Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Sivan Temple (Chennai - Tamil Nadu)

On my way back from Unamancheri Ramar Temple, I called up the temple priest of Mambakkam Muruganatheeswarar Sivan Temple as he wanted me to, as he had offered to take me to the Ponmar Sathyapuriswarar Sivan Temple, another ancient temple located in Ponmar which is again in the Medavakkam - Mambakkam Road, managed by the same priest's family.
He came along with the keys of the temple and I went inside. Yes, I was a bit disappointed, thanks to the granite flooring and multi color painted gopuram!!! A bit of the ancient-ness gone.

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram

Very much unusally this one is a south facing temple. There are very very few south facing temples and this unknown temple in a very small village is one of those. But the Lord is east facing. The Lord here is Sathyapureeswarar and His Consort here is Sathyapureeswari, who faces south

There was a pillar relief of Mahishasura Mardhini who was coated with a layer of Sandalwood paste and then there was a pillar relief of DhenupureeswararRemember Dhenupuriswarar of Madambakkam, where the cow poured its milk on the Siva Lingam? Here, the pillar relief sculpture depicts this legend behind that temple. Also there was a pillar relief of the person who contributed to the temple in 16th C AD. Other reliefs were of Lord Krishna, Bhima, Agasthiyar, Narasimhar, Bikshadanar etc. The ceiling of the temple had some fishes in bas relief. Also present were a snake engulfing the moon in 3 progressive steps. This depicts the legend behind lunar eclipse.
The exterior of the temple has a separate shrine of Kasi Viswanathar. The outer areas are very beautifully engraved. I haven't seen this kind of a detailing much, barring Hoysala ArchitechtureThe pillar reliefs in the outer side, had these little pillars in them. Master of engraving, I must say. There were some unfinished sculptures all around, which included a Lingothbavar as well. Other shrines here are of Brahma, Valampuri Vinayakar aka Lord Ganesha with trunk turned to right, Lord Muruga, and Bhairavar.

I came around the temple and on the Southwestern corner of the temple, I spotted some inscriptions and my face filled with glee. Looking at my face, the priest instantly said that I was happy only after seeing the epitaphs. This inscription belongs to the Vijaya Nagara Empire. This was inscribed during 1520 AD during the reign of Sadasivarayar, nephew of Krishna Deva Raya. This location is referred to as Thyaga Vinodha Nalloore aka Ponmaru. That is how Ponmar got its name. This inscription also refers to a small village called Poyilicheri near Ponmar.

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple Inscriptions

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple sculptures

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple tank

Behind the temple was a small pond. But I had to take a lot of care to walking around the temple, thanks to the drunkards, it had a lot of broken glasses. The priest himself was very upset on that!!! Enroute I should have spotted a Perumal Temple in ruins which I sadly missed. I came to know of its existence only later on. 


How to reach Ponmar, Chennai:
Medavakkam to Ponmar distance & route: 8km on Medavakkam-Mambakkam Road towards Mambakkam
Mambakkam to Ponmar distance & route: 4km on the Medavakkam-Mambakkam Road towards Medavakkam
Tambaram to Ponmar distance & route: 15km via Camproad, Bharat University, Agaram

How to reach Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar temple:
600m in the Ponmar-Navalur Road
In the Medavakkam-Mambakkam Road turn Ponmar-Navalur Road at Ponmar and in half a km you'll spot it to your left. If not, enquire the locals for an Iswaran Koil.

Ph. no. of the Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar temple priest: Mr.Hariharan +91 98845 81931

Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram Ponmar Sathyapureeswarar Temple - Chennai Temples near Tambaram


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. there are so many such beautiful temples... we can never see all of them! and you are so lucky to see so many!!

  2. You are right Bhusha, I too used to feel agrieved at the paintings that they do these days.. the original stone itself would have been great.. Loved this unique place.. Thanks

  3. Amazing temple and sculptures!

  4. I love the relief depicting the legend behind the Lunar eclipse,it's amazing!

  5. Wow ,Great find . thanks for sharing .

  6. Brilliant sculptures. Hope to visit this temple soon.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. nice temple enriched with sculptures

    nice historical info

    thanks for sharing

  9. Its nice that you are visiting these seldom frequented temples. Nice snaps of sculptures. Good description.

  10. @Anu,
    So true. Whole life is not enough to see all the temples!!!

    Yeah... Indeed the stone would have been good than the jarring colors... :(

    Thanks dear.. :)

    Thanks sweetheart... :)

    @Team G, Pooja, Krishna,
    Thanks dears... :)

    @Ram Cheta,
    Thank you so much Cheta... :)

  11. Mam thanks for the info of Iraivi Sathyapureeswari and also the epigraphy. As you mentioned the temple is not facing South. The temple is facing east only and the entrance is from south. Normally a jolly work will be installed in front of the dwajasthambam and Palipeedam to see moolavar. This sort of arrangement is available in many of the temples of Tamil nadu, including many Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalangal. This is to contain the power of moolavar within the temple.
    Thanks and regards
    V A Veluswamy

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Mr.Velusamy!!!

  12. Happen to visit the temple. Unfortunately the priest didn't open the temple. Didn't have his number either to contact. I was told that the temple is being opened on auspicious days only.

  13. There is a Siddharth Jeeva Samadhi. Can some body send this temple incharge mobile no.

  14. As I am residing at Rajakilpakkam, which is so close to Ponmar, I have decided to visit this temple. Have already visited Dhenupureeswarar temple and Ottiyambakkam temple. Thanks for your blog.

  15. As I have already visited Ottiyambakkam and Mambakkam temples, this temple is pending for me. Will soon visit. Thanks for your blog. I am residing at Rajakilpakkam since 1991.

  16. Some of the stone sculptures in this picture are not thete today. May be stolen by miscreants. But ponmar sivan temple is well renovated and crowd started to visit this temple. Om namashivaya


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