The drive along the Chennai coast is beautiful and balmy, especially during this time of the year. But did you know that this drive is rich in cultural history that goes well back in time?

1. There are two ancient temples dedicated to Shiva and Parvati on the two edges of Chennai's coast- one in Tiruvottriyur and the other in Tiruvanmiyur.

2. 'Ottri' in Tamil means, 'to be exempted'. The temple of Tiruvottriyur is believed to have been built to protect devotees on doomsday from the waters of the deluge and was hence known as 'tiru ottriyur'.

3. Tiruvanmiyur or 'tiru-valmiki-oor', is said to have been sanctified by Sage Valmiki, with a temple dedicated to him present on the East Coast Road till date.

4. The primary deity in both temples is Lord Tyagaraja, known as Adipurishwara in Tiruvottriyur and as Marundeeshwara in Tiruvanmiyur. His consort in both temples is Tripura Sundari, also known as Vadivudai Amman in Tiruvottriyur.

5. Several saints including Appar, Sundarar, Tirugnanasambandar, Pattinattar Pillayar, Vallalar and Adi Shankara are believed to have visited these temples.

6. The Nayanmars in particular, had a distinctive presence in both these temples and composed multiple tevarams in praise of the deities. The temples of Tiruvanmiyur and Tiruvottriyur are hence part of the 275 'paadal petra sthalams'.

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For more details on both sthalams, click here