Chennai is a city known for its unique cultural influences manifested in its multiple architectural marvels. Southern India is very fond of constructing remarkable temples dedicated to different deities. It is, for this reason, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, in particular, is also referred to as the land of temples. Tamilians are believed to be exceptional sculptors. Every corner of the city seems to have a magnificent temple tucked nicely, beckoning tourists to pay respects to the divine. Explore these temples, discover their unique architectural elements, and experience a deep connection with the Ultimate Power. Feel the positive vibes and a sense of peace washing over you as you stand before the Lord, seeking His blessings!
Here we bring you a list of 10 famous temples in Chennai that are the epitome of spirituality, culture, architecture, and art. Take a look!
Located in Mylapore, Chennai, Kapaleeshwarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple enjoys immense historical and religious significance. Here, Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a peacock, thus the area deriving its name Mylai in Tamil. Though it is a Lord Shiva temple, the major attraction of the temple is Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as Karpagambal. In the 1500s, the Portuguese destroyed the original temple, and a new one was built in the same place. Built in a unique Dravidian style by Pallavas in the 7th Century CE, the temple has two entrances through a Gopuram. Today, this temple is prominent in the list of most famous temples in Chennai.
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Reckoned as one of the oldest temples in Chennai, the Parthasarthy temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. In Mahabharata, the ancient mythological text, Lord Krishna took the responsibility as the charioteer of Arjuna, one of the Pandavas.' During this time, the Lord recited the Bhagwad Gita, one of the most revered Hindu texts today. Parthaswamy Temple was built in the 8th Century but sustained structural damage. The temple is undergoing renovation work at a massive scale, and a few parts of the temple are not accessible to the public. Constructed in a typical Dravidian architectural style, the temple is also a preferred place for solemnising marriages.
One of the biggest and most famous Shiva temples in Chennai, Thyagaraja Temple, is located in Tiruvottiyur. The temple is spread over a vast expanse of 33 acres of land. It has four Gopurams or gateway towers and is peppered with shrines dedicated to different deities. The temple is famous for its chariot pulled by thousands of people yearly. At least ten thousand people pull this chariot, weighing 300 tonnes, out of the temple, carrying the mesmerising idol of Lord Shiva. Watching the chariot pulled by thousands of devotees is a sight to behold.
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Built in the 11th Century, the Marundheeswarar Temple is one of the major religious sites in Chennai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Marundheeswarar, or Lord Shiva, a great healer. This temple is a part of the Trinity sea shore temples. With its two seven-tiered gateway towers, temple building sprawled over the area of one acre and a huge tank, this Chennai temple must be on your wishlist when visiting the city. Cholas built the original temple, but the present masonry structure came up in the 16th Century.