Lord Krishna

Temple History

The Parthasarathy Swamy Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams, is said to have been renovated by a King of Pallava dynasty. "Brindaranya" is the traditional Puranic name of Thiru-Alli-Keni now known as Thiruvallikeni or modern Triplicane. It is said that for at least five thousand years, it has been a resting place for pilgrims who had come down from Thirupathy to have a bath in the sea on the days of Solar and Lunar Eclipses and on other auspicious days it being in a direct line to Thirupathy, Thiruthani and Trivellore and the route being free from swamps. It is one of the very few shrines in the country dedicated to Krishna as Parthasarathy, charioteer of Arjuna and to contains idols of three avatars of Vishnu: Narasimha, Rama, and Krishna. Unusually, he is depicted with a prominent moustache and carries a conch in his hand. Also unusual is the iconographical combination found in the sanctum. Here, Krishna is seen standing with consort Rukmini, elder brother Balarama, son Pradyumna, grandsons Aniruddha and Satyaki. Because of the association of the temple with Krishna, Tiruvallikeni came to be regarded as the Southern Vrindavana. He also mentioned about the Telliya Singar shrine within the temple.

According to Brahmanda Puranam, the five Deities in the temple are said to have been worshipped by the Saptah Rishis viz. Bhrigu, Manchi, Atri, Markandeya, Sumathi, Saptharoma and Jabali and also have been praised by two of the earliest Alwars viz. Thirumazhisai Alwar, Peyalwar and later on by Thirumangai mannan or Kaliyan, who is considered to be the last of the Alwars chronologically and his year of birth would appear to be 476 A.D. according to the era of Salivahana Saka.

The presiding Deity of this temple Sri Venkatakrishna Swami also known as "GEETHACHARYA". According to Brahmanda purana, King Sumathy prayed Lord Thiruvengada of the Seven Hills to give him darshan in the form of the Charioteer (SARATHY) to PARTHA during the MAHABHARATHA WAR and rendering GEETHA. Lord Thiruvengada appeared in his dream and bade him to go to "BRINDARANYA" where he would give him Darshan in the form he wished. Meanwhile, Athreya Maharishi requested his Acharya Vedavyasa to mention to him the place fit for doing Thapas and he was directed by his Acharya to go to Brindaranya on the banks of the Kairavani Theertham overgrown with Thulasi plants and where king Sumathy was doing Thapas. Saying so, Vedavyasa gave Athreya a Divya-Mangala Vigraha with a conch in his right hand and Gnana Mudra in the left hand pointing to HIS HOLY FEET signifying the famous Charama Sloka of the Bhagavat Geetha:-

"Sarva Dharman Parithyajya Mamekam Saranam Vraja Ahamthwa Sarwa Papebhyo Mokshayishyami Ma Suchaha" (18-66):

This quintessence of the Geetha is rendered into English by Sir Edwin Amold thus:-
"And let go those Rites and writ duties! Fly to Me alone!
Make Me thy single refuge! I will free Thy soul from all its sins! Be of good cheer!"

Accordingly, Athreya Maharishi reached the Ashramam of Sumathy and narrated to him in detail, the circumstances that led him to go there. Sumathy was pleased with the Divya Mangala image of Sri Parthasarathy Swamy in accordance with the desire and welcomed Athreya. He celebrated the Chaitrotsavam according to Vaikanasa Agama and worshipped him. The central figure enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum is being worsipped as "SRI VENKATAKRISHNA SWAMY". Sri Rukmani Thayar and Satyaki, his younger brother, are installed on his right and left side respectively. His elder brother Balarama is seen on the right side of Rukmani Thayar facing north and his son Prathyumnan and his grandson Anirudhan are seen on the northern side of the Garbagraha facing south. These five warriors (Pancha Veeral) are so placed in these positions as we now worship them to keep in conformity with some incidents that took place in their life-time. Still more grandeur and inspiring is the bewitching and ever smiling UTHSAVAR Deity – Sri Parthasarathy Swami, with marks in the face caused by Bheeshma's arrows during the Maha Bharatha War. The Thilagam set with diamonds with a Safire in the centre resembles the full moon in the crystal clear blue sky.

As per Hindu legend, Saptarishis, the seven sages worshipped five deities Panchaveeras, namely, Venkata Krishnaswamy, Rukmini, Satyaki, Balarama, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. As per Mahabharatha, Vishnu, in his avatar as Krishna was acting as charioteer for Arjuna, the Pandava prince during the war with Kauravas. Krishna did not take any weapons during the war. During the fight between Arjuna and Bhishma, Krishna was injured by the arrow from Bhishma. The mark in the image in the temple is believed to follow the legend. The place is called Allikeni, meaning a pond of lily as it is believed that historically the place was full of lily ponds. The place is the only place where the presiding deity is sported with a mustache. As per another legend, the place was once a Tulsi forest. A king named Sumati wanted to see Vishnu in the form of Parthasarathi and prayed at Srinivasa temple in Tirupathi. Srinivasa directed the king to visit the temple here built by sage Atreya and worshipped with another sage called Sumati.

The pushkarani is called Kairavani and five sacred teerthams are believed to surround the tank - Indra, Soma, Agni, Meena and Vishnu. Seven rishis - Bhrigu, Atri, Marichi, Markandeya, Sumati, Saptaroma and Jabali - performed penance here. All five deities in the temple have been extolled by Tirumangai Azhvar. There is also a separate shrine for Andal, one of the 12 Alvars who is also considered as a consort to the presiding deity.


Additional Information

The temple has grand brahmotsavams (big festival) for Sri Parthasarathy swami during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April–May), on the same month Udayavar uthsavam is also celebrated

It is at a distance of about 18 km from Chennai International Airport, 5.5 kms from the Chennai Central and 4.4 KM from Egmore Railway Station
The temple can be reached by the Mass rapid Transit System too and the Tiruvallikeni MRTS station is few metres away from the temple. Triplicane and Vivekanandar Illam,is nearest Bus Stand. The temple is only 210 m from the Kelet High School bus stop.
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  • Contact Number: +91 44 28442449