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The Kalikambal temple is in the heart of old Madras, in George Town. Chatrapathi Sivaji worshipped Kalikambal when he visited Chennai on October 3rd 1677. He returned to his kingdom and won a battle. It is interesting to note that he attached the prefix Chatrapathi to his name only after worshipping the deity.
When Subramanya Bharathiar used to work in the Swadesamithran he made a ritualistic visit to the temple. He is supposed to have sung many songs here. Yathumakininrai kali is one such fine song.
This temple enshrines Kalikambal (Kamakshi) and Kamateswarar and a host of parivara devatas.
The history of the temple goes back to a few hundred years. It is said that the original location of this temple was closer to the sea shore and that it was relocated to its present location in 1640 AD during the period of British rule. It is also believed that a fierce ugra form of the Goddess was held in worship earlier, and that this form was replaced with the Shanta Swaroopa form of Kamakshi, along with a Meru in the recent past.
The entrance to the temple is through a modern Rajagopuram built and in the early 1980s. An inner mandapam leads to the east facing shrine to the festival image of Kalikambal, Utsava Periya Nayaki.
In the south western direction Siddhi Vinayaka poses imposingly to bless the devotees. In the western side of the sanctum sanctorum there are Kodi Maram, Tirusoolam , Dwara Palaka who pave way for the devotees.
There are also icons of Ahora Veerabhadra Swamy and Mahakali who wait to give darshan to the devotees. Ahora Veerabhadra Swamy assumes great significance on Pournami day- full moon garlanding him with betel leaves is said to nullify the malefic effects of the Navagrahas.
Icons of Kathirgama Murugan with his consorts Valli and Devasena are also part of the celestial congregation. There are shrines dedicated to Nagaraja, Virat Viswa ParaBrahma. Gayathri Devi, Durga inside the temple. In the South western part of the temple Lord Annamalayar poses with his divine consort Unnamalayar. There is a separate enclosure for navagrahas. A shrine dedicated to Veera brahma Sankarar who is the kula guru -head of the Viswakarmar is present in the temple. There is also a shrine dedicated to Lord Kamateswarar. Other deities like Mahavishnu, Kala Bhairavar, Dakshinamurthi, Chandra and Surya find a place in the temple.
The famous song Ullamurukuthayya song by T M Soundararajan was composed by Andavar Pitchai in this temple in 1952.This information has been recorded in the stone inscriptions.
The Kinnitter - a chariot lined with metal cymbals is unique to this temple, and the kinnitter procession in the month of Vaikasi attracts large crowds. The Navaratri and the Vasanta Navaratri festivals are also of a unique nature here.
Timings : Morning 6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Evening 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m
Location : 212, Thambu Chetty Street, Chennai-1.
Phone : +91-44-25229624