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Mangadu Temple


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Mangadu

On the outskirts of Chennai, at Mangadu is located the famous temple of Kamakshiamman, a form of Parvathi, the consort of the God Shiva. It is located off the highway near Poonamallee. Here you will find the beautiful idol of Goddess Parvathi in penance form in the mangroves. This ancient temple at Mangadu is said to have been in existence since the time of Adi Shankara in 8th Century AD.


Mangadu literally means the forest of the Mango trees. Mango leaves are traditionally used for conducting pujas for the Goddess Amman. Mango leaves are used to decorate the front of the houses to invite Goddess Kamakshi.


This temple was built at the spot where she performed penance to win over the heart of Lord Shiva. She rested here left leg on the Panchagni and folded the right one. In her left hand, she holds high the rudraksha mala. As the Kamakshi Amman is in a 'Tapas' penance mode to entreat Shiva, it is therefore considered auspicious for unmarried girls to pay obeisance to Goddess Kamakshi here.


Within the sanctum sanctorum of the Mangadu temple, you will find the Sri Ardhameru Chakram. According to the Sthala puranam when Kamakshi Amman left eventually to be united with Lord Shiva, she had unwittingly left the fire burning in the homam. The heat produced was so intolerable that all the living creatures jeeva rasigals prayed for divine intervention to cool the region. Shri Adi Shankaracharya took it upon himself to douse the fire using the Shri Ardhameru Chakra - a powerful round shaped half dome procured from Mount Meru itself.


Thousands throng to the Mangadu temple, especially on Fridays and Sundays. Maha Kumbhabhishekham (ritualistic bathing of the Shikara of the temple) was first performed in 1987 and thence in 2001 after a Raja Gopuram was built.


Ardent devotees invoke the blessings of the Goddess Kamakshi by calling her different avatars like this Tamil prayer:

Sath Guru Roopini Kamakshi (Kamakshi who now appears as the divine Teacher)
Sathya Swaroopini Kamakshi (Kamakshi is the fountainhead of Truth)
Chandra Mouleeswari Kamakshi (Kamakshi has the divine face of a Moon)
Saranam Saranam Kamakshi (Kamakshi - I surrender)

Mangadu Temple