Chennai: Amidst the hustle bustle of Madanandapuram is present the Sri Pidari Ponniamman temple. This is said to be the only shrine in Chennai to have all the Saptha (seven) Mathas in one place.
The temple officials spoke about the specialities with News Today. One of the officials, when talking about the place, said, “The Amman in this Saptha Maathakal Samedha Sri Ponniamman Aalayam is known as graama devathai, which is generally referred to as the kaaval dheivam.”
The temple is located at the border of Madanandapuram and draws devotees from areas such as Mugalivakkam, Gerugambakkam, Kolapakkam, Kovur, Bharaniputhur, Iyyapanthangal, Porur, Manapakkam and across the city, said the temple officials.
Recalling its history, a member said, “After 1967, the temple was abandoned and various encroachments occupied the temple land. It is only in 1997 that the locals decided to restore the temple.”
He continued, “The temple’s kumbabhishekam was held in June 2017 for which the gurukkal of Kalikambal temple was invited. After looking at the statues here, he estimated that this temple must be about 900 years old and probably built by the Cholas.”
He backed his statement by saying, “If the sculptures were closely observed, poonal made of rudraksha could be seen on them, and they looked to be from the Chola period.”
The seven mathaas are Braami, Mageswathi, Kowmari, Vaishnavi, Vaarahi, Indrani and Chamundeswari. Along with them Vinayagar and Sitheswarar (Eswarar in the form of a sithar) are present. Three of them face east, three face south and three north.
“New sannathis were built at this temple from 2007. Special sannathi for Nagaraja below the thalavirutcham is notable among them,” says an official.
Special poojas are conducted on Pournami, Amavaasai, Kirthikai, Sankatahara Chathurthi and Pradhosham. Every year, for the last 2 decades, Aadi thiruvizha is celebrated in a grand manner, and so are Aadi pooram and Amavasai homam. During Amavaasai panjami and Pournami panjami, special prayers are offered to Vaarahi Devi.
Recently, several women gathered here and celebrated Chitra Pournami. They cooked Pongal and offered it to the deity.
People who are childless, those facing chronic illness or asset issues, or those who want to excel in studies or go abroad for jobs will have their wishes fulfilled soon after they pray at this temple, say the officials.
The temple is open from 6 am to noon and 4.30 pm to 9 pm.