Thiruvalluvar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
Legend / Local stories
This is a memorial believed to have been constructed in the early 16th century, the temple was extensively renovated in the 1970s. As a book on Mylapore temples published in 1929 refers this temple as Thiruvalluvar temple, we could safely assume that this temple is older than 1929 CE. But people considered Thiruvalluvar as God and performed poojas and changed the memorial in to a temple. Hence, it is called Thiruvalluvar Temple. In his book called Thirumayilayin Thirukoilgal, published in 1989, Dr. S. Rajendran believes that the temple was built in the early part of the 16th Century. This is not evident, as the temple was extensively renovated in the early 1970s and most of the stone structures were replaced by concrete.
This Temple is a simple, two-roomed shrine enclosed by an open-pillared portico. The east facing sanctum enshrines big idol for Thiruvalluvar. The stone idol appears to be old. It’s interesting to find the stucco idols of Valluvar on his own vimana. The bronze idols of Valluvar and his wife Vasuki are also located in the sanctum. As part of the grand Mylapore annual festival (of the famous Kapaleeshwarar temple), on the 8th day of the festival, the bronze idol of Valluvar is also taken into procession along with 63 Nayanmars.
Vasuki is found in a separate east facing shrine, which is found on the left side of the sanctum. A holy tree with a lot of snake stones and a stucco image of Mari Amman is found. There is a larger than life marble statue of Thiruvalluvar in sitting posture and of his parents Sri Adi and Sri Bhagavan, with Sri Adi holding him as a child in her arms and kneeling before her husband. A cylinder with an inscription (dated 1935 CE) that reads that it was the base of the Iluppai tree where the poet was born, is found on the pedestal.
This Tree is located just by the side of the Maha Mandapam or the Meditation Hall This Iluppai Tree is more than 2000 years old Iluppai tree under which Thiruvalluvar is said to have born got damaged in 1935 and the base of the tree is being protected with a cover. There is a separate shrine for Ekambareswarar Shiva Linga. The sub-shrine of Kamakshi is located near this shrine. The koshta images of Dakshina Murti, Lingodhbava, Brahma and Durga are found on the wall of the shrine.
The niche images of Ganesh and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are found at the entrance. The stucco image depicting Valluvar worshiping Shiva and Parvati on the lintel is interesting. Valluvar is treated on par with the other Saivite saints. The small sub-shrines of Hanuman, Ganesh, Chandikeswara, Bhairava, Saneeswara and Navagraha are also found in this temple. The Ekambareswarar shrine is considered as the birth place of Thiruvalluvar by some researchers and as the Samadhi by others. This temple is completely dedicated to his contribution to Tamil literature. Classes on the Thirukural are also held in the evenings for children.
To the rear, near a neem tree surrounded by naga statues, was a shrine for Amman. All these suggest that the temple was originally a village temple that slowly gained prominence as a Shiva temple and then became the shrine for Thiruvalluvar. Except for the stone idols, there are no traces of the structure of the original temple after the renovation by the Government. The processional deity of Ekambareswarar is stored in a temple vault and the ones of Thiruvalluvar and Vasuki are clearly a century or two old.
There is a famous incident in Thiruvalluvar-Vasuki life in which, while Vasuki was fetching water in a pot from a well, Thiruvalluvar called her and she went leaving the pot as it was but incidentally the pot remained half way as it was. This historical well can be seen here, but there is no water now and is closed with sand. It is also covered with a steel grill for safety reasons.
When death separated his wife, Vasuki Ammaiyar from Thiruvalluvar, the saint, laments like all other commoners, unable to bear the grief of her separation. The poet, noted for his unique style of the couplets in Tamil, changes to quatrain, which he did only once, and dedicates this verse, to his bereaved wife.
