Jalakandeswarar Temple – Legends
There was an ant-hill (a sand mount made by white ants having many holes housing snakes inside called Pampu Puttru in Tamil) in the place where the sanctum sanctorum of Jalakandeswarar exists now. Rain waters in the lower levels of the anthill made a tank there. There was also a Shivalinga under the water of the tank. Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of a chieftain Bommi Reddy who was ruling the region and asked him to build a temple there. The king went to the tank, demolished the ant-hill and took out the Shivalinga and installed the Lord in the water itself. As the Lord was installed in a place surrounded by Jalam (Water), He is named Jalakandeswarar.
Lord directing Bommi Nayaka on Temple Construction:
Sthala Purana says Athri muni installed a Siva Lingam in this place and worshiped. After he left, without proper maintenance the Siva Lingam in the temple was covered by Puttru (valmeegam). King Bommi constructed a temple for Lord Siva as he was guided by Lord in his dream. Initially the King fixed a date for starting the construction work. He overheard the conversation between Sculpturer and his son. He came to know from their conversation, the day they have chosen to start the work was not auspicious. So he prayed Lord Siva to guide him.
Lord told him to approach the same persons, to suggest a remedy for this. He was asked to build temple within a Fort with moats (Agazhi). King did as he was guided and installed Siva Lingam known as Jalakandeswarar and his consort Goddess Akilandeswari in separate sanctum. The temple flourished well up to the invasion of Mogul period. During this period, devotees out of fear shifted Siva Lingam to a nearby place Sathuvacheri, Vellore town. All these years there was no deity in the temple. With efforts of many devotees, Siva Lingam from Sathuvacheri was shifted to Vellore and installed once again on 16th March 1981.