Dhenupureeswarar Temple (Madambakkam)

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Dhenupureeswarar Temple
Thenupureeswarar koil front view.jpg
Dhenupureeswarar Temple is located in Tamil Nadu
Dhenupureeswarar Temple
Dhenupureeswarar Temple
Location in Tamil Nadu
Other names Dhenupurisvara, Thiripureeswarar
Coordinates 12°53′55″N 80°09′36″E / 12.89861°N 80.16000°E / 12.89861; 80.16000Coordinates: 12°53′55″N 80°09′36″E / 12.89861°N 80.16000°E / 12.89861; 80.16000
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Kanchipuram district
Location Madambakkam
Primary deity Dhenupureeswarar(Shiva)
Consort Dhenukambal(Parvati)
Direction and posture East
Poets Arunagirinathar[1]
Important festivals Pradosha, Panguni Uttiram, Navarathri
Architectural styles Dravidian
History and governance
Date built circa 957–970 CE

Dhenupureeswarar Temple (also "Dhenupurisvara" and "Thiripureeswarar"), is located in Madambakkam near Tambaram, Chennai. Dhenupureeswarar is the local name for the Hindu deity Shiva.[1]

Religious significance[edit]

Dhenupureeswarar got his name because he gave moksha to a cow (Sanskrit: Dhenu).[citation needed] Sage Kapila is said to have been reborn as a cow for his sin of having improperly worshiped a Shiva lingam using his left hand. The cow continued to worship Shiva by pouring milk on a Shiva lingam buried in the ground. The cowherd initially punished the cow for wasting the milk, but when the villagers unearthed the Shiva lingam, Shiva appeared and granted moksha (liberation) to Kapila and forgave the cowherd who had mistreated him.[2] Legend has it that the king had a dream of this occurrence at this site and had the temple built to commemorate it.[3]

Dhenupureeswarar's consort here is Dhenukambal. The main building of the temple, which contains the statue of Dhenupureeswara in linga form, faces east and his consort faces south in a separate sanctum.[1] The Shiva lingam is Swayambhu Lingam or Self Manifested Lingam.[citation needed]

Temple Vimana


The temple was built during the reign of the Chola king, Parantaka Chola II, father of Raja Raja Chola I, who constructed the famous Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur. The main sanctum (Sanskrit: garbha griha), like some other Chola temples in and around Chennai, is apsidal in shape (Sanskrit: gajaprishta vimana) (also described as shaped like the back of a sleeping elephant), unlike most Hindu shrines, which are square or rectangular.[1][3]

The temple is thought to have been consolidated with stones during the reign of Kulothunga Chola I.[3]

Well-preserved Chola sculptures and carved pillar bases are present in and around both sanctums.[1]

A number of fine inscriptions and sculptures dating to the Vijayanagara Empire are also preserved.[1]

Nandi statue


The temple is one of a number of sites that have been conserved and restored under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India.[4][5] Improvements included removing the damaged thick weathering course (roof surface) of the front mandapa and Amman Shrine and relaying with fresh weathering course.[6]

The ASI states that the temple has been declared a monument of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (amendment and validation) 2010 Act.[2]

The temple is a National Monuments Authority notified site upon which construction is banned.[7]

Verses mentioning the temple from Arunagirinathar's Thirupugazh inscribed on the temple wall

Cultural significance[edit]

The 15th century Tamil poet Arunagirinathar's work contains a line mentioning the temple.[3]

A number of religious festivals are celebrated at the temple, including Pradosha, Panguni Uttiram and during Navarathri, devotees visit to offer special pujas.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Chitra Madhavan (September 26, 2003). "Ancient Chola temple at Madambakkam". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  2. ^ a b J. V. Siva Prasanna Kumar (August 3, 2012). "1,000-year-old Chola legacy draws devotees". The Asian Age. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d Rohini Ramakrishnan (June 22, 2010). "Walking through history". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  4. ^ T. Ramakrishnan (October 2, 2001). "Restoring past glory". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  5. ^ Nirmala Lakshman. Degree Coffee by the Yard: A Short Biography of Madras. Aleph Book Company. p. 50. ISBN 9789383064403. 
  6. ^ "Indian Archaeology 1999-2000 -A Review" (PDF). Archaeological Survey of India. 2005. p. 296. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  7. ^ D. Madhavan (December 20, 2012). "National Institute of Siddha modifies expansion plan". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 

External links[edit]