How to Reach:
The Temple is situated at about 700 meters East of the statue of Thiruvalluvar on the Royapettah High road near Luz Anjaneyar Temple. The access to this temple is through narrow roads after crossing the Buckingham canal bridge towards Nattu Subburaya Mudali Street. Then the road branches off to North, leading to an arch way into the temple. This Temple is also located very near Mundaga Kanni Amman Temple.
The Temple is located at about 700 meters from Thiruvalluvar Statue Bus Stop, 1 Km from Mylapore Bus Stop and 700 meters from Mylapore Railway Station. Mylapore is located a few kilometers to the south of the British-built Chennai city. It lies between Triplicane and Teynampet in the west then across to the coast in the east. It is bounded by Royapettah to the north. Its southern frontier corresponds roughly with that of the River Adyar.
It extends for around 4 km from north to south and 2 km from east to west. Mylapore is in the heart of Chennai city and is linked with local trains and bus facilities. Mylapore is located at about 5 Kms from Triplicane, 3 Kms from Teynampet, 2.5 Kms from Royapettah, 6 Kms from Adyar, 6 Kms from T Nagar, 3 Kms from Marina Beach, 3 Kms from Santhome, 3 Kms from Alwarpet, 5 Kms from Nungambakkam and 7 Kms from Kodambakkam.
Mylapore is connected to other parts of the city by MTC buses, with connections including Chennai Central, T. Nagar, Tambaram, Broadway. Mylapore is located at about 10 Kms from Koyambedu Bus Terminus.
List of MTC bus routes covers through in and out of Mylapore;
|1||Thiruvottriyur||Thiruvanmiyur||Broadway, Central, Royapettah, Mylapore, Mandaveli, Adyar|
|1A||Thiruvottriyur||Thiruvanmiyur||Broadway, Central, Royapettah, Mylapore, Mandaveli, Adyar|
|1C||Ennore||Thiruvanmiyur||Thiruvottriyur, Broadway, Central, Royapettah, Mylapore, Mandaveli, Adyar|
|1D||Ennore||Thiruvanmiyur||Broadway, Central, Royapettah, Mylapore, Mandaveli, Adyar|
|5B||T. Nagar||Mylapore||Mandaveli, Adyar, Saidapet|
|12B||Foreshore Estate||Vadapalani||Santhome, Kutchery Road, Luz, Alwarpet, Pondy Bazar, Kodambakkam|
|12C||Saligramam||Mylapore||Vadapalani, Rangarajapuram, Panagal park, Adyar Gate, Mandaveli|
|M15||Tambaram East||Mylapore||Mandaveli, Adyar, SRP tools, Velachery, Pallikaranai|
|M15xt||East Tambaram||Mylapore||Mandaveli, Adyar, SRP tools, Velachery, Pallikaranai, Medavakkam, Camp road|
|21||Mandaveli||Broadway||Mylapore, Royapettah, Central RS|
|21B||Adyar||Parrys||Andhra Mahila Sabha, Music College, Foreshore Estate, Santhome, Chepauk, Madras University, Secretariat, RBI|
|21C||Kannagi nagar||Central (RS)||Royapettah, Mylapore, Mandaveli, Adyar, SRP tools,|
|21G||Broadway||Tambaram||Chepauk, Mylapore, Mandaveli, Kotturpuram, Gandhi Mandapam, Guindy, Kathipara, Meenambakkam, Pallavaram, Tambaram|
|29C||Besant Nagar||Perambur||Adyar, Mandaveli, Mylapore, Stella Mary’s College, Nungambakkam, Chetpet|
|45G||Guindy||Anna Square||Saidapet West, Mettupalayam, Srinivasa Theater, CIT nagar, Adyar Gate, Mandaveli, Mylapore, V. house|
Thirumayilai Railway Station, on the Mass Rapid Transit System network, connects Mylapore to Chennai Beach to the north and Velachery on the south. Mylapore is located at about 9 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station and 6 Kms from Egmore Railway Station.
Nearest Airport is Chennai International Airport located at about 17 Kms from Mylapore.