The Ashtalakshmi Kovil is a Hindu temple, which lies on the shorelines near the Elliot's beach, in Chennai, India. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi, and her eight primary forms – the Ashtalakshmi – the giver of all eight forms of wealth, namely, offspring, success, prosperity, wealth, courage, bravery, food, and knowledge. The sanctorum's are depicted on a multi-tier complex in such a way that visitors could visit all the shrines without stepping over any of the sanctorum's.

Aerial View Of Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
Aerial View Of Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
The temple was constructed on the wishes of Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati swamigal of Kanchi Mutt. The foundation was land in January 1974 by public participation. The consecration of the temple took place on 5 April 1976 in the presence of the 44th guru of the Ahobila Mutt Vedhantha Dhesika Yatheendhra Mahadhesikan Swami.

Main Entrance Of Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
Main Entrance Of Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
The temple measures 65 ft in length and 45 ft in breath. It is modelled after the Sundhararaja Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur. In this temple, the Ashtalakshmi's, the eight forms of goddess Lakshmi, are present in four levels in nine separate sanctums. The shrine of Lakshmi and her consort Vishnu is in level two. One starts the worship from here. Taking the stairs, the path leads to the third floor, which has the shrines of Santhanalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Vidyalakshmi and Gajalakshmi. Further few steps would lead to the shrine of Dhanalakshmi, which is the only shrine on the fourth floor. Exiting the main shrine, in the first level, there are shrines for Aadilakshmi, Dhaanya lakshmi and Dharyalakshmi. The temple also has Dashavatara (avatars of Vishnu), Guruvayoorappan, Ganesha, Dhanwanthari and Anjaneyar deities.

Side Entrance Of Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
Side Entrance Of Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
The temple is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, Besant Nagar Beach, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. this is the only temple dedicated to Sri Mahalaksahmi, the Consort of Sriman Narayanan (Sri Mahavishnu), on the east coast in Tamil Nadu. The Vedas and Puranas say that Goddess Lakshmi has emerged out of the oceans when the Devas and Asuras churned the Milky Ocean. Mahavishnu married Her and They both fulfil the desires of the devotees. Goddess Lakshmi is the deity who grants the Eightfold Achievements (Ashtama Siddhis) and Eightfold Wealth( Ashta Iswaryam). As both Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi (with Her eight forms) reside in this temple it is known as the Ashtalakshmi Temple. It is befitting to have a temple constructed and consecrated on the shores facing the sea for Goddess Lakshmi whose birthplace is the sea.

Sri Mahalakshmi Temple Complex
Sri Mahalakshmi Temple Complex
The principal sannadhi is Mahalakshmi Maha Vishnu Sannadhi. Both the deities are in standing from. They face the mighty ocean on the east. They stand on lotus pedestal. Abaya varada Mudras and Lotus flower in the Hands may be seen. There is a processional deity, utsavar bronze. All festive and celebrations are done only to the processional deity. The Divine Couple bestow and shower all deity. The Divine Couple bestow and shower all their Grace and blessings to those who worship them sincerely. Thirumanjanam (Holy Bath) and archana may be performed. Nice yards silk sarees and three yards Dhotis and two yards upper cloth (Angavasthiram) may also be offered to get the Grace of the Divine couple.

Ashtanga Vimanam At Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
Ashtanga Vimanam At Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
The temple was designed and constructed in the shape of ‘AUM’, the First Vedic Mantra, Pranava. The everlasting roaring waves of the Bay of Bengal reverberate the pranava Sound and remind one that the God and Goddess reside in the pranava Sound. As the temple is in the AUM shape it is well known as the OMKHARAKSHETRA.

