November 30, 2018

Nothencheri Lily Pond (Waterbodies of Chennai - 18)

This is perhaps one of the best kept secrets of South Chennai. Near the historic Madampakkam, a small hamlet called Noothencheri is found. There is a very beautiful lily pond located in this area. Being located in a secluded place amidst village atmosphere, without getting affected by the traffic and urbanization of neighborhood areas, this is a lesser known waterbody of Chennai.

The villagers use this pond for bathing and fishing. I don't see any Government body taking any measure to maintain this. However, I could find that it is neatly maintained by the villagers themselves. There is no specific name for this pond which occupies an area of about 1.4 acres. The villagers refer this as Noothencheri Kulam. The street is also named as Kulakkarai street (meaning the street on the banks of the pond).

It's indeed a pleasant sight to find such a well maintained beautiful pond with full of water in a typical village atmosphere in a city like Chennai.

Happy travelling.




Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.


November 29, 2018

Madampakkam Temple Pond (Waterbodies of Chennai - 17)

Which is more beautiful? The Chola period temple or its pond? That's a million dollar question. I would say both are equally delightful.

Madampakkam, a sub-urban area near Tambaram, in the southern outskirts of Chennai, has Dhenupureeswarar temple. It is believed to have been built by none other than Sundara Chola, the father of Raja Raja the great, in the 10th century CE. Pandyas and Vijayanagaras have made later additions to the temple.




The temple tank that is adjoining this ancient temple must be as old as the original temple. This tank is fortunate enough to have multiple renovations done. It is one of the few well maintained waterbodies of South Chennai.

The pond covering an area of about 2.25 acres is surrounded by trees and plants. It definitely enhances the beauty of this locality.

Happy travelling.



Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.






November 28, 2018

Rajkilpakkam Lake (Waterbodies of Chennai - 16)

Spread across an area of around 21 acres, Rajkilpakkam lake is an example for the waterbody that is not maintained properly. It seems to be much bigger originally. Thanks to the encroachments, this is what remaining as the lake today.

Had the water hyacinths removed, the stagnating garbage cleared and the encroachments eliminated, this waterbody could definitely store a lot of rainwater, which could yield optimum benefit to the southern outskirts of Chennai. It is very unfortunate that due to negligence, one of the biggest lakes of this locality is literally dying.

Happy travelling.



Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.


November 27, 2018

Perumal Kovil Kulam, Selaiyur (Waterbodies of Chennai - 15)

Among the thousands of people who commute on the busy Tambaram-Velachery Road everyday, not even a single person might know about this ancient and huge tank with full of water located within 100 meters from the main road. It's really amazing to find such a large waterbody in a serene and secluded location, which is not disturbed by the traffic chaos of the nearby high road.



This tank in Selaiyur village bears no name as such. It is refereed as Perumal Kovil Tank, which means the tank that belongs to the temple of Vishnu. On the banks of this big tank which occupies an area of around 1.65 acres, there are few small temples such as Ganesha, Gangai Amman and so on. If you wonder where is the temple of Vishnu, it is located at a distance of about 200 meters from the tank. To know more about this later period temple of Adi Kesava Perumal, visit this page.



The tank is well maintained. A walker's pathway and a compound wall are built around the tank. People are not allowed to take bath in the tank and it has full of water. However, as the site is secluded, a lot of stray dogs roam around. Probably, it has become safe haven for anti social elements during the night time. We have to walk very carefully as there are many broken liquor bottles found.



I heard that the tank was constructed by a Telugu Chola, Tribhuvana Chakravarti Vijayakanda Gopala by name. He ruled in the middle of the 13th century CE. I was told that there are two stone tablets found near the tank. However, I could not find any such tablet or other form of inscription. Hence, I could not verify if this information is true.

A 200 to 300 years old Sanyasikal (Komarikal) containing the mantric syllables to protect the cows is found in Raja Iyer Street near the tank. The stone bears the Tamil inscriptions.

Happy travelling.









Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.


November 26, 2018

Palayathan Tank (Waterbodies of Chennai - 14)

Wherever there is a temple, big or small, there would be one or more tanks. Interestingly, here I don't find any temple, but only a very big tank. The tank is named as Palayathan Tank. It is located in a narrow street called Palayathan street in Selaiyur village near Tambaram, the southern outskirts of Chennai.

Who is this Palayathan? Why and when did he construct this tank? Else, this tank was named after him and was made by someone else? No traces of history could be found. But, it is amazing to find such a huge tank occupying an area of about 1.25 acres in the middle of a narrow street.

All I could gather is that this is very old tank. Apparently, some works were carried out and park was laid around the tank in 2015. The tank and the park were maintained well for sometime. Now, again it's in a very bad state. No one literally bothers. This is a forgotten waterbody with untraceable history.

Happy travelling.






Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.

