Temples Around Vellore
Listed below are many of the ancient temples around Vellore. This is a dynamic list and will be constantly updated as and when information is got.
|Note: A geographical map is available here showing almost all the temples listed here (and more as well). The webpage from Platial is slow and you have to be little patient.|
Last updated on: March 11, 2008.
Walajapet - Vellore
Dhanvanthri temple at Walajapet
This temple, at Keezh Pudupet, 5kms from Walajapet is built by Sri Muralidhara Swamigal. The temple is dedicated to the God of Medicine, Dhanvanthri, who came out from the Milky Ocean (Paarkadal) during the churning of it. Swamigal built this for God of Medicine, because he lost both his parents to diseases. When his mother was suffering acutely from cancer, she made him promise that he would do something to save people from the pain of diseases in the world. As a priest, the one thing he could think of was setting up a temple for Dhanvanthri and deflecting all the crowds rushing to hospitals to this ‘Makkal Pinitheerkkum Maruthuvamanai’ (the hospital that will cure the diseases of people). The main idol, a beautifully decorated granite sculpture, is now touring the places where the yagnas are being performed before reaching its final abode.
More details on the temple here
Visalakshi ammai sametha Kasi Viswanadhar temple at Walajapet
The temple is in Walajapet town. By visiting this temple, one can get rid of fear of death. Kala bairavar and Sani are opposite to each other and this is a Sani dosha nivarthi sthalam.
Bala Murugan Temple at Rathinagiri
Rathinagiri is about 13 km from Vellore towards Chennai and is famous for the Murugan temple on a hillock. There are 130 steps to the hillock top. Saint Arunagirinadhar had sung Thiruppugazh on this temple. The temple belonging to the 14th century was under dilapidated conditions a few decades back and with the efforts of Sri Swami Balamugan Adimai, the temple is now restored to its full glory with fantastic sculptural works, big mandapams etc., to the extent of people calling this as the 7th Padai Veedu of Lord Muruga.
Swami Balamugan Adimai, who was called Sachithanantham in his early days was working as a clerk in the Electricity Department and one day, while on his way to work, he climbed the Rathinagiri Hill to offer his prayers. There was neither camphor nor incense available at the poor and dilapidated temple. He walked around the shrine with a heavy heart and was suddenly overcome with divine awakening. He fainted onto the ground and on waking up he was unable to remember his own self. He dressed himself in a loincloth and took a sacred vow not to leave until the temple was restored to its former glory. This memorable event of Swami’s spiritual awakening took place on 20th March 1968 and he maintains silence all these years.
Murugar temple at Kangeyanallur
Location: Kangeyanallur is between Vellore and Katpadi.
Temple: Sri Kangeeswarar temple in Kangeyanallur was built during the time of Chola rulers. The temple dedicated to Lord Muruga was built some 500 years ago. Sculptures are artistically engraved in the gopuram depicting the Kandhapuranam and the six Padaiveedus of Lord Muruga. It is said that the sculpturer who created the Thiruthani Murugan temple has created this as well. It is said that Lord Muruga here is being worshipped by sages and celestial gods during mid-nights everyday. The temple was renovated by Sri Thirumuruga Kirupanandha Variyar, a popular exponent of Hindu Scriptures and his father Sri Mallaiyadhas Bhagavadhar. When Mallaiyadhas Bhagavadhar conducted the Kumbabhisheham in 1933, his son Srisailavasan fell from 50 feet but after intense prayer and applying holy ash over him, he just woke up without any injury. An inscription about this incident is present in the temple.
Theertham: Saravana Poihai (created by Krupanandha Variyar)
Variyar’s Knowledge centre: This is present opposite the temple where Kirupanandha Variyar was cremated. There is a 24 hours Moksha deepam burning here facing the North direction.
Contact: Sri Thiruvadi 98423 11755; Office - 0416 - 2248922
More details are available in Vikatan Publication’s ‘Punniya Yathirai’ book
Jalakandeswarar Temple at Vellore Fort
The temple which had been built in the Vijayanagara style is situated within the Vellore fort. It comprised of the main shrine, closed ambulatory passage around and the integral Mahamantapa. Inside the temple, there is a Kalyanamantapa which is the gem of architecture in embellishments and the art motifs of its pillars, ceilings and plinth moldings. It stands as testimony for the architectural workmanship of that period.
