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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Parrys Sri Ekambareswarar Temple

Only few people from Chennai city, South India know about this 500 years old Ekambareswarar Temple located well within one km from Chennai central railway station. Ekambareswarar temple is located at Mint street in the Park Town area of Chennai. Ekambareswarar temple has been popular even before British occupied this area. Even though this temple is not known much to the people outside this area in Chennai, hundreds of people located in and around Park Town area visit this temple daily.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Ekambareswarar. Ekambareswarar is another name for Lord Shiva. Opposite to the main temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This shrine is separately located from the main temple. Once you enter into the main temple complex, if you enter into the shrine to your left, you can find 300 years old Arasa or Ashvastha tree (a sacred tree in South India). Under the tree, there is a small shrine for Lord Shiva (called as Ramanathar). You can also find the idols of Sakthi, Vishnu, Ganesha and Surya (Sun God) in this shrine. There is also an idol of Mariamman separately near the shrine. After worshipping this place, if you enter further into the main temple, you can find Gajasthamba. After that, there are shrines for Nataraja-Sivakami, Dwara Ganapati with his consorts, Subramanya with his consorts, Pitchandeswara, Somaskandar, and a lot of metal idols.

If you further proceed into the main temple, there are two main shrines - one dedicated to Lord Ekambareswarar in Shiv linga form. Only few people would notice the idol of Kamakshi Amman situated next to Shiv Linga. There is another main shrine in which the beautiful idol of Goddess Kamakshi is found in
tanding posture.

The corridor (prakara) surrounding the two main shrines has a lot of idols and shrines. There are idols such as Ganesha, Hanuman, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma, Chandikeswarar, Surya (Sun), and Chandra (Moon). There are shrines of Adi Sankara, Ganesha, Subramanya with consorts, and Durga.

The highlight is the shrines of various forms of Lord Shiva such as Vruddagireeswarar, Vadaranweswar, Kasi Viswanathar, Arunachaleswarar, Chidambareswarar, Kalatheeswarar, and Jambukeswarar. All these different forms of Shiv linga are main deities of some famous pilgrimages all over India. The idol of Kasi Viswanathar is huge and attractive along with Ganesh and Subramanya idols. There is a separate shrine for Visalaxi along with the idol of Annapoorni.

There is a separate shrine for Navagraha (nine planets). The Navagraha of this temple is very popular and believed to be very powerful. Apart from the small corridor, there is a big corridor (shrine) surrounding the main shrines. In that corridor, there is a separate shrine for Lord Ganesha under the Vanni tree. There are idols of Vallalar and Chandikeswarar also found. Next to that you can find the temple tank (water is also present in the tank:-) ) Near the tank the shrine of Vaveshwar (a form of Lord Shiva found in Rajasthan state) is found under a holy tree. There is another Arasa tree where you can find a single sculpture with five headed Ganesha on one side and Subramanya under five headed snake on the other side, which is very rare. There are also small shrines for Bhairav and Hanuman.

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