Parthasarathy Temple is a famous 8th century Vaishnavite temple situated at Triplicane (Tiruvallikeni), very close to the Marina Beach in Chennai. Parthasarathy Temple is the oldest temple in Chennai. Parthasarathy Temple is dedicated to Lord Parthasarathy (Lord Krishna), who was the charioteer of Arjuna (Arjuna’s mother was the sister of Krishna’s father), in the Great Hindu epic Mahabaratha. There are 5 incarnations (i.e. Krishna, Narasimha, Ranganathar, Ramar and Varadaraja) of Lord Vishnu in Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane.
Carving of Lord Parthasarathy (Lord Krishna as charioteer) discoursing the “Bhagavad Gita” to Arjuna, at the outer walls of Chennai Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane. [ Photo Source : Creative commons. ]
The Proper name of Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane, Chennai is “Parathasarathy Swamy Thirukoil”. This temple is also known by other names like “Sri Parthasarathy Perumal”, “Thiruallikeni Thiru Parthasarathy Kovil”, etc. There are 2 “Gopurams” for this temple; one on Eastern side and on the Western side. The Eastern side Gopuram entrance of the Triplicane Parathasarathy Swamy Thirukoil is on the Beach road. Triplicane Parthasarathy Temple was originally built by the Great Pallava King, Narasimhavarman I, in the 8th century A.D.. The temple was expanded by Chola Kings later and then by Vijayanagara kings. The medieval 4000 verse Tamil language literature, “Nalayira Divya Prabandham “, composed around the 6th-8th centuries and compiled in its present form by Nathamuni during the 9th–10th centuries, talks of this temple. The temple still recites these 4000 hymns of the Azhwars, the tradition preserved by generations in this temple.
The temple inscriptions in Tamil and Telungu languages dates back to 8th century. One such inscription is about the Pallava king, Nandivarman. Some other inscriptions dates back to the Chola period. These stone inscriptions at Parthasarathy Temple talks of the contributions made by the Great Chola kings Raja Raja Chola and Kulottunga III, Pandya King Maravarman alias Tribuvana Chakravarthi Kulasekhara Deva and Vijayanagar Kings Ramaraja Venkatapathi Raja and Vira Venkatapathy Maharaja, etc.
The “Gopurams” (dome at the entrance) and the “Mandapas” (pillars) are famous for its excellent carvings.
Note : There is another famous Parthasarathy temple at Aranmula, Kerala.
How do I go to Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane?
Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane is at the heart of Chennai city, very close to Marina Beach. “Chennai Central” and “Chennai Egmore” railway stations are 2 nearby major railway stations which has trains to outstation cities of India. Chennai is well connected to other parts of south India by buses from C.M.B.T. Bus terminus (Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus). Chennai International airport is the nearest airport to the Parthasaraty temple at Triplicane.
Chennai Triplicane railway station on the MRTS suburban railway line connects this temple with other parts of city.