Old temples in Chennai for Siva and Perumal

For those living in and around Chennai there are many old temple that are 500 to 1000 years old.  Some  are there for more than 1000 years.  

Neela Varna Perumal temple , Nanmangalam

Nanmangalam a suburb near Chennai has two such very old temples.  We went to Neela Varna Perumal temple situated on Elumalai Street .  It is a small temple .  The archaka  there was kind enough to explain about the temple.  He told  us that this temple is a Rahu Ketu Parihara Stalam .  The Lord is in the main  sanctum sanctorum.  Idols of Lord Anjaneya are on both sides of the wallsnear  outside the entrance to the sannidhi of  Perumal .

A separate  sannidhi for Goddess Mahalakshmi  is there inside the temple as also for Chakrathalwar who represents Sudharshan Chakra held by Him.  The day we  went special Pooja preparations were being made for Lord Hanuman because it was Moola star.    It appears He is also famous in this area for granting boons for those who pray assiduously offering betel  leaf garlands with 108 betel leaves for six weeks. During  circumambulation we noticed that there is a Lakshmi Hyagreeva idol on the wall.  A small and beautiful temple .  

A board outside the temple shows the temple timings as below

The temple is open between 7 am and 11 am in the morning
                                         and 5 pm and 8 pm in the morning

Another board has the following information in Tamil

It says the holy temple of Neela Varna Perumal ( Neela Varna means dark complexion and literally it means of blue colour ) 

"This temple is 1200 years old.  It is a parihara stalam for Rahu - Ketu , a temple for prarthana and "Abhimana stalam " for the famous Thiruneermalai temple "


There is also a stone pillar for lighting lamps at the top of the pillar.  It is understood that this was done in those days when there was no electricity.  This is found in very old temples.  I saw this arrangement in Lord Lakshmi Narayana temple in Pallikaranai also.  The priest told us that nowadays this pillar is used to light lamps during Karthigai Deepam festival.  

Interestingly there is a stone inscription which is said to  be 800 years old.

Old Siva temple in Nanmangalam - Lord Ekambareswarar and Goddess Kamakshi, Nanmangalam

Hardly 50 metres from this temple is an old temple of Lord Ekambareswarar and Goddess Kamakshi.  We were very happy to go this temple because we thought of going to Kancheepuram the previous day and dropped it due to some reasons.   An idol of His Holiness Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi is also present  in  the temple .   Behind the main sanctum sanctorum is an idol of Lingodhava.  

So we actually go the satisfaction of going to Kancheepuram itself.  Actually it was a remarkable  coincidence because as I said earlier we wanted to go to Kanchi the previous day.  So the next day we went to Neela Varna Perumal  temple but were not aware of this temple before we went there.


The board above shows that the temple is open between 7 am and 10.30am in the morning , 5pm and 8.30 pm in the evening.

We offered rice, dhal and oil for Annadhana and oil for the temple lamps.  

In  my opinion the best method going to these temples is using a GPRS based cab service so that we can reach the place without much difficulty.

Pallikaranai Siva temple - one of the famous and ancient temples
An ancient temple for Siva is situated opposite to the temple pond in Pallikaranai.   The Lord is Adhipuriswarar and Goddess is Santha Nayaki.  A beautiful temple right in the city.  Pallikaranai was a suburb once and as the city developed people became aware of the ancient temples in those areas also.  

In my opinion since we have many old architecturally beautiful temples and other structures in Kancheepuram and Mahabalipuram, there must be some of them between these two places also. I am giving my opinion as a layperson .  I have no knowledge of archaeology.

Coming to the temple the special features of this Sivan temple are

a) It is said that sun rays fall on the Siva linga during the month of Maasi particularly on Mahashivratri day.  Photos showing the path of sun rays are there in the temple.

b)  Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha shrines are situated opposite to each other and this it is said is rare.

c) There are five trees/shrubs in the temple  for "sthala vruksham " .  They are Tusli, Arasa maram ,
Vanni maram , Vilvam or Bilva and Veppa maram ( Holy Basil , Bael tree,  Neem tree , Shami tree, Peepul tree )

d) There is Rudraksha tree behind these trees in the temple.

A board placed before the temple says that "'......Krishna Deva Raya visited the temple and performed Puja.  Those who cannot go to Sri Kalahasti can come to this temple for Rahu ketu parihara.... "


Lakshmi Narayana temple in Pallikaranai 
There is a street called Lakshmi Narayana temple street just adjacent to the Siva temple.  At the end of the road we can see the temple.  The stone pillar for lighting lamps shows that this is a very ancient temple.  Goddess Lakshmi seated on Lord Narayana , both blessing us .  This type of temple is rare in South , I think.  There are separate sannidhis for Lord Venkateswara and Lord Hanuman.  There is also a sannidhi for Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Seetha.

Information in the temple shows that there is reference to this temple in Tiurmala .

Muruganatheeswarar temple near Mambakkam

 The temple gets income from the Chief Ministers Finance scheme for temples .

The holy temple of Murugadeeswarar with Goddess Deivanayagi in Mambakkam, Tiruporur Circle says the board in Tamil

Two old stone pillars outside the temple, do not know what they signify

A very old , small and beautiful temple near Mambakkam. On the Vandalur -Kelambakkam road take a left near Mambakkam if you are coming from Vandalur .  The road goes to Ponmar, Chitalapakkam and Medavakkam.

On the right near SBI construction site there is the temple on the right.  It is understood that the temple is a few centuries old.  We were blessed when the priest asked us to donate aarthi plate, bell with nandi for the temple Puja.  We purchased and offered them before the next Pradosham.

The Goddess the locals say resembles Goddess Abhirami.  The temple is always open .  The priests probably live nearby.

In Villivakkam there are three famous temples, a Siva temple, a Vishnu temple and Mariamman temple near Villikvakkam bus stand , all the three temples are with 100 metres from the bus stand

Sowmya Damodara Perumal koil
The image shows the entrance to the temple for Lord Damodara Perumal and Goddess Amirthavalli Thayar.


An old and popular temple in the area.  The Damodara Gayatri in the image below. Reciting it 108 times is done for begetting good progeny .

The board is in Tamil 

Om Damodaraya Vidhmahe
Rukmani Vallabhaya Dheemahi
Thanno Krishna Prachodayath


Agastheeswarar temple , Villivakkam
The temple is very clean and the atmosphere is very calm in the mornings, suitable for meditation.
Villivakkam is associated with the legend of  Sage Agastya according to my mother-in-law who lived there few decades back.  

The presiding deity is Agastheeswarar and Goddess is Swarnambikai.


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