May 10, 2016

Ananta Padmanabha Swami Temple - Chennai

Do you know which temple in Chennai has Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Tri Murtis in a single sanctum? Do you know which shrine in Chennai has the most number of deities? It is Ananta Padmanabha Swami temple, which is located in Adyar in Chennai. 

The east facing temple was built in 1962 CE. The Maharaja of Travancore donated the image of the presiding deity, Ananta Padmanabha Swami. It is the replica of Tiruvanantapuram Padmanabha Swami.

The sanctum enshrines Ananta Padmanabha, who is reclining on the serpent Sesha. His right arm is placed above Shiv Linga. From his navel, a lotus emerges out and Brahma is found seated on the lotus. Similar to Tiruvanantapuram temple, this shrine too has three doors through which the devotees could get darshan of the gigantic image of Vishnu.

Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi are found seated on the floor on either sides. The sages Markandeya and Bhrigu are also found behind the two Devis. On the wall, the images of lot of sages and the celestials are found that include Narad, Tumburu, Sanakadi Rishis, Surya, Chandra, Shuka, Garud, etc. 

The utsav idols of Ananta Padmanabha and his two consorts are also found in the sanctum.

The flag staff, bali peetha and Garud are found facing towards the sanctum.

Sudarshan, Lakshmi Narasimha and Ashthabuja Durga are found as the Koshta deities. 

The sub-shrines of Shiv Linga, Navagraha, Anjaneya and Ganesh are also found. 

The statue of Travancore Maharaja, Raja Bahadur Shamsher Jang's statue, along with the stone tablet of his proclamation of throwing open the temples to all castes, is found outside the temple. The statue was erected in 1939 CE. It was originally placed near Raja Annamalai Mandram. After this temple was constructed, the statue and the tablet were moved to this place.

Happy travelling.

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