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Friday, July 15, 2011

Sri Kachaleeswarar Temple

Kachaleeswarar temple is situated in Parry's Corner, Chennai. Since Perumal worshipped Siva in the form of a tortoise, the deity derived the name Kachabeysan. The temple was built at Armenian Street in Parrys Corner in the year 1720. There's a story behind the construction of the temple here. Talavay Chettiar, a staunch devotee of Lord Siva used to visit Kachabeswara temple in Kancheepuram whenever he wished to. But during one of such visits, he could not reach Kancheepuram due to heavy rains and had to return. He was extremely sad over the incident. Then, he built the temple in Chennai. He took eight years to complete the work.
After passing by the majestic kodimaram, altar and Nandi, we reach the sanctum of the moolavar Sri Kachabeysan. The presiding deity is portrayed with five seats - koormasanam (tortoise), ashtanagasanam (eight serpents), simhasanam (lion), yugasanam (time), kamala vimalasanam (lotus flower). Lord Siva is portrayed as lingam in all the temples. But in this temple, at the back side of the lingam, Lord Siva is portrayed with five faces as Sadasivamoorthy along with His consort Manonmani thaayaar.

Colorful pictures depicting the glory of Lord Siva are seen on the walls of the inner prahara and Alangara mandap. Devaram songs are written on the walls of the temple. The navagrahas in this temple are unique in their nature in that they have been made as per astrological calculation. While going around the inner prahara, we see the towering urchavamoorthy Somaskandar. Because of the heavy weight, He is being taken on procession only twice in a year.

Adjoining this sannadhi, we get the darshan of Sthala Kachapa Maha Ganapathy. History says that this deity had been installed on the banks of the adjacent tank even before this temple was built. Next to this sannadhi, Lord Muruga is portrayed with His two consorts Valli and Devyani. Sri Durgambika's urchavamoorthy gives us darshan if we pass by the sannadhi of Muruga.

In the north prahara, Sri Durga Devi blesses Her devotees with the fortune of marriage, children and property. At the Nataraja sannadhi, the twelve Thirumurai Vedas and Chidambara Ragasyam are there. At the right side of its entrance, Govindaraja Perumal has been portrayed. Dattatreya, who appeared before the chaste woman Anasuya has been portrayed.

Daily worship services are being carried out as per Veda aagama procedure. Pradosha abhishekam, pujas, Veda parayanam, Sivapuranam, the procession of the deity on Rishaba mount all these emphasize the godly atmosphere. On Tuesdays and Fridays parayanam by women and songs are done for the welfare of the people. Worship of Durga during Rahu kaalam on Tuesdays is believed to relieve people from their travails. And, for the welfare of the world, Iyappa bhajans are conducted on Saturdays. The special abhishekams on the nights of new moon days to Kaalabhairava is believed to drive away sorrow.

We can see the figures of Dalavay Chettiar and his wife Sundari on a pillar in the south prahara.

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