Ashtalakshmi Temple

Weather :

Timings : 6:30 AM - 12:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday- Morning hours: 6:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Free

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai Overview

Ashtalakshmi Temple is located in Besant Nagar, a few meters away from the Besant beach on the coast of the gorgeous Bay of Bengal. Ashtalakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Knowledge resides here and blesses everyone who visits the temple to offer their prayers with a clean soul. The continuous sound of the ocean waves echo in the temple complex and instantly inculcate an aura of peace. The grandiosity of the place can be estimated from the fact that nearly 7 million rupees were spent on the renovation of the temple and over 1.6 million rupees on conducting a religiously important Hindu ceremony named, Jeernotharana Ashtabandana Mahakumbhabhishekam.

The Ashtalakshmi Temple complex is built to worship eight avatars of Goddess Lakshmi namely Wealth, Success, Prosperity, Bravery, Courage, Knowledge, Food and Offspring. It was built when Sri Maha Periyaval or the Sage of Kanchi Mutt, Sri Chandrasekara Saraswati Swamigal had wished for it to be constructed. The followers willingly agreed and laid the foundation with utmost devotion. Goddess Lakshmi is known for granting Ashtama Siddhi and Astha Iswaryam which mean eightfold achievements and wealth respectively.


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History of Ashtalakshmi Temple

Ashtalakshmi Temple was built on the wishes of Sri Chandrasekara Saraswati Swamigal, who was the Maha Periyaval of Kanchi Mutt. The foundation of the temple complex was laid down by the followers in 1974. A sanctification ceremony was celebrated on 5th April 1976 in the presence of Ahobila Mutt Vedhantha Dhesika Yatheendhra Mahadhesikan Swami. It is believed that the region where the temple has been built facing the Bay of Bengal is the birthplace of Goddess Lakshmi.

According to ancient Vedas, when the ocean was swirled during Samudra Manthan by the Devas and Asuras, Goddess Lakshmi who endows wealth and prosperity to her devotees surfaced. It is believed that Mahavishnu, who married Goddess Lakshmi, also married the eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi and they together dwell inside the temple. Hence the name Ashtalakshmi (eight forms of Lakshmi).  

Architecture of Ashtalakshmi Temple

The huge temple complex with length and breadth of nearly 65 feet and 45 feet respectively, stands gracefully adorning the intricate and colourful sanctorum. The complex was constructed in a manner to represent the shape of one of the most sacred symbols for Hindus, the Om. The complex is said to be inspired by the Sundhararaja Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur and was built according to the "Ashtanga Vimana (eight parts)" style.

This ancient temple was built according to the "Ashtanga Vimana (eight parts)" style. The Ashtalakshmi temple comprises of four levels. The shrine dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu is on the second level. This is the first and the main shrine the devotees are lead to from the entrance. They then take the stairs that lead to the third level of the sanctum and has the shrines of Gajalakshmi, Santhanalakshmi, Vidyalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi. The fourth level consists of a shrine maintained only for Dhanalakshmi. Outside the main shrine, there are shrines of Dhaanya Lakshmi, Aadilakshmi and Sharyalakshmi all on the first level.

Every floor also consists of avatars of Lord Vishnu in various postures - standing, sitting and resting. In addition to this, a standing idol of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi can be spotted on the first floor. The temple also consists of a 5.5-foot gold-plated Kalasam on top of the sanctum sanctorum which holds the idol of Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi as the supreme deity of the temple along with 32 other newly installed Kalasam.

Ashtalakshmi Temple Pooja Timings

Suprapadham- 6:30 AM
Kalasandhi- 8:00 AM
Noon Pooja, Uchikalam- 12:00 PM
Evening Pooja, Sayarakcha- 6:00 PM
Night Pooja, Iravu Pooja- 7:30 PM
Arthajama Pooja- 9:00 PM

Festivals Celebrated at Ashtalakshmi Temple

Navaratri: Navaratri is celebrated for nine days in the month of October every year. The nine days are devoted to the auspicious nine avatars of Goddess Durga.

Pavitra Ursavam:
Pavitra Ursavam is an annual pooja performed for five days to rectify the mistakes in poojas performed on other days. It is considered to be of religious importance and many believers flock the temple during these five days to seek Goddess Lakshmi's blessings.

Markazhi month:
The Markazi month is considered an auspicious month for spiritual and religious services. It is celebrated from 14th December to 14th January every year and the last day of the month is the festival of Makar Sankranti that Hindus celebrate on 14th January. During this month, the temple is open 05:00 IST onwards for devotees.

Gokulastami:
This day marks the birth of Lord Krishna. Special poojas are performed at the temple on the first day and on the second day; the idol of the deity is taken out to celebrate Lord Krishna's childhood days.

Deepawali:
The festival of lights is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The entire temple complex is lit with heartwarming lights and the deities are given holy baths. The day of Lakshmi Poojan is of great importance as it is the day that Goddess Lakshmi appeared from the ocean during Samudra Manthan. Devotees flock the temple to participate in the Sri Lakshmi Kubera Homam and Thirukalyanam for Goddess Mahalakshmi and Lord Vishnu.

Kartigai:
On the day of Kartigai, the deities are given oil baths and no other festival is celebrated for 48 days. Devotees lit ghee lamps and perform poojas on this day.

New Year (1st January):
The New year is celebrated with great enthusiasm as thousands of devotees want to start their year with the blessings of Goddess Mahalakshmi. The temple opens at 3:00 PM on this day every year.

Best Time To Visit Ashtalakshmi Temple

The best time to visit the Ashtalaskmi Temple is between November and February as the weather is pleasant during winters and the monsoons can be avoided.  

Tips For Visiting Ashtalakshmi Temple

1. The Pooja and worship timings may change during the festival season.  
2. Carry enough water to stay hydrated.
3. There are kiosks nearby to purchase holy offerings.
4. You could carry enough change to either pay or donate at the temple.
5. Early mornings are the best time to avoid the crowd and long lines. Visiting the temple on Sundays and festival or bank holidays can also be avoided to avoid the rush.
6. Visitors are responsible for their own belongings.
7. Wear conservative clothes and avoid short and revealing clothing.

How To Reach Ashtalakshmi Temple

The Ashtalakshmi temple is situated at a distance of 10 km from central Chennai. The most optimal way to reach the temple is through a taxi which charges around INR 100 for 4 km. Private and Tourist vehicles can also be driven to the beautiful temple complex.

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