Thanthondreeswarar Belur

Thanthondreeswarar, Belur

Saivite Temples - Salem District


Thanthondreeswarar, facing east


Dharmasamvardhini, facing east

Other Deities

Surya, Naalvar, 63 Nayanmar, Large Lingam with two Nandis, Varasidhdhi Vinayaka, Kalyana Vinayaka, Pancha Bootha Lingams, Muruga with consorts, Gajalakshmi, Anjaneya, Navagraha, a small Lingam with Nandi, Kanampula Nayanar, Pitchadanar, Kala Bhairava, Chandran, Naagar. Sanctum niches – Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara

Thanthondreeswarar Belur is a large east-facing temple with a tall 7 tiered Rajagopuram in the entrance on the east. Before the Rajagopuram is a Mandapam. A Single large and covered Prakaram houses the Sanctum Sanctorum and all the shrines. There are large mandapams before the sanctum and the shrine of the goddess. These mandapams have beautifully carved pillars with warriors on horses and Yaali with rolling balls inside the mouth. The main deity is a large 5 feet tall lingam. The sun’s rays fall on the lord here during the Tamil month of Chithirai (April-May). The Sthala Vriksham here is a combination of three trees and a scientific study some time back revealed that the age of the tree could as much as the temple. Thanthondreeswarar Belur is surrounded by hills on all sides and the Shervaroy Hills extends from the east to west on the north side of the temple. The Vasishta River flows just behind Thanthondreeswarar Belur on the west side. This river originating in the Shervaroy Hills joins the Vellar River further east and enters the Bay of Bengal near Portonovo (Parangipettai).

Holy Water (Theertham) – Vasishta River

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Mango, Jack and Iluppai merged together as one


Thanthondreeswarar Belur is considered a Thirumurai Vaippu Sthalam having been mentioned in the Thirupaattu Hymns (7-12-8) of Sundarar (8th Century CE). Thanthondreeswarar Belur was built in parts by a merchant. The Rajagopuram construction was started in the 12th Century CE by Parantaka Chola but was left unfinished. Vijayanagar Kings have contributed to the development of the Thanthondreeswarar Belur temple. The Brahmanda Purana which had its origins in the 4th Century CE and continuously evolved to a large volume of writings by 10th and 11th Centuries CE mentions this temple.


On the advice of Lord Vishnu, Arjuna who was in this area during the Pandavas exile created a theertham with his arrow shaped like a crescent moon. Sage Vasishta performed Yaga (Velvi) here and added more glory to the river which is known as Vasishta River. The ash from the Yaga performed by Sage Vasishta is still given in the temple as Prasad to devotees. The ancient name of the place was Velvi(Yaga) Oor which later became Belur. A pepper merchant called Manickam Chetty, who passed here in the ancient days used a stone to crush small Sundakkai (Solanum torvum) berries when he heard a voice saying that the head hurts and to apply pepper on it. He immediately lied by saying that his bag contains black grams and not pepper. Continuing on his journey he reached the marketplace and upon opening the bag found black grams. He immediately realized his folly, the divine nature of the stone he had used, and prayed sincerely to Lord Shiva for forgiveness. He heard a voice asking him to put a handful of earth from the very spot the incident happened into the bag. The black grams turned back to Pepper. The market where he opened the back came to be called Ulundurpettai (Black Grams – Ulundu in Tamil). He then came back to the place, took out the Lingam, built a sanctum and the temple.


Thanthondreeswarar Belur is about 6 kilometers north of Vazhapadi. Vazhapadi is about 30 kilometers east of Salem on the road towards Kallakurichi.

Stay and Food

None locally. The closest for food and stay would be Salem.

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