Jalakandeswarar Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also known as Jalakandeswarar, meaning “the Lord of the water”. The temple is located in the Vellore Fort, in the heart of the Vellore city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is a splendid example of Vijayanagara architecture, with exquisite carvings, sculptures and paintings.
The temple was built in the 16th century CE by Chinna Bommi Nayaka, a chieftain under Vijayanagara king Sadasiva Raya. The temple is also associated with some legends and miracles that add to its charm and sanctity. Famous temple and tourist attraction in Vellore, Visit during One Day Chennai to Vellore Tour Package by Private Cab
Location of Jalakandeswarar Temple
Jalakandeswarar Temple is situated inside the Vellore Fort, which is a large 16th-century fort built by Vijayanagara kings. The fort is located in the centre of the Vellore city, which is about 140 km away from Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. The fort and the temple are easily accessible by road, rail and air from various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states. The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport, which is about 130 km away from the temple. The nearest railway station is Vellore Cantonment Railway Station, which is about 2 km away from the temple. There are also regular bus services to Vellore from Chennai, Bangalore, Tirupati and other cities.
Timing/Entry Fees Jalakandeswarar Temple
Jalakandeswarar Temple is open for visitors from 6:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple, but there are charges for special darshan and abhishekam. The special darshan charge is Rs. 10 per person, and the abhishekam charge is Rs. 50 per person.
How to Reach Jalakandeswarar Temple
Jalakandeswarar Temple can be reached by road from various parts of Vellore and nearby towns. There are auto rickshaws and taxis available for hire from the railway station, bus stand and other places. Alternatively, one can walk or cycle to the temple from nearby areas.
Things to Do/Must See Jalakandeswarar Temple
There are many things to do and see at Jalakandeswarar Temple, such as:
- Darshan: The main attraction of Jalakandeswarar Temple is darshan, which means seeing the deity with devotion and reverence. The temple has a magnificent idol of Lord Shiva as Jalakandeswarar, made of black stone and adorned with jewels and flowers. The idol is seated on a bull-shaped pedestal, with four hands holding a trident, a drum, a rosary and a snake. The idol radiates grace and blessings to the devotees who seek his divine intervention.
- Abhishekam: Abhishekam is a ritual of bathing the deity with various substances such as milk, honey, curd, sandalwood paste and rose water. It is believed that abhishekam cleanses the deity and enhances his power and beauty. It also bestows auspiciousness and prosperity to the devotees who perform or witness it. Abhishekam is performed daily at Jalakandeswarar Temple at different timings for different substances.
- Architecture: Jalakandeswarar Temple is a splendid example of Vijayanagara architecture, with exquisite carvings, sculptures and paintings. The temple has a towering gopuram (gateway tower) over 100 ft in height, with intricate details of gods, goddesses, animals and floral motifs. The temple also has a mandapam (hall) with richly carved stone pillars of dragons, horses and yalis (lion-like creatures). The temple also has a kalyana mantapam (wedding hall) with a two-faced sculpture of a bull and an elephant. The temple also has several paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology on its walls and ceilings.
- Shopping: Jalakandeswarar Temple is also a good place to shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, jewellery, books and other products related to spirituality and culture. There are many stalls and shops near the temple that sell these items at reasonable prices. One can also buy prasadam (sacred food) from the temple counter.
Jalakandeswarar Temple Nearby Tourist Attractions
There are many other tourist attractions near Jalakandeswarar Temple that are worth visiting, such as:
- Vellore Fort: This is a large 16th-century fort built by Vijayanagara kings that houses several monuments of religious and cultural significance, such as the Jalakanteswarar Temple, the St. John’s Church and a Muslim mosque. The fort is known for its grand ramparts, wide moat and robust masonry.
- Sripuram Golden Temple: This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The temple is located in Sripuram, a spiritual park in Thirumalaikodi, about 9 km away from the temple. The temple is famous for its golden exterior that covers an area of about 1500 kg of gold. The temple also has a star-shaped path that leads to the main shrine, which symbolises the path to enlightenment.
- Amirthi Zoological Park: This is a zoological park that is located about 25 km away from the temple that covers an area of about 25 hectares. The park has a variety of animals and birds, such as deer, monkeys, peacocks, crocodiles, eagles and parrots. The park also has a waterfall and a children’s park.
Significance of Jalakandeswarar Temple
Jalakandeswarar Temple is not only a tourist attraction, but also a source of spirituality and heritage for Vellore. It is a place that was built by Chinna Bommi Nayaka, a chieftain under Vijayanagara king Sadasiva Raya, who had a dream where Lord Shiva asked him to build a temple at that location. It is also a place that showcases the art and architecture of Vijayanagara dynasty, which ruled over South India for over two centuries. It is also a place that reflects the diversity and harmony of Vellore, as it is located inside the Vellore Fort, which houses monuments of different religions, such as Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
Q: How big is Jalakandeswarar Temple?
A: Jalakandeswarar Temple covers an area of about 3 acres and has a circumference of about 1 km.
Q: How old is Jalakandeswarar Temple?
A: Jalakandeswarar Temple was built in the 16th century CE by Chinna Bommi Nayaka, a chieftain under Vijayanagara king Sadasiva Raya.
Q: What is the best time to visit Jalakandeswarar Temple?
A: Jalakandeswarar Temple can be visited throughout the year, as the climate is moderate and pleasant. However, the peak season is from October to March, when the weather is cool and dry.
Jalakandeswarar Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves spirituality, culture and nature. It is a place where one can see, worship and serve Lord Shiva as Jalakandeswarar, who is the Lord of the water. It is a place where one can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Vellore Fort, which is a historic and majestic fort. It is a place where one can experience the glory and spirit of Vellore.