrapada (the sage with the tiger's leg) and Patanjali (the sage having the lower part as snake) facing towards Shiva. It is believed that both these sages have worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple. There are many temples across South India which were visited by these two sages. The deity is also named as Vengeeswarar after the name of the sage Vyagrapada. (The Tamil word Vengai and the Sanskrit word Vyagra mean tiger).

The wall around the sanctum has the niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location.

The Goddess of the temple is Shanta Nayaki. She is found in a separate south facing big shrine located near the flag staff. The idol of Bhuvaneswar is also found in her shrine.

A very tall flag staff, bali peeth and Nandi Mandap are situated facing towards the main shrine of Vengeeswarar.

In the prakara, the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Maha Lakshmi (not Gaja Lakshmi as found in the other temples), Navagraha, Vishwanatha Lingam and Nataraj-Shivakami are found.

The idols of Veerabhadra, Surya, Chandra and Muneeswaran are located near the entrance of the Raja gopuram facing towards the main shrine.

The idols of Bhairav and Shaneeswar are also found in this temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Vengeeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Vadapalani, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: An ancient Shiva temple in Chennai city; It is believed that the saints Patanjali and Vyagrapadar worshiped in this temple
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India; Vadapalani is a well known area - easily reachable from the other parts of Chennai. Vengeeswarar temple is located near Vadapalani Murugan temple - a landmark in Vadapalani locality.
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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