- May 21, 2021
🛕 Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Sowcarpet in George Town area of Chennai, the capital of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Ekambareswarar Temple is located in Mint Street and is flanked by two Jain shrines and Kandaswamy Temple. Presiding Deity is called as Ekambareswarar and Mother is called as Kamakshi Amman. It was constructed by Alanganatha Pillai, chief merchant of the Madras factory of the British East India Company.
🛕 The temple is considered equivalent to Kanchi Ekambareswarar Temple. It is one of the three temples that were popular even before the arrival of the British. The Navagraha shrine here is considered one of the most sacred shrines in the city. This Temple is considered as one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalams of Chennai. This Temple represents Earth Element.
🛕 The Pancha Boodha Sthalam equivalents in Chennai are located at the heart of the city in the Flower Bazaar / Sowcarpet area. They are
Sri Kalatheeswarar Temple at Pavalakara (Coral Merchant) street, Mannady representing Air,
Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple at Annapillai street representing Fire,
Sri Gangadareswarar Temple, Purasaiwakam representing Water,
Sri Chidambaranatha (Nataraja) Temple near Choolai Post office representing Sky,
Sri Ekambareswarar Temple at Mint representing Earth.
🛕 Legend says that once there lived an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva in the Sowcarpet region in Chennai who used to visit the famous Ekambareswarar Temple on all important occasions and also on Pradosha days. But one day on a Pradosham fasting day he had lot of work and his employer did not allow him to go to the temple, and he managed to reach the temple. After attending the puja and having darshan of the Lord, while he was returning back he was very tired and slept at place in Sowcarpet.
🛕 Moved by his devotion, Shiva and Goddess Parvathi gave him darshan in his sleep and told him that he need not go all the way to the temple. Also told him that he was present in Swayambu form (Self Incarnated Shiva Linga) in the same place where he was taking rest. The devotee woke up and was surprised to see a Swayambu Shivalinga in the same place. Hence Lord Shiva was called as Ekambareswarar.
🛕 The Ekambareswarar Temple was built in Idayar Palayam, now called as Park Town by Alanganatha Pillai, a Dubash in the service of the British East India Company in the 1680s. The temple is marked in a 1710 map of Madras city as “Allingall’s Pagoda”.
🛕 The Temple is having a small seven-tiered Rajagopuram which was built in the recent times. There are two prakarams in the Temple. Presiding Deity is called as Ekambareswarar. Lord is housed in the sanctum. The sanctum sanctorum is facing the east direction. It enshrines a very small Shiva Linga Idol. Adjacent to Linga, the image of Kamakshi, facing south as is customary, is also found in the same main shrine. The main Murthi worshipped in the temple is a Shivalinga and the Idol of Mother Goddess is located on the base of this Shiva Linga along with the Sri Chakra in front of the Goddess.
🛕 Moolavar is little tall and it is believed that if one could not go to Kanchipuram, can get the same blessings from this temple Sri Ekambareswarar. Dwajasthambam (Flag staff), Bali Peetha and Nandi Mandapa are found facing the sanctum. The Dwajasthambam (Flag staff of the Temple) has a beautifully carved lion in front of it. Ganesha, Dhakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols around the main shrine. There is another main shrine in which the beautiful idol of Goddess Kamakshi is found in standing posture.
🛕 There is a big corridor (Outer prakaram) surrounding the main shrines. It is very spacious and is of open space. In that corridor, there is a separate shrine for Lord Ganesha under the Vanni tree. There are idols of Vallalar and Chandikeswarar also found. There is also a shrine for Bhairava in this prakaram. There is an Aswatha Tree near Rajagopuram. Under the tree, there is a small shrine for Lord Shiva (called as Ramanathar). Idols of Sakthi, Vishnu, Ganesha and Surya (Sun God) can be found in this shrine. There is also an idol of Mariamman separately near the shrine.
🛕 The Temple Tank, Sivaganga Theertham is situated in the outer prakaram. There is a shrine of Vaveshwar (a form of Lord Shiva found in Rajasthan state) is found under a holy tree near this Tank. It is situated in south west corner of the temple is one of peaceful locations within the temple complex where Vaveshwar is a Rajasthani form of Lord Shiva, on which a pot containing water sprinkles water on the Shiva Linga as Ganges on the head of Lord Shiva.
