Soundararaja Perumal Temple, Somangalam, Kanchipuram
Soundararaja Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Somangalam Village in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. This Temple looks similar to Kerala type temple. This Temple is located very near to Somanatheswarar Temple. Presiding Deity is called as Soundararaja Perumal, who is seen in a standing posture with the upper hands holding the conch and the discus, the lower right hand in abhaya hasta and the left resting on the hip (kati hasta).
The deity is flanked by Goddesses Sridevi and Bhoodevi. The other Utsava murtis in this sanctum are Narthana Krishna, Vishwaksenar, Sudarsana and Anjaneya. In the vestibule (antarala) connecting the main shrine with the mandapam in front are the stone images of Vishwaksenar, Nammazhwar, Andal and Ramanujar. Opposite the central sanctum is the shrine of Garuda. There is only one circumambulatory passage (prakaram) in this temple which is quite wide and spacious.
Herein are seen a number of sanctums, the most important being that of Goddess Lakshmi worshipped here as Soundaravalli Thayar. A neatly maintained garden (Nandavanam) skirts the compound of the temple. The most eye-catching feature, which can be seen as soon as one enters the temple, is the main mandapam. With its tiled roof and woodwork supporting it, the visitors are reminded of the Kerala temples famous for their tile and timber tradition.
An old deepasthambam (lamp-post) made of a single piece of granite is seen in front of this mandapam. A tiny gopuram greets the visitor at the entrance to the temple. A long inscription, dated 1,073 A.D. (of the reign Kulottunga Chola I), can be seen etched clearly on the walls of the main shrine in this Vishnu temple. It states that this deity was worshipped by the name Thiruchitra-kuttatu-Azhwar in the Chola times and records a gift of land to the temple by the Mahasabha (administrative unit) of the village.
The donation was intended for holding various services, offerings and lighting of lamps in the evenings. The devotees attending the festival were to be fed from the tax money of the land gifted. It is heartening to know that during the Tamil month of Margazhi, Andal’s Thiruppavai is chanted by school students at this temple.
Somangalam lies at about 35 kms south west of Chennai city. One can take the route from Tambaram via Kishkintha to reach Somangalam. The better alternative is to take the road from Pallavaram going to Kunrathur. After reaching Kunrathur junction, one has to take left (towards south) to reach Somangalam. Somangalam is about 10 kms from Kunrathur. Also plenty of busses ply from Porur directly to Somangalam.