June 16, 2017

Vridhagireeswar Temple - Chennai

Unamancheri is a small village located near Tambaram in the outskirts of Chennai city of Tamil Nadu state in India. In this village, there is a beautiful Vijayanagara period temple of Kodanda Ram is located. Hardly at a distance of about 200-300 meters from this temple, there is another ancient temple of Lord Shiva is located. This article is to focus on that temple.

Vridhagireeswar is the name of Shiva in this temple. This east facing temple does not have tower or flag staff.

Vridhagireeswar is a big Shiv Linga found in the east facing sanctum. Vridhamika is the Goddess, who is found in the separate south facing shrine. Both the shrines and the small Maha Mandap are situated inside an enclosure. The pillars in the Maha Mandap have many interesting sculptures. At the entrance of this entrance, the idols of Ganesh and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are found.

Nandi mandap and bali peetha are found facing towards the sanctum. But the entrance to the enclosure is at the south direction. Hence, there is a wall between the east facing Shiv Linga and Nandi.

Nardana Ganapati, Dakshinamurit, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta Murtis. All are new idols and they do not seem to belong to the original period.

The idol of Bhairav and Navagrahas along with their respective vaahans are also found in this temple.

I heard that the copper plate inscriptions that are found in Kodanda Ram temple have references about this temple. It is believed that this temple was also built during the period of Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagara.

Happy travelling.

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