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Most Famous Temples in Chennai: Architectural Beauty with Ancient History

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Chennai is known for its art, culture and spirituality. Numerous temples in Chennai were built in foregone era that are considered architectural marvel. Each and every wall of these temples has different carvings depicting different art form and mythological stories that ensures its history is not forgotten in the modern times. Exploring these temples will connect you with the Indian roots and our glorious past. Here’s a list of best temples in Chennai, where you must-visit at least once in your lifetime:

Temples in Chennai

  • Kapleeswarar Temple
  • Ekambareswarar Temple
  • Marundheeswarar Temple
  • Parthasarathy Temple
  • Sri Vadapalani Andavar Temple
  • Arapaleeswarar Temple
  • Kandhakottam Temple
  • Kalikambal Temple

Kapleeswarar Temple

Kapleeswarar Temple is one of the oldest temples in Chennai that was built a long time back around the 6th or 7th century AD. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Karpagambal (a form of Parvati). Located in the Mylapore region of the city, you can easily reach this temple by bus or train. Vedapuri and Sukrapuri are the other names given to this auspicious place, which has huge religious significance.

The temple has marvelous ancient architecture that makes it a wonderful sight for everyone who has ever visited this place. You can see depictions of numerous mythological figures engraved in the pillars of the temple. The temple is adorned by bronze carvings of 63 Saivite saints. Daily puja ritual at the temple includes Kala Santhi, Uchchikala, Sayamkala, and Ardhajama. Here, major festivals celebrated are Panguni and Arubathimooval. You must include a visit to this temple in your Chennai tour package to witness the rich history and culture of Tamil Nadu.

Ekambareswarar Temple

Ekambareswarar Temple has huge significance in Hindu culture and is considered one of the most important temples in Chennai. This temple is a part of Panch Bhoota Stalam, which comprises five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is interesting to know that Panch Bhoota Stalam is named after the five elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Ekambareswarar Temple represents the earth element, which is spread across 40 acres. Tens of thousands of devotees visit this temple every year to pay their homage to Lord Shiva. The temple also has shrines of Lord Ganesha, Vishnu, Shakthi, Surya, and Goddess Kamakshi.

Some of the festivals celebrated with full grandeur on the temple premises are Chithirai, Aadi, Markazhi, and Panguni. You can see a glimpse of the traditions and culture of the city during these festival celebrations. Moreover, this temple is also an architectural wonder that can be seen in the intricacies of the work done on its pillars and walls. The temple has a thousand-pillar hall, with unique carvings on each pillar that make it one of a kind.


Marundheeswarar Temple

Marundheeswarar Temple is yet another good temple to visit in Chennai that was built in the 11th century. At this temple, devotees worship Lord Shiva, who is the healer of all ailments. The name of the temple is derived from Marundhu means medicine and Eswarar means God. This temple is considered a cultural icon of the city, where devotees come in large numbers to seek blessings and healing energy from the almighty. Marundheeswarar Temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams (temples where Lord Shiva is worshipped). It is believed that Shiva Lingam in the temple is self-manifested which fascinates whoever visits this place.

According to the legends, saint Valmiki used to worship Lord Shiva in this temple. This is why a temple was built opposite to Marundheeswarar Temple in honour of saint Valmiki. It is one of the most visited temples in Chennai throughout the year.

Parthasarathy Temple

Parthasarathy Temple is one of the most famous temples in Chennai, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the rare temples in Chennai, where different avatars of Lord Krishna: Vishnu, Varaha, Rama, and Narasimha are worshipped. Considered one of the 108 Divyadesams (sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu), Parthasarathy Temple is visited by several pilgrims.

The temple has beautiful architecture with coloured Rajagopurams, murals, and inscriptions on the walls and pillars. It catches the attention of the visitors and mesmerises them with its intricacies and craftsmanship. Visiting here, you can learn a lot about the ancient history of Hindu culture. Mandapams at the temple portray different mythological stories including the battle of Kurukshetra and Lord Vishnu avatars through elaborate carvings. You can visit this temple in Chennai any time of the year.

Sri Vadapalani Andavar Temple

Sri Vadapalani Andavar Temple is one of the best temples in Chennai and has numerous visitors every day. This sacred place is dedicated to Lord Murugan which was built by Annaswami Nayakar. According to the folklore, the foretelling and healing power of the place attracts several devotees in search of a cure for their illness. Many visitors come to Sri Vadapalani Andavar Temple to witness religious ceremonies and marriages, which are often performed here.

The temple has shrines of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Meenakshi Amman, Lord Shiva, Lord Bhairava, Mahalakshmi, and many others. Besides this, there is a shrine of Mars as Lord Murugan is the deity of Mars. You can also see 108 postures of the classical dance Bharatanatyam that are carved in the eastern tower of the temple. Also, there is an old plated flagpole at the entrance of the eastern tower.

Kandhakottam Temple

Kandhakottam is a famous temple near Chennai, where Lord Murugan is worshipped. The temple is built on 8 acres of land that has been associated with cultural dance and music for several years. Managed by the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, this temple was originally constructed in the 1670s. It has been renovated several times in the later years for maintenance purposes. Shri Kandha Swami’s shrine in the temple is two feet in height, which is facing east direction. Devotees worship Lord Murugan as a warrior God.

Many festivals are celebrated at the Kandhakottam Temple such as ādi's Kirutthigai with silver car, Aippasi's Kandha Shashti & Deivānai Thiru kalyānam, and Karthigai's Deepam. You can plan your trip to Chennai during the festival season to participate in the puja and rituals. Also, there are daily and weekly puja rituals that are performed at the temple by Hindu Priests.

Arapaleeswarar Temple

Arapaleeswarar Temple is a famous temple located at a hill station near Chennai. This glorious temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in Kolli Hills. Legends state that this temple has a secret path that connects with another Shiva temple in Rasipuram. There are many other shrines of Gods on the temple premises. Besides this, dedicated shrines of different planet rulers are present at the temple.

The main festivals celebrated at the temple are the Valvil Ori festival and the spring festival. This is when crowd in large number visit this place to worship Lord Shiva and take his blessings. The temple has awe-striking carvings on the walls, entrance, and pillars that make you wonder about the rich heritage of India.

Kalikambal Temple

Kalikambal Temple is an ancient temple in Chennai that is dedicated to Goddess Kali. She is also known as Kalikambal (the amsa of Adi Shakti). Located in the middle of the city, this temple was originally located at the seaside. Kalikambal Temple was built 3000 years ago, making it one of the oldest temples in Chennai. Later, the temple was shifted to its present location where the Somya Swarupa of Goddess Kali is worshipped by the devotees. It is well-known that the great king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj visited this temple to pay homage to Goddess Kali.

Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, where many ancient temples are located. These temples have prominent architecture depicting various historical and mythological events that add to their uniqueness. When you visit the temples in Chennai, you will get familiar with the rich spiritual history of Tamil Nadu. It showcases the beliefs and sentiments of people who worship their deities and believe in prosperity and peace for mankind. Many tour packages from Chennai cover all the important temples in the city. You can choose a tour package from your place to explore this beautiful city and its historical monuments.

December 07, 2023


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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