Jalakanteswarar means ‘Siva residing in the water’. The temple is adorned with some remarkable sculptures and the best is found on the left side of the entrance, a verandah which contains monolithic pillars of grandeur and delicacy of execution. There are impressive sculptures in the temple particularly outside the swami shrine and inside the main mandapam. The sanctum sanctorum is a small low building and at the entrance there are dwarakapalas in blue granite. Sculpture work on the ceilings and pillars are rich in its characteristics. In the outer prakara there is a well which has a stone door way opening on a point which is usually below water level. The under ground mandapa or Neerazhi Mandapa is said to lead to a subterranean passage leading to the River Palar.
Sri Lakshmi Narayani Golden temple in Sripuram
This Golden temple situated in Sripuram in Thirumalaikkodi, about 7 km from Vellore, is built in a 100 acre site with whopping 1500 kg of gold at a cost of 300 crores. According to Sri Sakthi Amma, head of the Sri Narayani Peedam, who built the temple, the decision to have the temple coated with gold, is only to attract visitors and enable them to get wisdom through the messages of the Vedas. The temple has been designed in such a way that visitors can reach the golden temple only after going through a star-shaped pathway, which has the messages from the Vedas on both sides.
This has already become highly popular and too crowded on weekends and will take several hours to complete the dharshan during weekends. There is a 200 Rs ticket (apart from free dharshan) also, but this too is crowded during weekends. Better visit the temple with ample time in reserve.
Sri Selva Vinayagar temple at Shenbakkam
Location: 3 km from Vellore en route to Bangalore, this famous temple is dedicated to Sri Selva Vinayagar and Somasundareswarar. It is said that the original name of this place was Shenbagavanam, as it was full of fragrant Shenbaga tree even though no trace of the trees is seen now.
Legend: Once when Thukkoji, a Maharashtra minister was passing through this place, the axle of his vehicle broke and blood oozed out from the place. He stayed that night here and Vinayahar appeared in his dream and revealed his presence.
- There are 11 Vinayahars - namely Bala Vinayahar, Nadana Vinayahar, Ohmkara Vinayahar, Karpaka Vinayahar, Chinthamani Vinayahar, Selva Vinayahar, Mayura Vinayahar, Mooshika Vinayahar, Vallaba Vinayahar, Siddhi Buddhi Vinayahar and Pancha muha Vinayahar - with Selva Vinayahar at the centre and all the other Vinayahars around
- All of them are Swayambu (appeared themselves) moorthies in the form of lingams and all of them in the form of Ohm.
- On the back of Selva Vinayahr, there is a mark of the wheel of the cart, which was supposedly driven by Thukkoji.
- There is no roof for the main shrine to facilitate all Sages and Celestial Gods to worship the deity
- Aadhi Sankarar worshipped here and installed Srichakra in the Esanya corner of the temple.
- The significances of the temple have been written about by Kanchi Maha Priyavar, Sri Chandrasekarendhra Swamigal
- The flag post is present within the sanctum sanctorum itself
- Saturn God is facing the main deity
- A silver covering was made 75 years back to cover the Selva Vinayahar fully but now it covers Him only two-thirds, indicating He is growing all the way
Worship Benefits: It is believed that by doing milk abhisheham to the Bala Vinayahar here, the illness of children will be cured. Also, this Vinayahar is believed to sanction the boons for timely marriage and children.
More details in Vikatan Publication’s ‘Alaya Dharisanam’ book
Vellore - Polur (Thiruvannamalai)
Sri Lakshmi Narsimha Swamy Temple at Singiri Koil
Singiri Koil is a hamlet, situated at a distance of about 25 km from Vellore and is off the main road from Vellore to Polur. It is an exclusive shrine for Lord Lakshmi Narasimha and is believed to be at least 1,000 years old.
More details on the temple is available here
See under Padavedu section below
Erikuppam Saneeswarar Temple
Location: In the Polur (Thiruvannamalai) - Vellore route, 45 km from Thiruvannamalai and 30 km from Vellore, there is a place called Sandhavasal near Padavedu. From there, Erikuppam is 3 km away towards Arani and is 10 km from Arani.
Temple: This 15th century temple was discovered recently and has been renovated. On Saturdays, devotees throng the place.
- Lord Saneeswarar is present in an unique Yantra form which is considered more powerful and hence the name ‘Yantra Saneeswarar’.
- Sri Saya Devi, mother of Sri Saneeswarar is present to His left side and due to the presence of His mother, Saneeswarar is in a peaceful and happy mind state here. Hence He is able to blessHis devotees, bestowing complete happiness, removing their sorrows, sins and difficulties.