🛕 There is another Arasa tree where you can find a single sculpture with five headed Ganesha on one side and Subramanya under five headed snake on the other side, which is very rare. There are also small shrines for Bhairava and Hanuman. The inner corridor (prakara) surrounding the two main shrines has a lot of idols and shrines. The Temple is considered equivalent to Kanchi Ekambareswarar temple, one of Pancha Bootha Sthalangal representing land. Lingams of all the other Pancha Bootha Sthalams (Kalahasthi, Thiruvannamalai, Thiruvanaikaval and Chidambaram) and all the 63 Nayanmars are also present.
🛕 The highlight is the shrines of various forms of Lord Shiva such as Vriddagireeswarar, Vadaranyeswarar, Kasi Viswanathar, Arunachaleswarar, Chidambareswarar, Kalatheeswarar and Jambukeswarar. All these different forms of Shiva Linga are main deities of some famous pilgrimages all over India. The idol of Kasi Viswanathar is huge and attractive along with Ganesha and Subramanya idols. The speciality is, people can do pooja to the Lingam themselves. There is a separate shrine for Visalakshi along with the idol of Annapoorani.
🛕 There is a separate shrine for Navagraha (nine planets). The Navagraha of this temple is very popular and believed to be very powerful. The temple attracts thousands of devotees during Shani Peyarchi (transit of Saturn). This is because Shani faces Mother Goddess Ambal in the temple. The belief is that she helps a devotee to overcome troubles associated with the bad positioning of Shani in horoscope.
🛕 There is a rare Hanuman Idol in temple known as Shiva Anjaneyar. The belief is that offering silver color silk thread – zari and Tulsi leaves garland to this Hanuman Idol will help in fulfillment of dreams. Those who had good dreams can offer prayers here for its fulfillment. Those that had bad dreams can do prayers for non-fulfillment of the dream.
🛕 A 16 pillared mandapam is in between inner and outer prakaram. Shrines of Nataraja & Sivakami, Lord Dwara Ganapati with his consorts, Lord Dwara Subramanya with his consorts, Pitchandeswara, Somaskandar and Utsava idols can be found in this Mandapam. Dwarabalakars are located after this mandapam. Opposite to the main temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This shrine is separately located from the main temple.
🛕 The Temple remains open from 6:00 AM to12:00 Noon and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
🛕 The Five Kaala Pooja are conducted according to the Karana Nagama Pooja system.
Ushakalam Pooja (Sun Rise Pooja) – 06:00 A.M
Kalasanthi Pooja – 07:00 A.M
Uchikala Pooja (Noon Pooja) – 12:00 Noon
Sayarakshai Pooja (Sunset Pooja) – 06:00 P.M
Ardhajama Pooja (Night Pooja) – 08:00 P.M
🛕 10 days Chithirai festivals, Aadi Pooram, Avani Moolam, Aipasi Annabishekam, Skanda Sashti, Karthikai Deepam, Margazhi Thiruvadirai, Thai Theertham Festival, Thai Pongal, Maasi Mahasivarathri and Panguni Uthiram are the festivals celebrated here.
🛕 There is a belief that worshipping in the temple brings one relief from Shani related astrological problems.
🛕 This Temple is situated at Mint Street in Sowcarpet Area. The Temple is located at about 500 meters from Flower Market Bus Stop, 750 meters from Broadway Bus Stop, 600 meters from Ratan Bazar Bus Stop, 1 Km from Chennai Fort Railway Station, 1 Km from Parrys Corner Bus Stop, 2 Kms from Chennai Beach Railway Station, 3 Kms from Basin Bridge Junction, 2 Kms from Mannady Metro Station, 1 Km from Chennai Central Railway Station, 3 Kms from Egmore Railway Station, 12 Kms from Koyambedu Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus and 20 Kms from Chennai Airport. The Temple is located very close to the Chennai Central Railway Station. You can proceed on foot to this Temple from the station. From other parts of the city, you can take a Cabs, Auto Rickshaw, Bus, Local Trains and Metro Trains to reach the Temple.
No 315, Sowcarpet, Mint Street,
Park Town, Chennai – 600 003
Phone: +91 44 2535 2933