April 26, 2016

Pallikkaranai Adipureeswarar Temple

Site Name: Adipureeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Pallikkaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A lesser known ancient temple in Chennai
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road 
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Pallikkaranai is a locality in Chennai which has become popular in the last few years thanks to the IT companies in the neighborhood areas. Thousands of people pass through the high road that connects Velachery to OMR or Tambaram. I wonder how many of them realize that there is an ancient temple called Adipureeswarar located on this road. Although the temple is locally famous and people from Pallikkaranai area visit the temple regularly, this temple remains unknown to those who are residing outside Pallikkaranai area. Let us discuss about this temple in this article. 


  • God Adipureeswarar
  • Goddess Shanta Nayaki
  • Sthala Vruksha - Bilva
  • The temple was renovated during the period of Krishnadeva Raya 
  • It is a Rahu-Ketu parihara sthalam
  • It is considered as equivalent to Kalahasti


As per the legend, the sage named Vyagrapada wanted to perform pooja to Lord Shiva with Bilva leaves. He was searching for a place where there would be a lot of Bilva trees and he at last found out this site. He wished his legs to be converted to that of tiger's and Shiva fulfilled his wish. He got tiger's legs using which he was able to pluck flowers and leaves faster to perform pooja. From then onwards, he was called as Vyagrapada. 

Later a King came to this region and heard about Vyagrapada. He built a temple for Shiva in this place and also named the region as Puliyur Kottam. (The words Vyagra in Sanskrit and Puli in Tamil mean tiger).


It is believed to be at least 700 years old. As per the inscriptions, the temple was renovated during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya.  

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has a small three tiered Raja gopura. 

The east facing sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga named as Adipureeswarar.

The south facing shrine of the Goddess Shanta Nayaki is found in the maha mandap area of the sanctum.

At the entrance of the sanctum, the idols of Ganesha and Subramanya are situated.

The small flag staff, bali peetha and Nandi mandap are found facing towards the main shrine.

The wall around the shrine of Shiva has Nardana Vinayaka, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Vishnu Durga as the Koshta idols.

The wall around the shrine of Shanta Nayaki has Kamakshi, Lakshmi and Saraswati as the Koshta idols.

The following sub-shrines are located in the prakara:

  • Maha Ganapati
  • Subramanya-Valli-Devasena
  • Hanuman
  • 63 Nayanmars
  • Navagraha
  • Nataraj-Sivakami
  • Utsav idols such as two pairs of Somaskanda, two pairs of Uma-Chandrasekhar, Subramanya, Ganesha, etc
  • Chandikeshwara
The idols that are found in the temple include:
  • Surya and Chandra facing towards the main shrine
  • Vyagrapada and Patanjali facing towards the main shrine (it is one of those temples believed to be visited by these two sages)
  • Swarna Akarshana Bhairav with his consort
  • Navagraha
  • Rahu and Ketu along with Ganesha
  • Ganesha and Sekkilar
  • Bhairav in maha mandap area
  • Bhairav in the prakara
  • Sharabheshwara

There is a section where five sacred Bilva trees are found together. Few Nagas and other such idols are kept under those trees.

A very big temple tank is located on crossing the high road.

Happy travelling.

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