Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chenganmaal Sri Chenganmaaleeswarar

Chenganmaal village lies about 40 kms from Chennai on the OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), just 2 kms before Thirupporur.

Chenganmaal has an ancient Shiva temple with main deity Sri Chenganmaaleeswarar and Goddess Sri Brihannaayagi.

In Thamizh, Chenganmaal (செங்கண்மால்) denotes the name of Lord Vishnu. It is said that Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence the deity got the name, Chenganmaaleeswarar and the village, Chenganmaal.

It is also said that, as this temple was built by an ancient Chozha king called Ko Chengannan (who built Thiruvaanikkaaval temple); this place got its name after the king Chengannan.

Temple legend has it that Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva here offering 1008 lotus flowers. He was praying Lord Shiva with utmost devotion. Lord Shiva made a trick and made one flower vanish from 1008 lotuses. When Lord Vishnu was about to offer the last flower, He was shocked to see that there was no more flowers. Lord Vishnu immediately owed Himself as the last flower to complete the Pooja.

This temple is believed to have been built during 12th century. This temple does not have a Rajagopuram.

The Lord here is facing east. Goddess Sri Brihannaayagi is beautiful and is facing south.

This small temple has a beautiful Praakaaram on which Lord Ganesha is on the south west corner. Lord Ganesha is seen here as Sri Selva Vinayagar. There is an Urchava Mandapam made of stone pillars adjacent to Sri Selva Vinayagar shrine.

Other deities are Sri Subramanyar, Sri Dhakshinamurthy, Sri Brahma and Sri Durgai. Surya Bhagavan has a small shrine facing west adjacent to the main entrance. There is a tall concrete Mandapam adjacent to Surya Bhagavan shrine for the temple's bell.

An old, tall Dwajasthambham adds attraction to the Praakaaram.

There is a big pond outside the temple on its northern side, which serves as Theertham for this temple and is called as ‘Vishnu Theertham’. The Sthala Viruksham here is Vilvam.

A small, yet beautiful and calm temple to cherish is not too far from the city.