Cooum Temples

Cooum River 
The Cooum river, as far as Chennai is concerned, has the notorious reputation of the being the most polluted river in India. The river, originates at a place called Koovam in Tiruvallur District, flows through Poonamallee, and Thiruverkadu, enters the city at Arumbakkam, and then passes through Aminjikarai, Chetpet, Choolaimedu, and Chindradripet after which it forks into two to join back again near the Napier Bridge, thereby forming an island within its arms. This Island is known as Island Grounds, that is famous for its annual trade fairs and exhibitions. The two arms after joining together near the Napier Bridge, then flow into the Bay of Bengal.

Around June 2014, an initiative was started to map the cultural diversity and richness of Cooum was started on facebook. How Cooum had once been so holy a river, that even the sins that were not washed away by bathing in the river Ganges could be washed away by bathing in the Cooum. This extremely rich piece of work developed by many enthusiastic contributors can be found here. I joined in to see if something could be done to map the temples on the bank of the river Cooum. What started as a brief journey has today become a treasure hunt. We were able to put together about thirty six temples by referring to a number of books and websites, including the Koova Puranam, but when we actually ventured out, the number of sites crossed a hundred, and is still growing!

I am going to link all the Cooum river side temples in this page, so that it provides easy access and one stop solution for referring to the same. We sincerely hope, that the rich cultural heritage of the river, will enthuse heritage enthusiasts, volunteers, administrators and politicians alike, to revive the temple to its lost glory! The list at the moment is in no particular order. Once the posts have all been completed, I will put them in the order of occurrence along the river!
14. Aditya Mahadevar Temple, Anaikattaputhur

Koovam was divided into eighteen sub-divisions. The temples under these subdivisions are still considered to be Koovam temples although now due to the shrinking of the river and the increase in habitations, these villages have moved a few kilometres away from the river. We tried as much to identify all the eighteen subdivisions and temples in them. A couple of them could not be identified and a couple did not have any temples in them. The temples in the remaining Kottams are listed here.

1. Sri Brahma Sastha Murugan Temple, Pagasalai
2. The Ganeshas of Thandalam


  1. Refreshing to read, in a positive perspective, about a well-known Chennai city river, that is so widely known for the stink it raises - that the word 'Coovum' has become a synonym for foul smell,

  2. I hav seen your interview in podigai. Tat lead me to this site. At least someone is there to share the valuable history which has been consider as taboo as for as coovam is concern.

  3. Just wondering why temples at mapedu and sitharkadu (near nemam) on the banks of coovam river left out. Your blog has wealth of info. Thanks.

    1. The full set of articles is yet to be written.

    2. The full set of articles is yet to be written.

  4. Madam, pl. provide information about the temples in and around Coimbatore. I have read the noble work you are doing for the temples. I wholeheartedly appreciate you and your team.

  5. Awe inspiring. Please carry on with your great work.