Ashtanga Vimanam At Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
Ashtanga Vimanam At Sri Mahalakshmi Temple

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 06:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Evening Timings : 04:00 PM to 09:00 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

The Chennai Ashtalakshmi temple is situated in Besant Nagar, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in a very picturesque location. That stretch of beach is known as the Elliot’s beach. It is a famous temple that the eight forms of Mahalakshmi and hence called Ashtalakshmi. Mahavishnu and his consort Mahalakshmi are the main deities here in the Ashtalakshmi temple in Chennai.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Mahalakshmi Temple,
Besant Nagar,
Chennai,
Pin Code : 600 090,
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 044 24466777 ; 044 24917777

Not far from the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China, sits the Leshan Giant Buddha statue. Carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun, the colossal statue is over 1,300-years-old and is considered to be the largest stone Buddha in the world, and by far the tallest pre-modern statue. The site attracts millions of people every year, including Buddhist pilgrims, making it something of a sacred destination and an ancient wonder of the world. The Leshan Giant Buddha statue (also known as Dafo), is located to the east of Leshan City and sits at the junction of three rivers; the Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. It faces the sacred Mount Emei with the rivers flowing below its feet and depicts a stout, smiling monk, calmly sitting, resting his hands upon his knees with heavy-lidded eyes gazing across the river. The statue is believed to be Maitreya, a Buddha and disciple of Sakyamuni, who is thought to have been the founder of Buddhism, symbolizing brightness and happiness.

Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan Giant Buddha
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in that city. In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.

Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan Giant Buddha
Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and looks which have been beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high, and has 8.3-meter-long (about 27 feet) fingers. The 9-meter-wide (about 30 feet) instep is big enough for one hundred people to sit on and the 24-meter-wide (about 79 feet) shoulder is large enough to be a basketball playground. It was a monk called Hai Tong who initiated the project. His concern was for the safety of the long-suffering people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers. Tempestuous waters ensured that boat accidents were numerous and the simple people put the disaster down to the presence of a water spirit. So Hai Tong decided to carve a statue beside the river thinking that the Buddha would bring the water spirit under control. Besides, the fallen stones dropped during the carving would reduce the water force there. After 20 years' begging alms, he finally accumulated enough money for the plan. When some local government officials had designs on tempting this amount of money, Hai Tong said that they could get his eyeball but not the money raised for the Buddha. After Hai Tong dug out his eyeball, these officials ran away scared. The project was half done when Hai Tong passed away, and two of his disciples continued the work. After a total of 90 years' hard work, the project was finally completed.

Steps Leading To Top
Steps Leading To Top
The charm of the Buddha lies not only in its size but also in its architectural artistry. There are 1,021 buns in the Buddha's coiled hair. These have been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so wonderful that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole. Another architectural highlight is the drainage system. This system is made up of some hidden gutters and channels, scattered on the head and arms, behind the ears and in the clothes. This system, which helps displace rainwater and keep the inner part dry, plays an important part in the protection of the Buddha. The large pair of ears, each seven meters (about 23 feet) long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface. For craftsmen of thousands of years ago, it was not easy to fix these to the stone head.

Having such a long history and such worldwide fame, the renovation of the Buddha has received extensive attention both at home and abroad. The Buddha was nearly destroyed by the erosion of wind and rain before 1963 when the Chinese government began the repairing work. At present, the maintenance work is in progress under the instruction of experts from UNESCO.

Close-up Shot Of Statue's Face
Close-up Shot Of Statue's Face
One can take Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan Intercity High-Speed Train from Chengdu to Leshan Railway Station, and then change to bus 3 to reach this site. It is 100 miles (about 162 kilometers) from Chengdu City to Leshan City if one travels by the expressway. Visitors can take a long-distance bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station to Leshan Xiaoba Bus station, and then change to city bus 13 to this site. With a distance of 31 kilometers (about 19 miles), the city is also connected with Emei City by a freeway, and there is a regular bus every ten minutes. Besides, there are buses to/from Chongqing, Neijiang, Zigong, Yibin and Ya'an. Buses to nearby counties are also available. There are very many ferries to the site of Giant Buddha every day. Ferries to Yibin, Luzhou and Chongqing are available at the port of the city.

Thirukoshtiyur is a village located near Tirupathur (on Tirupathur-Sivaganga road) on the way to Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu. It is 9 km from Thirupathur. This place has an importance among Vaishnavites on account of the Sowmya Narayana Perumal temple, which is one of the 108 divya desams, the holy shrines for the Vaishnavites. The place and temple occupy a great place of importance in the history of Vaishnavism. Being one among the celebrated 108 Divya Desas of Lord Vishnu, the temple has the famous Astanga Vimana above the presiding Perumal. Just a couple of Vishnu temples have this Vimana. This is also a historical place from where great Vaishnavite Acharya the author of Visishtadvaita philosophy and social reformer Sri Ramanuja preached the holy Narayana Mantra to every one sitting on this Vimana.

