August 20, 2009

An unpolluted calm place - Thirukkallil aka Thirukkandalam, Chennai

Site Name: Thirukalleeswarar Temple
Site Type: Ancient Hindu Temple
Location:  Near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
One of 274 Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India

Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road 
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

In this post, I am going to introduce you about a place in Chennai, which is not known even to most of the Chennaites. Thirukkallil aka Thirukkandalam is a calm and unpolluted village located at a distance of around 40 kms from Chennai. You need to take Periyapalayam route to reach this village from Chennai. This village is at a distance of around 10 kms from Periyapalayam. The village has an important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered as the 18th among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in the Tondai region.


  • Sambandhar has revered the temple in his verses in Devaram.
  • God - Thirukkaleeswarar or Shivanandeeswarar
  • Goddess - Ananda Valli
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy tree) - Alari (Oleander Plant)
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Nandi Teerth
  • Considered as one of the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams


It is believed that the temple tank was created by Nandi. Hence, it is called as Nandi Teerth.

The temple has a lot of legends associated with it. In the beginning, Shiv Linga of the temple was in the midst of Kalli trees and hence he got the name Kalleeswarar. The saint Bhrigu worshiped Shiva amidst kalli trees in this site and Lord Dakshinamurti along with Shakti appeared in front of him. Hence, in this temple, the rare idol of Dakshinamurti is found along with his consort. 

There is also another legend about this temple. When Lord Shiva and Parvati got married at Mount Kailash in the north, all Devas and Asuras gathered there. Hence the land in the north was dipping. Shiva ordered the saint Agastya to go to south to balance it out. The saint camped in a place near this temple and Shiva gave Shiva Ananda darshan (appeared in a specific pattern) to the saint to compensate him for not attending the wedding. Hence he also got the name Shivanandiswara in this temple.

There is one more legend according to which, after fighting with Lakshman and Ram, Ram's sons Kush and Luv dipped in the river in this village and hence the river got the name Kushasthalai.


The temple appears to have been built in the 12th century CE. The inscriptions from the Chola, Pandya, and Vijayanagar emperors, which belong to the period from 12th to 15th centuries are found in the temple.

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has a beautiful five towered Raja Gopuram (tower) and a tank in front of it. 

The main deity of the temple is Shiva Linga named as Thirukalleeswarar or Shivanandeeswarar. Facing his shrine, the bali peetha, flag staff and Nandi idol are found.

The Goddess Anandavalli is found in a separate shrine. 

Natana Ganapati, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Vishnu Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) images. The Vimana of the temple is based on Gajaprshtha architecture style.

There are other idols and sub-shrines found in this temple such as Nalvar, Surya, Hanuman, Sundara Vinayak, Kalathinathar (Shiva Linga), Bala Subramanya, Chandikeshwara, the unusual Shakti Dakshinamurti, Bhairav and Navagrahas. 

Go and visit this unusually calm and beautiful village and well maintained temple. If you like, take a dip in the clean tank. Enjoy!

Happy travelling.

1 comment:

  1. While visiting your blog site for more and more spots in Chennai, I came across one name of tree which is unknown to me, Kalli. Can you please elaborate this tree? Is it the same shown in the photo ? Regards.