- We can hear elders saying ‘Don’t stand and pray straight in front of Saneeswarar’ but his straight sight here will bring only goodness to life.
- The Holy Shrine is open to the skies, without any roof-top.
- Saneeswarar is present in the Yantra form nowhere else in the world excepting this one and another in Shinkapur, 70 km from Shiradi, in Maharashtra state.
Yantra: This Saneeswara Yantra has been made in a single granite stone, with a fantastic size of 5.5 feet height and 1.5 feet width and looks majestic. It is having the mark of Sun in the upper left side, Crow in the middle side and the moon in the upper right corner. Below these, Peejakshara Manthras in the form of Shutkonam (six corners - shut meaning six and konam meaning corners) can be seen. Below this we can see ‘Lakshmi Kadaksha Yandra’ and yandras relating to water and fire. The Shutkona yandra consists of Manthras in a right left mirrored form, praising Lord Shiva, Lord Anjaneya and Sree Saneeshwara. This Yandra is believed to be one of the most powerful ones and unique in its kind.
Sri Kamakshi amman sametha Sri Ekambareswarar temple at Parvathi Agaram
This temple is associated with Erikuppam Sri Saneeswarar temple
Sri Narasimhaswamy Temple at Polur
Polur is situated in the Vellore - Thiruvannamalai state highway at about 33 Kms from Thiruvannamalai and 48 Kms from Vellore and 55 Kms from Vandavasi. Since it is also a Taluk headquarters, there is a good availability of hotels and accomodations.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple atop a small and steep hillock with about 840 steps is very powerful. The temple is currently served by a single priest called Sekhar Bhattachariar who also looks after a small Perumal temple below. He goes atop the hill at 4:30 AM and returns back by 8:30 AM. A chowkidar remains on the hillock opening the temple for visitors who come later. The priest also visits the hill atop temple in the evenings.
Contact Details: V.Sekar Bhattachariar, 17, Perumal Koil St, Polur-606803
Mobile: 9842307594; 9443098358
Dharmalingeswaraswamy Temple at Athuvambadi near Polur
Details not available
Padavedu is a Pilgrimage centre with many ancient temples and will need at least 2 days to cover all of them. It is situated in the Vellore- Polur route, centrally among Vellore, Polur and Arani at 20-25 km from all these three places. All that is there in this village are beautiful ancient temples and lush green fields.
During 12-14th Centuries the Sambuvarayar chieftains ruled this area under the patronage of the Pandyas. For a short time they became independent of Pandyas and subsequently they came under the rule of Kempagowda. During their reign, Sambuvarayas rendered great service to art and religion. These temples were built at various points of time, but most of the improvements and decorations appear to have been done when the Sambuvarayar came under the sway of the Vijayanagar empire. Most of these temples excepting the hill temples were submerged in sand due to the sandstorm and they were discovered in 1993. The Renukambal trust (owned by TVS) maintains these temples in a clean and beautiful fashion.
Sri Renuka Parameswari Temple
- Sri Yoga Ramachandrasamy temple
- Ammayappa Eswarar Temple
- Sri Subramanya swamy Temple
Other Important Temples:
- Sri Venugopala Swamy temple
- Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple
- Sri Velmurugan Temple
- Sri Uma maheswarar Temple
- Sri Kailasa Vinayagar Temple
- Sri Veera Anjaneyar Temple
- Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple
The official website of the Padavedu temples is here.
Sri Renuka Parameswari Temple
Padavedu is one of the most important ‘Sakthi Sthalas’ in Thondainadu. Goddess Renugambal is self-manifested in this place and offering her blessings along with Brahma, Vishnu and Lord Siva. In this place a number of sages performed penance and attained salvation. The existence of Banalingam and Nanakarshna Chakra consecrated by Adi Sankarar is the specialty of this place. This is the most popular temple of Padavedu and is usually crowded on holidays.
