May 19, 2016

Porur Ramanatheeswarar Temple

Site Name: Ramanatheeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Porur area, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An ancient Shiva temple associated with the period of Ram
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 


Porur is an area of Chennai city which has become very popular in the last one decade thanks to Chennai city which is expanding faster. In this area, there is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva called as Ramanatheeswarar, which has legend associated with the period of Ramayan. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.

Highlights:

  • God Ramanatheeswarar 
  • Goddess Sivakama Sundari
  • Sthala Vruksha - Amla tree (Nelli/Gooseberry)
  • It is a Guru sthalam and one of Navagraha sthalams of Chennai
  • It is considered as equivalent to Rameswaram
  • It is also called as Uttara Rameswaram

Legend:

When Ram was searching for Sita who had been kidnapped by Ravan, he passed through the site which is called as Porur nowadays. By mistake, his feet touched the head of a Shiv Linga idol. Only part of Shiv Linga idol was seen above and Ram probably mistook it for an ordinary stone. He realized his mistake and performed penance towards Shiva for 48 days by having just one Amla fruit as his food. Lord Shiva gave darshan to him and directed him towards Lanka where Sita was imprisoned. As Shiva is considered as the Guru of Ram, this site is considered as a Guru Sthalam. Thus, Shiv Linga came out of the earth after Ram's prayer and later a temple was built.

History:

The temple belongs to Chola period, probably built by Kulotunga Chola.

Temple Layout:

The temple does not have a tower. (A new gopura is being constructed now - 2016 CE).

This is a small east facing temple with just one prakara. The east facing sanctum enshrines a very big Shiv Linga idol called as Ramanatheeswarar. A big trident (Trishul) is installed near Linga. 


The Goddess Sivakama Sundari is found in a separate south facing shrine which is situated outside the maha mandap area. She is found in the typical standing posture with four arms.

The entrance of sanctum has two big idols of Dwarapalaks and an idol of Ganesha. There is no flag staff. The bali peeth and Nandi idol are found within the Maha mandap area. 

The Vimana is Gaja prshtha style vimana. The beautiful Koshta images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found around the sanctum.

Chandikeshwara idol looks very beautiful and is located slightly away from its usual location.

In the prakara, the sub shrines of Sandana Vijaya Ganapati and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are situated. The idols of Bhairav, Shani and Navagrahas are also found. Although it is considered as a Guru Sthalam, there is no separate shrine for Guru in this temple. Navagrahas are found along with their respective consorts, which is unusual. 

The holy Vembu tree along with the idols of Shiv Linga and Rama padam (footprint of Ram) is found in the prakara.

The tradition of keeping Satari on the devotees' heads and giving teertham (the holy water) to the devotees are followed in Vishnu temples of South India. However, in this Shiva temple, those traditions are followed.

Happy travelling.


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