Absurdity of saying Madras was found 372 yrs ago

Every year over last ten years there is this farce of madras day chennai day on. Why do i call it farce? Simply because the city was not established 372 yrs ago as claimed but what happened 372 yrs ago was establishment of st george fort and that area becoming british outlet of south and then on to become a presidency.

Todays chennai has extended so much. Similarly as trade grew, many well known villages and kottams of famous Jayam konda chola mandalam combined to become the big city. many great cities of past have vansished.  and historically TN has had four centres  – karur, madurai, trichy-Thanjur and kanchi region. The karur region is now represented by the high urbane sector of salem-coimbatore. Trcihy-Thanjavur and madurai remain as the other power centres. The kanchi region remains as the northern power centre. Its this location close to kanchi and on sea made the British to establish an outpost here. That is reason Cuddalore wasnt prefered.

In a few more years, Chennai-kanchi will be a twin city region.

So calling it as madras day is obfuscation of history of areas of city. Its good to see Chitra Madhvan every year in her own way remind us of the history,

In south india, its the temples that stand as repository of history.


So here is a list that negates any notion that every locality of chennai came up only because of incident 372 yrs ago. They all existed well before and its just that British decision was a turning point.
Go through this list. Fact remains many of these temple are 900-2000 years old and many
falling in the Chola, Pallava and early Vijayanagara period. All these places were
important places in those period and visited by Kings and patronized. Temples are the
testimony to our history, culture and economy. To remind, the uthiramerur temple bears
testimony to one of the most ancient and most transparent system of elections.( From
hindu links on Eluchur and Uthiramerur)

Mylapore-Triplicane twin area
Mylapore – many shiva temples like Kapalishwarar, Veleshwarar, Valishwarar,
Theerthapaleeswarar , karaneeshwarar, Virupaksheshwarar, Malishwarar etc.
Needless to say about these temples. One of these temples is said to be 2000 years old.

Mylapore Adi kesava perumal – As name suggests very very ancient temple,
Mylapore Madhava perumal – Peyazhwar abhimana Sthalam meaning temple loved by pey alwar/
Mylapore – Kolavili Amman – more than 900- 1000 years old

Ekambareshwarar temple- Temple of Thiruvalluvar birthplace. Where is the
paguthuarivuvathi. In dilapidated condition.

Triplicane – Parthasarathy – Divya Desam. Birth Place on one of the alwars. Needless to say how old.

Triplicane – Tiruvetishwarar. The Shiva existed before, and the temple was rebuilt around 500-600 years ago

Kalikambal or Chennamman– Worshipped by Chatrapathi Shivaji. Was inside fort george. It was shifted out later.

Just as Mumba Devi for Mumbai, was called as Chennamman . Be proud of history. Adi Shankara is said to have visited the shrine.

Chenna kesava perumal – to built Fort St George by british, it was brough down and rebuilt to appease public fury
Chenna mallishwarar – Demolished to built Fort St George by british and rebuilt to appease public fury

These Three temples are reason of why we call Chennai. as Chennai.
Lingeshwara- lingy chetty street
Mallikeshwarar – more than 700 years old. Was recovered as it was completely buried under ground.
Krishnan temple – Thirumazhisai Alwar had been to this temple
Kachalishwarar -300 years old
Kasi Vishwanathar -200 – 300 years
Arunachaleshwarar – 250- 300 years
NSC bose road Vani Subramaniar – built by Vani Chetty trading community, 500 years
Kandakottam Kandaswamy – 500 years old Beri Chetty community built it after idol was unearthed from ground here on instructions in dream.
Ekambareshwarar – 500 years old
Bhairaghi mutt Srinivasa perumal – more than 500 years, built on specific instructions to Bhairaghi mahanth in dreams, the then managers of Tirupathi temple

Starting Along Ring Road
Padi – Sivan temple guru sthalam padal petra sthalam, think valishwarar. Sung by nayanmars.
Villiwakkam – Agasthishwarar shiva temple, – 1100 – 1200 years old
Villiwakkam – Sowmya Damodara Perumal Vishnu temple – 1000-1100 years old
Mogappair- Markandeshwarar and Santhana Gowri ( not sure of name here).
Mogappair -Santhan Srinivasa Swamy temple – 700 years

