Famous and Popular Temples in Chennai

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Offering glimpses of the rich Indian culture, Chennai is the state capital of Tamil Nadu. Known for its architectural creations and heritage structures, the city is home to some of the most famous and beautiful temples in India. Not just this, few of the famous Chennai temples are even considered as the finest constructions ever existed by reputable historians. Besides God’s blessings, millions of devotees flock to these famous temples in Chennai every day in search of moksha and inner peace.

Here’s a list of famous temples in Chennai!

Parthasarathy Temple

Parthasarathy Temple is one of the most famous religious centers in Chennai and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Built in the 8th century, it is one of the oldest temples in Tamil Nadu. Also, some areas in the temple are dedicated to Lord Narasimha, Lord Rama and Varaha.

Timings: 5:30 AM - 12:00 PM; 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Triplicane

How to reach: Meenambakkam airport is at a distance of 25 km from the temple. Also, it is 4 km from Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations. The temple can be reached by the Mass rapid transit system too and the Tiruvallikeni MRTS station is few meters away from it. Notably, Triplicane and VivekanandarIllam are the nearest bus stops.

Ramanathaswamy Temple

Ramanathaswamy Temple in South India was constructed during the 17th century. The temple houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva that hold importance for Hindus.

Timings: 4:30 AM - 1 PM; 3 PM - 8:30 PM

Location: Rameshwaram

How to reach: For those who wish to reach by air, the nearest airport to Rameshwaram is 163 km away in Madurai. Further, the railway station in Rameshwaram is well served by many daily trains running from Chennai, Thanjavur, Trichy and Coimbatore.

Ekambareswarar Temple

Ekambareswarar Temple is the largest temple in South India. The temple is spread across 25 acres of land.

Timings: 6 AM - 11 AM; 5 PM - 8 PM

How to reach: Meenambakam airport is the nearest. Also, Ekambareswarar temple is situated on Car Street near Perumal Street, which is 120 meters away from New Kanchipurma railway station.

Ranganathaswamy Temple

Ranganathaswamy Temple is a tribute to Lord Ranganatha (a form of Lord Vishnu). It has been built in a traditional Dravidian architectural style. It is one of the famous Vishnu temples in Chennai

Timings: 9 AM - 9 PM

Location: Trichy

How to reach: Trichy has both domestic and international airports. The city is also well connected to major metropolitan cities by train in India. By road, Chennai is at a distance of 335 km from the temple while the distance is about 14 km from Mysore.

Sarangapani Temple

Sarangapani Temple is believed to have been built over 2000 years earlier. Additionally, it is considered as one of the three key South Indian temples of Lord Vishnu. Viewed as one of the 108 Divyadesams, the temple likewise contains critical antiquities of various dynasties like Cholas and Vijaynagar Empire.

Timings: 7 AM - 12 PM; 5 PM - 9 PM

How to reach: The route to Sarangapani is well-connected by road within Kumbakonam. The temple is about 2 km away from the center of the town.

Arunachaleswarar Temple

Constructed in the ninth century by the Chola dynasty, Arunachaleswarar Temple is a standout amongst the most prominent Lord Shiva temples in South India. Situated in the Anamalai hills, this temple holds a great deal of significance for the Hindu sect of Saivism.

Timings: 5:30 AM - 12:30 PM; 3:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Location: Thiruvannamalai

How to reach: The nearest airport to Tiruvannamalai is 89 km away in Pondicherry. Tiruvannamalai railway station is the closest and significant stop for trains going through Tamil Nadu.

Kapaleeswarar Temple

Kapaleeswarar Temple in Chennai is one of the oldest temples in Tamil Nadu. Notably, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is believed to be built by the Pallava rulers during the 7th century.

Timings: 5:30 AM - 12:00 PM; 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM (All days except Mondays)

Location: Mylapore

How to reach: The nearest airport is in Chennai. The temple is at a distance of 6.4 km from Chennai Central railway station. Mylapore is well connected to other parts of Tamil Nadu through bus, auto and taxi services.

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur

The temple is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been also recognized as one of the famous temples in South India. Built by the great Chola dynasty, it is also known as Big Temple.

Timings: 6 AM - 12:30 PM; 4 PM - 8:30 PM

Location: Thankavur (Tanjore)

How to reach: The nearest airport is Tiruchirappalli and the nearest railway station is Thanjavur junction.

Kalikambal Temple

Kalikambal Temple is one of the important temples dedicated to Goddess Kali. But, the angry form of goddess was replaced by its calmer version (ShantSwaroopa), Goddess Kamakshi. Further, it is believed that the famous Maratha warrior, Shivaji worshipped here incognito.

Timings: 6 AM - 1 PM; 3 PM - 9 PM

Ashthalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar

It is one of the most popular temples in Chennai. The temple features the eight avatars of Goddess Lakshmi dedicated to wealth, success, prosperity, bravery, courage, knowledge, food and offspring. The temple comprises of four floors. The first floor is dedicated to goddesses Dhaanyalakshmi, Dharyalakshmi and Aadilakshmi. The second floor houses the idols of Goddess Mahalakshi and her husband, Lord Vishnu. Further, the third floor has idols of goddesses Gajalakshmi, Santhalakshmi and Vijayalakshmi.

Timings: 6:30 AM - 12 PM; 6 PM - 9 PM

Location: Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar

Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi Amman Temple is believed to be constructed in the early 7th century and is one of the famous Amman temples in Chennai. Also, legends say that the foundation of this famous temple was laid by Lord Indra.

