Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai
Ashtalakshmi Temple located near Besant Nagar beach is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and her 8 forms. Ashtalakshmi is considered as the giver of wealth, success, knowledge, prosperity, courage and food. The shrine was built on the wishes of Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal and sanctification of temple happened in 1976.
The complex was constructed in a manner to represent the shape of one of the most sacred symbols for Hindus, the Om. The complex is said to be inspired by the Sundararaja Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur and was built according to the “Ashtanga Vimana (eight parts)” style. In the temple, visitors can see the eight forms of Goddess Lakshmi installed in different sanctums at four levels.
The shrine dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu is on the second level. This is the first and the main shrine the devotees are lead to from the entrance. They then take the stairs that lead to the third level of the sanctum and has the shrines of Gajalakshmi, Santhanalakshmi, Vidyalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi.
The fourth level consists of a shrine maintained only for Dhanalakshmi. Outside the main shrine, there are shrines of Dhaanya Lakshmi, Aadi Lakshmi, and Dhairya Lakshmi all on the first level. Every floor also consists of avatars of Lord Vishnu in various postures – standing, sitting and resting. In addition to this, a standing idol of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi can be spotted on the first floor.
The temple also consists of a 5.5-foot gold-plated Kalasam on top of the sanctum sanctorum which holds the idol of Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi as the supreme deity of the temple along with 32 other newly installed Kalasam.
A large number of devotees can be seen here during Hindu festivals like Navratri, Gokulashtami, Deepavali, and Pongal. Moreover, the Pooja that is held in the evening is worth watching. Apart from locals, you can also witness tourists flocking in from different parts of the world to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the temple.