Poondhamalli Sri Vaidheeswarar
The town of Poondhamalli has an ancient temple for Lord Shiva, which is more than 1000 years old. The main deity here is Sri Vaidheeswarar and Goddess Sri Thaiyyal Naayagi. This temple is very similar to the Vaidheeswaran Koil temple near Kumbakonam, which is one of the Navagraha Sthalam for Angaaragan (Mars in English or Chevvaai in Thamizh). This temple is one among the Navagraha temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam) for Angaaragan.
It is said that Sri Angaaragan worshipped Lord Shiva at this place. Sri Angaaragan’s Paadham (foot mark) is found in the temple just outside the sanctum under the Panai (Palm) tree sculpted on stone. This temple is a Parihaara Sthalam for Chevvaai Dhosham. Special Poojas are done here on Tuesdays for Sri Angaaragan. The temple is huge with very vast praakaarams. The main deity is facing east in the form of Shiva Lingam. Goddess Sri Thaiyyal Naayagi is facing south.
In the inner praakaaram, Sri Dhakshinamurthy, Sri Brahma, Sri Subramanyar, Sri Sandigeswarar and Sri Durgai are seen. There are 3 Chakras installed by Sri Aadhi Sankarar in the Praakaaram called Sri Chakram, Subramanya Chakram and Shanmuga Chakram. On the northern praakaaram there is a Baana Lingam installed facing the entrance. Though there is an entrance at the eastern side, the temple has its main entrance and Rajagopuram facing north. There are some beautiful carvings on either sides of the entrance. The Sthala Viruksham for this temple is Thaazhi Panai Maram (Palm tree). The temple pond (called Vinai Theertha Kulam) is located on the eastern side of the temple, which needs attention.
Surya Pooja happens in this temple in the Thamizh month of ‘Maasi’. On the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th of Maasi, Sun’s rays directly fall on the main deity around 6 am in the mornings. This amazing act happens only on these 5 days of the year and never repeats again. This temple is also called 'Uthara Vaitheeswaran Koil'. A wonderful temple with amazing architecture.
How to Reach
Poondhamalli is about 25 kms from Chennai city on the Chennai-Bengalooru highway and reachable from Chennai city by bus, taxi or other vehicles.