Saturday, 18 April 2020

Lord Vishnu Appears With A Prominent Moustache - Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple - Triplicane - Chennai

The Parthasarathy Temple is an 8th-century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu, located at Thiruvallikeni, Chennai, India. The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th–9th centuries CE and is classified as among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. The name 'Parthasarathy', in Tamil, means the 'charioteer of Arjuna', referring to Krishna's role as a charioteer to Arjuna in the epic Mahabaratha. This temple is 61st Divya Desam in 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams. The Parthasarathy temple at Tiruvallikkeni or Triplicane, as the Britishers called it, happens to be the oldest temple in the city.

Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Main Entrance
Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Main Entrance
There are five shrines for Vishnu in his various forms.
The main shrine is for Venkatakrishnan with Rukmini, Balaraman, Satyaki, Anirudha, Pradyumna - in a standing posture facing east.
There are shrines for
  • Shri Ranganathar in a reclining posture with a separate sanctum for his consort Vedavalli
  • Shri Rama along with Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrugna and Hanuman, facing east
  • Shri Varadharajar Swamy seated on the Garuda facing east
  • Shri Narasimhar in a seated posture facing west.
It is believed that by worshipping in these five shrines of this temple, we get the blessing for visiting five major divya desams namely Thirupathi (Venkatakrishnan), Srirangam (Ranganathar), Ayodhya (Rama), Kancheepuram (Varadarajan) and Ahobilam (Narasimhar). There are shrines for Shri Vedhavalli Thayaar, Shri Andal, Shri Anjaneya, Alwars, Ramanuja, Swami Manavala Mamunigal and Vedanthachariar.

Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Prakaram
Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Prakaram
As per Hindu legend, Saptarishis, the seven sages worshipped five deities Panchaveeras, namely, Venkata Krishnaswamy, Rukmini, Satyaki, Balarama, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. As per Mahabharatha, Vishnu, in his avatar as Krishna was acting as charioteer for Arjuna, the Pandava prince during the war with Kauravas. Krishna did not take any weapons during the war. During the fight between Arjuna and Bhishma, Krishna was injured by the arrow from Bhishma. The mark in the image in the temple is believed to follow the legend. The place is called Allikeni, meaning a pond of lily as it is believed that historically the place was full of lily ponds. The place is the only place where the presiding deity is sported with a mustache.

Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Towers
Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Towers
As per another legend, the place was once a Tulsi forest. A king named Sumati wanted to see Vishnu in the form of Parthasarathi and prayed at Srinivasa temple in Tirupathi. Srinivasa directed the king to visit the temple here built by sage Atreya and worshipped with another sage called Sumati. The Utsavar, Parthasarathy also has only a stick and not his mace as found with others. This is because the Lord was born in a cowherd clan. The face of the Utsavar is full of scars created by the arrows of the Great Bhishma during the Kurukshetra war. The scars exemplify the fact that the Lord took the arrows on his body to protect His friend and Bhaktha, Arjuna. Among the 12 alwars (the great saints in Vaishnavite tradition) three of them namely Peyalwar, Thirumazhisai alwar and Thirumangaialwar have sung about the deities of this temple. Legend has it that the parents of the great SriVaishnava acharya, Sri Ramanuja came to this temple and prayed to the Lord for a son and eventually the great acharya was born.

Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Tank
Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Tank
It was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century and then later renovated by the Cholas and the Vijayanagara kings. Inscriptions of the Chola and Vijaynagar dynasties are found. The beautiful carvings of the dasaavatara of Sri Vishnu on the temple pillars are a real visual delight. The Main pushkarani of this Sthalam is Kairavini Saras. Some other theerthams like Agni theertham, Soma theertham, Meena theertham, Indra theertham, Vishnu theertham are also found in this Sthalam. The temple pond used to be filled with lots of flowering Alli plants (Lilly flowers) hence this Kshetram is so-called as "Alli keni". The great seven saints (Saptha Rishis) - Brighu, Atthiri, Mareeshi, Markandeyar, Sumathi, Jaabali and Saptharomar performed Tapas (penance) here and as a result of this, the sthalam is also called as "Brindaranyasthalam".

Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Main Deity
Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple Main Deity
Lord Krishna was the charioteer for Arjuna during the Mahabharata war and hence the presiding deity is seen with a moustache and without his divine weapon, Sudarshana Chakra (A unique form of Lord Vishnu). The reason attributed is that He promised not to take weapons in the Mahabharatha war and hence he has only his conch. As He was the charioteer, He sported the moustache keeping with the tradition. The Lord resides with his whole family viz. Rukmini (wife), Balaraman (brother), Satyaki (a warrior of Yadava dynasty), Anirudha (Grandson), Pradyumna (Son) and hence He bestows blessings to all the members of the family of His devote Bhakthas.

Temple Timings:

Morning Timings : 06:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Evening Timings : 04:00 PM to 08:30 PM
On Special Occasions timings might differ.

Temple Location:

Parthasarathy temple is one of the precious charms of Chennai dedicated to Lord Parathasarthy, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Maintained by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of Government of Tamil Nadu the temple pulls a huge crowd during Vaikunta Ekadashi when 4000 poems are recited praising the deity. Triplicane and Vivekanandar Illam, is the nearest Bus Stand. Triplicane is well connected by roads in the heart of Chennai. Four kms from the Chennai Central and Egmore railway Stations. The temple can be reached by the Mass rapid Transit System too and the Tiruvallikeni MRTS station is few metres away from the temple.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple,
Narayana Krishnaraja Puram,
Pin Code : 600 005.
Tamil Nadu.
Phone : 044 28442449 ; 044 28442462; 044 28446414

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