Temples

9 Top Temples in Chennai to Awaken Your Soul

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One of the most unique cities of India, Chennai has a vibe very distinct from the others. Here you can find a magical blend of the traditional and the modern. Even though cosmopolitan, it is beaming of culture, the arts and classical dance forms. In fact, Chennai is world-famous for Bharatnatyam! It’s a paradise for travellers seeking insights into the traditions and customs of Hindu mythology and religion.

Truly a city of temples, whether just a traveller or actually religious, you can opt for a temple tour when in Chennai. If it is architectural excellence that excites you, visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple for its Dravidian craftsmanship. Or how about praying to all the eight forms of goddess Lakshmi at Ashtalakshmi Temple? A loyal devotee of Lord Krishna? The famous Parthsarthyswamy temple is sure to fill you with tranquillity and peace like seldom before! What’s more? Southern India is known as the place to find your spiritual self and rightly so. Historically advocated, the advent of the Cholas, Pandvas or Pallavas dynasties in this region had brought alongside the construction of a myriad of temples for a variety of gods and goddesses here. Chennai is moreover known as the gateway to this southern India and the religious awakening. That is the reason why, year on year, the city witnesses thousands of devotees lining up at the gates of these temples in Chennai city. However, you need not get overwhelmed, her
e is an exhaustive list of the hindu temples in Chennai and also around the city to get your travel plans sorted.

If you are religious and are hoping to visit some beautiful temples, then Chennai should be the place for you. The temples here are an embodiment of the culture, customs, and spirituality of the Hindu faith and are known for their rich mythology, traditions and the thousands of devotees who throng here every year to catch a glimpse of the Gods and Goddesses. Some of the most famous temples in Chennai are truly worth a visit.

Most Famous Temples in Chennai:

Here we have come up with a list of top temples near Chennai, that you must visit on your next trip to the City.

1. Adeeswar Temple:

temples in chennai

The Adeeswar Temple of Chennai is an exact replica of the famous temple in Kerala named Sabari Malai where Lord Ayyappa is worshipped. This temple is one of the finest and most prestigious ones in the city and tops our list of must-visits. It is located just 9 Kms away from the city at Polal village. It is extremely popular with the Jains all across India. In fact, it marks the roots of Jainism in the Tamil Nadu State. It is devoted to Adi Bhagwan, also known as Adeeswar or Adi Jain.

  • Address: Red hill Lake GST Road, Balaji Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017
  • Timings: 6 AM -8:30 PM
  • Dress Code: No particular requirement as such but decent, traditional clothing is encouraged across all Southern India temples.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 Hour
  • How To Reach: Located 9 Km from the city at Polal village. Well connected by road so possible to hire a cab to the temple.
  • Temple Website: NA
  • Best Time To Visit:?
  • Other Attractions: Iskon Temple and the Armenian church are nearby

2. Kapaleeshwar Temple:

The Kapaleeshwar Temple was built in the 7th Century as a dedication to the Hindu Goddess named Karpagambal. This Goddess is another form of Parvati, who is also recognized as Durga or Shiva’s wife. The temple is located in Mylapore in Chennai and is truly exotic and gorgeous in appearance. The architecture and the gopura is a colourful treat to the eyes. It also has a big tank on its west and is surrounded by broad streets on all four sides. The whole view is extremely enchanting. In fact, the Dravidian form of its architecture is what attracts thousands of historians and travel junkies year on year to this divine location. The temple conducts six daily pujas. The evening puja is the most beautiful experience as the Shodasa Upacharas with waving of lights are performed.

  • Address: Kapaleesvarar Sannadhi Street, Vinayaka Nagar Colony, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
  • Timings: Puja services at 5 AM, 6 AM, 8 AM, 12 PM and 9 PM. Temple is open from 6 AM – 1 PM and 4 PM – 8 PM throughout the year.
  • Dress Code: Traditional attire encouraged
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1- 2 Hours
  • How To Reach: Chennai airport is 16 Kms away. Temple is 6.4 Kms away from Chennai Central railway station with trains leaving every 15 minutes to Mylapore. A direct bus is also available.
  • Temple Website: http://kapaleeswarartemple.com/
  • Best Time To Visit: New Moon, Full Moon and Pradhosa day(13th day of the new full moon) – special service and tons of devotees. They also host a 10-day festival (Panguni Peruvizha) in March-April which is a treasured experience to earn.
  • Other Attractions: Gaudiya Mutt, St George’s Cathedral and Sri Parthasarathy Temple are quite near. You can also explore the Mylapore area and shop at Luz corner, one of the oldest shopping districts.

