The Temples of Chennai, India

Chennai is located in the southern parts of India – specifically in the north-eastern parts of Tamil Nadu, and the city is pretty much near the Bay of Bengal. The city, by the way is still referred to by some of the locals as Madras, the name it was called back when the British still governed the land. Be warned though, the climate in the city is pretty hot, and like most modern cities it is congested and busy. However, it is still worth visiting because of the many fine examples of Raj architectures found in the place.

Marundeeswarar Temple

This temple is located in the Tirumanviyur, a southern section of Chennai, adjacent to the Bay of Bengal. This location gives the whole place a breezy feel – quite a relief from the usual hot Indian sun. The buildings are of a pyramid like structure, with the fine adornments of very colourful statuettes and engravings on all sides. The whole place is also dotted with trees, and there is even a big pond, which in the hot and dry season has only but very little water. On the inside you’ll find various shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in his various forms. The soft yellow light enhances the beauty of the golden shrines. Aside from being known as the biggest temple in Titumanviyur, it is also known for its supposed healing powers. If you’re planning to visit, best do it during the weekdays when there are lesser devotees, and know that the temple opens at six in the morning and closes from twelve noon until four in the afternoon, where it remains open until nine in the evening.

Jagannath Temple

Though this temple is said to be a replica of the original Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orisa – another city in India, it is still worth visiting. From the outside the temple doesn’t look much with its mud like colour. In addition to that, the temple is pretty small as compared to the other temples in the area. So what makes this religious place one of the most frequented in Chennai? The answer: It’s atmosphere. Since the nearest beach is only about a hundred metres away or so, there is an airy feel around the place – making the palm/coconut trees sway and dance gracefully. The temple gardens are one of the most well-maintained lawns to be seen in the area. Added with the peaceful and tranquil environment, this place is totally divine.

Sri Parthasarathy Temple

This is another pyramid like temple, but unlike the first one, it lacks the colourful façade. Instead, the whole structure is of white colour, which makes it look simple and clean. The beauty is not in the colour though, but rather in the intricate statues that adorn every step of the pyramid. Located in Triplicane, the temple fronts one of the busiest streets in the area, so best be prepared for lots of people and traffic when you visit. Also, don’t forget to go and see the Temple Tank, where a kiosk is set up in the middle of the pool.

Indian people are known to be one of the most religious people around the world, and this can be observed best in their traditions and customs. However, they have a more pronounced way of expressing their beliefs in the supernatural, and this is by building grand and majestic temples which in time have become some of the best known landmarks of India, especially in the city of Chennai.

Photo by simonchumkat on Flickr