Legend: Padavedu is the place where Sage Jamadagni, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, lived with his wife Renuka, an Incarnation of Parvathi and son Parasurama, the avatar of Vishnu. Sage Jamadagni and Sage Vishwamitra grew together. The Sage used to perform Yagna daily to which mother Renuka used to bring water in a pot just made that day. One day the Mother saw a Gandharva flying and lost her mind on that due to the maya or the play of the great Shakti. She was late for the yagna and felt ashamed. The Sage, knowing this, asked his sons to chop off mother’s head but none came forward. Only Parasurama, to abide his father, came forward and did it and also cut his hand. Nearby Dobis (Cloth washers) came to rescue the mother but Parasurama killed all of them. The sage was pleased and asked Parasurama’s wish and he rightly wanted his mother back. Sage agreed and asked Parasurama to join the head and the body and sprinkle holy water over them. Parasurama did so and his mother came to life and also the dobis who died in the fight. But, alas, his mother’s head was attached to a dobi woman’s body and vice versa while doing it in an anxiety. But then Universal mother might have wanted this way only and She then made that dobi woman, her close maiden. She is also worshipped here.
All these happened in Padavedu. There is a river nearby where dobis washed the clothes. The Holy ash given in the temple is the one from the sage Jamadagni’s yaga gonda which still exists
More details of this temple in Vikatan Publication’s ‘Nimmadhi Tharum Sannidhi’ Part 1 book
Sri Yoga Ramachandraswamy temple
This temple, constructed before 12th Century AD, is located 1 KM west of Arulmigu Renugambal Temple. This was also buried in sand and was dug out recently. In this temple Lord Rama is uniquely seated in Artha Padmasana with a “Yoga Mudra” with Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman by his side. Unusually Lord Hanuman is seated in front of Lord Rama reading a Palm leaf manuscript.
Legend: After the destruction of Ravana, Lord Rama was requested to destroy the demon, hundred headed Mahi Ravana. On behalf of Lord Rama, Hanuman fought with Mahi Ravana. The intense battle witnessed the fall of his(Hanuman) soldiers at the hands of the demon. In spite of his best efforts, Hanuman could not locate Mahi Ravana. At that time, Sita Devi informed Hanuman that Mahi Ravana was a staunch devotee of Goddess Renuka Devi and his life force was hidden in a lotus flower of a Pond at Kundalipuram and he had been protected by Goddess Renuka Devi. When Hanuman went to Kundalipuram, Goddess Renuka Devi made the lotus Pond to disappear to safeguard Mahi Ravana. Hanuman got angry and fought with Goddess Renuka Devi but Lord Rama intervened and pacified both. Then Lord Rama and Hanuman prayed Goddess Renuka devi to help them in destroying Mahi Ravana. Pleased by the prayers Goddess Renuka Devi granted the boon and Mahi Ravana was destroyed. Later Rama too took abode in Kundalipuram along with Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman at the place where the present temple is located.
More details of this temple in Vikatan Publication’s ‘Nimmadhi Tharum Sannidhi’ Part 1 book
Ammayappa Eswarar Temple
It is located 1 KM west of Sri Renugambal Temple. This temple is the oldest of the lot and looks very simple. The amman in this temple is Aparnambikai and the deity is around 5.5 feet. Right in front of the Amman statue, there is a pit from where they discovered the idols and ornaments. This is a 12th century temple and due to sand storms this temple was almost destroyed. However it is in good shape now.
Sri Subramanya swamy Temple at Kundalipuram
Sri Subramania Swamy Temple is located on a hill top, on the southern side of Sri Renugambal Temple. The panoramic view of this temple seen from Renugambal Temple is awe inspiring. Three hundred well laid stone steps make the journey to this hill top temple less tedious. The finely sculpted idol of Moolavar Lord Subramania with his consorts Goddesses Valli and Deivanai standing on a peacock is quite impressive. Unlike in other places where Lord Subramania is seen seated on his peacock, here the Lord is standing on his peacock. The peacock is also seen not spreading its feathers. It carries a snake in its beaks. This idol is unique and the Lord is known for his boon granting.
Legend has it that Lord Subramania was conferred the title “Deva Senapathi” (Commander of Devas) only on this hill top at the request of Goddess Renukambal.
Sri Venugopala Swamy temple
The temple is open only on Saturdays 9 AM to 3 PM. The temple for Lord Venu Gopala Swamy is located on top of the Raja Kambeera Mountain popularly known as Kottaimalai. This is 3 KM away from Sri Renugambal temple on the western side. The height of the mountain top is 2500 feet.
