April 3, 2011

Tiruvalluvar Temple - Chennai

There are temples for Gods and Goddesses. There are even temples for great warriors, kings and saints. However, can you imagine that there is a temple dedicated for a poet? Yes, there is a temple dedicated for the great Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar, who is believed to have lived 2000 years ago. This unique and rare templed dedicated to the great poet Tiruvalluvar is located in Mylapore locality of Chennai city in South India.

It is hard to believe that the presiding deity of the temple is a poet. But, that's true as people of Tamil Nadu consider this poet equivalent to the God and even call him as 'Deiva Pulavar' meaning the divine poet. The important factor is that Tiruvallur didn't attain this divine status due to any mythological legends or being incarnation of God; he got all his fame due to his extraordinary script - a collection 1330 poems - called 'Tirukkural'.

Tiruvalluvar temple is located near the Luz corner in Mylapore area of Chennai city. The site where the temple is located is believed to be the birthplace of Tiruvalluvar. There is a tree (illuppai tree) inside this temple which is claimed to be the exact birthplace of thie poet. The sanctum enshrines the big idol of Tiruvalluvar. The bronze idols (utsav) of Tiruvalluvar and his consort Vasuki are also found in the main shrine. Vasuki is also found in the separate shrine in the corridor (prakara).

Tiruvalluvar temple has a separate section dedicated to Lord Shiva named as Ekambareswarar in this temple. The main shrine of this section has Ekambareswarar (Shiv Linga) idol along with the bronze idol of his consort Kamakshi. Near this main shrine, there is a separate shrine dedicated to Kamakshi. Nandi is found in front of Ekambareswarar shrine. The entrance of the main shrine has the idols of Bala Ganesh and Bala Subramanya. The inner entrance has the idols of Nardana Vinayak and Subramanya with Valli & Devasena.

The wall surrounding the shrine of Ekambareswarar has the niche images of Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga. The temple also houses the shrines/idols of Karumariamman, Navagraha, Shaneeswarar, Anjaneya, Bhairav, Chandikeshwara and white marble idol of Ganesha.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Tiruvalluvar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Near Luz corner, Mylapore, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: The birth place of Tiruvalluvar, the ancient Tamil poet; temple dedicated to a poet

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 as this is centrally located in the city; local train facility is also available in Mylapore area
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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