3. Parathasarthy Temple:

The Parthasarathy Temple is the famous temple of Lord Krishna. It was constructed in the 8th-century at Triplicane, Chennai. The word Parathasarthy means charioteer of the famous mythological character Arjuna. The structure of the temple is quite extravagant and this temple serves as one of the best temple templates of style, technique and imagery. It is one of the oldest structures in Chennai. The gopuram (towers) and mandapas (pillars) are skillfully carved and are typically representative of standard south Indian temples. Visiting this temple is surely going to be a wonderful experience as it also features in the list of best temples in Chennai.

  • Address: Singarachari Street, Chennai 600005, India
  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM.
  • Dress Code: Avoid short or skin showing clothes. Decent casual wear or traditional can work.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: <1 Hour
  • How To Reach: Triplicane and Vivekanandar Illam are the nearest Bus Stands. Triplicane is well connected by roads. The temple is 4Kms from the Chennai central railway station.
  • Temple Website: http://www.sriparthasarathytemple.tnhrce.in/index.html
  • Best Time To Visit: The temple hosts many festivals, such as the 10-day spring festival (SRI GAJENDRA VARADAR UTHSAVAM), the summer festival and float festival. Best to visit during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April–May) when the big festival for the goddess is held.
  • Other Attractions: Marina Beach is only 0.8 Kms away for you to explore.

4. Ayyappan Temple:

In the list of ayyappa temples in Chennai, the Ayyappan Temple is one which is a dedication to the Hindu God Lord Ayyapan. This is the first temple that was dedicated to him. It also holds the idols of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Subramanian. The temple is truly artistic and beautiful in appearance. Beautiful carvings and paintings and a well-maintained and clean premise make it an appeasing visit for one and all. Ayyappa devotees are seen to throng this temple for its simplicity and authenticity. It follows the traditional services conducted at the Kerela style ayapppan temples. The architecture also is made around the typical Kerela feel and practice, including the 18 steps to the shrine. A huge meditation hall houses pilgrims during festivals witnessed by music performances and events. Easily accessible, in the heart of the city and absolutely serene, it is a great place to go to if you are hoping to explore more of the Kerela culture.

  • Address: 18, SIR MADHAVAN ROAD, MAHALINGAPURAM, NUNGAMBAKKAM, CHENNAI 600 034.
  • Timings: 4 AM – 11 AM and 5 PM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: Decent traditional attire is most suited
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 Hour
  • How To Reach: easily accessible from city bus or MRTs from all parts of Chennai. The nearest station is Kodambakkam (1 KM or 5-minute auto ride away from the temple).
  • Temple Website: http://www.ayyappantemplesabs.org/index.php
  • Best Time To Visit: Crowded but known to be very auspicious in the Mandala pooja months. 27 – 29th December is their temple Utsav.
  • Other Attractions: The Jagannath Temple, Kanathuris 2.9 Kms away.

5.  Shirdi Sai Baba Temple:

This is a well known Sai Baba temple in Chennai, which located in Mylapore. It was built in loving memory of the great Sai Baba and is made of pure white marble. A golden arch sits on the top of the wall of the shrine. The temple is among the two shrines that have been structured in his name in the city. This one was built in 1952 by Narasimhaswami, a loyal devotee of Sai Baba. A Chettiar merchant donated a sum for the construction and since then it has become one of the most trusted places of worship. Unlike other places, here devotees are allowed to touch the sai baba idol. There is a holy fire that is lit continuously and Agni puja is done on Sundays. Devotees can also offer garlands and clothes to their deity. A very special mention about this temple is that it welcomes and upholds different religious faiths and beliefs as well. They not only allow followers of the other religions to enter but also have arrangements for them to follow their faith while still visiting Sai Baba. Every Thursday Quran is read
out by a Muslim saint at 4:30 PM and every Sunday, the Bible is read out loud. Now if this doesn’t make the temple stand out, what possibly can? The temple should be definitely visited by all those who consider themselves as staunch followers of Sai Baba.

