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Pureprayer takes you on SpiRitual Journeys to famous Lakshmi temples of India on the festive occasion of Shravan Shukravar. In this instalment you will be visiting Ashta Lakshmi Temple in a major metropolitan of South India.

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Temples of South India is not just popular for temples built in the period of Pallavas, Cholas or Vijayanagar Empire. A dream conceived by the pontiff Sri Chandrashekhara Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt in modern times, was brought to reality with the efforts of a scholar, Sri Mukkur Srinivasa Varadachariar in company of many other like-minded devotees.

This week of Shravana Shukravaar, let’s embark on a journey to Arulmigu Ashta Lakshmi temple in Besant Nagar of Chennai Metropolitan. Construction of this unique temple which has eight forms of Lakshmi began in 1974. Consecrated was completed in 1976.

Where is Ashta Lakshmi temple in Chennai?

Ashta Lakshmi temple is situated in Besant Nagar of Chennai, on the shore of Bay of Bengal. This region is known as Elliott’s beach. Edward Francis Elliott was the Governor of Madras from 1814 to 1820.

What architecture is used in Ashta Lakshmi temple?

Construction of Ashta Lakshmi temple has many features to its credit. It has been based construction technique used in a 9th century temple of Thirukottiyur. This is known as Ashtanga Vimanam. It is constructed in the shape of the Pranava Mantra (AUM), leading to the popular tag of AumkaraKshetra (OmkaraKshetra).

What is Ashtanga Vimanam?

Temples are built on the principles of Shashthangam that includes Adhishthanam, Paadam, Prastaaram, Khandam, Shikharam and Stupam. Ashtanga Vimanam adds another floor above Khandam and the construction is completed with a set of Prastaaram, Kshandam, Shikharam with Stupam.

How to worship the Ashta Lakshmis in the temple?

You will enter the temple-complex to reach Sri Maha Lakshmi consecrated with Sri Maha Vishnu in the level two. Large Images of the divine couple are sure to leave an indelible impression in your minds. After receiving the grace and benevolence of the divine couple here, you will take the stairs leading to the third floor. You will seek the grace of Santana Lakshmi who bestows the seeker with offspring. Vijaya Lakshmi is the giver of success in all ventures. Vidya Lakshmi grants the wisdom. Worship of Gaja Lakshmi is said to bring prosperity to your life. All these consecrated in separate shrines in this floor. Dhana Lakshmi the bestower of wealth has been consectrated on the fourth floor. You will take the steps to reach the shrines in the first level. Aadi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi and Dhairya Lakshmi have been consecrated here. Aadi Lakshmi who resides in the abode of Lord Vishnu can grant the perpetuity of wealth and prosperity. Dhanya Lakshmi showers the benevolence, the never-ending weath of grains. and Dhairya Lakshmi the giver of courage and confidence blesses you.

Once you have completed the visit of eight forms Lakshmi, it is time to view Dashavataram, the ten forms of Lord Vishnu. Other deities to worship here are, Guruvayurappan, Ganapati, Hanuman and Dhanvantri.

Another point worth noticing are Lord Vishnu has been consecrated in three postures of standing, sitting and reclining.

What are the festivals celebrated at Ashta Lakshmi temple?

Celebration of many festivals take place year-round in Ashta Lakshmi temple. Navaratri festival is celebrated in a great pomp and style in Ashta Lakshmi temple with different decorations each day. Dhanurmaas Pujas during the Tamil month of Margali can be a wonderful experience to devotees.

What are the nearby temples to Ashta Lakshmi Temple?

Kanchi Varadaraja temple:

Sri Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy temple is located about 77 kms from Ashta Lakshmi Temple. Great poet Kalidasa has praised two holy cities of our ancient India. One is Kashi and the other Kanchi. He has said, they were both built by God Almighty himself. The city of Kancheepuram or Kanchi has been praised in the poem that begins with Nagareshu Kanchi…!

This region of the city is popular as Vishnu Kanchi.

Kanchi Kamakshi temple:

Kanchi finds mention as one of the Seven Sacred Places of India. History records that the great emperor Sri Krishna Deva Raya had made two visits to this sacred city. Also, the singer saint of Karnataka, Purandara Dasa sang about Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy as “Kannare Kande Achyutana”. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is another landmark to visit near Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy temple.

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