Explore the religious history of Chennai by visiting the Kandaswamy temple, Chennai. It will not only give you a clear picture of the times gone by but will also provide you with details on the political scenario of that era. The temple was built in eleventh century AD and is home to some unique, rich inscriptions of that century, giving an insight into the architectural characteristics of the style adopted by Chola Kings, who dominated those times.
Inception of the temple and village is an interesting story in itself. At that time the village was settled by Veera Rajendra Chola and Kulothungan-III and with their settlement, they built three temples, among which, is the Kandaswamy Temple. The other two temples are dedicated to Vanmikhanathar i.e. Lord Siva, and to Perumal or Lord Vishnu. The Kandaswamy Temple is situated between the Shiva and Vishnu temples and Lord Kandaswamy or Shiva is the principal deity of the temple. The temple has number of shrines of other demigods like Lord Someswara, Goddess Meenakshi, Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswara and Muthukumaraswamy, also called as Samharamurthy. The temple has an idol of Muruga, son of the Lord Shiva, standing on five different positions, called by distinct names like: Nrutta Skandar (dancing Muruga), Brahma Sastha (created from Brahma), Balaskandar (child Shanmuga), Sivagurunathar (as teacher to Siva) and Pulinthar (vedan hunter).
This Kandaswamy temple of Chennai is notable to the visitors especially because of the different figures standing in distinct postures, making the temple most distinctive one. Other than the deities of utmost belief and the tranquil environment, the temple has an image of Kazhukundran, who had made an artful creation of a temple car in 1521 A.D, which is used during the Skanda Sashti festival, held in the premises of this temple, luring large number of tourists and pilgrims from across. The visit to South India, particularly to Chennai will remain unsatisfying until you get time to remark the picturesque beauty of this temple!
The temple is situated in Cheyyur, a quaint village about 29 kilometres far from Madurantakam. Journey to Cheyyur from Chennai will be hassle free as number of modes of transportation viz. taxis, luxurious vehicles, private cabs and local buses are available. If you want to enjoy the travel in train, you can board the train from Chennai to the nearest railway station Chenglepattu, after which you will need to travel via road.