June 19, 2011

Somnath temple of Chennai

Kolathur is a little known residential area in Chennai city of South India. This temple has an unknown ancient temple for Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is named as Somnath in this temple. This unknown temple of Somnath is located near Ganga theatre in Sannadhi stree in Kolathur. Although there is no temple tower (rajagopuram), bali peeth, flag staff and Nandi idol are found facing the main shrine.

The east facing main shrine has Somnath in the form of small Shiv Ling. The entrance of the main shrine has the small idols of Ganesha and Murugan on either sides. You can also find another big idol of Ganesha near the entrance.

The Goddess of the temple Amudambigai is found in a separate shrine. Opposite to the main shrine of Lord Shiva, the idols of Surya and Chandra are located. Navagraha idols are found at a corner. The wall surrounding the main shrine has the small images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga and Chandikeswarar.

Bhairav idol, Natraj-Sivakami shrine, the shrine having many bronze idols, Ganesh with Siddhi-Buddhi in a shrine, Murugan with Valli and Devasena in a separate shrine, Ling shrine and Nalvar (the four important devotees of Shiva) shrine are also located in the small corridor.

The temple also has a big spacious corridor (prakara). The shrine of Amirdha Raja Perumal with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi is located in the outer prakara.

As per the legend, Chandra took bath in this temple tank to get rid of his curse, and hence the Lord got the name Somanath (Soma=Moon,Chandra). As per another legend, there were two demons Vilvan and Vatapi who used to trouble the saints. When they were trying to trouble Agastya, he killed them. The place where he burnt the demon Vatapi is Kolathur.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Somanatheeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Kolathur, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: An unknown old temple of Shiva in Chennai; Chandra (Moon God) got rid of his curse in this temple

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: Public transport is difficult; hire auto rickshaw from Villivakkam area to reach this place
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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