View Of Temple Raja Gopuram With Outer Walls
View Of Temple Raja Gopuram With Outer Walls
Besides consorts Mothers Sridevi and Bhoodevi, Lord Soumya Nayaraya Perumal graces the devotees with Madhu, Kaidaba, Indira, emperor Pururuva, Kadhamba Maharshi, Lord Brahmma, Mothers Saraswathi and Savithri. Lord Santhanakrishna (Perumal who grants child boon) is in a cradle. He is also praised as Prarthana Kannan. Those seeking child boon pray here lighting lamps. Indira was staying in this place till Lord killed Hiranya, gave the Soumya Narayana Vigraha to Kadhamba Maharshi. He was worshipping Perumal in his Indraloka earlier. This Vigraha-idol is the procession deity of this temple. In his Mangalasasanam, Periazhwar had included this procession Perumal too. The place and temple has the reputation of Mangalasasanam of five Azhwars, Periazhwar, Thirmangai Azhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Boothathazhwar and Payazhwar.

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple Kodimaram
Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple Kodimaram
It is noteworthy that divine sculptor Vishwakarma and demon sculptor Mayan had jointly worked in the design and construction of the Ashtanga Vimana. The Vimana has three petals representing the three syllables Ohm, Namo, Narayanaya. Perumal blesses the devotees in four forms from the Vimana – as Nardana Krishna (Bhooloka Perumal) from the base petal, as Soumya Narayana Perumal (Tiruparkadal-Milk Ocean-Perumal) from the first tier in reclining form, as Upendra Narayana (Devaloka Perumal) in the second tier, as Paramapada Nathar (Vaikunda Perumal) in a sitting form in the third tier. Mother Tiru Mamagal has Her own shrine, also praised as Nila Mamagal and Kulama Magal.

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple Outer Prakaram
Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple Outer Prakaram
Prayer with lamp is an important prayer here. Devotees buy a lamp, place it at the feet of Lord, take it back home, place a coin and Tulsi leaf, keep it in a box and cover it. They believe that Lord and Mother had come to their home in the form of Tulsi and coin. Realizing their wishes, they take this lamp along with another one lit with ghee on the Masi (February-March) float festival day for worship. New devotees coming there take this lamp for their worship.

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple Vimanam
Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple Vimanam
While Emperor Pururupa was carrying out renovation of this temple, the great Mahamaga festival of Kumbakonam also coincided. The emperor wished to have Perumal darshan in this place. Responding to his prayer, Holy Ganga sprang up in the well at the northeast side and Perumal gave darshan to the emperor from this well. The well is thus named Mahamaga Kinaru. Well-Kinaru in Tamil. This festival occurs once in 12 years when Lord grants darshan sitting on His Garuda Vahan.

Sri Ramanuja Preached The Holy Ashtakshara Mantra From Here
Sri Ramanuja Preached The Holy Ashtakshara Mantra From Here
Sri Ramanuja and Thirukoshtiyur are inextricably connected in Vaishnava lore. Ramanuja was advised by Thirukachi Nambigal (Thirukachi is place and Nambigal means sage) to visit Thirukoshtiyur and learn the 'Sacred 8 letter hymn', Ashtakshara manthra from Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal (i.e. Thirukoshtiyur sage). Accordingly, Ramanunja travelled 18 times all the way from Srirangam to Thirukoshtiyur for learning the "Ashtakshara Manthram" ("Om Namo Narayanaya!!") from the Thirukoshtiyur nambigal. Each time Ramanuja tried to meet the Nambigal but was ultimately rejected by Nambigal. This continued for 17 times and at last 18th time when Ramanuja arrived and knocked the doors of Nambigal ashram saying "Adiyen Sri Ramanujan vanthurukiren..!" ( which means "Beloved student Sri Ramanuja has arrived!!") on which he was allowed to enter. The reason why Ramanuja was denied 17 times and allowed during his 18th time is that, Ramanuja introduced himself as "Adiyen Ramanujan" (means Beloved student Ramanuja ) in 18th time unlike his past visits in which he introduced himself as "I, Ramanuja have arrived". The word " I'm ", which indicates his egocentrism, led Thirukachi Nambi to reject him. When his ego vanished in word and deed during this 18th visit, he was considered eligible for learning the Ashtakshara manthram.

