Prime Deity (Moolavar) : Venkatakrishnan
Consort (Thayar): Rukmini
Perumal : Sri Parthasarathy
Consorts : Sridevi,Bhudevi
Shrine : Vedavalli
Significance: Consecrated (Divya Desam)
Sacred Fountain: Kairavini
Sacred Dome (Vimanam): Anandha Nilayam
Sri Parthasarathy Swami temple, situated in Triplicane, a sector in Chennai, is about 5kms. from Chennai Egmore station. The place is well connected with frequent bus service and has a station in the Mayilai Metro Rail division. ‘Triplicane’ is the anglicized version of ‘Thiru allik keni’ , meaning ‘the sacred pond with lily flowers’ – in Sanskrit called ‘kairavini saras’. Tradition says that this holy pond carries within it five different sacred waters. The place is also called ‘Brinda Aranyam’(tulasi forest) because this area was encircled by a sprawling basil wood, once upon a time. Historically, the place is 2000 years old, which had enjoyed the holy services of the Pallava and the Chola kings – a very important holy place consecrated (mangalashasanam) by the Alvars.
The Prime Deity in the sanctum sanctorum is Venkatakrishnan Who stands majes-tically with His Consort, Rukmini, surrounded by their family members, Balaraman, Sathyagi, Aniruddhan and Pradyumnan. The Lord is facing east with the Conch (Panchajanyam) in His right hand (without the Chakra) and His left hand pointing to His feet. He is the ‘Lord of Gitopadesam’ – Lord Krishna was Arjuna’s chariot-driver during the Kurukshetra War and preached him the Bhagavat Gita when he refused to take arms against his own kith and kin. The Prime Deity is a gigantic icon 9 feet high with an impressive moustache, typical of a chariot-driver – a unique aspect not seen in other Vishnu temple. The image of the Prime Deity was the gift of sage Vyasa to sage Athreya, the former directing the latter to install it in this place.
The Lord of Procession and Festivals – Utsavar – is Sri Parthasarathi Swami and hence the name of the temple. This icon’s face is covered with scars since Lord Krishna faced all the arrows shot by Bhishma, to save His bosom friend, Parthan (Arjuna). Another significant point about the temple is that Garudaseva (procession of the Lord on Garuda) is performed throughout the year.
The unique feature of this temple is that it is also the residence of the Lords of the five sacred cities, namely, Srirangam, Tirupathi, Kanchipuram, Ahobilam and Ayodhya Who not only dwell in different shrines but also enjoy their own separate and different festivals. The temple luxuriates in festivities all through the year. The profound faith of the devotees is that they would acquire unmitigated wisdom by worshipping the Lord Nrsimha installed here – the Lord in the sitting posture and facing west.
There is a separate shrine for Goddess Sri Vedavalli Thayar (‘Thayar’ means ‘Mother’. Most of the Vishnu temples have separate shrines for Mother Goddess. The convention is to worship ‘Sri or Lakshmi’ first and then worship the Prime Deity. The vaishnavite belief is that the Mother sympathetically listens to the devotees’ pleas and recommends them to Her Lord for a favourite reply.) Tradition affirms that Lord Renganatha of Srirangam graced this sacred place to wed this Goddess.
The temple, like all Hindu temples, is associated with myths and legends. King Sumati of Thuntira region was a great devotee of Lord Venkata of Tirumali-Tirupathi. The Lord promised him that he would appear as Krishna in the Mahabharatha War. He revealed Himself so, as Venkata Krishna in this place. During the Kurukshetra War, Lord Krishna acted as the chariot-driver to His friend, Arjuna.
The Lord had given a promise that He would not take any arms or ammunitions. In consonance with this vow, Sri Parthasarathi Swami carries only His conch. During this war, the Lord willingly faced all the arrows shot by Bhishma and thus brought victory to Arjuna. We can see, in support of this fact, the scar-marks in the face of the icon even today. Unlike the other icons of Lord Vishnu with four arms, the icon of Sri Parthasarathi has only two arms.
The important festivals of the temple are: (1) Lakshaarchanai of Sri Parthasarathi (worshipping the Lord with one lakh names) a 10 days’ festival during February, when thousands of devotees gather in the templel. (2) Brahmotsavam again a 10 days’ festival during April, a festival avidly attended by thousands of people. (3)
Vaikunta Ekadasi and the New Year’s Day are the most welcome festivals in a year. (4) Like Tirumalai, Lord VenkataKrishnan has His Tirumanjanam ( Sacred Bath) every Friday – a joyful weekly celebration. (5) The most popular festival is the ‘kaithala sevai’ performed on the Moola star day of the month Aippasi (October-November). The Lord graces the devotees with festivals in all months, Himself enjoying rich processions.
The Alvars who have consecrated this deity are Peyalvar, Tirumalisai Alvar and
Tirumangai Alvar. While the first two have dedicated their mangalashasanam each in single pacuram (song), Tirumangai Alvar has dedicated 10 pacurams in his magnum opus, Periya Tirumoli ( 2:3). In these songs, the Alvar appropriately remembers the heroic deeds of Lord Vishnu not only in Krishna avatar but also in His other incarnations. In just one pacuram (6), the alvar presents the quintessence of the great epic Mahabharatam and underscores the significance of the deity Sri Parthasarathi Swami.
Distance from important cities : Easily reachable as it is situated in the heart of the Chennai Metropolitan.