The only route available to this temple is a ghat road running through thick and beautiful forest. A breath taking journey to this temple can be performed sitting on a huge Tractor specially built to take the pilgrims and the materials to the temple. However the tractor takes us only to the foot of the hill. Rest of the journey is to be covered by walk. En route we have to pass through few wooden bridges constructed around the hill. It is an engineering marvel. All our pains vanish once we reach the sanctum where beautiful flute playing Lord VenuGopala Swamy is in a standing posture along with his consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama. The idols of this temple are known for their artistic beauty.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple
This temple is located on the southern side of Sri Ramachandraswamy temple and also on the hill top which is situated on the other side of Kamandala river. The significance of the idol in this temple is that goddess Lakshmi is seated on the right side of Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar. (Normally Goddess Lakshmi used to sit at the left side of the Lord.). Poojas are performed three times a day. The view from the hilltop is breathtaking. The Abishekam for Narasimhar is being done on Sundays.
Contact: Mr Vasudeva Bhattar at 98940 34069.
Sri Velmurugan Temple
This temple is located on the way from Ramar temple to Lakshmi Narasimhar temple on a hill top at the southern tanks of Kamandala river which is running on the southern side of Sri Ramachandra Swamy temple. The hill is known as Natchathra Kundru (Star Hill). No idols are found in this temple. A Vel (lance of Lord Muruga) is consecrated and Poojas are performed daily. Legend has it that Bhogar (One of the eighteen Siddhars, who created the medicinal Palani Murugan idol out of nine herbal poisons) came to this place and consecrated the lance.
Sri Uma Maheswarar Temple at Kailasaparai
This temple is located on a small hill called Kailasaparai on the northern border of Padaiveedu. Presently the temple is in a dilapidated state and is being renovated. The significance of this temple is that the Lord Shiva has a form and not lingam. He is seen along with Paravthi devi and the deities are big and beautiful.
A nice travelogue is available here.
Sri Kailasa Vinayagar Temple
This temple is located on the northern side of Sri Renugambal temple with a distance of 2 KM. The Ganesha is around 5.5 feet tall and looks very majestic.
Sri Veera Anjaneyar Temple
This is on the way to Ramar temple from Renugambal temple. It is close to a Draupadhi Mandapam. There is a 7 to 7.5 ft tall Anjaneyar inside. This priest does the pooja for Varadaraja perumal temple too. So if you want to visit Varadaraja Perumal temple, you better visit here first and ask the priest to take you there.
Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple
This is situated in an extremely nice ambience right in the middle of paddy and banana fields at the backdrop of mountains. The walk through the paddy field and banana trees is an interesting experience too with water trickling down on you. A good place to meditate forgetting everything.
Wallajapet - Thiruvalam - Melpadi - Chithoor
Shiva temple at Kanchanagiri
Kanchanagiri is famous for the small Shiva temple on a plateau surrounded by hills. One can see many suyambu lingams. It is believed that they are the Siddhars who lived there for thousands of years.
Location: It is about 7 kms from Ranipet en route Ponnai. After crossing a village called Agravaram you will reach a place called Lalapet. Kanchanagiri hill will be visible from Lalapet itself.
Sri Vilvanathar temple Thiruvalam
Significance: One of the 275 sacred temples glorified by the Thevara hymns; Vinayakar is said to have obtained the celestial mango from Shiva here; referred to as a Mukthistalam; the Ambal shrine is said to be of great significance here.
Location: While traveling from Chennai, Tiruvalam is on the Chennai-Chithoor NH4 highway. From Walajapet take the NH4 towards Chithor and Thiruvalam is around 25 km from there.
Thiruvalam is around 25 km from Vellore and while traveling from Vellore, go to Katpadi, and take the road (towards east) to Thiruvalam at Katpadi bus stand. Proceed till you meet the Chennai-Chithor NH4 highway and Thiruvalam is right at this junction.
- Vinayakar is said to have obtained the celestial mango from Shiva here after the circumambulation of Shiva and Parvathi devi. That’s why the place is called Thiruvalam (valam meaning going around clockwise).
- The Nandhi here is huge and is facing away from the shrine towards Kanjangiri nearby and is said to be guarding the temple from a demon Kanjan of Kanjangiri.
- Here, Lord Siva destroyed the yagna by Dakshan.
- Tamil poet Avvaiyar is said to be associated with this shrine.
