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Poondhamalli – Historic Place In Tamilnadu – Poovirundhavalli

Poondhamalli , also known as Puvirunthavalli, is a historic place in Tamil Nadu. It is located around 25 kilometers from Chennai on the way to Kanchipuram. In the epigraphs found at different places in Chennai, Pundamalli is variously mentioned as Poovirundhavalli and Puvirunthavalli.

In ancient times, Poondhamalli was a colony (agrahara or Chaturvedi Mangalam) of learned Vedic scholarsand was known as Chera Pandya Chaturvedimangalam, as a result of its conquest by the Pandyas and by the Cheras.

Poondhamalli and surrounding areas appears to have been a flourishing town during the reign of Kulothunga Chola II (1133 – 1150 AD) and the inscriptions mention that it was situated in the ancient territory of Mangadu – Nadu, a subdivision of Puliyur Kotam.

An inscription from Tirusulam in Chennai, dates 1250 AD, in the reign of Kulottunga III, states that Poondhamalli was known as Uyyakondan Cholapuram. The area of Pundamalli was granted to Vedic scholars by the Chera king Ravi Varman Kulashekhara, the ruler of Kerala, after he had conquered Tamilnadu in the early part of the 14th century AD.

Poovirundhavalli was the birth of the Vaishnava Saint Tirukaci Nambi, who lived in the 11th century ADand who was the teacher of the illustrious saint-preceptor Sri Ramanuja. According to tradition, he is said to have constructed the Varadarajaswamy (Vishnu) temple located here. After this lifetime, in the same temple, a shrine for him was constructed. Nambi was thus deified.

There are numerous ancient epigraphs in this temple belonging to the times of the Pandya, Chera, Telugu Chola and Vijayanagara rulers.

There is also a Shiva Temple at Pundamalli and it is known as Vaidyanathaswamy Shiva Temple. Very near the place is the small village of Thirumazhisai, which is the birthplace of the famous Tamil saint Thirumazhisai Alwar. There are two ancient temples here of Jagannatha Perumal (Vishnu) and Ottandiswara (Shiva).


  • Temples of Krishna in South India, History, Art, and Traditions in Tamil Nadu (2002) by T Padmaja Abhinav Publications New Delhi.
  • Early History of Madra Region (1959) K V Raman- Amudha Nilayam Press Chennai
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VIII page 309 - IHRF