(Last Updated on : 08/08/2012)
Sri Varadarajasvami Temple is one of the significant temples in the small village of Poondamallee. Many areas near Chennai are birth-places (venerated as the avatara-sthalas) of the renowned Srivaishnava Azhvars and Acharyas like Tirumazhisai (remembered as the birth-place of Tirumazhisai Azhvar).In Poondamallee, Pushpapuri Kshetram, is a sanctified place where is erected a beautiful temple for Sri Varadaraja Perumal. It is situated near the main market and bus-terminus. Devotees visiting this temple can have darshan of Lord Varadaraja, Lord Ranganatha and Lord Srinivasa, all enshrined in separate sanctums inside the large enclosure of the same temple-complex of Sri Varadarajasvami.
Sri Varadarajasvami Temple is famous as a legendary and antique temple dedicated to Lord Varadaraja Perumal. However the legendary stories associated with this temple endowed it with a dignified majesty. The temple has its entrance via a large pillared mandapa which leads to the principal sanctum enshrining Lord Varadaraja facing east. According to the Sthala-Purana (temple-legend) and other legendary stories Lord Varadaraja gave darshan to Sri Tirukkacchi Nambi, His ardent devotee during sunrise and hence the main image or moolavar is made with a structure representing Surya Prabha around His head. The deity here is seen with four-hands, holding the conch (sankha) and discus (chakra) in His upper hands with the lower right hand in the posture of abhaya hasta. This gesture representing protection offered by Him to His followers and lower left hand in made in the posture of kati hasta (resting on His thigh) and flanked by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. The imposing image of Lord Varadaraja Perumal is made up following the legendary story associated with the temple. The vimana under which the deity is enshrined is known as Punyakoti Vimana just like the one in the Sri Varadarajasvami temple, Kanchipuram. The name of the temple conforms to the legendary story as described in the Sthala Purana of this place. In a row in front of this shrine are the stone and bronze images of the twelve Azhvars. Thus the legends provide a splendid dignity to this antique temple situated in Poondamallee.