Temple: This temple is on the Western Bank of the Pennar river, the water of which was once known for its healing powers. The river is also called niva, shiva said “nii vaa” and the river sprang forth. This is a very huge and beautiful temple, built by the Pallavas and Cholas. There are quite a few references of Rajendra Chola in the stone inscriptions. Although the presiding deity faces the East, the temple entrance faces the South. Inscriptions reveal that this was a grand pilgrimage center in the past with facilities for pilgrims travelling between Southern Tamilnadu and Benares (Kasi). A fine image of Perumal also adorns the temple. There are idols for the 27 birth stars on the vimaanam of the sanctum sanctorum. Almost all the pillars are very nicely decorated with some sculptures. The legend of Nandhi protecting the village from demon Kanjan is depicted in a sculpture. There is a ‘100 pillars Natarajar Mandapam’ here which is extremely quiet. In the left side outer praharam, there is a underground passage and no one knows where it leads to! The temple has highlighted all the inscriptions with white and yellow paint and made it easy to read.
The Tamil Podcast on the temple is available here
Sri Somnatheshwarar Temple at Melpadi
Melpadi is a small village on the Tiruvalam - Ponnai road on the way to Vallimalai at around 12 km from Tiruvalam to the north of Tiruvalam. It is close to the shore of the Pennar river and was the border between Chola and Rashtrakuta kingdoms. The temple is being maintained by Archeological Society of India. It seems Arinjaya Chola, great grand father of Rajaraja chola was visiting this place after the war at Thakkolam. He died while he was resting here. So his son built this temple and also a samadhi for his father.
A travelogue is available here
Sri Choleswara temple at Arur (near Melpadi)
This tomb shrine was built over the mortal remains of Chola Arinjaya (AD 956-967) by his grandson Chola Raja Raja I in the year AD 1014 at Arrur near Melpadi. This temple is also being maintained by Archeological Society of India.
Sri Ranganathar Temple at Erukampattu
This temple, being maintained by Archeological Society of India, is close to Melpadi and Vallimalai. The temple is on a lake bund and Sri Ranganathar here is in Sayana posture. The temple is a 9th century temple.
Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple at Vallimalai
This beautiful hill is located at 16 km north of the Thruvalam en route Ponnai. The Subramanya temple and Jain Sculpture in the rocks here are being maintained by Archeological Society of India. Valli Malai is considered the birth place of Valli, one of the two consorts of Lord Muruga. The stunning beauty of Valli Malai with its pools, fresh greenery, caves and unusual rock formations stands as mute testimony to the continuing presence of the ever-youthful Goddess Herself. There is a natural rock formation like an elephant called Ganesh Giri where Lord Ganesa has helped in the Valli Tirumanam. People cannot stop making a trip to Vallimalai if they happen to see it in photos.
Vallimalai had been one of the important Jaina centers during the early medieval period. According to Kannada inscriptions, the natural cavern was converted into Jaina adobe by prince Rajamalla of Western Ganga dynasty in the 10th century.
Navagraha temple (or Navagragraha Kottai?) at Ponnai
Details not available
Sri Mouna Guruswamy Ashram at Thangal
Srilasri Mouna Guruswamy and Guriji Sundararam Swamigal Ashram is at Thangal.
More details are available here
Vellore - Ambur - Vaniyambadi
Sri Margapandeswarar Temple at Virinchipuram
This temple is at 15 km from Vellore. This sacred Shiva temple is also known as ‘Bhaskara Kshetram’ because the sun is said to worship the linga when its rays fall on it in the month of Panguni. The main shrine of the temple is said to have been built by Raja Raja Chola, Sambara Rayan, the viceroy of Klothunga Chola. There are 5 praharams in the temple and the prahara walls are huge and beautiful (the saying ‘Virinchipuram madhil azhahu’ is popular). There is a lion faced sculpture in the left side of the shrine. There is a well with foot steps inside and is known as the ‘Simha Theertham’.
A travelogue is available here
Uthira Ranganathar temple at Pallikonda
Location: The temple is 23 km from Vellore, 1km inside from Pallikonda main road towards Gudiyatham.
Significance: It is considered that if you stay for 3 nights at Kanchi, you get salvation but here if you stay just one night, you get salvation.
Legend: Indhran’s Brahma harthi dhosham got cleared here.
When there was a fight between Saraswathi and Lakshmi on who is bigger, Brahma declared Lakshmi is bigger. So Saraswathi deserted Brahma. When Brahma conducted an yagna, Saraswathi refused to join him. So Brahma married another lady called Savithri and conducted the Yagna. Saraswathi’s anger grew more and she tried to disturb the yagna with the help of demons by creating a flood in the Palar. Then he prayed to Lord Narayan and He just lied across the Palar river in 3 places to stop the flood. The places are Pallikondan (called Vadavarangam), Thiruparkadal and Yadhothkari at Kanchipuram.
