|Date built:||1550 AD|
|Deity:||Lord Shiva as Jalakandeswar|
|Architectural style:||Vijayanagara architecture|
|Address:||Balaji Nagar, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632004|
Jalakandeswarar Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is located in the Vellore Fort, Tamil Nadu State, India.
The Jalakanteshwara Temple is a fine example of Vijayanagaram Architecture. The temple has exquisite carvings on its gopuram (tower), richly carved stone pillars, large wooden gates and stunning monoliths and sculptures. These Vijayanagara sculptures are similar to the ones present in Soundararajaperumal Temple, Thadikombu, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple, Srivilliputhur Divya Desam and Alagar Koyil.The Gopuram of the tower is over 100 ft. in height. The temple also has a Mandapam, with the hall supported by carved stone pillars of dragons, horses and yalis (lion like creature).
The temple itself built in middle of a water tank (called Agazhi in Tamil), and there is water surround the temple like a garland. The circumference of the water tank is 8000 ft. The wedding hall (Kalyana Mantapam) inside the temple has a 2 faced sculpture, that of a bull and an elephant. The water user for bathing the deity (abishekam) is drawn from an ancient well called the Ganga Gouri Thhertam, within the temple.
Legend / Local stories
According to legend, there used to a giant ant-hill at the location where the sanctum sanctorum of temple now stands. This ant-hill was surrounded by stagnant water, as a result of collection of rain water, and at some time a Shiva Lingam was placed in this water around the ant hill and worshiped. Chinna Bommi Nayaka, a Vijayanagar chieftain, who was controlling the fort had a dream where the Lord Shiva asked him to build a temple at that location. Nayaka, proceeded to demolish the anthill and build the temple in 1550 AD, and since the Lingam was surrounded by water .The temple was built during the reign of the Vijayanagaram king Sadasivadeva Maharaya (1540 – 1572 AD). The temple also has the statue of Sri Akhilandeshwari Amma, the consort of Jalakandeswarar.
How to Reach:
The temple of the Vijaynagar period stands inside the Vellore Fort, which is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India, along with the St. John’s Church, Tippu Mahal, Hyder Mahal, Candy Mahal, Badhusha Mahal and the Begum Mahal.