Mogappair derives its name from these two temples. Magaperu meaning to get children was tamil equivalent santhanapuri. The two temples were part of same complex. Got ruined in 1970’s. The vishnu temple was rebuilt later at different place, whereas Shiva temple exists in same place today. Santha lakshmi unearthed from temple complex is part of Shiva temple.
Koyambedu Vishnu Vaikundavasa perumal and Shiva temple Kurungaleeshwara- do you need more. Chola built. Sung by Arunagiri

Vadapalani Vengishwarar or Vyagarapadehswara Shiva temple ( area called puliyur before)( U can see Vyagarapadar and Patanjali idols here)( headquarters of one of saints of periyapuranam). Chola Built. headquarter of famous Puliyur Kottam of jayamkonda chola mandalam.
Saligramam Aadimola Perumal( right next to Vadapalani temple),Sundararaja Perumal in west mada veedi of Vengishwarar. These two temple go hand in hand with vengishwarar and are very old.

Virugambakkam Varadaraja Perumal
Valasarawakkam Agastheeshwarar Shiva temple. Nearby is Swayambu Vinayaka. 800-900 years old.
Kodambakkam – Bharadwajeshwarar. again very ancient. Chitra madhavan has nice article in Hindu on puliyur temples.

Choolaimedu- Nungambakkam – Agasthishwarar and perumal temple. all again more than 500 yrs old.

Ashok nagar Police training College Mallikeshwarar
Saidapet – Karaneeshwarar – Very ancient temple
Saidapet – Narasimha Venkatachalapthy swamy temple –
saidapet:Subramanya Swamy temple – 400-500 years old
Saidapet:Chenna Kesava Perumal Temple –

Velachery – Dandishwar
Madipakkam – Dharmalingeshwarar
Nanganallur – Ardhanareeshwarar,
Nanganallur Narasimhar.
Parangi malai Siva temple Nandeeshwarar – Was called bringi malai or parangi malai. Only to made into St Thomas mount by british
Selaiyur Madambakkam Dhenupureeshwarar Siva temple – 1100-1200 Chola period
Selaiyur Adi Kesava Perumal -900-1000 years old
Pammal Argeeshwarar – 1000 years old
Tirusulam – Thirusoolanathar Siva temple. Koluthunga Chola
Thiruneermalai – Divya desam
Pallavaram – Thirumaneeshwarar – established by pallavas. Has mahendra varman period temple as well now turned to mosque, documented by even british archaoelogist.
Pallavaram – Neelvarna perumal – 1000- 1200 years old
Pozhichalur- Agasthishwarar. Rebuilt around 900 years back.
Somangalam- Somanadeshwarar- Chola period.
Kovur – Sri Sundareshwarar or Thirumeyeneeshwarar. Kolothunga Chola also patronized
it. 1300-1400 years.( not sure which Kulothunga it was.)
Gerugambakkam – Neelakanteshwarar. Chola period
Kolapakkam – Surya Sthalam like Vysarpadi, Agastheeshwarar – min 1300 years old
Mangadu Kamakshi- Adi Shankara visited here
Mangadu – Shiva temple – Vellishwarar( one at Mylapore as well. So two for Surya, two
for Guru as well). Shiva temple corresponding to Kamakshi
Mangadu – Vaikunda perumal( The Gosalai there is famous)
Kunrathur – Murugan Koluthunga Chola ( don’t know if it was the first or later Koluthungha) and
Kunrathur Siva – Nageshwarar
Kunrathur – Uraga Perumal. Chola period.
Porur – Ramanatheshwarar – Has elephant type garbagriha, hence can be attributed to
Cholas. Legend associated with Ramayana as in Nandambakkam cleanly connecting the
Porur Vyasaraya hanuman. Similar to one at nallatur near tiruthani on banks of kushasthalai and to the one inside Parthasarathy temple established by Vyasara tirtha
Rama and Siva temple at Ramapuram-Nandambakkam. Again bringi malai Bringi
Ahramam. Said to be reconstructed By early Vijayanagara Rajas. See how history been changed with name.

