June 22, 2016

Raja Rajeswari Temple - Nanganallur

Site Name: Raja Rajeswari Temple 
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Nanganallur, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of the oldest temples of the locality; the locality was named after this temple
Nearest Railway Station: Tambaram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road 
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants: A lot of options across Chennai

Nanganallur  is a well known locality in the outskirts of Chennai city. It might be very popular today thanks to the expanding city and good connectivity. However, it was not the case in the 1960s or 1970s. It was considered as a remote location. 

Some of the Amman (Mother Goddess) temples such as Tiruvottriyur, Mangadu and Tiruverkadu are very popular today. In the 1970s this temple of Raja Rajeswari located in Thillai Ganga Nagar of Nanganallur was also very popular. The devotees used to form a long queue to visit this temple. In fact, the area was named after this temple as "Nangai Nallur" (the word Nangai means female).

Today, this temple remains known only to the people of this area. The number of devotees visiting this temple is also less. Even those who know about Nanganallur temples talk mainly about Hanuman temple and not about this originally popular temple. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.

Raja Rajeswari Temple

A visit to the sanctum of Raja Rajeswari gives us a very good vibration. Rajeswari's idol is a utsav idol and she looks very attractive and beautiful. She is found seated and she has four arms and holds sugarcane in her lower arms. Similar to Kerala type temples, here too only oil lamps are lit and not the electric lights. It really enhances the beauty of the Goddess as well as the positive energy.

There are 16 steps to reach the sanctum. Each step has a small metal idol of Goddess that depicts 15 days starting from Ekadasi. In addition, 51 Yantras are installed in these steps and hence, it is considered to be equal to visit 51 Shakti Peeths. Sanga Nidhi and Padma Nidhi are found at the entrance of the steps. 

The sub-shrines of Matangi and Varahi are found on either sides of the sanctum.

The other shrines that are found in the temple include Dattratreya, Bhairav, Ganesh, Dhanvantri and Durga.

The stucco images of female forms of various deities such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Kartikeya are found at the entrance of the temple. 

Satya Narayan Temple

Satya Narayan Temple is located adjacent to Rajeswari temple. Lakshmi Satyanarayan is the presiding deity. It is one of the few Satya Narayan temples in Chennai.

The sub shrine enshrining the utsav idols of Ramanuja, Manavala Mamuni, Nammalvar and Tirumangai Alwar is found.

Garud and flag staff are located facing towards the sanctum. 

It is rare to find Navagraha in Vishnu temple. In this temple, Navagrahas are found in a single row as bas-relief images. In addition, the idols of Brahma, Vishnu and Ganesh are also found as the Koshta idols in the temple, which is again unique.

The big size stucco images of Ashta Dikpalas such as Varun, Vayu, Kuber, Nriti, Yama, Ishana, Indra and Agni along with their respective vaahanas are found in the prakara.

Happy travelling. 

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