March 11, 2018

Ashta Lakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar - Chennai

Ashta Lakshmi Temple is a popular temple in Chennai. It is located on the sea shore in Besant Nagar, which is one of the most happening places of the city.

This temple was constructed in 1976 CE. Till 1990s, this site was pleasant with large open space and the sea breeze could be well enjoyed. Thanks to the construction of so many sub-shrines subsequently and the construction of ceiling in the erstwhile open space, the temple looks very congested nowadays. Although a large number of devotees still visit this temple everyday, it has definitely lost its charm.

The temple vimana is Ashtanga Vimana, a unique architectural style that is found in few temples such as Madurai Koodal Azhagar, Uttiramerur and Tirukoshtiyur. There is no tower for this temple.

The east facing sanctum enshrines Maha Vishnu and Maha Lakshmi. Both are found in the standing posture. The temple is supposed to be Vishnu temple; however, as there are eight shrines of Lakshmi found here, people always refer this temple as Ashta Lakshmi temple.

Garud is found facing towards the sanctum, as usual.

Being the Ashtanga Viman, there are shrines on the first as well as second tiers too. The shrines of Adi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi and Dairya Lakshmi are found on the ground floor. The shrines of Gaja Lakshmi, Santana Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi and Vijaya Lakshmi are located on the first tier. Dhana Lakshmi is found on the top most tier, just below the sikhara.

The temple has so many other sub-shrines. They include Anjaneya, Guruvayurappan, Kamala Vinayak, Dhanvantiri and Chakrathalwar with Yoga Narasimha on his back-side.

Happy travelling.

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