November 22, 2018

Heritage Walk - Sowcarpet Temples - 17th Nov 2018

On 17th Nov 2018, I curated heritage walk and took few of the heritage enthusiasts to few temples and other places in Sowcarpet, Chennai. My speech while explaining some of the sites were captured by them as Facebook Live Videos.

The links of those videos are given below:


Bairagi Mutt Temple, General Muthiah Mudali Street, Sowcarpet, Chennai

Pattinam Temples, Sowcarpet, Chennai

Radhakrishna Temple, NSC Bose Road, Sowcarpet, Chennai

Vara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple, NSC Bose Road, Sowcarpet, Chennai

Happy travelling. 

Payanam Travel Series #3 - Kaattu Bangla

Third episode in Payanam travel web series - Kaattu Bangla

Arani Poosimalai Kuppa is covered in this video.

Happy travelling.


November 21, 2018

Bairagi Mutt Temple Tank (Waterbodies of Chennai - 13)

Not many of you from Chennai city might even imagine that such small lanes of the congested Sowcarpet area would have so many massive temples as well as big tanks within the temple premises. Unfortunately, many of them are neglected and not maintained properly. The temple tank of Bairagi Mutt Temple is one such waterbody of this locality, which needs to be given high focus.

The tank occupies an area of about 0.2 acres. The tank is very deep. There are more than 30 steps to reach down to water level. With the beautiful steps on all the four sides, it would have been a spectacular sight to have this tank full of water. Unfortunately, no one remembers when the tank had water in the past.

To know about the Bairagi Temple, visit this page.

Happy travelling.







Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.

November 20, 2018

The Statue of King George V in George Town

Chennai city is expanding multi-fold day by day. The migration population also increases steadily. Most of the citizen's of today's "bloated" Chennai would not know the Original City. When the British built Fort St. George in 1640s, they called the settlement outside the Fort as the Black Town. This is the original city of Madras or Chennai. All the expansions happened later.



The original city lost its pride long back. The Black Town and the New Black Town were together named as George Town. Although the name of the locality still remains as George Town as per the records, I wonder if anyone knows this place by this name. The different parts of the area are known as Parrys Corner, Sowcarpet, Pookkadai, Kondithope, Seven Wells, Broadway, Muthialpet, Elephant Gate, Moolakothalam and so on. But, no one calls it as George Town. And, hardly anyone knows about the statue of King George V, after whom this whole area was named. Even those who know this statue, recognizes this place merely as a parking lot or urinal. It is extremely sad that no one cares about the heritage or history.



When Edward VII was the King of Britain, George V was made as the Prince of Wales. When he was still a prince, he had visited Madras in 1905 CE. There is a tablet found in Madras harbour which remembers his visit on 24th January 1905.

After his father's death, George became the King of the United Kingdom in 1910 CE. The coronation of King George and his Queen Mary as the Emperor and Empress of India took place in Delhi Durbar on 12th December 1911. The King wore the newly made Imperial Crown. He declared the shifting of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. Thus, the making of a new planned capital city called New Delhi started.



To commemorate the coronation of the Emperor, the celebration happened throughout the sub-continent. In Madras, the Black Town was renamed as George Town. It is said that this was to commemorate the earlier visit of the city by the Emperor as well as his coronation. In 1914, the 10 feet high statue of the King was put up near the Flower Bazaar Police Station. This is the only surviving statue of King George in George Town. The one that stood near the Port Trust has gone. The statue that was inside the Flower Bazaar Police Station was shifted to Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

This statue of the King was presented by the wealthy Gujarati business man, Govindoss Chatoorbhoojadoss. The posters and the scribbles that are seen on the statue are probably the recognition done by us?

Happy travelling.



November 19, 2018

Pattinam Twin Temples Tank, Sowcarpet (Waterbodies of Chennai - 12)

It is the unknown tank of the lesser known twin temples of Chennai. These temples might be lesser known today. But, as per a theory, the city was perhaps named after this temple. The twin temples, Chenna Kesava Perumal and Chenna Malleeswarar, were built in 1760s. This tank is as old as this temple. Interestingly, it is unique to find both these Shiva and Vishnu temples share this same tank. Even those who are from this area (Sowcarpet) do not know about this tank, as till two years ago all the sides of the tank were covered with so many flower shops.

To know more about the history of the temples, please visit this link.

The huge tank, which occupies an area of about 0.25 acres has so many steps on all the four sides. If the tank is full of water, it would have been a splendid sight. Unfortunately, no one who is alive seems to have seen this tank with water ever.

I could only hope that some magic would bring back the life of the tank again.

Happy travelling.










Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.


November 11, 2018

Saraswati, Lakshmi and Ganesha Temple of Chennai

We would have observed Saraswati, Lakshmi and Ganesha being depicted together in so many calendar images and pictures. But, it is not common to find such depiction in temple. In Chennai, there is a temple which depicts all of them together as the presiding deities.

