This large temple is not to be confused with the Chenna Malleeswara Swami Temple.
I hope to do a detailed article on this shrine one of these days. But having read about it at several places (and all of them say the same things – that it is located between Linghi and Thambu Chetty Streets and that it is below road level), I was curious to visit and worship there.
The learned Karthik Bhatt and I called on the Lord and his consort Maragathambal yesterday. He,(by which I mean the Lord and not the Bhatt), had adapted well to the English from what I can see, taking on names such as Molly Cajun and Malikeezar during the Raj. Unfortunately, my camera died out on me and so not many photos.
Incidentally, this to-do about the fact that the temple is below road level is rather odd, for it appears that it was always so and not sunk in the last few years. The 16 pillared hall that fronts the temple is on road level and a flight of steps, with curving bannisters lead you down into the courtyard. These steps are clearly of some antiquity. The temple has a tank whose steps are in pristine condition but alas no water. It also has a locked up Nandavanam.
Navaratri is celebrated here with gusto. I rather suspect that Molly Cajun has a weakness for film songs going by the kind of raucous and rather raunchy music that was being played outside the shrine. But then, to each his own. The temple was evidently a Beri Chetty favourite for they have endowed it several times with land and houses.
It is my idea of a temple. Around 1925, it had 14 Devadasis attached to it. I knew them all by name (taken from a list that is) but now alas, I have forgotten them.