About Kovil

Sowmya Damodara Perumal Kovil : One of the ancient temples in Chennai, said to be in existence for well over 650 years.

Swami Damodaran’s Moolavar thirumaeni has a scar in the stomach which is due to the rope tide by Yasodha. Lot’s of devotees who pray for Puthrabaakyam had realized the true blessings of Swamy Damodaran. 

The Goddess in the temple is known as Amirthvalli and she is housed in a separate shrine to the right of the sanctum sanctorum. We can’t explain the kindness of this Thayar in simple words. There are shrines for Rama and Krishna, Andal, Anjaneya and Azhwars.

Chennai can be called temple city as it abounds in temples. Villivakkam, a vibrant locality in north Chennai, is the abode of Sowmya Damodara Perumal and his divine consort Amirthavalli Thayar. Situated at a vantage point, this temple has a hoary past.

It is believed that this temple is more than 650 years old and many rulers have contributed to its growth. This place is also called Konnur. Why? Sage Athri's son Dhurva married Asuvamukhi (Surapadman's sister). Their two sons Ilvalan and Vatapi became demonic and troubled everybody. Sage Agasthya, known for his strength and valour, destroyed them and restored peace in this world. Since this sage killed (koll) them in this place, it came to be called Konnur.

Why is the Almighty called Sowmya Damodaran? Sowmya means beautiful. In Gokulam, Yasodha tied Lord Krishna to grinding stone (ural) and called him Damodaran. Since he looked bewitching tied to the stone, he is called Sowmya Damodaran. Damodaran is one of the 12 names - nama - of the Lord.

The temple deity flashes an enchanting smile and looks stunning. Amirthavalli Thayar poses effulgently in a separate enclosure.The divine set-up in the temple consists of Ramanujar, Garudazhwar, Rama, Krishna and Andal. The temple buzzes with spiritual activities and festivities throughout the year. There is a holy tank near the temple.

This is a prarthana sthalam and devotees throng the temple during the Brahmotsavam which occurs in the the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May 15 to June 15). The temple authorities have deceided to build a rajagopuram for this temple.


According to legend, two demons, Ilvalan and Vatapi, who were born to Sage Dhurva and Aswamukhi, tortured the entire world and killed many innocent people. One of the demons used to take the shape of a fruit and the other used to offer it to some innocent passer-by and after he consumed it, the demon would come out by tearing his stomach. 

It was left to Sage Agasthya to kill these demons with his mystic powers. It was here that the slaying of the demons took place and as a result the place came to be known as "Konnur" in times of yore. It got the name of Villivakkam much later.