April 16, 2016

Kanchipuram of Chennai - Kamakshi Temple and Maha Swami Museum, Rajkilpakkam

Site Name: Sri Kanchi Maha Swami Vidya Mandir Complex
Site Type: Hindu temple, Museum
Location:  Rajkilapakkam, near Tambaram, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Can be considered as Kanchipuram of Chennai; the museum of Maha Periyava and M.S. Subbu Lakshmi
Nearest Railway Station: Tambaram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: All sorts of options are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All sorts of options are available in Chennai

Tambaram is a town located near Chennai city in South India. Near Tambaram, there is locality called Rajkilpakkam where the Shankara Math of Kanchipuram has started a school called as Sri Kanchi Maha Swami Vidya Mandir. In the school complex, there are many religious attractions. Prominent attraction among them is Kamakshi Temple. Let us discuss about all the attractions located in this complex.

Vidya Ganapati Temple

The main entrance of the school complex has the stucco images of Kamakshi Amman, Adi Shankara and Maha Periyaval. 

The first religious attraction of the complex is Vidya Ganapati temple, which is located on the right side as soon as one enters inside the complex. It is a small typical Ganesha temple.

Kamakshi Amman Temple

Kamakshi Amman Temple is the main attraction of this school complex. It is a small temple having two entrances, one on the east side and the other on the west side. Raja gopura is found in the east side entrance. At the entrance, the idols of Ganesha and Bala Subramanya are found.

Although the gopura is on the east side entrance, the west side entrance is the main entrance. Bali peetha and the flag staff are situated here facing towards the entrance.

The west facing sanctum enshrines Kamakshi Amman. The idol is replica of Kamakshi Amman temple of Kanchipuram. She is found seated and has four arms. She holds parrot and sugarcane in her arms. 

In the same main shrine, the idol of Tapas Kamashi, who is found performing penance and standing with just one leg is also situated. The Yantra, situated in front of Kamakshi has Ashta Shaktis.

At the entrance of the sanctum, the utsav idols of Adi Shankara and Kamakshi are found.

The temple has many niche images such as Maha Lakshmi with her two upper arms folded like praying, Srinivasa Perumal, the disfigured form of Lakshmi called as Aroopa Lakshmi, Varahi and  Ardha nareeswarar are found. 

The big idol of Maha Ganapati and another one called as Anugnai Vinayakar are also found in this temple. There is a sub-shrine where the utsav idols of Kamakshi is enshrined. The utsav idols of Uma and Maheswar are also situated adjacent to the sanctum.

The entrance of the temple has an idol of Saraswati.

Statues of Prominent People

There are many statues of prominent people situated near the entrance of the school. They include Mahatma Gandhiji, Mahakavi Bharati, Valluvar, Abdul Kalam, Vivekananda and Dr. Radha Krishna. A big stone sculpture of Hanuman is also located nearby.

Maha Swami Museum

The museum of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal, popularly known as Kanchi Peryival or Kanchi Maha Swami is a unique attraction in this site. More than a museum, it can be considered as a temple of Maha Swami.

The museum has hundreds of rare pictures of Swamigal starting from when he was just school going kid. The collection of books read by Swamigal and the things and furniture used by him are also displayed in the museum. The palquin which was used to carry him, the utensils used by him for performing poojas, the pictures of all Kanchi Shankaracharyas starting from Adi Shankara and other such related things are found in the museum. There are many wax images of Swamigal found in the museum. He is found in different postures and they represent different period of his life. They look very lively and the devotees would definitely get a feel as if they get actual darshan of Swamiji.


The museum is quite big and has two floors. In one particular section, a very big Shiv Linga called as Rudraksha Linga is found. One lakh Rudraksha are used to make this Linga idol. In this section, the interesting pictures of four Vedas depicted in the form of humans along with their consorts are also found.

M.S. Subbu Lakshmi Gallery

One section of museum is dedicated to the pride of India, the most popular Carnatic singer Dr. M.S. Subbu Lakshmi. A huge statue of M.S. and a lot of her photographs taken in various occasions and along with many prominent figures are at display. This is also a unique and interesting section of this site.

Mahadeva Temple

There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called as Mahadevar. He is found in the form of Shiv Linga. The idols of Dakshinamurti and Adi Shankara are found in the Maha Mandap.

Happy travelling.

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