History And Geography

Tiruvallur was originally known as Tiruevullur which specifies the sleeping position of the Holy Lord “Vishnu”, in the Veeraragava temple of Tiruvallur. Later people began to refer it by names such as Trivellore and Tiruvallur. Today Tiruvallur is well known, one of the reasons being the Veeraragava Temple. The new moon day is very auspicious day for the Lord and so for the people of the town.

The District of Tiruvallur has been carved out by bifurcating erstwhile Chengalpattu District (which was renamed as Chengalpattu-MGR/Kancheepuram at the time of 1991 Census). According to the said bifurcation Tiruvallur revenue division which included Tiruvallur, Tiruttani taluks and Uthukkottai and Pallipattu sub-taluks separated from Chengalpattu District along with Ponneri and Gummindipoondi taluks of Saidapet revenue division and formed this new District. At present this District is comprised of 8 taluks namely Gummindipoondi, Ponneri, Uthukkottai, Tiruvallur, Poonamallee, Tiruttani, Pallipattu and Avadi and three Revenue Divisions namely Ponneri, Tiruvallur and Tiruttani.

In the far past, this region was under a chain of regimes commencing from the Pallavas during the 7th century ending with the Nawab of Arcot during the early part of 19th century when it came under the British rule. In 1687, the Golkonda rulers were defeated and the region came under the Moghul emperors of Delhi. The towns and villages of this region were the scene of Carnatic wars. Battles are said to have been fought in this region during the struggle for supremacy between the English and French. The town of Pulicat was the earliest Dutch possession in India founded in 1609 which was ceded to the British in 1825. With this, the region came under the British rule which ended on the 15th August, 1947 with India becoming independent.

Events & Festivals


Veeraraghava Perumal Temple, Tiruvallur
April to May (Chitrai Tamil Month) 10 days Bramothsavam with Tirthavari on Chitra Star day. 10 days of Sribhasyakarar Thirunakshathira

Arulmigu Subramaniya Swami Temple, Tiruttani
Aadi Krittikai: Aadi Krittikai festival (in July-August) lasts for three days with Float Festival when lakhs and lakhs of devotees come to this holy place from far and near. The streets are thronged to the full. About one lakh and fifty thousand flower kavadis (which increase with each year) are offered to the deity. The sight of the devotees who carry them, uttering the sacred and inspiring “Haro Hara!” (Hallelujah) as they march and dance in long rows touches the very core of our hearts and makes us spellbound.

Padi Bhujai: When the old (Gregorian) year is rung out and the New Year sets in (ie at the stroke of midnight on December 31st each year), lakhs of devotees are present on the sacred Tanikai hill to have the darshan of their Lord.

Sri Vadaranyeswarar Temple, Tiruvalangadu
Thiruvadhirai in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January) is the most important festival of this temple. Almost all other festivals pertaining to Lord Shiva are observed in this temple.

How to reach Tiruvallur

By Road: Three important National Highways namely, NH 16, NH 48 and NH 716 are passing through the District boundary. Bus Stand is situated in the heart of the town and buses are available to outstation and mofussil routes from early in the morning to late in the night.
By Rail: Tiruvallur Railway Station plays an important transit point to many places in Southern parts of India like Salem, Erode, Bengaluru, Mangalore etc. and Western parts of India like Pune, Mumbai etc. Further, it is well connected to holy places like Tiruvalangadu, Tiruttani, Tirupati, Mantralayam amd Shirdi. In addition, EMU Services to Chennai Central, Arakkonam and Tiruttani are available from early in the morning to late in the night.
By Air: The nearest International/ Domestic airports is Arignar Anna International Airport/ Kamarajar Domestic Airport at Tirusulam (47Km).

Tourist Information
Tourism officer,
Tourism office,
Master Plan Complex,
Tiruvallur – 602001

Places of Interest


In Tamil Nadu, the city Pulicat is located in the district of Tiruvallur. It is situated almost 60kms north of Chennai city particularly on the seaward side of Sri Harikota island blockade that segregates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal. A narrow water lagoon Pulicat Lake is integrated to the Pulicat city and also got its name from it.The city Pulicat has a rich history behind it. In the earlier period of 1609, the Dutch settlers had constructed a fort. In fact this Pulicat city turned out to be their main dwelling ground. Numerous invaders took possession of Pulicat city, the last being the British rulers. Britons had occupied Pulicat in 1825, thus becoming an integral part of Madras Presidency. Due to passage of so many long years much of the treasures of Pulicat had gone in to oblivion. Still aura has remained, to a large extent, by the ancient lighthouse that was erected just opposite to the Pulicat Lake.

