Travelogues

Sri Madhava Perumal Temple, Mylapore

Lord Vishnu directed Veda Vyasa here as the best place for liberation from Kali Dosham in this Kali Yugam.

Avathara Sthalam of Peyaazhwar.

A Prarthana Sthalam for unmarried people , childless couples and students 

Mylapore, one of the best-known areas of Chennai, is also one of the oldest and most historic places in this city. Home to numerous ancient temples, it is called by various names in times bygone – Mayilai, Tirumayilai, were some of its other ancient names.

Srivaishanavas have a special regard for Mylapore on account of its Vaishnava connections. Many of the Azhvars have mentioned this sacred spot in their hymns. It is the birth-place (avatara-sthala) of Sri Peyaazhvar (one of the first three Azhvars or Mudal Azhvars) who was born here in the well called Manikairavam. This holy place (near Sri Madhava Perumal temple) is worshipped even today. Sri Timmazhisai Azhvar, who was a contemporary of Peyazhvar, -while mentioning Tiruvallikeni (Triplicane) mentions Mayilai also in this connection (maamayilai maavallikkeniyaam) in his Nanmugan Tiruvantadi, Later, Sri Tirumangai Azhvar too sang of these two holy sites together as (maamayilai tiruvallikkeni) in his Periya Tirumozhi.

The most famous Vishnu temples of Mylapore are those dedicated to Lord Madhava, Lord Kesava, and Lord Srinivasa. The Madhava Perumal temple, very well-known in this city, is located off the ever-busy Kutcheri road.

Temple Legend

The story of this place and the temple are given in the Brahmanda Purana in the section called Mayurapuri  Mahatmya, which refers to this place as Madhavapura. In answer to Veda Vyasa’s question as to which place is suitable for penance in Kali-yuga, Lord Vishnu answered that Madhavapura, where Brighu Maharishi’s hermitage was situated, is the best place.

The Sthala Purana also mentions that, during the churning of the ocean of milk, when Goddess Mahalakshmi arose from the ocean, Lord Vishnu asked Her to go to Mayurapuri to Bhrigu Maharishi’s ashrama. She appeared before the sage, who was then praying  for a child. Bhrigu Maharishi named Her Amritavalli and brought Her up. Sriman Narayana came to this place as Madhava Perumal and asked for Her hand in marriage, which took place on Panguni Uttiram day. It is believed that this temple is situated in the place where the Sage Bhrigu’s asrama existed.

The main Deity of this temple, Lord Madhava, is in a seated posture with Goddesses Sridevi and Bhudevi by His side. He is also called Kalyana Madhava as He married Amritavalli Thayar here. Those desirous of marriage call Him Prarthanai niraivera Perumal . The large Utsava murti of this shrine, which is in a standing posture flanked by Goddesses Sridevi and Bhudevi, deserves special mention on account of His exquisite and serene visage, which makes the worshipper yearn to continuously gaze at Him. Also seen is the archa moorthy of Niranjana Madhavan (Chinna Madhavan) with sankha and chakra, His lower right Hand in abhaya mudra and His left Hand resting on His thigh (kati-hasta), along with His Consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi.

In the mandapa in front of the principal sanctum is the shrine for Sri Peyaazhvar, while all the other Azhvars are worshipped in a sannidhi a little outside in the courtyard. This is in keeping with the special position given to this Azhvar in the Mylapore area, his birth-place (avatara-sthala). The Peyaazhvar-avatara utsava is celebrated annually in the month of Aippasi. Next to the sanctum of this Azhvar is one for Sri Ramanuja, the pre-eminent Srivaishnava acharya.

There is a sannidhi for Goddess Lakshmi, worshipped here as Arnritavalli Thayar, to the right of the main garbha-griha. Many festivals like the Navaratri utsava and Tirukkalyana utsava during Panguni Uttiram are celebrated here. On all Fridays, the Oonjal utsava is conducted for those desirous of offspring.

