CHENNAI: One of the larger temples in the Broadway area in Chennai, dedicated to Adikesava Perumal, also known as Pazhaiya Udaiyavar Kovil, is situated on Acharappan Street. It is said that this street is thus called as Acharyasvami’s (Ramanuja Acharya, the pre-eminent preceptor of the Vaishnavites) shrine is located in this temple.
The five-tiered gopuram at the entrance is one of the tallest in this area. The main image of Adikesava Perumal is in a standing posture with four arms, flanked by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. His upper arms hold the sankha (conch) and chakra (discus), while the lower right hand is in abhaya hasta (assuring devotees not to fear) and left lower hand is in kati hasta (resting on the waist). Close to the Perumal sanctum is a shrine for Ramanuja Acharya facing south. The image is made of fig wood (atti maram in Tamil).
Incidentally, the original image of Vishnu in the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kanchipuram was made of fig wood. The other shrines in this temple are for Rama, Srinivasa Perumal, Bhakta Hanuman, Azhvars (twelve important devotees of Vishnu), Andal, the Vaishnava preceptor Alavandar (Yamunacharya), Lakshmi Hayagriva, Kannan (Krishna) and Vira-Sanjeevi Anjaneya who is seen trampling a demon under his feet.
There is a shrine for Ugra Narasimha with Hiranyakasipu on his lap. This image is actually a sculpture at the base of a pillar which has been covered with brass plating (kavacham). The pillar with the image of Ugra Narasimha, is one among many found in the Dasavatara mandapam which has carvings of the other incarnations (avataras) of Vishnu on the other pillars.
Name of Goddess
Lakshmi is worshipped in this temple as Yathirajavalli Thayar
Code of worship
This temple follows the rules of the Vaikhanasa Agama
There is a rare image of Ramanuja Acharya, the famous Vasishnava preceptor
Name of Vimanam
The superstructure above the sanctum is called Ananda Vimanam.