Hi! By the way, I was in the last phase of my exciting trip in Chennai. The large number of temples in Chennai is a proof enough that it is a very religious city. Wherever you go, you can see temples and a large number of devotees. Among the temples that I have visited in Chennai, Ashtalakshmi Kovil Temple was one that enchanted us with its architectural beauty.
It is located on the Elliot’s Beach and has the Bay of Bengal on its side. The foundation for the temple was laid in 1974 and the Kumbhabhishekam was done on the 5th of April in 1976. While visiting the beach we had the opportunity to pay a visit to the temple.
The temple is open from 6.30 to 12 noon and then from 4.00 pm to 8.30 pm. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays it remains open till 12.30 pm in the morning. The temple is dedicated to Mahalakshmi in eight forms, which attained the name Ashtalakshmi to the temple. The eight forms are Adhi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Shanta Lakshmi and Dhana Lakshmi.
The temple is built in the shape of ‘AUM’ and is therefore known as Omkharakshetra. There are four levels in the temple and steps leading to each floor. On the first floor, we saw the main shrine with the idols of Mahalakshmi and Mahavishnu. Here they are in the standing posture, facing the east. From the first floor, steps lead to the second floor, where there are the shrines of Vijayalakshmi, Shantalakshmi, Gajalakshmi and Vidyalakshmi. On the fourth floor, there is only one shrine dedicated to Dhanalakshmi. After visiting the fourth floor we went down to the first level, where we saw the shrines of Dhanyalakshmi, Dhairyalakshmi and Aadilakshmi.
The temple has shrines dedicated to other deities such as Ganesha, Guruvayoorappan, Dhanwanthari, Anjaneyar and the ten avtars of Vishnu. From the top of the temple, we had a beautiful view of the sea and the beach and the wind blowing from the sea felt fresh and cool. After taking a round of the temple and visiting all the shrines, we came out, feeling blessed by the Goddess and Lord Vishnu.