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Kapaleeswara
Temple Kapaleswara temple is situated at Mylapore in Chennai {Madras}. Its ornate gopuram tower is a riot of color, matched only by the vivid saris of worshippers at the three-hundred-year-old temple. The government Museum displays fine bronzes of Hindu deities created by artisans of the Chola period (ninth through thirteenth centuries) which bespeak the devotions of the time, so similar to those of today.

SHREE GUJARATI SWETAMBER

Gujarati Swetamber Murtipujak Jain Mandir is one of the most important Jain Mandirs (temples) in the city. The first Jain temple in South India with 3 gopurams and 5 doors, it has marble carvings based on the principle of the famous 'Dilwara' temples. The main deity of the temple is Lord Parsvanatha who is the 23rd Tirthankara in Jainism.

The tempe is built only of marble and does not contain any ironwork. For its construction, architects, carvers and workers were brought in from Rajasthan.

According to Jain scriptures the colour of God was green. So in order to have a special idol made, quartz was selected from the Chellur mines near Tumkur, Karnataka. The idol was made with tools used for cutting precious stones like diamonds.

The main prayer hall has exquisite glass work, a rare sight in South India.

Another unique feature of this Jain temple is that Jain acharyas (priests) walk all the way from North India to visit and stay here for 'Chatur Masa'. ('Chatur Masa' is a period of four months when Jain acharyas stay and give discourses on Jainism to the devotees).

SRI PAARTHASAARATHY TEMPLE

This temple that dates back to the 8th century, is dedicated to Lord Krishna who took on the role of a charioteer (saarathy) to Arjuna also known as Partha.

The temple houses five avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu.

Originally built by the Pallavas, the temple underwent several modifications across the centuries. At various times the French, the Dutch and the Golconda rulers occupied the temple as a battle imperative.

This most important temple to Vishnu in Chennai, has a December festival that is a highlight in the Chennai events calendar.

THOUSAND LIGHTS MOSQUE

At the meeting point of Mount Road and Peters Road, stands one of the city's most important mosques.

It is referred to as the Thousand Lights Mosque because of the legend that over one thousand lamps had to be used to light up the Assembly Hall which stood at this same spot.

This multi-domed mosque, with sayings from the Holy Koran painted on its walls, comes alive during the annual Moharram

WALLAJAH MOSQUE

Referred to as the Big mosque (for obvious reasons) it was built by the Wallajah family in 1795 in memory of the Nawab. The present Prince of Arcot is closely associated with this shrine even today.

Built without steel or wood, this magnificent grey granite edifice at Triplicane is the most important Muslim shrine in Chennai.

 

ST ANDREW'S CHURCH

St. Andrew's Church, Egmore, popularly referred to as 'The Kirk' is one of the finest specimens of Georgian architecture in Asia. Consecrated in 1821, it is part of the Church of South India and was erected basically for the Scottish Community in Chennai. Major Thomas Fort de Havilland and Colonel James Caldwell were the moving force behind the construction of this church.

Modelled on the plan for St.Martin's Lane (London), St.Andrew's has a dome, which is fifty one and half feet in diameter on the inside, and this is supported by sixteen fluted, Corinthian columns. This dome was constructed using the 'Syrian masonry' technique. It is believed to be one of the few in the world to be supported by columns of this height.The mahogany woodwork and the chequered black and white marble floor add to the elegance of this church.

Maestros like Victor Paranjothi and Handel Manuel have led the congregation in worship here, with their music.


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