June 28, 2013

Govindavadi Dakshinamurti

Site Name: Dakshinamurti Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Govindavadi, near Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An important Guru Sthalam; one of few temples dedicated to Dakshinamurti; the site where Lord Shiva gave darshan to Govinda (Vishnu)
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai/Kanchipuram
Hotel: Go to Kanchipuram where there are lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Kanchipuram where there are lot of options

Govindavadi is a small village located close to Kanchipuram near Chennai city in South India. The  village has an ancient temple dedicated to Kailasanathar. Dakshinamurti in this temple is more popular than the presiding deity; hence, the site is considered as the Guru Sthalam and everyone calls this temple as Dakshinamurti temple. This is one of few important temples of Dakshinamurti.

  • An important temple of Lord Dakshinamurti; an important Guru sthalam
  • God Kailasanathar and Dakshinamurti
  • Goddess - Akhilandeswari
  • Sthala Vruksham (Holy tree) - Banyan


As per the legend, Lord Vishnu lost his discus. He offered pooja to Lord Shiva and got back his discus. This story is related to the nearby site Tirumalpur. It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared before Vishnu in the form of Guru in this village. Hence, the site is called as 'Govindavadi' (Govinda=Vishnu).

Temple Layout:

The ancient and popular temple in Govindavadi is facing the eastern direction. The main shrine also faces the same direction. The main deity is a huge Shiva Linga named as Kailasanathar. In maha mandapa, the Goddess Akhilandeswari is found in a separate shrine which faces the southern direction. There is another pair of Goddess and Shiv Linga located in the maha mandapa.

As usual the Nandi idol, flag post and bali peetha are located facing the main shrine. 

Diagonally opposite to the main shrine, the sub-shrine of Govindaraja with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi is located.

The wall surrounding the main shrine has the idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga as the koshta idols. Out of them, Dakshinamurti idol is given prominence. A big shrine is constructed around this idol. As this idol is considered as the highlight of the temple, a separate entrance has been constructed facing this shrine. The devotees wait in long queue to get the darshan of Dakshinamurti whereas hardly anyone visit the main deity of this temple.

Lord Dakshinamurti is seated on a peetha held by a tortoise, eight elephants, five serpents, a lion and the deities representing eight directions. Instead of the usual banyan tree,  a mandapa representing Mount Kailash is found. The usual Muyalakan at the feet of the Lord is also missing.

The small temple has a single prakara where the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Murugan-Valli-Devasena, Adi Shankara, Shanmukha (Skanda with six faces) along with his two consorts, Bhairava, Naga devta, Chandikeshwara and Navagraha are found.

Happy travelling.

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