Thirunindravur – Gateways of Mukthi (Salvation) – Temples of India

Coincidentally this post is on Thirunindravur, which gets a mention in the wonderful post written by Ramalingam earlier.

Sri Bakthavatsala Perumal temple is a Hindu temple, located at Thirunindravur, a suburb of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the 108 Divyadesams dedicated to Vishnu. The temple is believed to have been built by the Pallavas of the late 8th century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. The main deities are Bhaktavatsala Perumal and his consort Ennai Petra Thayar (Goddess Lakshmi).

The temple was built during the Pallava period of 9th century as seen from the various inscriptions in the temple. The presiding deity of the temple is Bakthavasala in Kalyana Thirukolam (wedding attire). The Utsavar(procession deity) is called Patharaavi who is accompanied by two consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. There is a separate shrine for Ennai Petra Thayar also called Sudhavalli, the consort of Bakthavasala. The temple also has separate shrines for Andal, Chakkarathazhwar, the Azhwars and Sri Ramanuja.

Thirunindravur temple
Thiruninravur Temple


According to the legend, Lord Samudrarajan (King of the Oceans) was longing for Goddess Mahalakshmi to be born as his daughter. He prayed to her for many years after which the Goddess appeared before him and granted his wish. One day, he found a beautiful girl child in the middle of a lotus flower in the ocean. Thanking the Goddess Lakshmi he exclaimed “Ennai Petra Thaaye” (Mother who gave birth to me ) and thus naming the child as Ennai Petra Thaayar. The little girl grew up into a beautiful young lady and it was time to get her married. But he was not willing to part with his daughter and so when Lord Narayana came asking for her hand in marriage, he laid a condition that he should stay with them in their house for which the Lord agreed. As Goddess settled here first, the place itself had got its name after her. In Thamizh, ‘Thiru’ means Goddess Lakshmi, ‘Ninra’ means stood, ‘Vur’ means place. As the Lord responded to the prayer of his devotee (Bhaktha) Samudra Rajan, he is called Sri Bhaktavatsala.

According to another legend, Thirumangai Azhwar had visited this temple and left to Thirukkadal Mallai (today’s Mahabalipuram) without singing a single Paasuram on the Lord. Goddess Lakshmi asked her Lord to get a hymn from the Azhwar. But when the Lord reached Azhwar, he was in Mahabalipuram and there, the Lord asked him for a hymn. It is said that Thirumangai Azhwar had God’s dharshan from Mahabalipuram after which he had sung 2 Paasurams on the Lord, admiring the beauty and similarities of the deities in Thirukkadal Mallai, Thiruninravur and Thirukkanna Mangai.

On the banks of a lake a few meters behind this temple is another temple for Rama (Eri Katha Ramar). In this temple there is a statue of Hanuman lifting Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders which is very unique and not usually seen elsewhere. Do note that there is another ‘Eri Katha Ramar’ temple in Mathuranthakam, Tamil Nadu.

Dhivyadesam No. 55
Dhivyadesam Name Thirunindravur
Main Deity Bhakthavatsalar, Ennai Petra Thaayaar
Location Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Architecture Style Dravidian (Pallava Style)
Temple Age 1200 years
Azwars who did Mangalasasanam Thirumangaiyazhwar
Divyaprabandam reference

Peria Thirumozhi (1089, 1642)

Unique Specialties

“Maam Ekam Sharanam Vraja” seen in the right hand of the lord (like Oppiliappan)

Mudhaliyandan’s birthplace (Disciple of Sri Ramanuja)

Prayers made for  Lakshmi Pooja performed here will ensure wealth and prosperity to all
Popular Events 

Chitra Pournami (Mar- Apr), Sri Jayanthi (Aug – Sep), Brahmotsavam (Mar – Apr)

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Author Details

Rangarajan has been blogging for over 12 years now on various topics. With Thedal, he becomes one with the universe and he is hoping that his search will help him discover the eternal truth.  Please join him as he traverses through the universe across temples, philosophies and science!

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