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Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple: History, Significance And More

10 mins. read

Chennai, the bustling capital of Tamil Nadu, is a vibrant city where the past and present converge beautifully. Amid various things to do in Chennai, such as exploring its vibrant lanes and Dravidian architecture, the city is also home to a plethora of ancient temples that stand as a testament to its rich religious fervour and cultural heritage. These ancient temples, with their towering gopurams and intricate carvings, are more than places for worship; they are symbols of Chennai’s historical and spiritual essence. Among the many remarkable temples in Chennai, Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Besant Nagar is renowned for its Dravidian architecture and its association with Chennai’s ancient history. What sets this temple apart is its unique dedication to Goddess Lakshmi in her eight auspicious forms, a rarity in India, making it a must-visit for any history or religious enthusiast. The spiritual significance of this temple is profound, offering a unique connection to the divine for all who visit.

Perched on the Bay of Bengal's pristine shores, close to picturesque Elliott’s Beach, Shri Ashtalakhsmi Temple is a beacon of prosperity, spirituality, and architectural beauty. Read on to discover the historical anecdotes and cultural significance that make it a cherished place in Chennai’s diverse landscape.

Historical Facts of Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple

While not as ancient as some of Chennai's oldest temples, the history of Shri Ashtalakhmi Temple or Ashtalaxmi Temple takes it back to the early 1970s, when the construction of the temple began. A revered Vaishnavite scholar and spiritual leader, Shri Mukkur Srinivasa Varadachairar, constructed the temple. His vision was to create a unique place of worship where people could come to worship the eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi, collectively known as the Shri Ashtalakhsmi Temple. These eight forms represent the various facets of well-being and prosperity: Adi Lakhsmi (primordial prosperity), Dhairya Lakshmi (courage), Dhanya Lakshmi (prosperity of grains), Gaja Lakshmi (prosperity through animals, specifically elephants), Vijaya Lakshmi (victory), Santana Lakshmi (progeny), Dhana Lakshmi (wealth), and Vidya Lakshmi (knowledge). This unique historical genesis of the temple adds to its significance and makes it a cherished part of Chennai's diverse landscape. The history of Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple is a testament to the devotion and vision of its founder, inspiring a sense of respect and awe in all who learn about it.

The construction of the temple began in the early 1970s and was completed in 1976, a relatively short time frame that reflected the dedication and collective effort of all those involved in completing the project. The temple’s location was chosen carefully, being in proximity to the shores of the Bay of Bengal in Besant Nagar. This strategic location not only provides a serene and pleasant atmosphere to the temple but also offers a picturesque view of the sea. The soothing sound of the sea and the gentle breeze enhance the spiritual experience for visitors, making the Shri Ashtalakhsmi Temple in Chennai a must-visit.

Significance of Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple

The Ashtalakshmi Temple in Chennai holds immense importance for both its cultural and spiritual contributions to the city and beyond. Dedicated to the eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi, the temple encapsulates the collective aspects of well-being, prosperity, and divine grace. This makes the temple a holistic place of worship where devotees seek blessings for various aspects of life. The temple’s festivals, rituals and special ceremonies, such as Lakshmi Kubera Homam, attract worshippers from all walks of life, particularly during auspicious times like Navaratri and Deepawali.

Beyond its religious importance, the temple serves as a vibrant cultural hub, fostering community engagement through spiritual workshops, educational programs, and cultural events. The serene location of the Ashtalxmi Temple by the Bay of Bengal adds to its allure, providing a peaceful environment for devotion and reflection. The Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple thus stands as a beacon of cultural vitality and holistic prosperity in the metropolitan city of Chennai, inspiring visitors with its active role in the community. The temple's active involvement in the community fosters a sense of belonging and community spirit, making it more than just a place of worship.

How to Reach Ashtalakhsmi Temple?

