Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple in Chennai
Chennai, a fast growing metropolis is also famous for a lot of religious places and traditions. One will find a temple in every area of Chennai and these temples also offer great touristic attraction apart from the culture being maintained. Vadapalani is a Tamil word meaning "north palani" is a bustling area of whole sale business and ofcourse the most frequently visited temple, the Dandayudhapani Temple which is situated in Andavar Kovil Street. This temple is a temple of Lord Velayudha that is Lord Muruga. The area vadapalani got its name from this temple which resembles one of the Aaru padai veeduof Lord Muruga.
History of Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple in Chennai
Lord Muruga has six major homes for his shrines, out of which palani is one of the shrines. Here in Chennai we are lucky enough to have its replica. The installation of the Dandayudhapani temple dates back to 125 years. It is said that Annaswami Tambiran, who was a great devotee of Lord Velayudha worshipped lord Muruga's painting at the location where vadapalani temple is now situated. He worshipped lord with great devotion and after a lot of meditation he realised some power in himself. The power gave him the boon that anything he uttered in his trance will come true. The power is called as Arul Vakku in Tamil. "Arul" meaning blessings from God and "vakku" means word.
Annaswami Tambiran, who got this power, became famous among the devotees and the divine power he achieved was used to help the devotees. After his death his friend Ratnaswami started to do the devotional activities as per the promise made to Annaswami Tambiran. He also built a small temple with the money that the public gave for the arulvakku. After the death of Ratnaswani in the year 1886 Bagyalingam followed and performed the poojas and arulvakku. Bagyalingam also died in the year 1931 and after him there were many others who continued the devotions. During this period many people contributed to the building of this great shrine. The major contributor was Kribananda Variyar. Thus a temple of Dandayudhapani was built with massive structures and Gopurams. The temple was built with several other deities apart from Lord Muruga's idol.
Features of Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple in Chennai
The large temple consists of a huge gopuram in the entrance. The gopuram holds in it several images to depict the legends of skandha puranam, a Tamil epic. The 40.8 meters eastern wall holds the carvings of 108 Barathanatiyam gestures. A large holy temple tank is also present in the temple premises. The main deity called the Moolavar is Lord Muruga and the idol resembles the one present in Palani. The sculpture is four feet long. Varasidhi Vinayagar, Kuthuvar, Manikkavachakar, Chokkanathar, Parvati, Kali, Bhairava, Virabagudevar, Virabhadrar, Visalakshi, Kasi Viswanatha, Six-faced Muruga with Valli and Dhevanai, Meenakshi Amman and many other deities are present in the temple in small sannidhis. There are other carvings in the pillars of Dhakshna Moorthi, Mahalakshmi etc. The temple although being temple of Lord Muruga, also follows Lord Shiva's worship. Lord Anjaneyar is also present as a carving in the pillar and devotees worship him by offerings such as butter.
There is a large hall in the temple which holds a lot of marriages. Hindus conduct their marriages in the holy land before Lord Muruga's idol and get his blessings. There are atleast 7000 marriages conducted every year. The temple management provides a lot of services for marriages conducted in the temple premises. The daily poojas conducted here invite a lot of crowd to the temple. A large crowd of devotees fill the temple during Kartikai asterism every month. There are special tickets provided to offer people to worship Lord Muruga quickly. Transport can never be a problem as there are a lot of buses stopping just before the temple entrance. This is one of the main bus stops in the Arcot Road. The Kodambakkam railway station is also situated close to the area.
Daily poojas and other facilities in Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple in Chennai
Lord Murugan temple is open for worship from morning 6.00 Am to 1.00 PM and from 4.00 PM till 9.00 PM. The early morning 5.00 AM starts with the Nadai, when the shrine of the main deity is opened. Palli aria is at 5.30 AM and the holy milk abishegam is at 7.00 AM. Hindus consider worshipping Lord Muruga during Milk Abishegam gives prosperity and the holy milk is given as prasadham to the devotees. 10.00 AM is marked by the Vibhithi Abishegam and the beauty of Lord Muruga fully set with the vibuthi is considered a divine sight to the eyes. Sandhanam Abishegam is conducted at 11.00AM and at 12.00 noon the Ucha kala pooja takes place. Sayaratcha pooja takes place at 5.00 Pm and again the Palli arai pooja at 9.00 PM. After which the shrine is closed. This is the daily pooja and tradition of Dandayudhapani temple.
There are various facilities offered by the temple at vadaplani namely, Thirukalyanam, depicting marriage of Lord Muruga
• Thangarathnam- procession with Lord Muruga in the Golden chariot
• Sanguabishegam- abishegam with a number of holy sangu
• Santhana Kappu- molding the deity Lord Muruga with fragrant sandhanam
• Vibuthi and panchamirtham Abishegam - abishegam with vibuthi and mixed fruit salad.
• Pal Abishegam – abishegam using milk
• Sahaswara Namam
• Vada Malai – offering vada malai for Lord Anjeneyar
• Anna Prasanam- providing food
• Palkavadi- procession carrying kavadis with milk
• Archanai tickets
• Mudikanikkai- giving away hair as a prarthanai
• Homa Marriage
• Ear Boring
• Mappilai Azhaippu
Festivals in Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple in Chennai
The festivals that are related to Lord Muruga are celebrated with great devotion. The krithigai star of every month is crowded. The major festivals celebrated are,
• Tamil New Year
• Chithirai Poornima on the full moon day during April-May
• Aipasi month Skanda Sashti
• Float festival for three days in March-April
• Vaikasi visakam
• Panguni uthiram
The temple stays a frequently visited temple by the local people and also by people from outside Chennai. The culture of the temple and the divinity of the temple is maintained and great crowd resides in the temple specially during the festival season to get the blessings of Lord Muruga.