  • Address: 51B, V C Garden Street, Alamelu Mangapuram, Mylapore, Chennai – 600 004.
  • Timings: 5 AM – 1 PM and 4 PM – 9 PM every day excepting Thursdays. On Thursdays, the timings are from 5 AM – 10:30 PM.
  • Dress Code: No dress code as such but decent attire encouraged
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: easily accessible via road and buses as located quite in the centre. Its 500 meters away from Thiru Mayilai local train stop.
  • Temple Website: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SaiMandhiratMylapore
  • Best Time To Visit: Every Thursday as the temple hosts bhajans and annadhanam (feast where 1500 people eat) enjoying considerable crowds of devotees. Ram Navami (when devotees celebrate Sai Baba’s birthday), Navaratri and Vijaya Dashmi are also celebrated in a big way.
  • Other Attractions: The Ramakrishna Temple is nearby. Enjoy and explore the Mylapore area (shopping and eating options available).

6. Kalikambal Temple:

Dedicated to the Hindu deities Kaligambal and Kamateswarar, the temple was originally built on the seashore but was relocated in the year 1640. One of the top historical temples in Chennai, it is now located on a buzzing financial street. This place is known for its visit by the great Maratha ruler, Shivaji who came here to worship on 3rd October 1667. The temple holds great historical significance and has a large of devotees, tourists, and visitors who come here every year. It’s said that the once fierce form of deity has now been replaced by a calmer form, goddess Kamakshi. This is another ancient temple in Chennai.

  • Address: 212, Thambu Chetty Street, Near DHL Express Courier, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600001
  • Timings: 5 AM – 12 Noon and 4 PM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: Easy going traditional wear would work best
  • Approx. Visit Duration: Around 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: Easily accessible via road from all parts of Chennai. Metro Bus services and trains can drop you off at the Chennai Beach Railway stations i.e. just around 500m-1Km from the temple. Autos, cabs and rickshaws are conveniently found near the temple.
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time To Visit: Vaisaki when the Kinni Ther procession takes place. Navaratri is also uniquely celebrated at the temple.
  • Other Attractions: Explore the Burma Bazaar, famous for foreign goods, stationery, metals, hardware etc at wholesale rates. You can check the Chennai harbour too, located just a mile away.

7. Ashtalakshmi Temple:

The Ashtalakshmi temple is a well-known and established temple of Chennai. It is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi who is the consort of Lord Vishnu. She is the deity of wealth and knowledge. Astha stands as a signification of one of the eight forms of this beautiful Goddess and is a rich temple to visit indeed. The temple is located just a few meters away from Basant Beach. Thus the beautiful Bay of Bengal coastal setting makes the atmosphere yet more mesmerizing. The temple itself is attractively done up with tiers of multi-colours and the structure was designed to resemble the holy symbol of ‘Om’. What’s more? One can hear the gushing sound of the waves even as they get lost in this divine setting.

  • Address: 212, Thambu Chetty Street, Near DHL Express Courier, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600001
  • Timings: 6:30 AM – 12 Noon and 4 PM – 9 PM. Fridays – Sundays, morning hours are extended until 1 PM.
  • Dress Code: Modest clothing. Avoid short clothes and try dressing conservatively.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: Around 1-2 Hours
  • How To Reach: Easily accessible via road and around 10 KMs from the city centre. One can hire a cab to the temple and reach with utmost ease.
  • Temple Website: http://ashtalakshmitemple.tnhrce.in/
  • Best Time To Visit: Navaratri, Deepavali and Sri Krishna Jayanti witness special festivities and décor in the temple. If you’re looking out for the best weather, visit between November and February. If you want to escape the crowd, plan on early mornings or Sundays.
  • Other Attractions: Marundeeswarar Temple is just 1 Km away. You can visit Elliot Beach, 1 Km away too. How about learning how to cook traditional south Indian food after your visit to the temple? You can arrange for a class at just 0.6 Kms away, at the Travelling Spoon.

8. Madhya Kailash Temple:

In the list of Shiva temples in Chennai, the Madhya Kailash Temple is one. This is a beautiful temple complex in Chennai. It is also known as Nuddukayilai in Tamil and represents the vast and rich culture and history of Hinduism. Venkata Ananda Vinayakar is the main deity surrounded by shrines of Lord Shiva, Surya, Devi and Vishnu. Vinayaka is a form of ‘Om’ and to celebrate that, the famous eight bells have been incorporated in the temple. The temple has become famous for its ‘Adhyantha Prabhu’ idol. The distinct feature of this god is that it manifests Lord Ganesha in its right frame and Lord Hanuman in its left. The architecture is excellent and the appearance of this temple is magnificent. On Vinayaka Chaturthi day, the sun rays fall on the main idol, which makes the temple yet more auspicious and famous. The interiors are beautiful and peaceful.

