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About Thyagaraja Temple

The intriguing architecture of South Indian temples is sure to attract you and the Thyagaraja temple in Chennai is another such visit. Thyagaraja Temple, also known as Vadivudai Amman Temple is a Shiva temple located in Tiruvottiyur in north Chennai and has been a popular attraction down the ages. The temple was glorified by the saints and poets of the 7th century, and was expanded majorly during the 11th century by the Chola kings. Sprawling over an acre the temple is distinguished by the traditional even-tiered tower and the sacred tank. The presiding deity of the temple is Aadhipureeswarar which is represented as a mud mound covered by an armour. Just opposite the main shrine is a shrine of Nataraja and in the koshta the Ganapati Shrine. There are numerous other shrines in the complex including that of Durga and Adi Shankara. The claim to fame of Thyagaraja temple lies in that the twenty-seven stars of Tamil calendar are said to have worshipped Shiva in this temple. The key festival of this temple is held in the Tamil month of Masi (February–March) and is very popular in Chennai - as it draws large crowds.

Historical Context: The temple was built by the Pallavas in the 7th century and rebuilt in the 11th century by the Chola kings. During the 8th century Sankaracharya, the Hindu scholar is said to have visited the temple to put down the power of evil. An inscription dated 954 CE, during the Chola reign indicates that 90 sheep were gifted to the temple for burning lamps. Inscriptions from 1046 CE show that 64 bronze Nayanmar statues were installed in the temple. There were also an equal number of dancing girls - Devadasi in the temple, who danced for Sri Thyagaraja and for Goddess Sri Vadivudaiamman. A 13th-century inscription reveals the practise of animal sacrifice to the goddess, along with intoxicating drink offerings, which continued till the early 2000s. During Malik Kafur's reign much of the temple was destroyed. The present bronze idols in the temple were apparently installed in the 15th century during the Vijayanagara period.

Highlights

  • Best Time to Visit Morning, Evening
  • Facilities Food Stalls
  • Recommended Hours Min. 1 hour
  • Best Visited With Group, Solo, Couple, Family
  • Not Allowed Footwear
  • Allowed Camera, Video

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