Vedasreni Sri Dhandeeswarar
Sometime during Threthayugam, an Asura by name Somugasura stole all the 4 Vedas and kept them under his custody.To retrieve them Lord Vishnu took the incarnation - Matsyavatar and killed the demon, retrieved the Vedas and handed them over to Brahma. As the Vedas were under the Asura’s custody, these were affected by Asura Dhosha. As per Brahma’s advice all 4 Vedas came to this Kshethra, installed the Murthy of Lord Shiva and worshiped Him.
According to another legend, in Dwaparayugam, lived Markandeya, son of Sage Mrigandu and an ardent Shiva Bhaktha. As Markandeya’s life span was determined to be 16 years, Yama came to him on completion of that period, to take his life away. Frightened, the young boy hugged the Shiva Linga surrendering to Lord Shiva. Yama threw his rope (Paasakkayiru in Thamizh) on Markandeya which fell on him as well as Lord Shiva’s idol. By this act of his, Lord Shiva got angry with Yama and took off his Dhanda (Yama’s weapon). Yama, as per Sage Naradha’s advice came to Vedasreni and formed a Theertham (Pond) and worshiped Lord Shiva here. Hence, the temple pond here is known as Yama Theertham.
As Yama worshiped to get back his weapon (Dhanda), Lord Shiva here is called as Dhandeeswarar.
The presiding Godess is Karunambigai. Yoga Dhakshinamurthy is also present here in an unusual posture. Other deities are Sri Chandrasekarar, Sri Mahalakshmi, Sri Saraswarthi, Sri Subramanyar, Sri Brahma, Godess Durga, Mahavishnu, Lord Sokkanathar and Meenakshi, Sri Vaitheeswarar and Sri Mahavishnu.
Pradhosham days are celebrated well in this temple.
History & Location
The temple is believed to be built during the 11th century. Many inscriptions of Chola Dynasty during 11th Century are seen here.
As 4 Vedas together worshiped here, the place came to be known as Vedasreni, which is today’s Velachery. It is also believed that, since these Vedas and many other sages had performed Yagnas (Velvi in Tamil) here, the place got it's name as Velvichery which turned out to Velachery of today.
This ancient temple is located on the Velachery Road in Chennai on the way from Saidapet towards Pallikaranai.