In the middle of Chennai lies Triplicane, a beautiful place that overflows with rich traditional, religious and cultural activities and is usually teeming with shoppers and worshippers. It is known as one of the oldest business districts in South India, but perhaps it is more famous due to the fact that it holds one of the oldest temples in Chennai, the Parthasarathy Temple. The temple name comes from the ancient story where the Lord Krishna took the role of a chariot. The word “Parthasarathy” means, the charioteer of Arjuna in Sanskrit. The true age of the temple is unknown, but it is believed to have existed for over 1200 years and was said to be the works of Alwar saints. Covering about 1.5 acres in the ancient Tiruvallikkeni Village, it directly faces the Lily pond where the village name is derived from.
The temple complex has so many interesting areas and features. The towers and the pillars are all adorned with intricate carvings. One interesting feature of the temple is the pyramid shaped temple top, a multi-coloured gopuram that seems to be reaching for the sky. The structure is said to be typical in Southern Indian Temples.
Inside, you will find the deities of the four Vishnu incarnations; Venkata Krishna, Rama, Varaha and Narasimha. However, the main deity is a 9 feet tall Krishna with his consort Rukmini on his right and Sathyaki on the left. Walking inside the temple is an entirely different experience. With the blue skies as its backdrop, one cannot help but appreciate the intricacy of the decors on the roof and pillars.The design of the building together with all the adornment and decors is an eye feast. A visit to the temple at daytime is a great experience, however, seeing the temple at night is a different occurrence altogether. The decorations look richer and the colours, more vivid against the lights, making the place seem to come alive right before your eyes. The ground looks like paved red earth giving the feeling of austerity which becomes a sharp contrast to the entire view of the buildings and structures.
Across the temple is a large tank which was once filled with lilies. This was said to have five sacred wells while the waters believed to be holier than the Ganges. Every New Moon of the month, a float festival is held in this tank which runs for seven days.
The temple is easily located at Peter’s Road in Triplicane, Chennai. The city is well connected to the neighbouring cities in India through a network of railways so getting there is no problem at all. To get to the temple itself, one can take auto rickshaws, ride a bus or hire cabs which are all readily available all throughout Chennai.
The Parthasarathy Temple in Chennai is a very popular Hindu Vaishnavite temple that is devoted to Lord Krishna, known as one of the 108 Holy Abodes of Lord Vishnu. This architectural genius was built by Pallavas and later renovated by the Vijayanagar rulers. Today however, the temple does not only serve as a place of worship but stands as a Pride of the Hindus.