Entrance To The Vimanam Of Thirukoshtiyur Temple
Entrance To The Vimanam Of Thirukoshtiyur Temple
Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal blessed Ramanuja with the 'Sacred 8 letter hymn' Ashtakshara manthram ("Ohm Namo Narayanaya!!") and told him not to preach to anyone. Nambigal also warns that if Ramanuja disobeys the order, Ramanuja will attain hell. Ramanuja climbing to the top of temple, summoned the whole village people and delivered the Ashtakshara manthram. The act enkindled nambigal and he started questioning, for which Ramanuja replied "Because of the manthram many will attain moksha for which I am glad to go to hell". Nambigal was overwhelmed with kindness showed by Ramanuja and he bestowed the name "Emperumanar" on Ramanuja, which is used to this day by those of the Srivaishnava sect. It is said the event happened in front of Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswami sannidhi, small shrine present on the way towards the Sowmya Narayana Perumal sannidhi.

Steps In The Vimanam Of Thirukoshtiyur Temple
Steps In The Vimanam Of Thirukoshtiyur Temple
Thirukoshtiyur, derived from its native name Thirukotiyur. During Kritha yuga, Rishis, devas and people were tortured, anguished by the asura Hiranyakashipu as the vengeance for Hiranyaksha's death in hands of Lord Vishnu in the form of Varaha Avatar. Devas, Rishis approached Brahma and Shiva for the solution. In response Brahma, Shiva, all devas, Saptha Rishis decided to meet at one place to discuss regarding. Finally all chose Thirukotiyur as the spot. Together they came like a group and so the name came as Thirukoshtiyur, koshti means in group or as a team.

View Of Thirukoshtiyur Temple From Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal's House
View Of Thirukoshtiyur Temple From Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal's House

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 06:00 AM to 01:00 AM
Evening Timings : 05:00 PM to 08:30 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

Thiru Koshtiyur is 8Kms South West of Tirupattur, 25kms North of Sivaganga and about 30kms West of Karaikudi. Buses ply every 5-10 minutes between Tiruppatur and SivaGangai. Thirukoshtiyur (Thirukkotiyur) is one of the 108 divya desams in Sivaganga district near Thirupathur, Karaikudi.

View From The Thirukoshtiyur Temple Vimanam
View From The Thirukoshtiyur Temple Vimanam

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple,
Thirukoshtiyur,
Shivaganga,
Pin Code : 630 210,
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 04577 261122 ; 94862 32362 ; 94433 41163 ; 94439 24925 ; 04577 261103

Thillai Natarajar Temple, Chidambaram or Chidambaram temple is a Tamil Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the town of Chidambaram, Cuddalore District, East-Central Tamil Nadu, South India. The temple is known as one of the foremost of all temples (Kovil) in Shaivism and has influenced worship, architecture, sculpture and performance art for over two millennium. It is also famous for the annual Natyanjali dance festival on Maha Shivaratri. The Sangam classics list chief architect Viduvelvidugu Perumthachchan as directing an early renovation of the shrine. The Chidambaram Temple is the first among temples which hoists the National flag atop the main Eastern Gopura every Independence Day and Republic Day.

Priest Carrying Indian Flag At Chidambaram Temple
Priest Carrying Indian Flag At Chidambaram Temple
Either too we have been thinking that the National festival of Independence day and Republic day are subject to political parties celebrations and others wont observe in large scale. But at famous Chidambaram Natarajar swamy temple every year the Independence day is celebrated with difference. On that day early morning the Indian tri color flag is kept for puja rituals at the feet of the God and then taken to the eastern side of the temple with Mela thalam or drum beats and thus the flag is hoisted with much fervor and National devotion. I think such rituals are not done anywhere in the temples across the country.

Indian Flag Atop Of Eastern Gopuram At Chidambaram Temple
Indian Flag Atop Of Eastern Gopuram At Chidambaram Temple
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