Aadhi Kesava Perumal Temple

April 27, 2009, Chennai

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The temple town of Mylapore is the abode of several deities who are blessing mankind abundantly.

One such temple is Aadhi Kesava perumal temple near chitrakulam in Mylapore. It is a very ancient shrine dedicated to Adhikesava perumal.

Presiding deity- Aadhikesava perumal
Thayar- Mayuravalli
Periazhwar who is one of the 12 azhwars (mystique poets) was born here.

Mention about thus hallowed spot is found in Brindaranya Kshetra of Garudapuranam.

Mayurapuri Patnam

Mylapore was known as Mayurapuripatnam in olden days. Sage Brighu conducted yaga on the banks of Kairavani –a holy pond now called Chitrakulam. There were several sages to assist him. Devas were happy with the Yaga.

One day while the Yaga was in progress Madhu a demon was angry with the sage as he thought that the yaga was performed to wipe out the Rakshasa (demon)race .

Madhu troubled the sages and chased them away. They could do nothing to Brighu as he had gained immense powers through meditation.

Sages Inform Brahma

The sages informed about the activities of the demon to Brahma. The four headed Brahma opined that the best way to solve the problem is to propitiate Mahavishnu.

Thus the sages worshipped Mahavishnu who appeared before them and consoled them. He asked them to proceed to the yagasala perform the yaga and observe penance. Thus Brighu started the yaga once again in the presence of the Rishis.

On an auspicious hour Mahavishnu appeared from the Yaga Kundam with his divine consort Lakshmi and destroyed the demons and protected the Rishis.


Mahavishnu wore a crown studded with precious gems when he appeared from the yaga kundam. His dark beautiful hair –Kesam was glowing.

Thus he is called Kesavan because of his glowing hair.

Devas and sages offered their prayers to him. There is another legend which says that since he destroyed a demon Kesi he is called Kesavan.

He is also called Sayana kesavan as he appeared from sayana yaga performed by sage Brighu.

umangan was a king who belonged to the solar race. As desired by the king the lord appeared before him on garuda and gave a flag Mayuram to the king. Thus he is called Mayura kesavan.

Aadhi Kesavan

Once Mahavishnu mitigated the sufferings of Suryan who is also called Aadhityan. Since Kesavan blessed Aadhityan he is called Aadhi kesavan. Aadhi means first in the world. When gajendra, the elephant was caught by the crocodile he shouted Aadhi moolame and prayed to almighty to protect him.

Thus Aaadhi Moolame refers to Aadhi Kesavan.

How did Aadhi Kesavan find a place in Mylapore.

Chandran is cursed

A curse befell Chandran ( moon). After roaming aimlessly he came to Mylapore. Mahavishnu in order to bless chandran asked al the holy rivers of India to confluence at kairavani pushkariniand help chandran to get rid off his curse.

Chitrakulam – Sarva Theertham

The rivers obeyed Mahavishnu and flowed to Kairavani pushkarini. Chandran had a holy dip at the holy waters and propitiated the lord. All the rivers requested the lord to bless them and returned to their respective places. Aadhikesavan requested all the rivers to stay back with him at Mayurapuri. All the holy rivers confluences here for some time. All the rivers means Sarva Theertham, blessed Chandran 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.


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. as Shiva is called Rudra.

Birth Place of Periazhwar

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.

(To be contd)