  • Address: Sardar Patel Rd, Sriram Nagar, Tharamani, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600113
  • Timings: 5:30 AM – 12 Noon and 4 PM – 8 PM
  • Dress Code: Modest clothing, traditional clothing would work.
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1 hour
  • How To Reach: Easily accessible via road. Kasturba Nagar railway station is the nearest for those taking a train. Hire a cab or MTC buses to this temple.
  • Temple Website: http://www.mkpk.vanamali.in/
  • Best Time To Visit: On Vinayak Chaturthi
  • Other Attractions: Indian Institute of Technology is just 1.15 Kms away and the Guindy National Park is just 2.7 km away.

9. Vadapalani Murugan Temple:

This temple just began as a thatched shed when it was built in around 1890. Thus it enjoys a great deal of history and prominence. In the list of temples in Chennai for marriage, the Vadapalani Murugan Temple is an important one. It is a famous Murugan temple in Chennai. Most of the Tamilians like to get marriage ceremonies here with around 7000 couples going in for the same every year. Apart from being a popular hotspot for marriages, it has gained popularity due to its patronage by cinema stars. It’s a common occurrence for South Indian actors to come to offer their prayers here before a film release. It is also in the list of must-visit old temples in Chennai due to its rich legacy of around 125 years. Tourists and devotees are always known to visit the temple. The temple is truly wonderful!

  • Address: Palani Andavar Koil St, Vadapalani, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600026
  • Timings: 5 AM – 12 Noon and 4 PM – 9 PM
  • Dress Code: Decent, casual or traditional clothing
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How To Reach: Chennai Central and Egmore station is the nearest for those taking a train. Both the airport and the station are around 40 minutes drive. Hire a cab or bus to this temple.
  • Temple Website: http://vadapalaniandavartemple.tnhrce.in/
  • Best Time To Visit: Brahmotsav is celebrated grandly for 11 days during the Vaikasi month.
  • Other Attractions: The forum mall is just 0.4 Kms away and one of the easiest ways to do some shopping in Chennai

So get set to plan Chennai as your next stop for finding your own sense of solace! A land of beautiful beaches, heart-warming South Indian curries and a culture that screams out traditions. Chennai has so much on offer but now you know what really makes it tick for those looking for yet more. Historians, religious believers and admirers of intricate architecture at heart – Chennai shall make your world go round! With its vast variety of temples, there is just so much to soak in. Offer your prayers to your most revered deities and specifically to the ones that you have faith in. Gape in awe at the grand structures done up so skillfully, admire the craftsmanship of our ancient ancestors and get a glimpse into the Hindu culture and traditions like never before. Find yourself lost in divinity and who knows, you might just discover a spiritual self that you never knew existed!

Use this fun list to start your pilgrimage in and around Chennai already. Do share your experiences so that we can add even more value for our future readers. We always love hearing back from you. Happy travels and much love!

Frequently Asked Question and Answers:

1. Which Temple in Chennai is known to Attract The Maximum Crowd on a Yearly Basis?

The Thirumala Thirupathi Devasthanam located by the banks of the Sri Swami Pushkaarini. It is popular for having the maximum footfall across the year. The temple is especially busy during festivals, holidays and on Saturdays. It’s known as the mini Tirupathi of Chennai and devotees and tourists alike queue up to throng the premises to catch a glimpse. The gopurams, walls and pillars scream out exquisitely designed architecture and carvings. The Lord Venkatachalapathi shrine here is very similar to the one in Tirupathi too.

2. Did You know there is a specific temple in Chennai devoted to the ‘god of medicines’ and especially for those diseased or sick?

Yes, the Marundheeswarar Temple is truly one of its kind where you shall find tons of devotees suffering from distinct ailments, offering their prayers with hope to recover and feel better. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Marundheeswarar – healer of all ailments and who would teach about magical medicine practices. Thus this temple is known for its power to cure health problems of its devotees.

3. Which Temples of Chennai are Structured in Dravidian Architecture?

Imagine pyramid-shaped towers and a sandstone, granite or soapstone kind of a palette. That is exactly what Dravidian architecture is all about. Typical of south Indian temple styles but yet so inherently stunning to the eye. The historians and architecture-obsessed know just what we’re obsessing about. The Kapaleshwar temple in Chennai is known to be the symbol of Dravidian architecture in general. It is magnificent, to say the least, and a must visit only to admire its craftsmanship if nothing else. However other Chennai temples also follow the Dravidian style. The Kandakottam Temple in George Town is one other beautiful specimen.

1 Comment

  1. preethi

    August 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Nice article! everyone must visit Temples In Chennai..Thanx a lot