The next day morning after breakfast, we started for the remaining half of the sites to visit in Chennai. The oldest Vaishnavite temple in Triplicane, the Parthasarathy Temple Chennai is steeped in mythology. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkat Krishna and the four incarnations of Lord Vishnu namely, Narasimha, Rama, Varaha and Krishna.
The temple was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century and expanded later on by the Cholas and the Vijayanagara kings during the 15th century. The temple bears testimony to the typical South Indian temple architecture of intricate carvings on the walls and pillars. A large number of mandapams or pillared pavilions and sub shrines, which were added at a much later date, adorn the temple complex. A water tank within the temple complex is considered to be sacred and holy, because according to mythology, Goddess Lakshmi, in the form of Vedavalli was supposed to have been born here.
A floral festival, lasting seven days, is held in the holy tank during mid February to mid March. Apart from the intricate architectural style unique in this part of the country, this temple is the only one of its kind, where Lord Vishnu is shown in all the forms of postures as mentioned in the scriptures, namely, sitting, standing and lying. But the focus is on the main deity of this temple, Parthasarathy, and his consort, Rukmani who are housed in the main shrine with Balarama and Satyaki on their right and Krishna’s son, Pradyumna and grandson, Aniruddha on the left. The most important shrine is that of Vedavalli Thayaar where Narasimha is depicted in a sitting posture facing west and Ranganatha, in a reclining posture, facing towards the east.
Throughout the twelve months of the year, there are festivals, which are celebrated in the temple premises. These are based on the various mythological beliefs. From the Brahma Utsav, that is believed to be conducted by Lord Brahma himself, right to the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a human prince. This temple has it all.
The Parthasarathy temple Chennai, though steeped in Vaishnavite mythology and religious fervor, is a place to visit with family and friends. The experience leaves one with a feeling of awe and wonder at the deep rooted beliefs that are prevalent in the society. Open from 5.30 am to 12.00 noon and then from 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm, offers a convenient time for visitation. The next destination to be visited was the Guindy National Park and so we headed off towards it.