Chennai: In the busy narrow lane of Shanmuganar Salai in Thiruvalluvarpuram, Choolaimedu, is present an Ayyappan temple. It is located very close to the Vembu Vinayakar Temple.
Sri Arulmigu Ayyappan Aalayam came into existence in 1976. “There was only a small thatched roof under which Lord Ayyappa idol, along with Vinayakar and Murugan on either side was placed till early 1980s. It was only after that with the help of devotees, the temple was built and kumbhabhishekam performed,” says temple priest Venkatachalam.
“Totally, three kumbhabhishekams have been performed in the temple, with the last one in December 2016,” he adds.
Inside the sanctum, Lord Ayyappa is present facing east, and adjacent to him is the utsavamurthi. On either side of the sanctum, Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga are placed.
Placed on the right wall from the sanctum are idols of Lord Siva, Ambal, Perumal and Anjaneyar. By facing south, Siva and the goddess are called Dharmeshwarar and Dharmeswari. Monthly twice Pradosha pooja takes place. During Vinayaka Chathurthi and Panguni, special abhishekams are performed for Vinayaka and Muruga.
The temple’s special festival is the five-day mahotsavam that takes place from the start of Margazhi. During the Ayyappan season, in the months of Karthigai, Margazhi and Thai, special poojas are performed in the temple. “During the five-day mahotsavam, Lord Ayyappa will also be taken on a procession and annadhanam is arranged every day,” says the priest.
“During Panguni Uthiram, Ayyappan in Sabarimala will be taken for neeradal in the Pamba river. Similarly, here, the utsavamuthi is taken to the beach; after that ashtabhishekam is performed. In December, on prathishta day, samvastra abhishekam is performed. During Makara Jothi, a lamp is lit in the temple,” explains the priest.
The temple is open from 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 8.30 pm.