Vedasreni Sri Dhandeeswarar

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By Saravanan Iyer


This wonderful temple is located in Chennai on the way from Saidapet towards Pallikaranai.


During Threthayugam, an Asura by name Somugasura stole away all the 4 Vedas and kept them under his custody, for which Lord Vishnu took Matsyavatar and killed the demon and retrieved the Vedas and handed them over to Brahma. As the Vedas were under the Asura’s custody, there were caught by Asura Dhosha. As per Brahma’s advice all 4 Vedas came to this Kshethra, installed the Murthy of Lord Shiva and worshipped Him.

As 4 Vedas worshipped here the place here came to be known asVedasreni, which is today’s Velachery. It is also beleived that, as these Vedas and many other sages performed Yagnas (Velvi in Tamil) here, the place got it's name as Velvichery which turned out to be Velachery today.

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 time to take his life away. Frightened 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 worshipped Lord Shiva here. Hence, the temple pond here is known as Yama Theertham.

As Yama worshipped to get back his weapon (Dhanda), Lord Shiva here is called as Dhandeeswarar. The temple is believed to be built during the 11th century. Many inscriptions of Chola Dynasty during 11th Century are seen here. This ancient temple is located on the Velachery Road. Godess is Karunambigai. Yoga Dhakshinamurthy is present here in 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. Though along the main road, the temple has a very calm ambience and one can feel the divine vibrations here.