March 19, 2011

Mylapore Mundakakanni Temple

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India, has many important temples. Mylapore, the heritage locality of Chennai, has one of the two most popular temples of Chennai - Kapaleeswarar temple. Towards the north side of Kapaleeswarar temple at about 0.5 kms a small temple is dedicated to the Mother Goddess. The name of the temple is Mundakakanni temple and it is located in a small street named Mundakakanni Koil Street. The nearest landmark is Madhava Perumal Temple. Even though this temple is small, it is quite popular among the citizens of Chennai. I would say that she is one of the Goddesses of Madras city.

You can find thousands of devotees visiting this temple during the Tamil month of Aadi. It is believed that this temple can cure Naga Dosham.

The east facing temple has a small tower that is built in the recent times. This presiding deity of the temple is called as Mundakakanni, a form of the mother Goddess Parvati. However, there is a section of devotees who claim this deity to be the form of Saraswati, the Goddess of education. The image is a bust image upto neck. The roof is also a thatched roof similar to that of many other village temples. A holy tree is found behind the shrine. There is no vimana. Although the devotees believe that this temples is 1000+ years old, there is no record to prove that claim. I personally feel that this temple should be just few hundred years old and is a typical village temple.

The temple has a separate shrine for utsav idol (bronze idol) of Mundakakanni. This temple also enshrines the idols of Nagas (serpent) and seven bricks representing Sapta Matas (seven holy mothers). A tree cut by half with an old idol of a single Nagaraja is also found in the prakara. I believe this tree and the Nagaraj idol must have been a part of the original temple. The structure and the other shrines were probably added in the last hundred years.

There is a separate section which is more like an independent temple located within this temple. This is obviously an extension during the recent past. The main shrine has Ganesh named as Arutjothi Nirthana Vinayak. This section of the temple also has small shrines for other deities such as Ayyappa, Muthukumar (Murugan) with Valli-Devasena, Hanuman, Dakshinamurti, Ganesha, Naga, Ramalingar, Annapoorni and Vishwanath-Vishalakshi.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Mundakakanni Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Mylapore, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the important Goddess temples of Chennai city

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: Mylapore is easily reachable by road. MRTS railway station (local train) is also there at Mylapore.
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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