I chanced upon these twin temples near the kapaleshwarar koil in Mylapore. Next to the Big Kulam we see the market on the northern Side and beyond this is the Chitrakulam a once heavenly pond with lotuses but now dirty green .One street away you can see the twin towers of the Srinivasa perumal and the
Keshava perumal temple. It is about 300 years old and is built in the hoysala style by King Krishnadevaraya. The temple has lovely Sculptures in the Vijayanagara style. The main Diety here is kesavaperumal. Legend says that Bhrigu was performing a yagna here and an asura disturbed it. When the Rishis appealed to Lord Vishnu he emanated from the Homa kunda and destroyed the Asura. He also stayed put here and ensured protection.He had such great locks that he was called “Keshava” the good haired one. As is obvious this is a tengalai Temple. Presiding deity- Aadhikesava perumal
Pey azhwar who is one of the 12 azhwars (mystique poets) was born here.
Mention about this hallowed spot is found in Brindaranya Kshetra of Garudapuranam. Once Mahavishnu mitigated the sufferings of Suryan who is also called Aadhityan. Since Kesavan blessed Aadhityan he is called Aadhi kesavan. Aadhi also means first in the world. So many say this is the first Kesava temple
Legends with the Chitrakulam tank
There was a rivulet that connected Triplicane and Mylapore several centuries ago.Since the origin of the river was at Kairavani Pushkarini it came to be called Kairavani Neerodai. The rivulet was full of fragrant flowers like lily and lotus.The other end of the rivulet was another holy pond which is now the temple tank of Lord Parthasarathy which is also called Kairavni pushkarini.
Chandra’s papa vimochanam
Once a curse befell Chandran ( moon).. Mahavishnu in order to bless chandran asked all the holy rivers of India to confluence at kairavani pushkarini and help chandran to get rid off his curse.The rivers obeyed Mahavishnu and flowed to Kairavani pushkarini. Chandran had a holy dip at the holy waters and propitiated the lord thus the holy water is called Sarva Theertham. Since Chandran got rid off his curse it is called Chandra Pushkarini.Over the years it came to be called as Chitra Pushkarni but now it is called as Chitrakulam.
Shivas Papa vimochanam
Lord Shiva plucked one of the four heads of Brahma because he thought Brahma was arrogant. Shiva was cursed with brahma hathi dosha . Shiva at once propitiated Aadh Kesavan by observing penance . Shiva was redeemed of his curse at this hallowed spot and thus this spot is called Rudrapuri.
The Door way has Floral artwork signifying lotuses and perinneal rivers Ganga and Yamuna
The temple faces east .When you enter the temple adikesava perumal has a seperated sannidhi in standing posture with four hands with sangu chakram in his hands. He offers abhayam(shelter)to us.
To the right of the main sanidhi is mayuravalli thayaar in a separate sannidhi mayuravalli(as mylapore was called as mayurapuri earlier) thayaar in sitting posture blesses people with wealth and health.
Behind the thayar sannidhi ,
Chakarathazhwar with yoga narashimhar,
Andal,Anjaneyar,have separate sannidhis in the temple,
(photos courtesy aparna’s album from picasa mylapore walks till I can post my own http://aparna-a.com/2010/04/02/mylapore-temples-walk/)