The powerful Kalikambal Temple of Chennai

Hari Om

The Kalikambal temple is in the heart of Chennai, in George Town. This temple enshrines Kalikambal (Kamakshi) and Kamateswarar (Shivji) and a host of other deities.

The Kalikambal

The history of the temple dates back to a few hundred years. It is said that the original location of this temple was closer to the Bay of Bengal (sea shore) and that it was relocated to its present location in 1640 AD during the period of British rule. The temple is said to have been built by the Viswakarma clan and they are said to be closely associated with the Temple even to this date.

Chatrapathi Shivaji worshipped Kalikambal when he visited Chennai in 1677. (A portrait of Shivaji on horseback hangs at the temple even now and below it a board that commemorates the visit. It gives the date of the visit as October 3, 1677). It is believed that He returned to his kingdom and won a battle. It is fascinating to note that he came to be called as Chatrapathi after worshipping the Kalikambal deity of this Temple.

Inside the Temple, we can see the icons of Sri Ahora Veerabhadra Swamy and Mahakali. Icons of Karthikeyan with his consorts Valli and Devasena are also part of the celestial congregation. There are separate shrines dedicated to Nagaraja, Virat Viswa ParaBrahma. Gayathri Devi, Durgamataji inside the temple. In the South western sector of the temple Lord Annamalayar poses with his divine consort Unnamalayar. There is a separate enclosure for Navagrahas (Nine planetary deities).

A dedicated shrine to Sri Veera Brahma Sankarar who is the kula guru – head of the Viswakarmar is seen in the temple. There is also a shrine dedicated to Lord Kamateswarar (Shivji). Other deities like Mahavishnu, Kala Bhairavar, Dakshinamurthi, Chandra and Surya are also present in the temple.

When the great Tamil poet, ‘Mahakavi’ Subramanya Bharathiar was in Chennai working for Swadesamithran magazine he used to visit regularly and offered prayers and rituals to Sri Kalikambal at this Temple. He is supposed to have sung many songs here. Yathumakininrai kali is one such fine song. Poet Bharathiar was a frequent visitor according to the writings on the temple walls. The temple has also seen patronage from peoples of various strata of society. Today its patronage has risen to great numbers.

 The Temple’s chariot ‘Kinni ther’ lined with metal cymbals is something special one of its kind to this temple, and the kinnitter procession in the month of Vaikasi draws huge crowds of devotees. The Navaratri and the Vasanta Navaratri festivals are also of a unique nature here. The Temple is located in Thambu (Chetty) Street, George Town, Chennai 600001

Temple Timings The temple is open from 5:00 AM till 12 noon and from 4:00 pm till 9:00 pm

May we all receive the bountiful and choicest Blessings of Sri Kalikambal for security, peace and happiness.

GF’ Blessings.