Vadapalani Temple

Vadapalani Temple


The Vadapalani temple, also called as "Arulmigu Vadapalani Andavar Thirukoil", is a temple dedicated to Lord Muruga and is known for its powers in blessing those who pray to him. This temple was built during the 17th century and has gained popularity as the years have passed. This temple also houses other gods besides the main deity, Palani Andavar, and hence is a place where one can worship many gods under a single roof. The other gods present here include Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Paravathi and Lord Hanuman. Anjaneyar / Hanuman's image is inscribed on a pillar and the devotees offer him butter as a gift in order to get their wishes fulfilled. The temple is known for its significance in the film industry as it has featured in a number of films and the location around the temple is home to many famous celebrities as well.

Lord Muruga blesses his devotees while wearing 'chappals', which are said to have divine powers. There is also a special shrine for Mars, as Muruga is said to be the Deity of the planet Mars. The temple has a special golden chariot which is used during festivals and special occasions and is on full public display.


The renowned scriptures and other poetic verses dictate that this temple started out as a thatched hut, which was built by a dedicated Lord Muruga devotee Annaswami Nayakar, who kept a painting the god to worship personally. Annaswami Nayakar was supposed to posses some divine powers and was known to grant the wishes of many. It is said that he had healing powers, which brought instant public fame to this humble devotee. With the rise of Annaswami's popularity, the temple too gained relevance and reverence in the hearts of many people. The small temple proceeded to grow into a much bigger one until in 1920s when it was renovated to give it its present grandeur.

The temple, which started off as a hut around 125 years ago, is now the home for many worshippers who converge daily inside the compound to offer their prayers. It is known that as many as 7,000 marriages are carried out here annually! The sculptures are centuries old and have been designed by great artists of historic times and maintained over the years by renowned designers and engineers. The paints used in the towers are kept fresh and lively so as to keep the beauty of the ancient paintings intact.


The architecture of this temple deserves praise, owing to the intricate designs and unique sculptures that adorn the place. The tower alone consists of 108 Bharatanatyam gestures, which is itself a visual treat. The main deity is a four-foot statue of Lord Muruga that resembles the god very closely. The architecture of the temple also contains a number of small niches housing many gods like Amman, Kali, Chokkanathar, and many more. The temple consists of vast halls where marriages and discourses take place. The main tower is marked with many religious images and sculptures, which are pleasing to the eye. There is a tank in the front temple, which acts as a place to relax and adds to the aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. The temple is built with many wide courtyards, which are dotted with small shrines dedicated to different gods. Also, the Rajagopuram contains images and statues depicting stories from the Skanthapuram, which is considered a holy reciting of Lord Muruga.


The temple carries out pujas right from 5:30 a.m. in the morning till 9 p.m. at night. There are intervals in between the timings when it is kept closed for commencing the next puja. The earliest puja starts around 5:30 a.m. with the opening of the nadai, and the last one is Arthajama Puja, held around 9 p.m. The mantras are carried out in two languages, namely Tamil and Sanskrit, chanted by experienced priests.


The temple is situated in the western part of Chennai called Vadapalani, which happens to be a well known place in Chennai. It lies in T. Nagar between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar.

How to Reach

The temple can be approached easily as it lies in the heart of Chennai. The bus terminal on Ascot Road is near to this area and various bus services ply to the temple continuously. Railway stations which are nearby (about four km) to the temple are the Chennai Central and the Egmore, from which the temple can be reached easily using car or public bus facilities. The bus and trains fares are fairly priced, around Rs. 200-500.

This temple is one of the most celebrated and acclaimed temples in Chennai and has gained popularity because of its beautiful sculptures, well maintained atmosphere and revered deities. Here one can enjoy the sights and be assured of a peaceful and spiritual experience.

Last Updated on : 12/11/2013