Pulicat is also thronged with beautiful birds especially near the water banks of Pulicat Lake. Almost every year between the months of October and March, myriads of wandering birds take shelter. Although varies bird species are seen, the flamingos are significant, thronging the swamplands adjacent to the lake.

To attract the tourists from nearby region and also from abroad, the traveling system of Pulicat city has been improved over the years. To reach Pulicat, one needs to travel almost 54kms from Koyambedu (CMBT). Then he needs to follow 100 feet long road stretching from Koyambedu. After going straight to “Ennore Port Trust” one enters Minjur, after taking a right turn, one needs to cross then turn first left follows the road, at a stretch of almost 17kms. After one reaches “Ponneri- Pulicat” central road, from where a right turn is needed to take and continue driving for 4kms till one reaches the “Pulicat Jetty”.

As far as other Industries are concerned, a Cottage Craft with gentle Palmary Leaves by Women, particularly those of Muslim Communities, mainly established at Pulicat. The local Palmyra Leaf Co-operative Society exports service and beautiful articles made from Palmyra leaves. Pulicat is also rich in seafood export center including white and Tiger prawns, jellyfish, finfish and live lagoon etc.

With a legacy of 600 years, Pulicat, also known as Pazhaverkaddu, is situated 55 km north of Chennai. Pulicat was a major settlement of the Dutch on the Coromandel coast. They had built a fort called “Geldira” here in 1609 to trade with the East Indies. The Dutch and the British waged several wars over Pulicat and finally, the British captured it in 1825. The place is renowned for the eco-tourist spot of Pulicat Lake.

The Buckingham Canal, lighthouse, villages on the seaside, fisher folk, bullock carts and ferry boats forms the back drop to Pulicat. The Dutch and the British is believed to have berthed their ships at Karinmanal village, which is a historical site nearby. The highly guarded Sri Harikota Island located here houses India’s space center. Jamilabad is a nearby village totally dedicated to boat building and Senjiamman Nagar is a tribal hamlet. Church of Our Lady of Glory, and the Dutch cemetery protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, which has beautifully carved tombstones and mausoleums are the other interests.

Fancy and utility articles, made out of palm leaves by women, are a specialty of Pulicat. Sea food export is another major activity. The nearest airport and railhead are at Chennai. Pulicat is well connected by road to Chennai.

Poondi Reservoir

Poondi Lake or Sathyamoorthy reservoir is the reservoir across Kotralai River in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu State. It acts as the important water source for Chennai city which is 60 km away.Frequent buses are available from Chennai and Tiruvallur to reach this place.

Poondi Reservoir (later named as Sathyamoorthy Sagar) was constructed in 1944 across the Kosathalaiyar River or Kotralai River in Thiruvallur district with a capacity of 2573 Mcft and placed in service for intercepting and storing Kosathalaiyar River water. Surplus water flows down the river which is again intercepted by Tamaraipakkam Anicut and diverted to Sholavaram Lake and Puzhal lake. (A lined canal known as Poondi Canal was later constructed in 1972 to convey water from Poondi Reservoir to Sholavaram Lake). This reservoir was constructed at the cost of Rupees 65 lakhs. Satyamurti who is remembered today as the political mentor of Kumaraswami Kamaraj, who was the Chief Minister of the State between 1954-1963.[3] Because of his strong devotion to Satyamurti, Kamaraj got the Poondi reservoir named after Satyamurti.

Pre Historic Museum – Poondi

The chain of discoveries had started off when Sir Robert Bruce Foote accidentally discovered stone tool at Pallavaram in the year 1863 CE, followed by the discovery of many number of artefacts in and around Poondi near Chennai. This tremendous discovery in the field of Pre -historic archaeology pushed back the antiquity of man in Tamil Nadu to more Palaeolithic Toolsthan half a million years ago and placed this region on the world map of pre historic culture.

Interestingly the Poondi reservoir, from where Chennai derives its water, turns out to be significantly important for archaeologists and geologists around the world .The Gudiyum cave the first of its kind in India, discovered by geologist Sir Robert Bruce Foote exists near Poondi in Tiruvallur taluk of Tiruvallur district, and reaching there takes some adventurous paths into the silent forests, which can actually turn out to be a nice expedition for trekkers and even nature lovers.

The Department of Archaeology, Government of Tamil nadu has its museum exclusively for the exhibits of the pre-historic artefacts found in around Poondi and in other parts of Tamil Nadu. This Museum was established in the year 1985. Poondi is situated at 13 km from Tiruvellore Railway Station, in Tiruvellore District.