Like in most Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, there is a sannidhi for Sri Andal to the left of the main sanctum. Here, every month, on the Pooram nakshatra, there is a procession (tiruveedhi purapaadu) and, during the month of Adi, for ten days, the Tiruvaadi utsava is celebrated on a grand scale.

A small sanctum for Lord Bhuvaraha, the third Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is seen near the shrine of Goddess Amritavalli, facing east. He is popularly known as Jnanappiran. This beautiful idol of Varahasvami with Goddess Bhudevi on His left Lap, which was earlier in a shrine near the sacred tank (pushkarini) is now consecrated in a separate sanctum near the Thayar sannidhi. Every month, on Uttarattadi nakshatra, tirumanjana and prarthanai dolotsava are performed. Every year, for students who are to appear for the public examinations, during February, Varaha Homan is conducted for this Deity and Garuda raksha is distributed. Sri Varaha Jayanthi is celebrated during the Uttarattadi asterism in the month of Chittirai.

In the large courtyard of this temple is seen a shrine for Lord Rama along with Lakshmana, Sita and Anjaneya. On Purnarvasu nakshatra every month, tirumanjana is performed and the deities taken out in procession. In Masi month, there is teppotsava for Sri Rama, and in Panguni, the Tiru avatara garbha utsava is celebrated for nine days. Interestingly, on each day, He is decorated differently (tirukkolam) in accordance with the various episodes in the Srimad Ramayana. There is a separate shrine for Sri Anjaneya as Bala Anjaneya and during Margazhi, Hanumad Jayanti is celebrated with much fanfare.

For Venugopala Svami, during Avani month, the Sri Jayanthi festival and Uriyadi utsava are celebrated. Tirumanjana is performed every month on Rohini nakshatra. The Utsavamurti of Lord Sampath Kumara is seen with sankha, chakra, and with His lower right Hand in abhaya mudra and the lower left Hand holding the mace(gada) . Goddess Mahalakshmi is seen at His feet and Sri Andal is also seen with Him. Every month, during Pushya nakshatra, prarthanai tirumanjana is conducted. During the month of Panguni, a ten-day celebration is held. On the fourth day (sukla-paksha dasami), in the morning, during Garuda-vahana, the Lord is seen with wearing the diamond crown (vaira mudi). On the next day, He is seated on the lap of the illustrious Srivaishanva preceptor, Sri Ramanuja.

Pushkarini:

The sacred tank of this shrine, situated within the temple complex, is called Santhana pushkarini. In the month of Masi, during the asterism Makha, all the sacred rivers of India are believed to join here in this tank.

A few of the other important festivals celebrated in this temple are are: the Brahmotsava (in Chittirai), the Vasantotsava, Pavitrotsava, Tirukoyilur vaibhava, Pagal Pattu, Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Erapattu utsava, Ratha Saptami, Teppa Utsava, and Panguni Uttiram Tirukalyana utsava.

Sthala vriksha:

The sacred tree of this temple is the Punnai tree, since Madhava Perumal is Lord Krishna. It is seen on the rear side of the main sanctum of Madhava Perumal. This east-facing temple has a beautiful five-tier Rajagopuram at its entrance.

The Madhava Perumal temple, so spic and span, with the numerous newly painted sanctums in the spacious courtyard, the clean temple-tank and the innumerable festivals celebrated all through the year, is certainly a source of great joy not only for the local populace but to all devotees who visit it from various parts of India and abroad.

Temple Time: 630am-11am and 430pm -9pm

Route: This place is very near to Luz corner ( Chennai /Madras Mylapore/ Thirumayilai) and  is located off the Kutcheri road.one can see the entrance arch of Madahava perumal temple quite nearby. ( Behind Sanskrit College/ Thiru Valluvar Statue)

Contact details: Madhavaperumalpuram, Mylapore,  Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India . Ph #: 044 24985112

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