Kanchanagiri – History
Lalapettai was ruled by Chinna Thimma Reddy, the son-in-law of Sri Krishna Devaraya (1548 AD to 1592 AD) and then it was ruled by his son Linga Reddy from (1592 AD to 1604 AD). The Reddy community thrived throughout the different parts of Vellore mainly because of the rule of the Reddy kings. After the Mughal invasion Lalapettai among other parts of Vellore came under the rule of the Arcot Nawab, Sathathulla khan and his minister Thakkama Raya Lala was in charge of Lalapettai. During the British rule he was given land of 4000 acres. He established a town after his name called Lalapettai.
He donated the rest to the Brahmins and for the construction of the temples for lord Shiva and Lord Perumal. As there were not good roads to reach Lalapettai, people used to come on horseback till the lake and rest a while at the mandapam in ‘Rajamalai’ near the lake and take a boat across the lake to reach Lalapettai. Even today the mandapam and clock can be seen on Rajamalai. Under the British rule Lalapettai came under the North Arcot District with Vellore as the capital a rail road was laid between Lalapettai and Agraharam in 1911.
Sri Shivagnana Swamigal was born in Trichy and grew up in Malaysia. He got to hear the news about Kanjanagiri and wished to contribute to the enhancement of its beauty. In 1910 he succeeded in laying down cobbled roads. In 1941 he established an ashram in Kanjanagiri and worked on the further development of the place. He also started the free-meals distribution which goes on even today. After the demise of Sri Sivangnana Swamigal on December 8th, 1973, the work was carried on by his disciple, Smt. Sengammal and later by his granddaughter Smt. Gnammal.
From 1981 till 2006 many benefactors and bureaucrats helped the building of roads and in the fixing of sodium vapour lamps, of course with the help of villagers. Kanchanagiri is connected to Thiruvalam temple by legend. The Nandhi of Thiruvalam temple had destroyed the demon Kanchan of this hill and his flesh pieces around this hill had become Swayambu Lingas after the holy water was sprinkled on them. Knowing this legend, some ashram people from Coimbatore came here, researched and collected all the Swayambu lingams and arranged them in one place. There are around 100 of them on a plateau on top of the hill.