Antiquities on Display
Palaeolithic implements, Neolithic Celts, Sarcophagus (small and big), Megalithic Storage pots & cups, Fossilised Snail and wood, three legged Urn, Iron Spade & Axe, and Terracotta pipes (Tuyeres) for iron smelting. Visiting hours 10.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m, Friday- Holiday Book Guide book on Poondi Pre – historic Museum

Sri Viswaroopa Panchamukha Anjaneyaswami Temple, Tiruvallur

The Mahapradishtai of 32 feet tall Sri Viswaroopa Panchmukha Anjaneyaswami at Periakuppam Village at Tiruvallur ( 45 kms from Chennai, enroute to Tirupathy ) was performed on the 6th June, 2004 with the blessings of Gurudev Poojyasri “Mantramurthy Dasan.” S. Venkatesa Bhattachariar Swamigal, Fonder Trustee of Sri Viswaroopa Panchmukha Anjaneyaswami Foundation, a registered trust.

This happened to be a unique event for the entire humanity. The uniqueness is due to the fact that this is the one and only Pradishtai in the entire world under the MANTRA SHASTRA.

The main objective behind this Mahapradishtai is Gurudev’s commitment to pass on, for the benefit of the entire humanity, the all powerful Moola Mantras of Sri Anjaneyaswami, Sri Narasimhaswami, Sri Mahaveera Garudaswami, Sri Lakshmivarahamurthi Swami and Sri. Hayagreevaswami which he inherited from his Guruji.

Gurudev was an exponent of Mantra Shastra and he had alleviated the miseries of so many individuals / institutions by conducting poojas/ homams by way of pariharams. He had the good fortune of having, as his Guru, Sri Rengaswami Bhattachar of Aanathandevapuram who was conferred with the tiltle of “Mantramurthy” by none other than the great Paramacharya of Kanch Mutt in recognition of his mastery of Mantra Shastra.

After the construction of the Mandapams, it is proposed to engrave the Moola Mantras on the walls facing each Mukha so that any one, without any discrimination whatsoever can chant the Moola Mantra in the prescribed manner and get their wishes fulfilled and prayers answered. The powerful Shakthi of Guru Parampara will make this happen.

Vadivudaiamman Udanurai Thygarajaswami Temple, Thiruvottriyur

Vadivudaiamman is the form of Gnana Sakthi who blesses the people with wisdom and knowledge to survive in this world, visiting the temple at the noon and participating in the mid day pooja with a red colour saree and jack fruit as a humble offering to Amman will bless the needs of the devotees stepping in to the temple, the temple is said to be the first temple created in this world hence the name for Lord Shiva is known as Aadhipurishwarar (the first form of Shivan) Thygaraja Swami in the temple resemble Thygaesar of Thiruvaaroor.

The temple is preserved with its ancient touch, on entering the temple the divine silence welcomes you and its rare to have sand floor in the temples in Chennai and which makes our legs soothing and pleasant walk makes you to reach Vinayagar Sanidhi and have a glimpse and get the blessings of the elephant god, get a garland for Amman and a ticket for 25 bucks at temple counter for Special Dharshan will give you a near and clear vision of Vadiudaiamman as her name Vadivu (divine beauty) + Udai (with) + Amman (Mother) yes, Amman stands in the temple facing south with divine beauty with four hands and the merciful eyes will bring tears in our eyes, Kungama Archanai is also special for Amman and having blessed by Amman within a few steps of walk we reach Thyagarajaswami Sanidhi after having Viboothi in your fore head move towards Aadhipurishwarar Sanidhi he is the first form of Shivan to bless the world he is also known as Kaarani Vidangar, Padambakka Naadhar in the inner praharam of Aadhipurishwarar, 63 Nayanmars, Dhakshina Murthy, Durgai Amman, Vishnu, along with Aadishankarar, Vattaparai Amman stay here to bless us.

The outer praharam of the temple has many surprises, 27 Lingams for 27 stars of astrology people perform prayers for the Lingam corresponding to their birth star, Valar kali, Aagaya Lingam stands in the open air, Annamalaiyar, Naagalingam, Infant Shiva, Kaalahastheeswarar, Bhairavar, Subramaniyar have separate Sanidhi’s here. Next to the temple tank is the Kalyana Sundareswarar Sanidhi and the temple tree, the Maghizhamboo tree stands here beneath which Sundarar, one amongst the four saivite married to Sangiliyar the marriage was conducted by the blessings of Lord Shiva and still the marriage occasion is celebrated every year as a big carnival in the temple.

