Velleeswarar Temple, Mangadu – The Temple
This is a mid-size temple spread over 2 acres and is among the 3 principal temples in Mangadu – the other 2 being the Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple and Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple. The temple has no Raja gopuram and the entrance is from south side. The temple originally belongs to Pallava period. It appears that the original brick temple was reconstructed as the stone temple. It is said that people visiting Kamakshi Amman Temple should also have Dharshan at Velleeswarar Temple and Vaikunda Perumal Temple in Mangadu, as all these three temples are interconnected with the history of Sri Kamakshi Amman.
On entering the temple, one comes across the Bali Peeta or the sacrificial altar, and a resplendent Nandhi is present outside the sanctum, facing west. Presiding Deity is called as Velleeswarar / Sukreeswarar / Bargaveeswarar. Sanctum is east facing. The Lord himself is a 6-feet tall Shivalinga housed on a square Avudaiyar. Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga can be found at either side of the entrance of the sanctum.
Lord Vinayaka holds paddy stalks in his left upper hand and a mango in the lower hand. Farmers offer paddy and mango as offering to him praying for good harvests. Nel Kadir Vinayaka holds paddy stalk in his hands. Another Vinayaka in the Goshta has an umbrella and a fan (Shamara) in hand. There are thus two Vinayakas in the temple in different forms. He is called as Mangani Vinayagar / Nel Kadir Vinayaka. The place Mangadu itself got its name as it was once a vast mango forest.
Ganesha, Dakshina Murti, Lingodhbava and Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) idols. Vishnu with his discus and Brahma are seen in the sitting posture with folded hands on either side of Lingodhbava, which is not usually seen in the other temples. Lord Dakshinamurthy has an asura (Muyalagan), the symbol of ignorance under his feet. Goddess Durga is also installed with her discus near Lingodhbava. Durga appears with a discus attributed to Lord Vishnu, a rare form in this temple and is called Vishnu Durga. This is the speciality in the temple.
There is no Goddess in this temple as she is present in the separate temple (as Kamakshi) nearby. It is believed that Kamakshi performed penance in this temple. Hence, the footprints of Kamakshi in a gated enclosure is found near the Nandi idol. There is a separate shrine for Veerabhadrar behind the sanctum. Daksha with his goat head and in a worshiping posture is near Veerabhadra.
Subramanya's shrine is present at the north-west side of the outer prakaram. Subramanyar is magnificently adorned and is seen with his consorts - Valli and Devasena. All the three deities are carved out of a single stone. Lord Muruga’s vahana (carrier) peacock is present outside the shrine, facing it. The temple also has separate shrines for Lord Kasi Viswanathar and Lord Sundareswarar along with their consorts Visalakshi and Meenakshi respectively.
The temple has a separate shrine for the Navagrahas as well. Shrines for Naalvar, Utsava Idols, Natarajar Saba, Bairavar and Suryan can be seen in the Arthamandapam. Shrine of Siddhi Vinayagar can be found in the outer prakaram. There is also a shrine for Kala Samhara Moorthy and Balambikai near the Durga and Chandikeswarar shrines. Sthala Vriksham is Mango tree and Theertham is Chakra Theertham.