June 12, 2011

Vedanta Desikar Temple - Chennai, India

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu state of South India, has a lot of ancient and rare temples. Sri Vedanta Desikar temple, located in Mylapore area of Chennai city, is a unique temple as it is dedicated not to the Lord but to the devotee.

Vedanta Desikar was one of the great devotees of Lord Vishnu and considered as a great Guru of Vaishnavites. He was considered as the incarnation of divine bell of Tirupati temple dedicated to Lord Balaji (Vishnu). The temple of Vedanta Desikar is situated near East Mada street of Mylapore locality for more than two decades. However, various shrines were built and the temple was expanded in the 20th century AD.

The temple of Vedanta Desikar is very small without Rajagopuram (tower). A small tank is located near the temple entrance. Mylapore is the birthplace of Peyalvar. The temple dedicated to Peyalvar is located near this temple. Even though the tower is not there, the temple has bali peeth, flag staff and Garud idol similar to that of any other South Indian temple.

The temple is named after Vedanta Desikar. However, the main sanctum sanctorum has the gigantic idol of Srinivasa Perumal in the standing posture with four arms. Next to his shrine, there is a separate shrine for the Goddess Alarmel Mangai. Both the main shrines face the east direction. There is another main shrine in this temple facing the south direction where the stone idol and the utsav (bronze) idol of Vedanta Desikar are placed. The shrine also has the bronze idols of Lakshmi Varahar - the upasana God of of Vedanta Desikar.

The small temple also has the other shrines:

1) Hanuman

2) Ram-Lakshman-Sita

3) Lakshmi Narasimha

4) Chakrathalwar and Narasimha behind Chakrathalwar

5) Ramanuja

6) Andal

7) Peyalwar

8) Alwars

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Vedanta Desikar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Mylapore, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: A temple dedicated to the devotee of Lord Vishnu

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 any part of the city; local train facility is also available in 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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