Bhavani Amman Temple, Periyapalayam

Bhavani Amman Temple in Periyapalayam near Chennai stands as an attraction to many devotees, Bhavani Amman is the main deity of the temple, people throng here in thousands on weekends and in the month of Aadi and Avani. Located in about 45kms from Chennai in Chennai-Kolkata highway near Red Hills people can reach Periyapalayam.The Temple is busy throughout the year and people visit the temple with their families and seek the blessings of Bhavani Amman especially on the weekends people visit here in groups and have a divine get together here.

Amman seen with Sangu Chakram in the upper hands while sword and Amirtha Kalasam on her lower hands, a thousand watts vision (be ready to withstand the power of Amman eyes). Crossing the Moolasthanam Utsavar Amman welcomes us sitting in a well-decorated seat, Kungumam and Theertham is offered as Prasadham, which is known to cure many ailments in human body.

After having the Dharshan people can now visit Sannidhis of Sri Subrammaniyar, Srinivasa Perumal with Mahalakshmi, Anjaneyar, and Sri Prasuramar (one among the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) and Naga Sannidhi. People offer their prayers and also thank Amman for her blessings, they wear Neem leaves as clothes (Vaepanjalai), offer Pongal, shave their heads and perform Angapradakshinam. Timings include 5am – 9 am for Angapradkashinam, 5am – 12pm and 4pm – 6pm for Vaepanjalai and 5am – 12pm for Garagam.

Devi Karumariamman Temple, Thiruverkadu

Once upon a time Lord Thirumal came to Thiruverkadu to witness the grace rule of Umadevi. When Thirumal personally met his sister Karumari, she requested him “to seat there as Srinivasan of Thirumurai and assist her and bless the devotees who worship Navagraham and stand towards southern direction”. He was happy and promised her, that he would sit by her side and protect the position of Nine Planets. Veda Viyasar was extremely happy to see Annai Parasakthi and Lord Venkatesan together.

Arulmigu Subramaniya Swami Temple, Tiruttani

The beautiful temple of Lord Muruga at Tiruttani crowns a single rock 700 feet above sea level. It is situated amidst a range of hills with a dramatic panoramic view. This sacred place is on the Chennai-Mumbai, 13 kilometers from Arakkonam and 84 kilometers from Chennai. Around this town are famous religious places such as Kancheepuram (Banares of the South) on the South, Sholingar and Vallimalai on the West, the popular and renowned pilgrimage centre, Tirupati (otherwise called Balaji) and Kalahasti (with its Vayu Lingam) on the North and Tiruvalangadu (of puranic fame) with Lord Nataraja on the East.

Lord Veeraraghava Perumal Temple, Tiruvallur

The legend connected with the origin of this temple shows that once upon a time, in Krita Yuga, a sage by name Purupunyar lived with his wife Satyavathi in Badarikashram. They had no children. Purupanyar performed a Sali Yajna. (Putrakameshti Yaga) with great fervor and devotion. The Sage offered 1000 Ahutis (oblations of gheeto the sacrificial fire after chanting the mantra each time) every day, for one full year. ‘On the last day, when Purnahuti (the final offering) was performed, Lord Narayana was pleased with the austerity of the ritualistic observances of the Sage, and appeared in the sacrificial fire in a blissful mood to offer boons. The Sage prayed for a noble son.The boon was granted with the condition that he should be named after the name of the Yajna as Salihotran. With this blessing, Lord Narayana disappeared. Then the Sage collected the ash strewn around the Yajna Peetha and gave a handful of it to his consort to take in with great veneration as Prasadam. In the tenth month after that, a glorious son was born to Sage Purupunyar.

The sacred tank here is known as Hrittapanasini. The following Sanskrit sloka describes the sanctity of the tank:

“Darsanat sparsanat snanat, Sadyo hrittapanasanah,
Ato sarveshu lokeshu, Namna Hrittapanasanah”

The tank is so holy that evens a sight or a touch or a bath would immediately dispel all anguish of heart. The local tradition attaches greater importance to this tank than to the Ganga, the Godavari, etc Unfortunately, the tank is now dry. As usual, at the centre of the tank there is a mandapam, where seasonal Festivals are performed. Tiruvallur was also known as Bhikshwaranyam (the forest where, sages lived on alms) in ages gone by. During January 1999, Kumbhabhishekam was performed in this temple after all the gopurams were renovated and repainted. It is a marvelous sight to see the glorious specimens of Dravidian art in sculptures depicting the mythological legends of Hindu scriptures in the pinnacles of the gopurams.