May 27, 2017

Ekambareswarar Temple - Aminjikarai, Chennai

Aminjikarai is an old locality situated on the banks of the river Cooum in Chennai city. It was originally called as Amaindakarai. Shenoy Nagar and the popular Anna Nagar were part of Aminjikarai once.

In a lane near the Lakshmi bus stop in Aminjikarai, the twin temples of Ekambareswarar and Prasanna Varadaraja Perumal are located. There are many twin temples across the city of Chennai in the areas such as T Nagar, Koyambedu and Tambaram. Similarly Aminjikarai also has twin temples, but they are not as popular as the other twin temples of Chennai. As Ekambareswarar and Varadarajar temples are located in the same locality like Kanchipuram, there are people who call Aminjikarai as North Kanchipuram.

This article focuses only about Ekambareswarar temple among these two temples.

As per historian Sri. Muthiah, this temple is hardly 150 years old. However, as per the temple authorities, this temple was built by Sri. Sengalvarayar Mudaliar who belonged to Poonamallee Kondai Kati Vellalar family in 1650s or 1660s. As per them, Prasanna Varadaraja Perumal temple was older than Ekambareswarar temple.

The temple has two entrances; the east side entrance has Raja gopuram; the west side entrance is used by many people as it would help them to visit the other temple located in the opposite direction. Technically, both the temples are located in parallel lanes and both of them face east direction.

The east facing sanctum enshrines small sized Shiv Linga called as Ekambareswara. The Goddess Kamakshi is found in a separate south facing shrine.

There are two prakaras. The flag staff, bali pettha and Nandi mandap are found facing towards the sanctum.

Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as Koshta deities.

In the inner prakara, the sub-shrines of Nataraja-Sivakami (utsav), Bhikshatanar (utsav) and Chandikeshwara are located. The icons of 63 Nayanmars, Bhairav and Surya are also found in the same prakara.

In the spacious outer prakara, the sub-shrines of Maha Ganapati, Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena, Somaskanda (utsav), Navagraha and the utsav murtis of Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena are found.

Happy travelling.

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