Jalagandeeswarar Temple, Yelagiri

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Festivals, Worship, Art, Architecture, History and Learning.
  • Entrance Fee: Entry to the temple is free.
  • Visiting Time: It opens in the morning at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 8:30 p.m. The temple is also closed in the afternoon time from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Visit Duration: The duration is subjective. In general, it takes approximately two to four hours to tour the entire temple.

Aging over a thousand years, the Jalagandeeswarar Temple is located within the Vellore Fort in Tamil Nadu. This ancient architectural marvel belongs to the Vijayanagar period. Legends say that this place was originally the location of an ant-hill engulfed by stagnant rain water. The controller of the fort, Chinna Bommi, had a dream in which Lord Shiva expressed his desire to have a temple built in the ant-hill region. Thus, Chinna Bommi demolished the ant-hill and there was already a Lingam existing in the stagnant waters. Thus, he named the deity as Jalagandeeswarar, meaning ‘Shiva dwelling in the waters’ in Tamil.

Jalagandeeswara Temple
Photo by Glsanthoshkumar, CC BY-SA 3.0

Traveller Tips

  • Maintain silence in the temple premises.
  • Avoid unnecessarily touching or fiddling with the temple properties.
  • Do not use cameras or mobile phones in restricted areas.

Things to Do

  • The Jalagandeeswarar Temple is known for its holy atmosphere that attracts devotees from distant place. This temple specially caters to those wanting to make delayed marriages happen, those desiring ripe old ages and those who need to overcome fear of accidents. If you’re a pious devotee of the deities here, this temple is where you need to make your special prayers.
  • The temple hosts several stunning sculptures, monoliths, beautiful carvings, splendid pillars and massive gates. It sure is the perfect destination to unleash the admiration for phenomenal architecture.

Availability of Guides

Local guides are available to explain the history of the temple. Most travel agencies arrange for a certified tour guide and this comes as part of your tourist package.

Best Time to Visit

The temple can be visited anytime of the year; however, Saturdays are the most festive days. The best time to visit the Jalangadeeswarar Temple are on the special occasions of Vinayakar Chathurthi, Navarathri, Chithra Poornima and Aadipooram. The dates on which these festivals fall, are prone to change from year to year. Therefore, if you’re planning to visit the temple on a festival day, confirm the dates with the temple authorities, by contacting them.

How to Reach

If you’re travelling by air, you can take a flight to the Chennai  International Airport or the Tirupati airport. From there you can reach Vellore by train or bus. The Katpadi junction is connected to many prominent cities of the country. The Vellore railway junction is connected to prominents cities of South India like Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai.  Vellore is well-connected by buses to most districts in Tamil Nadu and also the neighbouring states. From Vellore city, it takes only a five-minute drive to the Jalangandeeswarar temple. One can hire a taxi or use the local state transportation to reach the temple.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About Jalagandeeswarar Temple

  • The sculptures and images of Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are present in the temple along with the goddesses Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and Parvathi.
  • The major fascination of the temple is ‘The Revolving Lamp’. The revolving lamp is an earthen lamp which, in some cases, begins to revolve when the devotees place their hands on it, as they make their prayers.
  • Another attraction here, is the Navashakthi Jyothi which is a torch with a round inextinguishable flame encircled by eight lamps.
  • The temple is completed encircled by a water tank whose circumference is a whooping value of eight thousand feet.
  • A few decades ago, the temple lay vacant as a result of the capture of the Vellore Fort by the Muslims. It therefore was empty for four hundred years until it was handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India in 1921.
  • The Jalagandeeswarar Temple was re-consecrated in 1981.
  • The temple is now administered by the Tamil Nadu government and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Jalagandeeswara Temple Yelagiri
Photo by Bhaskaranaidu, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Tipu and Hyder Mahal
  • Vellore Museum
  • John’s Church
  • Sripuram Golden Temple
  • Puganoor Lake
  • Jalagamparai Falls
  • Vallimalai Subramanyar Temple
  • Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple

Nearby Restaurants

  • Amma Restaurant
  • Virundhu
  • Arya Bhavan
  • Mani’s Café
  • Sharif Restaurant
  • Sri Ganesh Bhavan
  • Akshaya Hotel
  • Hotel Arun
  • Gyan Vaishnav Dhaba

The Jalagandeeswarar Temple stands even today as evidence of the architectural skills of the ancient Indians. The temple is considered extremely sacred and hundreds of devotees throng here. Besides being a place of worship, this place is also known for the works of amazing art, it possesses. So, when you’re holidaying in Yelagiri, do not miss to check out this place.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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