Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chatram / Chitra Chathiram in South Mada Street, Mylapore – An 150 years Old Doll House & Art Museum Open yearly Only for 10 days of Panguni Uthiram festival – Visit, Open Timings Travel Guide
– museum to know our spiritual culture & heritage
|CasualWalker’s Rating for Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chatram / Chitra Chathiram, Mylapore:
9.5 – Superb Awesome
Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Vyasarpadi Vinayaga Mudaliar Chatram popularly known as Bommai Chatram (பொம்மை சத்திரம் / Doll House) / Chitra Chathiram, is a 150-year-old Antique Paintings and Gollu Dolls Display Museum located near the world-famous Kapaleeshwarar temple in South Mada Street in Mylapore.
Each year the Vyasarpadi Vinayaga Mudaliar Chatram / Bommai Chathiram / Chitra Chathiram (வியாசர்பாடி விநாயக முதலியார் சித்ரா சத்ரம்) remains open for public viewing only during the 10 days of Kapaleeshwarar temple’s Panguni Uthiram festival which happens in the month of March – April.
It showcases a wonderful display of handcrafted clay, wood, and glass-based dolls of Gods and Goddesses, which are more than 150 years old.
The famous Panguni Uthiram festival signifies the celestial marriage of Lord Shiva – Kapaleeshwarar with Goddess Karpagambal. The Bommai Chathiram will be highly visited by the devotees on the Arubathu Moovar Thiruvizha – festival chariot procession.
The Chatram was established in 1851 by Sri Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar, who lived nearly a century ago and started his life as a carpenter. He started collecting rare dolls and paintings wherever he traveled and which are still on display here. Now the Chathiram was named after him as “Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram”. The Chatiram is currently managed by The Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Charities.
History of Sri Vinayaka Mudaliar
Vinayaka Mudaliar developed a great interest in Tamil at an early age and attained a certain level of proficiency in the language. Vinayaka Mudaliar who was born in Vyasarpadi later moved to Mylapore with his parents and siblings.
With his great ability in making estimations and his proficiency in the execution of works, he became a contractor in the famous Arcot Nawab’s court. In appreciation of his services, the Nawab provided him with many expensive gifts and also granted him a monthly pension, and through his hard work Vinayaka Mudaliar soon became a wealthy man and philanthropist in the Mylapore area.
Sri Vinayaka Mudaliar was a great devout to the Lord Shiva of Kapaleeswarar temple. In 1850, he purchased an empty plot of land which belonged to Sri Manambedu Veeraswamy Mudaliar at this place located in South Mada Street in Mylapore and named it the Chittira Chattiram, and endowed it to charity.
The objectives of the charity were to present offerings and perform Deeparadhana to Lord Shiva – Kapaleeswara whenever the god came out on procession and also during the annual Brahmotsavam held in the Tamil month of Panguni Uthiram festival every year.
The never-ending influx of devotees, during this festival, initiated Vinayaka Mudaliar, to open this Chathiram. Even Tamil scholar Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai who visited the Chatram is said to have composed 100 verses on the building and its founder.
Painted wooden cut-outs depicted happenings in Vaikuntam and Shiva Lokam
Antique teakwood paintings depicting stories from the life of Lord Vishnu’s avatar, Lord Krishna, the war between Rama and Ravana, and so on are also on display.
Panguni Uthiram Festival’s Tanjore Paintings – Representing the Famous Mylapore Kapaleeshwarar Temple’s 10 days Festival
Bommai Chatram (Doll House) / Chitra Chathiram has showcased original Lithographic prints from the world-famous artist Ravi Varma, a wonderful collection of paintings showcasing Krishna Leela, Chidambaram Rahasiyam, Azhwars, 63 Nayanmars, Dasha Avatharam, Ramayana, Yama Dhandanai, Sishupala Vadham, a life-size doll of Geethopadesam and teakwood paintings, provides an opportunity for the visitors to learn about our rich great culture and heritage.
Kalinga Narthanam Painting – Story of most dreaded Kaliya snake and the Lord Krishna
Gajendra Moksha Painting – Where Lord Vishnu came down to earth to protect Gajendra, the elephant, from the clutches of a Crocodile
A life-sized Geethopadesam Statue – The Conversation between Lord Krishna & Arjuna
Life Story paintings of legendary King Harishchandra – Known as the Satavadi Harishchandra for his Truthfulness
Yama Dhandanai – Punishments of Lord Yama
For the past 60 years, on the 10 days of Panguni Uthiram festival, the Trust provides Annadhanam – distribution of food to all the devotees who visit the Bommai Chatram.
Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chatram (Doll House) / Chitra Chathiram is a visual treat, which cherishes our past glory and encourages the devotees to know more about our rich spiritual – culture and heritage.
Travel Tips for Visiting Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chattiram / Chitra Chathiram in Mylapore :
Address of Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chatram / Chitra Chathiram in Mylapore:
Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram,
No.22, South Mada Street, Mylapore, Chennai – 600 004.
Entry Fee: Free
Open Timings of Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chatram / Chitra Chathiram:
Open for public viewing only during the 10 days of Kapaleeshwarar temple’s Panguni Uthiram festival which happens between the month of March – April.
Open Timings: 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
How to reach Vyasarpadi Vinayaka Mudaliar Chathiram / Bommai Chatram / Chitra Chathiram in Mylapore :
On Road: Chennai is well connected to other major cities of the country through regular bus services.
On Flight: Chennai International Airport (Code MAA).
By Train: Frequent and regular trains are available from many major cities of the country to Chennai, the Capital city of Tamil Nadu. Chennai Central (Station Code MAS) and Chennai Egmore Railway Station ( Station Code MS).
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