Thiruvallikeni is situated about 5 km from Chennai Egmore Railway Station in Chennai District. One of the 108 Divya Desams is situated here. Prime attraction is the Parthasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, believed to have been built by Pallava Kings.
Thiruvallikeni was once known for its dense groves which is well depicted in the songs of Thirumangai Aazhwar. In the Puranas it is called Brindharanyam (’Brindham’ meaning ‘Tulsi’ and ‘Aaranyam’ meaning ‘Forest’) because of the abundant Tulsi plants that surrounded this area. It was a place where the ponds or Keni were filled with Lilies and hence it got the name Thiruvallikeni.
· There are two dwajasthambams (flag post) one for Sri Parathasarathy and the other for Sri Narasimhar. Similarly there are two entrances one each for Prathasarathy (east) and for narasimhar (west).
· The Narasimhar is the shethra perumal (deity of Triuvallikeni)
· Perumals of the 5 divya desams – Thirupathi Venkatesa Perumal, Srirangam Ranganathar, Kancheepuram Varadarajar, Ahobilam Narasimhar and Ayodhi Ramar – are present in separate shrines.
· Vedavalli Thayar, seen in a separate sannidhi, is Ranganatha’s consort (The legend goes thus: Mahalakshmi, after a quarrel with Lord Narayana, came down to Brindaranyam, and took the form of a beautiful child. The child was named Vedavalli and was raised by the rishi Bhrigu. When she was of marriageable age, Lord Narayana came down to earth as a handsome prince. On seeing Him, Vedavalli referred to Him as Mannathan – `My husband.’ Bhrigu, realising who the young prince was, requested the Lord to remain there so that he could worship Him.
The Lord remained here as Ranganatha. Unlike the Ranganatha in Srirangam, the Ranganatha in Tiruvallikeni does not face south, but east.
Madhuman, son of a Sashivadan rishi, heard of the story of Rama from Gargeya rishi, upon whose advice, he came to Brindaranyam (Triuvallikeni). Here he performed penance for a darshan of Rama. The Lord obliged appearing with Sita Devi and His brothers Bharata, Shatrugna and Lakshmana. Rama here faces south probably to reassure Vibhishana that He is watching over him. The Varadar here is Gajendra Varadar, seated on Garuda ready to rush to the aid of His devotees. He appeared before Saptaroma rishi. The Narasimha has been described by Tirumangai Azhwar as Telliyasingar. He appeared before Atri maharishi.
The main deity is in the form of charioteer (In response to prayers of Chola king Sumathirajan to Lord Venkatesa of Thirumala to appear before him as Arjuna’s charioteer) so as per tradition, has a big moustache. In the main shrine the lord gives dharshan with his complete family, which cannot be seen anywhere else, his consort Rukmani, elder brother Balaramar, younger brother Satyaki, son Pradhyumna and grandson Anirudha.
·Since Krishna promised not to take any weapons in his hands during the Mahabharatha war, he is seen here with Sangu (in his right hand) only (without the Chakra). His left hand is in Varadha hastam. Lord carriers a sword and a dragger, the sword is not a weapon of war in the conventional sense, but it is to drive away our ignorance and the dragger is a gift by the East India Company when the temple was under their administration.
Only temple where the lord is seen as the Gitacharyan.The moolarvar is standing on Anantha (the five headed snake)
The Utsava murthy bears scars supposed to be from the arrows of Bheeshmar, when he was the charioteer to Arjuna in the Mahabharatha war (the legend goes thus: the gold smith in-charge for making the murthy used to finish the work and retire and in the morning would see scars in the face, this went for couple of times. The tradesman was disturbed and prayed to the lord for forgiveness. That night when the tradesman was asleep the lord appeared in his dream and instructed him to leave the idol with scares as that was how he looked in the battle field).