Close to Sadras Fort, were these 2 temples that I recently ventured to. One was the Sri Premika Vittala Temple and the other was Malai Mandala Perumal Temple. We left for the temples in the evening.
Premika Vittala Temple at Vittalapuram is under Archeological Survey of India. Its a cute little temple. The place was very well maintained. The consorts here are Rukmini & Sathyabama, all 3 standing in the Sanctum Sanctorum.In the sanctum sanctorum passage are the shrines of Srinivasa Perumal with consort, Varadharaja Perumal with consort, Ramanujar & Vishvaksenar. This was built in the Vijaya Nagara empire under Krishna Deva Raya by Kondaiya Chola Maharaja in 16th C.
The main Vittal temple is at Pandarpur in Maharashtra, called the Panduranga Vittalla. The most important feature of the temple is the 'Nama Sankeerthanam' or songs and music. I was pretty much lucky to be there during the evening puja, when the small crowd of about 20 devotees kept singing non-stop!!! Floral decorations were awesome!!! I guess that's coz I ventured there in the month of Margazhi (Dec-Jan)!
Bronzes of Vittalla with Rukmini, Sathyabama, were also in the Sanctum sanctorum along with Santhana Lakshmi, Gopala Krishna as well. The priest said that Vittal was the Shiva Version of Vishnu, so Shiva Rathri is more important here than Vaikunda Ekadesi.
From there our next stop Malai Mandala Perumal Temple at Sadras. This was a further smaller temple, but not under ASI. The main sculptures in the sanctum sanctorum were under 'Thaila Kappu' or annual closure. So all I got to see were the bronzes. Apart from Perumal, Sridevi & Bhoodevi, there was also Gaja Lakshmi. The vahana of Vishnu, Garudan here is an Ashta Naga Garudan. However I couldn't even see 1, coz the whole things was wrapped in cloth. The bronzes here were too beautiful - the santhana gopala krishna was on a cradle, all alwars etc. But the best was a lamp - a bowl carried by 4 garuda with 6 parrots at the base. You're not seeing a pic of it, here coz was too dark to click a decent photograph! Hope ASI takes this up too, soon.
TO GET THERE:
From Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai to Premika Vittal - 59km on ECR towards Pondicherry with a small diversion to the left after Kalpakkam.
From there to Malai Mandala Perumal - 6.5 km back on Beach Road, just before Dutch fort in a small left diversion.
On Google Maps:
Premika Vittal: https://goo.gl/maps/8CPtw
Malai Mandala Perumal: https://goo.gl/maps/Hm0Nu
Dedicated to Venkat