Poonamallee called as Pooviruntha Valli or Poontha Malli in Tamil is situated near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It used to be a small village once. As the place is abundant in flowers, it is also called as Pushparanya Kshethram.
The place was earlier known as Kuzha Kaani Pakkathu Agaram and Poonthan Mallai.
There are two big temples in this area.
Sri Varada Raja Perumal Temple
This temple is ascribed to the worship of Sri Maha Vishnu. It is associated with Sri Thirukkachi Nambi Alwar as it is his birth place. The temple is also known as Pillai Koil and Nedunchezhiya Vinnagaram.
It is believed that this temple might have been built in Chola Era in 10th Century AD. The temple also had the patronage of Vijaya Nagara Kings and Nayakars.
The Raja gopuram is five tiered. It is facing west.
Right in front of the Raja gopuram, there is a temple tank. The temple tank is called as Garuda Pushkarini.
The main sanctum can be reached once we are past the Dwaja Sthambam and Bali Peedam. The entrance to the main sanctum is from the southern side.
Sri Maha Vishnu at the main sanctum is called as Sri Varada Raja Perumal. He is in the standing position facing west and is flanked by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. It is believed that Bhagwan Surya and Graha Angaraka had worshipped Sri Varada Raja Swamy at this place. In Masi month (February – March), the sun rays fall on the face of Sri Varada Raja Swamy for three consecutive days.
The vimanam of the main sanctum is called as Punyakoti vimanam.
His consort Sri Mahalakshmi is called as Sri Pushpavalli Thayar. She is facing west and is directly opposite Sri Varada Raja Perumal.
Sri Ranganathar is in a separate sanctum facing west; At the base of the vigraha, the kurma avathar of Sri Maha Vishnu is depicted.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal is facing east in a separate sanctum and is accompanied by His consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi.
As per the legend, both Sri Varada Raja Swamy and Sri Ranganathar had said to give darshan to Sri Thiru Kachi Nambi at this place.
The Dasha Avatharam of Sri Maha Vishnu are depicted in the walls.
There are dedicated shrines for Sri Ranganathar, Sri Srinivasa Perumal, Sri Kalinga Narthana Krishnan, Sri Anjaneya, Sri Andal, Sri Thirukachi Nambigal and Sri Alavandar.
Jasmine tree is the sthala vruksham of the temple. The Unjal Mandapam in the temple is said to be built by Sri Achyuthappa Nayaka.
Thiru Kachi Urchavam is conducted in Feb-March. Annual Brahmotsavam is held in May-June.
The temple is open from 06.30 A.M to 11.30 A.M and from 04.30 P.M to 08.30 P.M.
The Puja rituals consist of Viswaroopam at 06.00 A.M, followed by Kaala Santhi Puja at 08.00 A.M, Thirumanjanam at 10.00 A.M, Uchi Kala Puja at 11.30 A.M and Sayaratchai Puja at 06.00 P.M. The timings may differ during festivals.
Sri Vaitheeswaran Temple
This temple situated at Poonamallee is ascribed for the worship of Bhagwan Shiva. This is one of the Navagraha Sthala temples in Chennai. It is believed that worshipping at this temple alleviates ill influences of mars deficiency in horoscope.
The presiding Deity is Sri Vaitheeswaran and Sri Parvathi Devi is worshipped as Sri Thaiyal Nayaki Ambal. Sri Vaitheeswaran is facing east; The Dwara Palaks at the entrance of the main sanctum are named as Thindi and Mundi.
Just outside the main sanctum, we have the darshan of Sri Alagu Vinayakar and the footprint of Angaraka, the Mars Deity.
Sri Thaiyal Nayaki is facing south.
The Rajagopuram of the temple is three tiered and is on the northern side. The walls under the Rajagopuram have ornate sculptures. Soon on entrance, we get to have the darshan of Sri Muruga and Sri Vinayak on either side.
The Dwaja Sthambam and Bali Peedam are before the Maha Mandapam. The Nandi is called as Sri Vishnu Nandhi.
In the main sanctum, in the parikrama, we are blessed with the darshan of Sri Narthana Vinayaka, Sri Dakshina Murthy, Sri Brahma, Sri Chandikeshwara and Sri Durga. It is believed that Sri Adi Sankaracharya had established three chakras at the sanctum namely, Sri Chakram, Subramanya Chakram and Shanmuka Chakram.
There are dedicated small shrines for Sri Surya Deva, Sri Pillayar, Sri Viswanathar and Sri Visalakshi, Sri Kumbeshwarar, Sri Kailasa Nathar, Sri Annapoorani, Sri Maha Lingeshwarar, Sri Mahalakshmi, Sri Adi Sankarar, Sri Bhairavar and Sri Nalvar. There is also a sanctum for navagrahas.
There is a vigraha of Sri Karlakattai Siddhar on a pillar and He is believed to be associated with the temple.
In the northern side of the outer precinct, bana lingam is consecrated.
Sri Saneeshwar is in a separate sanctum near Eastern Gopuram. He is called as Viduthalai Shani. Nala and Damayanthi are depicted in His presence.
Special Pujas are done on Tuesdays. It is believed that from 21st to 25th day of Masi month, the sun-rays fall on Shiv Ling at sunrise. During that time, special Surya Puja is done.
The Sthala Vruksham of this temple is the palm tree. The temple tank is called as Vinai Theertha Kulam.
The temple is open from 06.00 A.M to 12.30 P.M and from 05.00 P.M to 08.30 P.M. The temple is also hailed as Uthara Vaitheeswaran Temple.
Poonamallee can be reached by bus from any part of Chennai. Taxis / Autos can also be booked.