Valasarawakkam-Ramapuram Narasimha Swamy temple- Built by pallavas. renovated by cholas.
Poonamalle – Vaithishwarar. Adi Shankara is said to have been here. In the inner prakaram you can see his vigraham, a rarity.
Ponamalle Varadaraja perumal. Thirukachi nambigal was from here.
Thirumazhisai – Othandeshwarar and Adi jagannatha Perumal temple. Birth place of .Thiorumazhisai alwar
Thiruverkadu – Vedapurishwarar- Kalyana kolam (gnanasambandhar sung sthalam, Arunagirinathar, Periyapuranam)
Thiruverkadu – Thaleshwarar or Yeeteshwarar. Sung by nyanamars.
Thirumullaivoyil- Maasilamanishwarar, Kodiudaiamman, kriya Sakthi. Famous Nyanmar place.
Ayanawaram – Parasurameshwarar. 1000-1200 years old
Chindadripetai – Aadhipureeshwarar and Aadhikesava Perumal – 1300-1500 years old
Egmore Arthanarishwarar (Padal petra Sthalam/vaippu sthala, – do I need to say) – 1300-1400 years. Egmore name part of Appar song.
Purasawakkam- Gangadeeshwarar, Srinivasar. – Manikavasar been here. 1600- years old.
Vysarpadi – Iraveeshwara. Worshipped by Vyasa. Hence the name of place. Will find a Vyasa vigraham here. More than 1000 years old
Kailasanathar koil with Maragatha lingam Madhavaram- Madhavaram milk colony. Pallava nandhi Varman time. There is Vishnu temple enroute as well.
Kolathur – Somanatheshwarar – again ancient temple
Minjur-melur – One of 3 Sakthi Sthalams . Thiruvudaiamman, Iccha Sakthi
Minjur -Has ranganatha temple which like aavanari near nagapattinam is longer than Sri Rangam. Uniquely has lord Anjaneya also
Siva Temple near Red Hills Panchesti – Agasthishwarar. Ancient kings time temple.
Thiruvottiyur – One of 3 sakthi sthalams Gnaana Sakthi,  Padal petra sthalam. Sundar stayed and married here. pattinathar came here. has sankara presence.
Thiruninravur Vishnu as well as Siva. Vishnu is Bhakthvatsala perumal- Divya desam,
Siva is Hridayaeshwarar. This siva is connected with famous mural temple of kailasanathar is Kanchipuram and a nayanmar. Birth place of a nayanmar. Temple built by Pallavan/cholan.
Pallikarnai Lakshmi Narayana Perumal – 700-800 years
Thiruvanmiyur – Oushadeshwara or marundeeshwarar . I have heard it is arnd 6th century. Sung by Nayanmars.
Thiruporur- Murugan temple- very ancient temple. sung also by arunagiri
Near Sholinganallur – Kalinga narthana perumal and venkatachalapathy temple. Pallava period
Besides Singaperumal Koil – Sriperumbudur stretch itself is dotted with many hill temples and old temples like aapur, singaperumal, chettipunyam, vallakkotai, eluchur, uthiramerur etc.
Ofcourse near Sriperumbudur, many important Vaishnavite Sthalams are located.

GST road from TBM- Chingelput is dotted with many ancient temples of Shiva and Vishnu on either side.

This list stands testimony to the history of the city.

Besides there are many 100 -300 year old temples like Vadapalani Murugan- modern name of area derived from temple.

Kothandaramar- West mambalam(100-200 years only I think), Kasi Vishwanathar temple- arnd 500 years

Besides nanganallur has a centuries old Narasimha temple 9 th century  i think.  I may have very well left many more.

PS:I have visited a majority of the temples and is possible I could have visited a few others
as well in my formative years, this list is based on ones I visited and also draws upon
those visited by my parents and their knowledge. Thanks to my father especially who had
told me the history of temple whenever I visited and also told it once again when I asked
specifically. The ages are around and I am not exact Some details on ages from my
uncles. Could be +-200 escpecially the very old ones.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Thiru Alli Keni – The lake with lily flowers has been mentioned by Alwars. (You have referred to birth place of Alwars).

    Thiruvettriyur is also a very old *Paadal Petra Stalam* (You have mentioned Sundarar stayed here).

    Good List.




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