Location: St. Thomas Mount area, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:An ancient Shiva temple in St. Thomas Mount
Nearest Railway Station:Chennai
How to reach:Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants: A lot of options across Chennai
There is a theory which is believed by few people that St. Thomas Mount area of Chennai has no connection with St. Thomas. According to them, the mount was originally a site containing Hindu temple and the mount was named as Bhringi Malai after the name of a sage who reportedly lived here. Later, the name got changed to Parangi Malai and ultimately to St. Thomas Mount, they claim. Kasi Vishwanathar Temple, located in St. Thomas Mount, is claimed to be one of those original temples that were there atop the mount. Later, it is believed that the temple was shifted to the current site probably after the mount was taken over by the Church.
The current temple is located in a small lane at the foothills of St. Thomas Mount. The east facing temple has a small gopura. The sanctum enshrines small Shiv Linga idol called as Kasi Vishwanath. In the Maha mandap area, the south facing shrine enshrining Vishalakshi is found. At the entrance of the sanctum, the idols of Maha Ganapati and Subramanya are found. The idols of Surya, Chandra, Shani and Nalvar are found within the Maha mandap area.
At the entrance of the courtyard (the section that encloses the sanctum, shrine of Goddess and Maha Mandap), the idols of Ganesha and Subramanya are located. The flag staff, bali peeth and Nandi mandap are found facing towards the sanctum.
The wall around the sanctum has the niche idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location.
In the parakara, the idols of Navagraha and an idol of Ganesha under a holy tree are found.