March 25, 2016

Ottiyampakkam Otteeshwarar Temple

Site Name: Otteeshwarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:   Ottiyampakkam, Near Tambaram and Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Arguably the largest Shiv Lingam in and around Chennai
Nearest Railway Station: Tambaram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tambaram and Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai and Tambaram

Ottiyampakkam is a small village located at a distance of around 16 kms from Tambaram. Near Ottiyampakkam bus stand, an ancient temple of Lord Shiva is situated. Let us discuss about this little known temple in this article. 

Ottiyampakkam is a remotely located calm village. The Shiva Linga in this temple is called as Otteeshwarar. It is arguably the largest Shiv Linga idol in and around Chennai city. 

There is no tower or flat staff for this east facing temple.

The sanctum sanctorum enshrines Otteeshwarar, a big Shiv Linga idol. The ceiling of the sanctum has the figures of 3-4 fishes.

In Maha Mandap, the recently made beautiful utsav idols of Somaskanda, Kartikeya with his consorts, Ganesha, Chandrasekhara-Uma, Nataraj-Shivakami and other few idols are found in a separate shrine.

The Goddess Mangalambikai is found in a separate south facing shrine.

In the prakara the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Shiva Subramanya with his consorts Valli and Devasena, Gaja Lakshmi, Navagraha, Nagas, Kubera Lingam, Nalvar and Bhairav are located.

The vimana of sanctum is as per the Gaja prshtha architectural style. Nardana Ganapati, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche images. There is no Chandikeshwara in this temple.

Nandi is found facing towards the main shrine in the Maha Mandap.

The historical details of the temple are not known. However, it is believed that in the olden days the Shiva Linga was carried through this village in order to construct a temple somewhere else. However, no one was able to move the Shiva Linga from this site. Hence, Shiva Linga was left in this site and he is called as Otteeshwarar. In Tamil language, it would loosely mean the Lord who got stuck in this site. 

As the Vimana is Gaja prshtha, we could assume that it is a Chola period temple. 

The temple is located in a calm locality and the devotees could feel peaceful atmosphere.

About 100 meters from this temple, an ancient stone idol of Buddha is lying in open space. The period of this neglected idol is not known.

Happy travelling. 

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