In Selaiyur Indira Nagar East area, which is located at a distance of around 5 kms from Tambaram Railway Station, this small temple is located. This locality, like any other locality in Tamil Nadu, has many small Ganesha temples. But this temple is unique as Ganesha in the sanctum has Saraswati to his right side and Lakshmi to his left side. This temple seems to have been built 10-15 years ago. The location is serene and it gives a positive vibration.

In the prakara, the sub-shrine of Kartikeya-Valli-Devasena is found. Navagraha is also found in the temple. Dakshinamurti and Vishnu Durga are depicted as the niche images.

There is a big holy peepal tree in front of the temple entrance, under which few Nagas' images are placed.

Happy travelling.









November 10, 2018

Brahma Teerth, Nedunkundram (Waterbodies of Chennai - 11)

Nedunkundram in a small village located near Tambaram in the southern outskirts of Chennai. It has an old temple for Lord Shiva, Agasteeswarar temple.

The temple has a huge tank that covers an area of around 1.5 acres. It is called as Brahma Teerth. The tank must be as old as the temple. The site is calm and serene. It is rare to find such a beautiful locality with the tank full of pure water flowing in this city.

Happy travelling.




Note: As per a report, there were about 650+ waterbodies in Chennai region till 1980s. Today, only a fraction of them exist. And, most of those surviving waterbodies hardly have water and even some of them that  have water had been shrunk badly. In Chennai, there are tank roads without tanks nearby and lake view roads without any lake in the vicinity. There is a high possibility that even the few waterbodies that we have today might vanish in the near future. I thought of visiting the currently surviving waterbodies of Chennai and its suburbs and write about them in my blog as a series.

Nedunkundram Agasteeswarar Temple

The citizens of Chennai would hardly heard about this sub-urban locality called Nedunkundram. Two to three years down the line, this location might become one of the most happening places of the city,  thanks to the real estate giants who focus this part of the outskirts.

In this tiny hamlet, an old temple of Lord Shiva is located. The temple is called as Agasteeswarar temple. It is a serene location surrounded by trees and a big temple tank with full of pure water. It is indeed a rare sight in Chennai to find pond with water.

Around 5 kms from Perungalathur railway station, a narrow street called Iswaran Koil Street that branches out from the Gandhi Road, leads us to this temple.



The temple is east facing. It has no Raja gopuram (I heard that the tower would be constructed shortly by a real estate company which is promoting its project in this village). There are two entrances to the temple, one at the east direction and another at the south direction. At the eastern entrance, there is an idol of Ganesha located. To the true left side of the temple, the big temple tank named as Brahma Teerth flows. In between the tank and the temple, the holy banyan tree is found. It is the Sthala Vruksha of this temple.



The villagers claim that the temple is 1000+ years old (it is definitely not that old though). I inquired about the possibilities of the inscriptions. But, no one could provide solid response. I believe the inscriptions were lost during the renovation of the temple. I understand that the original temple was a stone temple in dilapidated state and it was renovated in the early 2000s.



The current concrete modern day structure does not give even an iota of  clue on the period of the temple. I think that the original temple might have been a later Chola period temple. Except for Shiv Linga and Chandikeswara, I don't see any other old sculptures in this temple. Probably these are the idols which were there even in the original temple. The scholars could throw light on the age of the temple from these sculptures.



The presiding deity is Agasteeswarar. He is found in the form of a big Shiv Linga in the east facing sanctum. It is believed that it was installed by Agastya Rishi. It is said that the Rishi installed 108 Shiv Lingas in Thondai region and it must be one of them.

There is a small Ardha Mandap. The Maha Mandap is bigger in size. At the entrance of the Ardha Mandap, Bala Ganapati and Subramanya are found. There are no Dwarapalas found.



The south facing shrine of Goddess Tripura Sundari is located in the Maha Mandap. At the entrance of the shrine, the idol of Bala Sundari is found. I believe, this idol was originally the Goddess. During renovation, it would have been shifted here.

Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche images around the sanctum. Maha Vishnu is very attractive. Chandikeswara seems to be an old icon.



The sub-shrines of Iyappa, Murugan-Valli-Devasena, Maha Lakshmi, Navagraha, Bhairav and Shaneeswara are found in the prakara. The stone idols of Nalvar are located in Maha Mandap.

All the utsav (metal) icons which include, Nataraj-Sivakami, Uma-Chandrashekhar, Ganesha, Chandikeswara and Somaskanda are all located in Maha Mandap.

Nandi Mandap and a very tall flag staff are located facing towards the sanctum.

The locality is very calm and there is hardly any devotee found.

Due to proximity to Vandalur Zoo, there are many monkeys that roam around the temple complex. Due to fear of monkeys, I could not shoot good photographs.

Happy travelling.