400-year-old Komaleeswarar shrine in Chennai has rich history

Chennai: Sri Komalambigai Sametha Komaleeswarar Temple, located on the banks of the Cooum river in Pudupet has a rich history and lot of specialities.

The temple is said to be more than 400 years old, according to temple priest Chandrasekar. “Four centuries ago, the Cooum river came to be known as Virudha Ksheera River and there were grazing lands on either side of the river. A cow was regularly worshipping an anthill by shedding its milk over it.”

“‘The villagers noticed it and they saw a Shivalinga near the anthill and started worshipping it and decided to build a temple,” the priest says. “The temple was then built by ruler Chandragiri Maharaja and the Lord was named Komaleeswara and because of the temple, the area too got its name Komaleeswaran Pettai,” he adds.

Inside the main mandapam, Lord Komaleeswarar is placed on the main sanctum facing east. There are two entrances to the mandapam, one on the eastern side and the other, on the southern side. The devotees are, however, asked to enter through the southern entrance.

On the left side of the main sanctum is Sankata Hara Chathurthi Vinayagar and on the right is Lord Subramaniar. On the right side of the main sanctum, facing south is the sanctum of Goddess Komalambigai.

Lord Nataraja is placed on the right corner inside the main mandapam. One unique aspect of the temple is that the Goddess also has Nandhi placed in front instead of the usual lion. “Another interesting aspect is that earlier, when the cow was worshipping the Lord before the temple was built, it placed its foot on the Linga and even today, the Shivalinga has that footmark,” says the priest.

Sri Komalambigai Sametha Komaleeswarar Temple

Koshta Vinayaga and Dakshina Moorthy are placed on the left wall outside the main sanctum. There is Maha Vishnu and on the right wall at the back, Bramha, Durgai and Anjaneya are placed adjacent to each other. Navagraha is placed separately on the right corner of the outer prakara.

Speaking about the temple tree, Chandrasekar says, “It’s a rare vilva tree called the Maha Vilvam that can be found only in two other Shiva temples – Kasi and Tiruvannamalai. We had a tree which was more than 100 years old earlier, but it became too old and we then planted the same tree again 12 years ago.”

The last temple consecration took place in 2007, when the rajagopuram was constructed. “We are planning a kumbabhishekam sometime around this year,” he adds.

“It is believed that if people with health ailments and problem of debt worship the Lord regularly, all their problems will get solved. It is also a prarthana sthalam for unmarried persons and childless couples,” says Chandrasekar.

Maha Sivarathri, Navarathri Utsavam, Vasanthothsavam, Karthikai Deepam, Aarudhra Dharisanam and Pradosham are some of the days in which special poojas are performed in the temple. The temple is open from 6 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 9 pm.

Aaditya Anand M