Parthasarathy Kovil

The Parthasarathy Temple (Tamil: பார்த்தசாரதி கோயில்) is an 8th century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, located at Triplicane, Chennai, India. It is one among the 108 divyadesams or holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. The name 'Parthasarathy', in Sanskrit, means the 'charioteer of Arjuna', and Lord Krishna is worshipped in that role in this temple.

It was originally built by the Pallavas in the 8th century by king Narasimhavarman I. One of the distinguishing features of is that it has four of the incarnations or avatars of Vishnu: Narasimha, Rama, Varaha and Krishna.

The temple is one of the oldest structures in Chennai. There are shrines for Sri Vedhavalli Thayaar, Sri Ranganatha, Sri Rama, Sri Gajendra Varadharaja Swamy, Narasimha, Sri Andal, Sri Anjaneya, Alwars, Ramanuja, Swami Manavala Mamunigal and Vedanthachariar. There are separate entrances for Lord Parthasarathy and Lord Narasimha. The gopuram (towers) and mandaps (pillars) are decorated with elaborate carvings, a standard feature of South Indian Temple Architecture.

Legend

Lord Venkateswara promised King Sumathi that he would give darshan as Lord Parthasarathy. In order to keep the promise, the Lord Venkateswara appeared as Lord Parthasarathy. Sage Athreya had installed the idol of Lord Parthasarathy Swami. Legend has it that the parents of the great SriVaishnava acharya, Sri Ramanuja came to this temple and prayed to the Lord for a son and eventually the great acharya was born. It is also believed that the great saint Sri Ramanuja is none other than the Lord Parthasarathy himself who was born to revive Vishishtadvaita.

Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Mahatmyam

According to Hindu Puranas, Lord Krishna was the charioteer for Arjuna during the Mahabharata war when he gave the Hindu holy book of Bhagavad Gita. Hence, the God, Sri Parthasarathy's face is full of scars created by the arrows of the Great Bhishma in the Kurukshetra war. Other interesting thing is that, God Krishna is seen with a moustache and without his weapon Chakra. The reason attributed is that he promised not to take weapons in the Mahabharatha war and hence he has only his conch. As He was the charioteer He sported the moustache keeping with the tradition. The UTSAVAR also has only a stick and not his mace as found with others. This is because the Lord was born in a cowherd clan.

Prasadam

On most days, devotees are treated to prasadam (offerings to God) consisting of Chakra pongal (A sweet South Indian delicacy made with jaggery, pulses and rice), Puliyodarai and Thayir sadam (Rice with yogurt/curd).The tasty prasadam makes the devotees heart fill with happiness.

Darshan, Sevas and Festivals

The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows vaikanasa aagama. The temple has grand brahmotsavams for Sri Parthasarathy swami during the Tamil month of chittirai(April-may),on the same month Udayavar uthsavam is also celebrated in special manner.In the month of vaigasi,Sri Varadarajar uthsavam,Sri Nammalwar uthsavam(vaigasi-visagam) and vasanthothsavam are celebrated. Sri Azhagiyasingar during the Tamil month of aani (June-July).There are also grand utsavams for Sri Ramanuja(April-may) and Sri Manavalamamunigal(oct-nov) besides utsavams for Alwar and acharyas. Vaikunta Ekadesi and during the Tamil month of Margazhi draws lot of pilgrims.

Composers

Among the 12 alwars (the great saints in Vaishnavite tradition) three of them namely Peyalwar, Thirumazhisai alwar and Thirumangaialwar have sung on the different forms of God in this temple. Many acharyas have also written songs on the various forms of God in this Temple.

Recently, Sri G. Sampath, a resident of Chennai, published his compositions on the various temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his album Hari Samarpanam, with music directed by Chitravina Ravikiran, featuring various singers. One of those songs is about Sri Parthasarathy and can be found here . It glorifies the Lord, who during the various Yugas, performed many amazing feats for the benefit of his bhaktas.

Travel and Stay

It is in the heart of Chennai city. Lots of transportation and accommodation facilities are available in vicinity.

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