If you happen to visit Chennai and search for Shri Ashtalaksmi Temple near me, you can reach the temple via different modes of transport, which include:

By Road

The temple is well-connected by Chennai’s extensive network of roadways. Auto-rickshaws, taxis, and buses frequently ply to Besant Nagar, where you can take a walking tour of the temple.

By Train

The nearest railway station in Chennai is the Central Railway Station, about 13 km from the Ashtalakshmi Temple. You can hire a taxi, bus or other public transport from the railway station to reach the temple effortlessly.

By Air

You can book your flight to Chennai International Airport, which is approximately 15 km away from the temple. From the airport, you can get a taxi or app-based cab service for a convenient ride to the Ashtalakshmi Temple.

Best Time to Visit Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple

Visiting the Ashtalakshmi Temple on your Chennai tour package is a rewarding experience throughout the year, but certain seasons offer distinct advantages that make your visit worthwhile.

Winter (November to February)

The winter months are considered the best time to visit Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Chennai, along with other top tourist places. During this period, the city experiences mild and pleasant weather, making it comfortable to take a walking tour around the temple and its surroundings. The cooler temperatures, typically ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius, create an ideal environment for leisurely activities and participating in outdoor rituals and festivals.

Summer (March to June)

Chennai's summers can be sweltering, ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. While the temple remains open during the season, visiting early in the morning or late in the evening is advisable after checking Ashtalakshmi Temple timings online. Despite the scorching heat, many devotees still visit the temple, primarily to participate in special festivals and rituals.

Monsoon (July to September)

The monsoon season in Chennai brings moderate to heavy rainfall, which can sometimes lead to humid conditions. However, the rains bring a refreshing change in the environment, making your visit more pleasant. Visiting the temple during the monsoon season can be a serene experience, with the sound of raindrops adding to the tranquil atmosphere of the temple.

Tip: Always check the weather forecast before visiting to remain prepared for sudden rain showers.

Festive Seasons

Special occasions like Navaratri, Puthandu (Tamil New Year), and Deepavali are particularly good times to visit the Ashtalakshmi Temple. During these special occasions, the temple is beautifully decorated with colourful flowers, and a variety of cultural and religious events take place. The festive environment is electric, with many worshippers gathering to offer prayers and participate in the celebrations.

Things to Keep in Mind

Visiting the auspicious temple, Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple, is a spiritually enriching experience, but observing certain guidelines and etiquette is essential to make the most of your visit. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Dress Code

Wear modest attire like traditional Indian clothing while visiting the Ashtalakshmi Temple. Ensure your shoulders and knees are covered.

Footwear

Worshippers must remove their footwear before entering the temple premises. There is usually a designated area for sandals and shoes.

Photography

Photography is restricted in certain areas of the temple. Hence, it is advisable to check the temple’s rules and regulations before visiting or taking photographs.

Behaviour

Maintain silence and speak in low tones to preserve the sanctity of the temple. Avoid using mobile phones while inside the temple or keep them on silent mode.

Offerings

Devotees often bring fruits, flowers and other offerings, which can be purchased from the nearby shops. Ensure that these offerings are placed in designated areas rather than littered around the temple premises.

Temple Timings

Check the Ashtalakshmi Temple timings (opening and closing) before scheduling a visit for specific rituals or ceremonies. Early mornings and late evenings are typically the best times to visit the temple for a peaceful and serene experience.

Intrigued by the facts of Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple? Ready to embark on a spiritually enriching journey? Visiting the Shri Ashtalakshmi Temple is a wonderful way to experience Chennai’s rich spiritual and cultural heritage. Whether you are fascinated by the intricate architecture, drawn to the profound ceremonies, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat by the seashore, the temple has something to offer every visitor.

To make your trip even more memorable and stress-free, consider exploring the South India family tour packages by Veena World. We provide well-curated itineraries that include everything from transportation and comfortable accommodation options to guided tours, allowing you to immerse yourself truly in the experience without worrying about the details.

So why wait? Plan your visit to this divine sanctuary in Chennai, and let the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi enrich your life in every possible way.

June 08, 2024

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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