January 11, 2013

Skandashram - Chennai

Site Name: Skandashram aka Skandasramam
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Selaiyur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A temple with a lot of giant sized idols
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by rail, road and air
Hotel: A lot of options across the city
Restaurants: A lot of options across the city

Skandashram pronounced as Skandasramam locally is a modern day temple located in Mahalakshmi Nagar, Selaiyur (near Tambaram) in Chennai city, South India. It is a huge complex with so many shrines with magnificent stone idols of Hindu deities. It is uncommon to find so many large idols in a single temple complex. The temple was constructed by Satguru Srimad Santhananda Swamigal in the beginning of 21st century CE.

The temple does not have tower or flag post that are found in typical South Indian temples. The complex consists of a lot of shrines. Each shrine is more or less equivalent to a small temple in size and almost all the shrines have huge idols of the deities.

The shrines and idols of the temple are detailed below:
  • Panchamukha Heramba Ganapati - a 12 feet Ganesha idol seated on lion; Ganesha is found with five heads
  • Kamala Siddhi Vinayakar - a small shrine located in the main temple complex
  • Bhuvaneswari - a beautiful idol located in the main temple complex; the supreme mother Goddess
  • Santhananda Swamigal - a small shrine for the founder of the temple right next to Bhuvaneswari's shrine
  • Panchamukha Anjaneya - a magnificent idol of Lord Hanuman with five faces and 10 arms- 14 feet in height
  • Veera Sarbeswara - the most famous deity of the temple; people throng in hundreds to have darshan of this particular deity; 12 feet metal idol - a form of Shiva - Sarbeswara was the destroyer of Lord Narasimha - half-bird and half-beast with two wings bearing Goddess Prityankara and Soolini - face of Yali - bearing Bhairava and Agni in abdomen - two fee resting on a hill. The wall surrounding the shrine has the idols of Ashta Bhariavas - the eight forms of Bhairava
  • Shaneeswara - a rare huge idol (14 feet) of Shaneeswara on crow
  • Swaminatha - a 12 feet idol of Lord Karthikeya (Skanda)
  • Dattatreya - a 15 feet huge idol of Dattatreya with three heads
  • Ugra Pratyinkara - a 12 feet high Panchaloka idol of lion faced Goddess sitting on a lion
  • Chakra Mahameru - a large mahameru 
  • Ayyappa - a 7 feet high metal idol of Ayyappa; it's difficult to find such a big idol of Ayyappa
  • Ashtadashabuja Durga - a 6 feet idol of Goddess with 16 arms
  • Sahasralinga - a gigantic Linga idol consisting of 1008 small Lingas; a huge Nandi facing the shrine
  • Sudarshan - a 18 feet Sudharshan with Lakshmi Narasimha on the back side
Happy travelling.

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