Situated near Elliot's Beach, the colorful Ashtalakshmi Temple was constructed in the mid-1970s to honor the Hindu goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi. The multitiered structure features images of the goddess in her eight forms, with shrines spread over four floors accessible by steep and narrow staircases.
Towering over Elliot's beach, Ashtalakshmi Temple can be visited as part of a half-day excursion from nearby Chennai. This colorful edifice is around 65 feet high and 45 feet wide. Eight forms of the goddess Lakshmi are depicted across four levels, as well as a shrine to Dhanalakshmi, associated with financial wealth, on the top floor. The temple also features 32 kalasams, pointed tips frequently seen at the top of temple towers.
Things to Know Before You Go
- This colorful temple is a must-visit for photographers.
- Remember to dress modestly, with knees and shoulders covered, out of respect for local culture.
- The temple is primarily an outdoor attraction, so wear sunscreen and a hat.
- Access to the top of the temple requires climbing steep and narrow stairs, which could prove challenging for those with mobility concerns.
How to Get There
The temple is located on Beach Road, at the southernmost tip of Elliot's Beach in southern Chennai. It's about a 20-minute drive to Mylapore, where many of the city's major attractions are located. The nearest commuter railway station is Indira Nagar, which is 10 or 15 minutes away by taxi or auto rickshaw.
When to Get There
The temple is open from 6:30am until noon, and again from 4pm to 9pm daily, with extended hours until 1pm on Friday and Sunday mornings. During the hotter months of April through June, travelers may want to visit during the early morning hours, before temperatures peak.
The Eight Forms of Lakshmi
Ashtalakshmi literally means “eight Lakshmis,” symbolizing the goddess of wealth in eight different manifestations. The types of wealth associated with the goddess include financial wealth, agricultural wealth (associated with crops), animal wealth (such as owning livestock), the wealth of having children, the wealth of knowledge, the wealth of having courage, and the wealth of being victorious in battle.