March 23, 2013

The Chola-era Brick Temple near Chennai - Vedal

Site Name: Vadavamuga Agneeswarar Temple  
Site Type: Hindu Brick Temple
Location:  Vedal, near Cheyyur, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Lesser known brick temple built during the period of Raja Raja Chola I
Nearest Railway Station: Chenglepet
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Connected by road from Cheyyur; the path near the site is not in good condition and very narrow; Also, it is difficult to find the route
Hotel: Go to Chennai or Chenglepet 
Restaurants: Go to Chennai for better options

Cheyyur is a lesser known village located near Chennai city in South India. Around 10 kms from Cheyyur, the small village named Vedal is located. Vedal lake is a popular one. Near the lake, the 10th century brick temple of Lord Shiva is found. It is believed to have been built during the era of Raja Raja Chola I, the emperor who built the famous Tanjore Brahadeeswarar Temple.

Little care is being taken by the villagers or the Government to preserve this architecturally excellent temple. A huge crack is running through the middle of the vimana and the backside wall of the temple (at the time of writing this post - March 2013).

The Cholas reconstructed a lot of brick temples into granite temples. Only few brick temples are found today in Tamil Nadu state of South India. Especially, there is hardly any brick temple that exists near Chennai city today. Hence, Vadavamuga Agneeswarar temple located in Vedal is a rare one.

The temple which is almost in ruins has two separate shrines - the main shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva (Vadavamuga Agneeswarar) and the other one dedicated to Goddess Vasanta Nayaki. The main temple is built in the Gajaprshtha architectural style (aka Thoonganai style which resembles the back side of the elephant).

The koshta images Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found on the wall surrounding the main shrine. Chandikeshwarar is also found as usual.

The vimana along with the images of the Gods is strikingly beautiful although it is in the ruins.

Happy travelling.

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  1. This blog is one of best travel blogs for South India. My heartfelt thanks for posting this blog with travel information.

  2. WOW! That's a very nice documentation... Have seen another canon ball like stone with inscriptions near Kanchi... Are there to depict anything in significant?

  3. Hi All... Am Rajmohan N from the this village... We have been taking steps to renovate this centuries old Chola temple...

    Another info... You can also see Godess Bhoomadevi , which is rare sight!

    It is also believed by the villagers that... the canon ball will get blast by itself and many gold and antiques will come out,if you read all the words in the inscription without releasing your breath at one streach...

    1. Thanks Mr. Rajmohan. Where is Bhoomadevi in this temple? I guess I missed it.

    2. Its Near by that chola temple. Only the Statue of Bhoomadevi remains now!

  4. Dear sir, i need to know about the details of ayyanar andanandavalli temple in Bhuvanagiri. i will very greatful for the info. my e-mail id is

    1. Sorry, I have not yet visited this temple. I will definitely let you know if I could gather details about this place.