Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple also known as Mahalakshmi Temple was established in Besant Nagar, Chennai on the coast of Bay of Bengal as per the desire of Sri Maha Periyaval of Kanchi Mutt, Sri Chandrasekara Saraswati Swamigal. This is the only temple dedicated to Sri Mahalaksahmi, the Consort of Sriman Narayanan (Sri Mahavishnu), on the east coast in Tamil Nadu. Along with this temple, Mahalakshmi temple in Mumbai is the only other temple of the Goddess which is situated on the Indian coast. The grandiosity of the place can be estimated from the fact that nearly 7 million were spent in renovating the temple.
About The Temple
The temple was constructed at the efforts taken by the devotees under the leadership of the erudite Scholar Mukkur Srinivasa Vardachariyar and others. The foundation was laid in the year 1974.The first Consecration Ceremony (Kumbhabhishekam) was done on 5 th April, 1976.
The temple is huge with length and breadth of nearly 65ft and 45ft respectively. The temple is constructed with Ashtanga Vimana in the tower in the Omkara design. The shadow of the tower does not fall on the ground. The design is similar to the Big Temple in Thanjavur.
This is a temple built recently following the design of the in Tirukoshtiyur in Sivaganga district in steps. Due to the flow of not only devotees but tourists too, the temple has grown very famous on the Beasant Nagar beach built with marble stones. Every sculpture tells stories of divine beauty.
It is noteworthy that the Aarukala Puja system (six pujas a day) is strictly followed in the temple as per Vedic rules. Only ghee is used for lighting lamps.
About The Deity
The principal sannadhi is Mahalakshmi Maha Vishnu Sannadhi. Both the deities are in standing form. Perumal graces in a wedding form. Mother Mahalaskhmi graces majestically dressed typically with a 9 yard sari in the Madisar style. They face the mighty ocean on the east. They stand on lotus pedestal. Abaya varada Mudras and Lotus flower in the Hands may be seen. There is a processional deity, utsavar bronze. All festive and celebrations are done only to the processional deity. The Divine Couple bestow and shower all their Grace and blessings to those who worship them sincerely. Thirumanjanam (Holy Bath) and archana may be performed. Nice yards silk sarees and three yards Dhotis and two yards upper cloth (Angavasthiram) may also be offered to get the Grace of the Divine couple. All Ashta Lakshmis grace from separate shrines.
A Separate Southestern corner within the temple precincts in allotted for the Dhasavathara sannathi. The idols of the ten Incarnations of Vishnu are consecrated and worshipped there. These idols face north. There is also a processional deity of Sri Nigamantha Mahadesikan , one of the celebrated vaishnavite acharyas , here in this quadrant . The idol faces east. There is also a Shrines for vishvskshenar (senai mudaliar) , the commander of the divine army . This shrine is the customary usage of the divine army. This shrine is the customary usage of worship to relive from the disturbance of Navagraha Doshas.
On the South east a shrine is dedicated to Guruvayurappan . The deity faces east. In the presence of the deity, the babies after the completion of one year are given sugar rice for the first time . This is known as Annaprachanam.
Kamala Vinayagar Shrine
On the south west side is the kamal vinayagar sannadhi . The Deity is seated on a lotus and hence know kamal vinayagar. He faces east. His trunk is tuned towards right side and so He is known as valampuri vinayagar. He is beneath the peepal tree.
Chakkaratalvar and Yoga Narasimhar Shrine
On the western side of the temple, a shrine is dedicated to chakkaratalvar and yoga Narasimhar . Both deities are carved exquisitely on a single stone. Chakkaratalvar faces east and Narasimha faces west.
On the north-west side a sannathi is dedicated to anjaneya (Hanujman) . The deity faces east . He is known as Abhaya Anjaneya (Anjaneya in whome one find refguee) . Devotees worship in various ways. They offer Him Betal leaves Garlands. There is a separate Processional Anjaneyar idol (utsavamoorthi) is also worshipping in this sannadhi.
In the northwest corner of the temple there is a shrine for Dhanvantari (The God of medicine) . It is a shrine for Dahnvantari came from the milky ocean when churned by Devas and asuras. He brought with Him amrit kalash (pot of nectar), he is considered the Vedic Physician who curse the diseases when sincerely prayed.
Garudalvar,as usual has his sannadhi in front of the Main Deity in the temple.
In this temple, below the Stupi, in the Sikaram area, is consecrated the Dhanalakshmi. on the Precincts, are the other shrines for Gajalashmi, Santhanalashmi,Vijayalakshmi and Vidyalakshmi in the Khandam areas. On the Groundfloor, in the Prastara area, are consecrated the three Lakshmis - Adi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi and Dhairya Lakshmi.
Stala Vriksha (Sacred Tree)
Every hindu Temple and pilogrim Centre Has a Sacred Tree known as Tala Viruksha (Tree of place). Here in this Shrine it is the Vilva tree that is thala vriksha.It is apt and unique in the sense that the goddess Sri Mahalakshmi resides in Vilva leaves.
Puskarani (Holy tank)
As the temple is on the sea shore it has no special tank Dedicated to it. On the other hand , the Great Ocean itself is considerd the sacred tank for this temple. Indeed it is apt in the sense that goddess Mahalakshmi came out of the Milky Ocean . Hence the Ocean is the Mother's home for the goddess.
Morning: 06:30 am to 12:00 noon
Evening: 04:00 pm to 09:00 pm.
