May 14, 2016

Tiruvetteeswarar Temple

Site Name: Tiruvetteeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:   Triplicane area, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An ancient Shiva temple in the locality known as Vaishnava site
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Tiruvallikkeni or Triplicane is a locality in Chennai which is popular due to Parthasarathy temple. Triplicane is seen as a Vaishnava site. However, there is an ancient Shiva temple located in this area, called as Tiruvetteeswarar Temple. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.


  • God Tiruvetteeswarar
  • Goddess Shenbagambika
  • Sthala Vruksha - Shenbaga tree
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Shenbaga Teerth
  • The temple is a Devara Vaippu Sthalam
  • It is a Rahu-Ketu parihara sthalam
  • It is considered as equivalent to Kalahasti and Varanasi.


As per the legend, Lakshmi prayed to Lord Shiva in this site in order to get married to Vishnu.

As per another legend, Arjun (Partha) fought with Shiva without knowing his identity and thinking him merely as a hunter. During that fight, he wounded Shiva's head and hence a scar is found in this Shiv Linga. Hence, the Linga is also called as Parthaprakara Linga. 

It is believed that the temple was originally built in the 7th century CE or before and was damaged completely. A cow used to release milk on a particular place regularly. The villagers dug the place and found a Shiv Linga with a scar on its top. Hence, Linga is called as Vetteeswarar. The Tamil word Vettu means cut. A temple was constructed with this Linga as the presiding deity. Later, the idol of Goddess was found in the temple tank. 


In the 16th and 17th centuries the Muslim Nawabs gave donations to this temple. Even now, milk and flowers are being supplied to the temple by the Muslim charities for few occasions. 

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has a five tiered Raja gopura. The east facing sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga called as Tiruvetteeswarar. There is another east facing shrine adjacent to the sanctum which enshrines the utsav idols of Somaskanda Murtis. The flag staff, Nandi mandap and bali peetha are found facing towards the sanctum. 

The Goddess Shenbagambika is found in a separate south facing shrine. A separate flag staff, bali peetha and lion vahan are found in front of her shrine.

The entrance of the main shrine has the idols of Ganesha and Skanda. The front side mandap has many pillars with beautiful carvings.

The wall around the sanctum has the niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Sudarshan, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. 

In addition, the wall around the shrine of Somaskanda too has the niche idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Jyoti Shivam, Brahma and Durga.

The relief images of Rahu and Ketu are found in the ceiling.

There are two prakaras. The inner prakara has the sub-shrines or idols of Ganesha, Veerabhadra, Bala Murugan, Nalvar, Sekkizhar, Sundarar with his two consorts, Subramanya with his two consorts, Lakshmi & Saraswati, Utsav idols of Subramanya with his two consorts, 63 Nayanmars Panchaloka idols, Chandikeshwara, Nataraj-Shivakami, Hanuman, Surya, Chandra and 63 Nayanmars.

The outer prakara has the sub-shrines of Vallabha Ganapati, Adikara Nandi, Kasi Vishwanath and Vishalakshi along with Ganesha, Murugan and Nandi, Ramalingar, Bhairav and Navagrahas. There is a shrine for Shanmukha with his two consorts Valli and Devasena with a separate flag staff in front.

Happy travelling. 

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