Sri Parthasarathy Temple



the Sri Parthasarathy Temple, also known as the Thiruvallikeni Parthasarathy Temple, is an 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to the god Krishna, located at Triplicane, Chennai, India. It is considered to be the oldest temple in the city and the 61st of the 108 Divya Desams, important Vishnu temples in Vaishnavism.

Image of Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Chennai

Here are some of the sightseeing places within the Sri Parthasarathy Temple complex:

  • The Sanctum: The main sanctum houses the idol of Venkatakrishnan, a four-armed form of Vishnu with his eternal consort, Rukmani. There are also other idols including those of Satyaki, Krishna’s chariot driver; Balarama, Krishna’s elder brother; Pradyumna, Krishna’s son; and Aniruddha, Krishna’s grandson.

  • The Gopurams (Gateway towers): The temple has three gopurams, the tallest one being the eastern gopura with eleven storeys.

  • The Thousand Lights Mandapam (Hall): This hall is known for its intricate pillars and houses a sculpture of Vishnu reclining on the serpent Shesha.

  • The Garuda Mandapam (Hall): This hall is dedicated to Garuda, the vahana (vehicle) of Vishnu.

  • The Yagashala Mandapam (Hall): This hall is used for performing yagnas (fire sacrifices).

  • The Staines Bungalow: Located adjacent to the temple complex, it is a heritage building where the British resident, Charles Frederickمكنزي (Mackenzie) lived in the 18th century. It is now an archaeological museum.

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While the Sri Parthasarathy Temple itself isn’t sprawling with a vast array of separate structures, here are some additional elements that contribute to the overall experience of visiting the temple:

  • The Temple Tank: Look for a temple tank (theertha) within the complex. These tanks are considered sacred and used for ritual bathing. The name of the tank associated with Sri Parthasarathy Temple might be available online or through local enquiry.

  • Smaller Shrines: There are likely smaller shrines dedicated to other deities scattered around the temple complex. These could be for Andal, a revered Alvar saint; Alvars, the poet-saints of Tamil Nadu; or Ramanuja, a prominent philosopher of Vaishnavism.

  • Festivals and Celebrations: The Sri Parthasarathy Temple celebrates several festivals throughout the year. Some prominent ones include Vaikunta Ekadasi, in which the walls of the temple are decorated and devotees throng to receive blessings, and the Brahmotsavam, a ten-day festival marked by a chariot procession. If you’re planning a visit, it might be worth checking online or with locals for any festivals happening during your time there.

  • Temple Bazaar: Outside the temple complex, you might find a traditional bazaar selling puja items like flowers, incense, and sacred threads. This can be a vibrant and interesting place to experience the local culture surrounding the temple.

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