Dhandeeswarar Velachery

Dhandeeswarar Velachery

Saivite Temples, Chennai District


Dhandeeswarar, facing east


Karunambika, facing south

Other Gods

Ganesha, Yoga Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara, Vinayaka, Muruga with consorts, Somaskandar, Chandrasekhar with consort, Mahalakshmi, Saraswathi, Thirugnanasambandar, Nataraja, Bhairava, Mahavishnu, Surya, 63 Nayanmar, Naalvar, Kasiviswanathar with visalakshi, Vaitheeswarar, Chokkanadar, Meenakshi, Navagraha, Naagar, Veerabadhra

Dhandeeswarar Velachery is an east facing temple with the Rajagopuram at the southern entrance. There are smaller gopurams at the other 3 directions which are all closed. There are two Prakarams. As you enter the innermost Prakaram you circumambulate and reach the shrine of the main deity. The nandi here appears with his head bowed and in a sublime posture. A large temple tank is present west of the temple which is today well protected and maintained. The temple itself had been in neglect for long and has been renovated in recent times. Many stone inscriptions are found in this temple which belongs to the Chola Period. Veerabadhra in sitting form is a specialty here unlike his normal standing posture. In the Tamil month of Thai (January) the rays of the sun falls on the main deity. A bust of Chandikeswara is seen in northern side of the outer Prakaram. The ancient Chelliamman temple opposite is also connected with this temple’s legend. The Sri Chakra installed by eminent Vedic Scholar, Appiah Dikshithar is in the shrine of Goddess Karunambika.

Holy water (Theertham) – Yama Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)


Tamil stone inscriptions from the period of Sundara Chola are found here around the walls of the sanctum sanctorum. One of the inscriptions mentions a donation made towards burning a lamp. This is considered the first temple constructed by Cholas in this part of the state as per a Historian.


Yama, the god of death, is believed to have done penance here to seek the pardon and blessings of the lord after he lost his strength at being kicked on the chest by the Lord to save Sage Markandeya at Thirukadavur. He created the Theertham (temple tank) bathed in it and was granted pardon and a staff (Dhandam) by the pleased Lord Shiva. hence his name here is Dhandeeswarar.

It is also believed that the 4 Vedas prayed to the Lord here to get back their original purity, power and glory after being rescued by Lord Vishnu from the Asura Hiranyaksha, who had kept them immersed in the ocean. Since the Vedas worshipped here the place was called Vedasreni, which became Vedachery and now Velachery.

Another story is that Lord Shiva deputed Veerabadhra to protect the Saptha Madhar who were targeted by a demon whom they had set out to kill whereas they ended up killing a sage by mistake. The demon was subsequently killed by Veerabadhra and you see him depicted here in a sitting posture with the Saptha Madhar. He is considered the guardian deity of women and receives special offerings and pooja in Dhandeeswarar Velachery temple.


Dhandeeswarar Velachery is in the northern side of Velachery and is easily accessible. However parking here is a problem and the surrounding areas are not so clean.

Stay and Food

Chennai has many hotels and restaurants across all tiers. Velachery bypass road has many restaurants.

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