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Parthasarathy Temple, Chennai

Parthasarathy Temple Overview

Parthasarathy Temple situated at Triplicane is one of the two famous and ancient shrines in Chennai. The temple is said to have existed 1200 years ago. Triplicane is also known as "Thiruvallikeni", one of the 108 Divya Desams, renovated by a king of Pallava Dynasty. "Brindaranya" is the traditional Puranic name of Thiruvallikeni. While dedicated to Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna, the Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane enshrines images of the five incarnations of Vishnu including that of a wounded Krishna. The deity is called "Parthasarathy", as he was the charioteer (sarathy) for Arjuna (Parththan) during the great Kurukshetra war described in the Mahabarata (also spelt as Mahabharatha) epic. Lord Krishna undertook not to take part in the war but agreed to be the charioteer to Arjuna. Bhishma, from the opposing side in order to break Krishna's undertaking, shot arrows at his face. Devotees believe that the marks on the face of the idol in this temple are the wounds sustained in that war. Krishna after the war came here to rest next to a beautiful pond full of 'Alli' flowers thus giving this place the Tamil name 'Thiru-alli-kerny'. The temple is referred to in the ancient Vaishnavite works of the Alwar saints. The temple covers an area of 1.5 acres and one can see the inscriptions, which date back to 8th century Pallavas (Tondaiman Chakravarti). A number of fine carvings adorn the temple. The present structure of the temple is largely based on the renovations and additions carried out in the 16th century. The Vijayanagar rulers made several endowments to the temple. The gold image of Tirumaal Nachiyaar, adorning the chest of Venkatakrishnar is a rare work of art. This shrine is considered equivalent to Tirupati. In the temple complex there are shrines dedicated to Sri Ranganatha, Venkatakrishnaswamy, Sri Rama with his brothers and his consort Sita, and Sri Andal. Sri Hanumar can be seen facing the shrine of Sri Rama. The Azhwars and Archaryas of the Vaishnavite tradition are given pride of place in this temple. The Deity The Lord's name here is "Venkatakrishnan". Sri Parthasarathy in the sanctum sanctorum is in a standing posture facing east holding in his right hand and the divine conch called the "Panchajanyam"(He dosen't hold the usual chakra called Sudharshana here). His left hand is in Dana Mudra indicating His Divine feet. He is seen with his consort Rukmani on his right and his brother Sri Balaraman on his left along with his younger brother Sadyagi, his son Pratumnan and his grandson Aniruthan. It is a rare sight to see the divine Lord with the members of His family. It is believed that Venkateswara of Tirupati manifested himself as Parthasarathy here and hence the name Venkatakrishnan. Festivities The important festivals conducted here are the Brahmotsavam in the month of Chithirai (April/May), Thiruaadipooram held for 10 days in the month of Aadi (July/August), and in the month of Markazhi (December-January) the festival called Neerattu Utsavam culminating with Thirukkalyanam.

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