Friday and Sunday: Morning Hours extended upto 1.00 P.M
- Suprapadham – 06:30 am
- Kalasandhi – 08:00 am
- Uchikalam(Noon Pooja) – 12:00 Noon
- Sayarakcha (Evening) – 06:00 pm
- Iravu Pooja(Night) – 07:30 pm
- Arthajama Pooja – 09:00 pm
Navaratri festival will be celebrated for ten day in this temple, In this Temple Called Dharshana On these days ,daily , there will be "Sri sooktam Aaradhana" at 10 am. In the evenings , there will be procession of the day, there will be - pairrvettai-, Outer procession of the deity and the deity will release arrow on vanni tree as a mark of success and prosperity.
This is the annual purification ceremony. It is performed to rectify the mistakes and defects in the poojas performed both mornings and evenings for five days. All the deities are adorned with colored Silk and Cotton yarn garlands . All the five days poojas are done to the sacred kalasams (pots) and on the final day the holy water is poured on the deities . It is belived to take part in such poojas.
Markazhi Month (Dhanur Masa Pooja)
Tamil markazhi month considered sacred and poojas are performed early in the mornings. The temple opens at 5a.m during this month.
It is also known as Sri Krishna jayanthi. Sri jayanthi is celebrated all over the country especially in Vaishnavite temples, special poojas are performed. On the second day , the deity will be taken out for Uriyadi , to commemorate the childhood days of Sri Krishna when he stole butter from the pots suspended by ropes.
The Temple will be decorated with electrical lights. The deities will be given holy bath and special dishes like luddu will be offered and distributed as prasadamas to all devotees. It is the day when Mahalakshim rose from the Milky ocean and married Sri Mahavishnu according to puranas and Agamas . The North Indians celebrates this deepavali in a grand manner and on the next day they begin their new accounts. In this temple a huge crowd visit the temple and have the dharshan and take part in the sri lakshmi kumbera homam and thirukkalyanam for godess sri mahalakshmi and sri mahavishnu on that day performed by devotees as prarthanai (offering to godess).
On kartigai day lamps with ghee are lighted and special prayers are conducted. That night all the Moolavars (deities) will be anointed with oil. After this there will not be any holy bath (thirumanjanam) and festivals for about 48 days.
English New Year Day (1 January)
The temple will be opened at 3. a.m on this day. Special decorations will be made . Thousand of pilgrims and devotees will have darshan on this first day of the English year without religious difference. They would like to begin the year with prayers so that the whole year will be prousperous fruitful them.
Tamil New year day on thai 1st this Is also celebrated in this temple fron the day of 1st Consecration As temple is on the seashore, many will visit the temple on the ksnum pongal Day , next day to pongal . It is customary to go out with friends and relatives and get blessing of elders . Many visit the Temple on this day to get the blessing of Sri Mahalakshmi and sri Mahavishnu.
As May Day is the labourer’s day and it is a public holiday, many visit the temple and offer prayers to God Goddesses.
Mother Mahalakshmi ensures a happy and prosperous life to Her devotees. Each Lakshmi has Her own special blessings. Mother Adi Lakshmi grants health, Dhanya Lakshmi freedom from hunger, Dhairya Lakshmi courage and self-confidence, Gajalakshmi all prosperities, Santhana Lakshmi Child boon, Vijaya Lakshmi victory in all endeavours, Vidya Lakshmi knowledge and wisdom and DhanaLakshmi wealth.
How to Reach Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar
The nearest airport is Chennai Airport.
There are two main railway terminals, the Chennai Central station, which is the city's largest railway station with trains to major cities and towns in India, and Chennai Egmore, with trains to cities and towns within Tamil Nadu.
The nearest bus station is Besant Nagar bus terminal.
Ashtalakshmi Temple / Mahalakshmi Temple,
Besant Nagar, Chennai,
India, Pincode – 600090.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Freedom from hunger
- Courage and self confidence
- Boon of childbirth
- Victory in all endeavours
Adhilakshmi Namasthesthu Parabrahma Swaroopine Yeshodhehi Dhanamdehi Sarvakamamcha Dehimey Mangaley Mangaladhare Mangalya Manggalapradhey Mangalartham Mangalesi Mangalyam Dehime Sadaaaa
Meaning -Goddess Adilakshmi, the supreme Brahman, we offer our salutations to you and ask you to grant us wealth and prosperity. Fulfill our wishes O auspicious Goddess for you are auspiciousness personified and you grant auspiciousness. Grant us eternal happiness and prosperity.
Namasthesthu Mahamaye Sri Petesura Poojithey Sanguchakra Gatha Hasthey Mahalakshmi Namosthuthey Namasthey Garudaroodey Kolasurea Bayankari Sarva Papa Hare Devi Mahalakshmi Namosthutehy
Meaning -Oh all powerful Mahalakshmi, the seat of wealth and who devas worship, salutations to you, for you are one who has a conch, a disc and a mace in your hands.
Namastulasi Kalyaani Namo Vishhnupriye Shubhe Namo Moksha Pradey Devii Namah Sampatpradaayinee
Meaning -I bend down to Tulasi, who is so dear to Lord Vishnu and who bestows good luck on devotees, who helps one attain salvation and who bestows wealth on all devotees.
Samudra Vasaney Devi Parvathasthana Madale ; Vishnupatnii Namasthubhyam Paadha Sparsham Kshamashamey
Meaning -Oh Mother Earth, I beg your forgiveness for placing my feet on you, the one who wears oceans, forests and mountains and Lord Vishnu's wife, I bow to you.