Kamakshi Amman Temple, Mangadu – The Temple
The temple sports the Chola style of Architecture and construction. The Raja Gopuram was a recent addition to the Temple. The Raja Gopuram or the Main entrance faces South and is 7 tiered with great sculptures on it, But the east entrance is still used by many devotees as there is a market along the road leading to the east gate. People buy the flowers, Lemons and other pooja items as they walk through the market into the Temple.
There is a Ganapati Shrine located to the left of the main entrance. The Sanctum houses Ardha Meru Maha Yantra and an idol of Goddess Kamakshi. The Artha Meru Chakra in the temple was installed by Acharya Sankara having 43 Trikonas – triangles. This is made of eight herbals called Astagandham. Hence no abishekam is offered the Chakra.
The pujas for the chakra is performed with sandal and other cosmetic powders and archana with kumkum. On the Vijayadasami day, last day of Navarathri, this Chakra is covered with gold, while on other days, it is with a silver cover. Sri Chakra occupies great importance in the temple. This Artha Meru Sri Chakra is revered as Raja (Royal status) Yantra.
The base is of Koorma (tortoise) design. There are three steps above the base. It is further built with 16 Lotus petals and 8 petals of Lotus still above. The Sri Chakra is drawn on this peeta-seat. No Sri Chakra is as big as the one in Mangadu. It is dressed in a 9-yard saree. This Chakra is considered to be a Tantric form of the Goddess herself and hence Mangadu also finds a unique place amongst worshippers of the Tantric sect as well.
There is also a Kuthuvilakku perennially burning in the Mahamandapam. Left of this is the shrine of Mother Thapas Kamakshi. This was installed at the behest of Adi Shankaracharya. Goddess performed penance on the Panchagni, resting the left leg on the Panchagni, folding the right leg. Her left hand is raised above her head, holding a Japamala. This can be seen in this Mangadu Temple as Tapas Kamakshi Amman.
Devotees have four Ambikas for darshan in the temple. 1) As Sri Chakra, 2) Adhi Kamakshi made of Panchaloka metals, 3) Kamakshi doing penance amidst the five Agni Kundas and 4) the small Lamp burning near Adi Kamakshi revered as Ambika herself. The darshan of all Ambicas can be had simultaneously from the mandapam. Ambika in the sanctum sanctorum is holding a parrot in the right hand and the crescent moon on the head.
It is noteworthy that the tradition of felicitating a person for his/her winning an exam with distinction or any tough competition with the success of standing on a single leg began from the penance posture of Mother Kamakshi. The condition of penance was not made easy or relaxed even for the consort of Lord. There is also a shrine for Lord Surya in the prakaram. Shrine of Sapta Matrikas is situated right behind in the main outer courtyard. There is also a golden chariot which is drawn round the temple every day between 6.30 Pm and 7.30 PM.