Temple: Temple is inside a fort like structure. People getting married at this temple will get all the 16 types of wealth.
A travelogue is available here
Shiva temple at Mahadevamalai, Kankuppam
About 13 km to the east of Gudiyatham and to the north of Virinchipuram, here is a beautiful hilltop temple for Lord Shiva.
Murugan Temple at Kailasagiri
This scenic hill temple for Lord Muruga is about 10 km north of Ambur and 15 km south of Pernampet at a place called Kailasagiri. Also, the place has ruins of a Mughal fort. Water streams surround the temple area.
A nice travelogue is available here
Sri Bindhu Madhava Perumal temple at Thuthipattu
This temple is on the way to the Gadambur Temple at Kailasagiri
Sri Anjaneyar Temple at Ambur
Location: This temple is located in the midst of Ambur town.
Significance: Sri Anjaneyar is found in a posture of stamping his leg on Sani bhagavan.
Legend: During the time of Sri Rama - Ravana war, Hanuman flew to get the Sanjeevini herbal to save Lakshman. All the nine Navagrahas were under the control of Ravana and were present as the nine foot steps in the Ravana’s palace, So, Ravana, sent Sani bhagavan to catch hold of Hanuman to stop bringing the Sanjeevini herbal. Hanuman, while bringing the whole Sanjeevini mountain, was stopped by Sani bhagavan and said that he was sent by Ravana to stop him. Hanuman got angry and chanting the Rama Nama, put the entire mountain on Sani bhagavan’s head. Unable to bear the pain, Sani bhagavan cried and Hanuman took off the mountain and stamped Sani bhagvan with one of his legs. Finally, Sani bhagvan apologized and pleaded to set him free. Hanuman ordered that he should not clutch any of his devotees who chant the great Sri Rama Nama and not even his sight should fall on them. Sani bhagvan agreed and finally got freed up.
Temple: The Hanuman deity is huge, about 11 feet high with Sani bhagavan being stamped under his leg.
Worship Benefits: Devotees who are much affected by Sani bhagavan can visit this temple to minimize the effect. Marriage prayers are answered.
Sthala viruksham: Nelli
All the Saturdays are special days to visit this temple.
Note: And about 5 km from this temple, there is a small village named ‘Aanai madugu’, where the footprint of Sri Anjaneyar’s right leg is found. Every year, during Pongal, great utsavam is done and the utsavar of the Ambur temple visit here and great alankara utsavam is performed.
Gangai amman temple at Gudiyatham
This is a very popular temple at Gudiyatham.
Arani - Arcot
Arani is a religious centre with several temples for Sri Kesava Perumal, Sri Rama, Sri Anjaneya, Sri Kailasanathar and more, as also in the surrounding villages. There are many Jain temples as well. Arani is a Junction for several road routes and is an ideal place to stay for covering these areas.
Perumal Temple at Thamaraipakkam
Details not available
Kasi Viswanathar temple at Mosur
Details not available
Murugan temple near Thimiri
Details not available
Spatiga linga temple at Thimiri.
Details not available
Gangai Amman temple is very famous in Gudiyatham. Every year Thiruvizha happens during 1st of Vaikasi (approx. May 15). Lakhs of people from neighbouring places and Chennai gather here to witness the festival.
Amman’s Sirasu (head) is carried around the town (ancestrally done by a potter’s family) and fixed on the body at the temple. Its carried by the person from the potters family itself on his head.
Later, again the head is removed from the body and dissolved in water.
Amman’s Sirasu is believed to be too happy while reaching the temple, as it will be fixed to the body.
Again when its removed and it reaches the river for immersion you can see the Amman in a sad mood. Vanavedikkai (fireworks) is very popular during that night.
This fixing of head and removal is connected to the story, where Parasuramar was asked to chop his mother’s head by his father Jamadagni.
People worship Gangai amman for want of water without any scarcity as these places are dependant on rains.
People with small pox etc., stay in this temple till its cured.
Temple’s Ther (Chariot) festival happens one day before Sirasu festival.
The next day after Sirasu, there is another Chariot floated around the town which is fully made of flowers. It is called Pushpa Pallakku and is a feast to eyes to see Amman coming around on Pushpa Pallakku.
I take this opportunity to welcome everyone to this Thiruvizha at Gudiyatham (as Gudiyatham is my home town)