Parthasarathy temple

Parthasarathy temple


The Parthasarathy Temple, also known as Arulmigu Parthasarathyswamy, is a Vaishanavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is in the form of 'parthasarathy', the charioteer for Arjuna in the Mahabharata war. The temple is most widely renowned as one of the 108 sacred places where Lord Vishnu is worshipped. The temple is said to be unique as it has four different incarnations or forms of Lord Vishnu, namely, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Narasimha and Lord Varaha.

Here all the four forms of Lord Vishnu can be worshipped at a single place, which further increases its importance among people making pilgrimages to holy places. This place has been identified in historical literature as well as sung about by innumerable fabled devotees of Lord Krishna like Thirumazhisai Alwar, Peyalwar and Thirumangaialwar. The temple stages a lot of festivals throughout the year in honour of different gods and this attracts a barrage of devoted worshippers from all parts of the country. They celebrate the festivals filled with rituals, songs, dances, pujas and delicious feasts.


The legend about this temple is that King Sumathi, a worshipper of Lord Balaji of Thirumala, wanted to worship Lord Krishna. Lord Balaji blessed him by transforming into the form He had taken during the Mahabharata war - that of Arjuna's charioteer. Parthasarathy appeared in front of him with battle scars on his face and sporting a moustache. The temple was built in the 8th century by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I. Later on, more halls and towers were built by different kings until the temple took the form of its current structure.

The temple is situated at a place where the Seven Munis (Sapta Rishis) had meditated and it is called “Brindaranyasthalam". The place is also identified as “Panchaveersthalam", which means the land of five brave men. The place in which the temple is situated is called “Thiruvallikeni", which derives its name from Lord Ranganatha's consort, Goddess Vedavalli who was born on a lily floating on a pond situated in front of the temple. This temple is also known to be oldest in the city, as the village in which it is located is known to date back to the rule of the Pallava kings.


The distinguishing feature of this temple is that it was not built by a single king. Most of its structural edifices were built by various kings over an extended period of time. The temple consists of mandapams and mahamandapams, which can be used for different religious practises and festivals. The high tower of the temple can be seen from afar with ease. The Parthasarathy temple is unique as it has seven different shrines dedicated to different gods inside the same compound. This temple has two entrances, with one leading to Lord Parthasarathy shrine, along with goddesses Rukmini and Sathyabama's, and the other leading to Lord Narasimha's shrine, where he lies in a yogic pose. Lord Parthasarathy gives courage to fight enemies, while Lord Narasimha gives strength to face enemies.


The temple opens at 6 a.m. with the puja called 'Suprabhatham' and doesn't close down until 9 p.m. at night. The doors are closed only after performing the last puja, 'Artha Jamam'. The nadai for the main deity may be closed at regular intervals for holding special pujas. The mantras are chanted in Sanskrit, Tamil and other ethnic languages. People can give their offerings and make a special prayer if they want to please the gods.


The temple is located in one of busiest areas of Chennai, locally named Thiruvallikeni or Triplicane in English. The temple is well connected by roads going past the heart of Chennai.

How to reach

The temple is situated very close to major railway stations. The Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations are only four km away from the site of the temple. It can be also reached by Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), as the Thiruvallikeni station is only a few metres away from the temple. The road connectivity of the place is excellent and there are a number of buses which directly ply to the temple. The bus and train fares are low.

The Parthasarathy Temple is a very important and historically well known place which is a must-visit for those on pilgrimage. One has to time the visit in such a way that it coincides with one of the well-known festivals or uthsavams so that the true essence of the temple's heritage and culture can be absorbed with satisfaction.

Last Updated on : 12/11/2013