Timings: 5 AM - 12:30 PM; 4PM - 10PM

Location: Madurai

How to reach: The nearest airport is Madurai Airport and the closest railway station is Madurai Junction. The nearest bus stops are Mattuthavani Bus Terminus and Arappalayam. By road, one can cover the distance of 462 km between Chennai and Madurai in 8 hours.

Marundeeswarar Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Marundeeswarar Temple is one of the largest and most visited temples in Chennai. With splendid architecture, the temple has two entrances that are decorated with the five levels of gopuram. Also, it has a lot of open spaces for visitors to enjoy its peaceful and serene environment. Notably, the temple was built in the 11th century by Chola kings.

Timings: 3 AM - 1 PM; 3 PM - 11 PM

Location: Thiruvanmiyur

Kailasanathar Temple

Kailasanathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built between 685 AD and 705 AD by Raja Simha. The South Indian temple is located on the banks of the Vegavathi river. The temple contains 58 shrines to mark the different forms and incarnations of Lord Shiva.

Timings: 4:30 AM - 12 PM; 4 PM - 9 PM

How to reach: Meenambakam airport is the nearest airport and Kanchipuram has its own bus terminal and railway station; giving it access to all the major cities of India.

Ayyappa Temple

Located in Mahalingapuram, the beautiful religious institution is the first ever Ayyappa temple in Chennai. The principal deity here is Lord Ayyappa and there are also shrines dedicated to gods Vinayakar and Subramaniam. In the evening, a special prayer, Deeparadhana, is performed.

Timings: 3 AM - 1 PM; 3 PM - 11 PM

Location: Raja Annamalaipuram, a coastal neighbourhood of Chennai

How to reach: The closest airplane terminals are the ones in Kochi and hiruvananthapuram. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation regularly runs buses from Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kumili and Ernakulam.

Vadapalani Andavar Temple

Vadapalani Andavar Temple is believed to have been built no less than 125 years back. Ruler Murugan is the principal deity however numerous different gods also are worshipped at the temple. The gopuram over the entrance has pictures delineating incidents from Skanda Purana. Another fascination is its eastern pinnacle that is around 40-m-tall and has pictures of 108 mudras of Bharat Natyam.

Timings: 5:00 AM - 12:00 AM; 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Vadapalani, Chennai.

Madhya Kailash Temple

Madhya Kailash Temple is dedicated to Venkata Ananda Vinayakar. The temple has a unique idol called Adhiyantha Prabhu. It has one part as Lord Ganesha and the other part as Lord Hanuman. Further, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya.

Timings: 5:30 AM - 12:00 PM; 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Sardar Patel Road, Sriram Nagar, Tharamani

How to reach: Located on Sardar Patel Road, the temple is well-connected via all modes of transport. Chennai International Airport is the nearest airport to this temple. Kasturba Nagar is the nearest railway station.

Sri Chenna Kesavpperumal Temple

Sri Chenna Kesavpperumal Temple is located in Sowcarpet in the George Town area of Chennai. The temple is very old and holds the place of being one of the religious buildings in India built with the aid from British East India Company.

Timings: 5:00 AM - 8:00 PM

How to reach: The temple is about 500 meters from Broadway bus terminus. It is about 1.5 km from Fort Suburban railway station.

ISKCON Temple

ISKCON Temple was constructed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The temple is built by following Vastu Shastra and is inspired by Pallava and Kalinga styles of temple design.

Timings: 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM; 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Varasiddhi Vinayagar Temple

Varasiddhi Vinayagar Temple was built in 1979 and is a major cultural centre where the poor are regularly fed and special prayers are offered on auspicious occasions. The temple is also famous for its musical and cultural programmes held on a regular basis in its auditorium.

Timings: 6:30 AM - 10:30 AM; 6 PM - 9 PM

How to reach: Varasidi Vinayakar Temple rests opposite the Besant Nagar bus terminus.

Jain Mandir

Jain Mandir is a standout amongst the most wellknown Jain temples in Chennai. With three gopurams and five entryways, it has marble carvings like the acclaimed Dilwara temples. Lord Parsvanatha, the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, is the main deity of the temple.

Timings: 6 AM - 8:30 PM

How to reach: There are both domestic and international airport terminals in Chennai. The metro city is likewise also well connected by rail with the important towns and city areas within and outside the state. One can benefit state transport and private transports that connect Chennai with the major towns and urban areas of India.

Adeeswar Jain Temple

Addeswar Temple is a Jain temple that is dedicated to Lord Rishabhadev who was the first Tirthankara. Also known as Kesarwadi Jain Temple, it is one of the most popular and oldest temples in Chennai.

Timings: 6 AM - 8:30 PM

How to reach: The temple is well connected by road from all parts of Tamil Nadu. The temple in Polal village is 9 km away from Madras City. The nearest railway station is Mathur Junction which is about 8 km away from the temple. The nearest airport is Chennai International airport which is 20 km away from Polal village.

FAQs

  1. What types of clothes should one wear to visit the famous temples in Chennai?
    Ans: One should preferably wear traditional clothes. Women can wear a salwar suit or a saree while men can go with a dhoti and kurta.

  2. Is photography allowed in these beautiful Chennai temples?
    Ans: Photography is not allowed inside most of the temples. One can take photos outside the main sanctum or in the complex.

  3. Does one need to take prior permission for offering prayers?
    Ans: Generally, one need not take permission for darshan but for performing special pooja, the temple priest must be contacted.

  4. Is there any local tour agency to help cover all the major temples in the city?
    Ans: Yes, there are many tour operators that tie up with cab service providers or other transport service providers for customized local tours.