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Ashtalakshmi Temple

Address : Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamilnadu


Description :

In Tamil Nadu the Ashtalakshmi temple is situated in Chennai, Besant Nagar, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. That stretch of beach is named as Elliot’s beach. This temple near Besant Nagar was built on the wish of Sri Mahaa periyavaal of kanchi mutt, Sri Chandrasekara saraswati swamigal and named as Ashtalakshmi because there are eight forms of Mahalakshmi in it. The temple structure is unparalleled with the deities set up in four levels. The main deity of the temple is Mahavishnu and his consort Mahalakshmi. This temple looks different than the other south Indian temples as it a modern construction.

One can see the imposing, bigger than life idols facing the eastern horizon overlooking the sea. The uprise of Ashta Lakshmi is directly proportional to the rising popularity of Ashta Lakshmi strotam.Within the complex there is a huge hundi for venkatachalapathi. In the temple the devotees also worship the idols of Tumbikai Aazhwar known as Lord Ganesha, and lord Krishna (Guruvaayurappan), Chakrathaazhwar and Narasimha .lordhanuman (Anjaneyar) and Dhanvantri.

The Ashta Lakshmi temple is now widely worshipped both by Sri Vaishnava devotees and other Hindu communities in south India. On occasion, the ashta Lakshmi is represented together in shrines or in “framing pictures” within an overall design and are worshipped by votaries of Lakshmi who worship her various manifestations. Since 1970s, in addition to emergence of ashta Lakshmi temples, conventional silver articles used in home to worship as well as decorative jars known as “KUMBHA” now seem with the ashta Lakshmi group molded on their sides. Popular prayers, books, pamphlets, manuals sold outside temples in south India; the “new” eight forms of Lakshmi are also popularizing by these ritual worship and “a burgeoning audio cassette in the market”.

The Ashtalakshmi kovil, was built in the year 1974, is dedicated entirely to the ashta Lakshmi where the goddess Lakshmi is given greater importance than lord Vishnu. It has 8 small shrines placed in clockwise direction, dedicated to the ashta Lakshmi and then a ninth shrine dedicated to lord Vishnu and shri Lakshmi together, dissimilar the traditional separate shrines.

Gopuram of Ashtalakshmi temple, Chennai

Loin Sculpture at Ashtalakshmi temple, Chennai

Besant nagar beach near Ashtalakshmi temple

Side view of the temple