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Sowmya Damodara Perumal Temple

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Chennai can be called temple city as it abounds in temples. Villivakkam, a vibrant locality in north Chennai, is the abode of Sowmya Damodara Perumal and his divine consort Amirthavalli Thayar. Situated at a vantage point, this temple has a hoary past.
It is believed that this temple is more than 600 years old and many rulers have contributed to its growth. This place is also called Konnur. Why? Sage Athri's son Dhurva married Asuvamukhi (Surapadman's sister). Their two sons Ilvalan and Vatapi became demonic and troubled everybody. Sage Agasthya, known for his strength and valour, destroyed them and restored peace in this world. Since this sage killed (koll) them in this place, it came to be called Konnur.

Why is the Almighty called Sowmya Damodaran? Sowmya means beautiful. In Gokulam, Yasodha tied Lord Krishna to grinding stone (ural) and called him Damodaran. Since he looked bewitching tied to the stone, he is called Sowmya Damodaran. Damodaran is one of the 12 names - nama - of the Lord.

The temple deity flashes an enchanting smile and looks stunning. Amirthavalli Thayar poses effulgently in a separate enclosure.

The divine set-up in the temple consists of Ramanujar, Garudazhwar, Rama, Krishna and Andal. The temple buzzes with spiritual activities and festivities throughout the year. There is a holy tank near the temple.

This is a prarthana sthalam and devotees throng the temple during the Brahmotsavam which occurs in the the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May 15 to June 15). The temple authorities have deceided to build a rajagopuram for this temple.

Temple timings:
6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

(from archives.chennaionline.com)​
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