One among the many Chola temples in and around Chennai is in Tirusulam, opposite the airport in Meenambakkam and close to Pallavaram. This Shiva temple, located in the middle of four hills, is dedicated to Trisulanathar.
The inscriptions here clearly reveal that this temple was constructed during the Chola era, possibly in the reign of Kulottunga Chola I (1070-1125 AD). A distinguishing Chola feature is the shape of the main sanctum which is apsidal in form, the technical term of which is ‘gaja-prishta’ in Sanskrit, which means ‘back of an elephant’ as it is thus shaped.
The shrine of Goddess Tripurasundari and the other structures in the temple are of later eras. While the main sanctum faces east, the one for the Goddess faces south. The niches or devakosthtas on the outer walls of the main shrine have superb images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthi, Lingodhbhava, Brahma and Durga. The temple does not have a gopuram entrance and has only a small entranceway built of brick. It has also been called as the Dharmapurishwarar temple. The inscriptions on the walls are a treasure trove of information. Altogether there are 14 epigraphs, of which 13 belong to the Chola epoch and one to Pandyan times. These epigraphs mention that the ancient name of Pallavaram was Pallapuram. It was also known as Vanavan Mahadevi Chaturvedimangalam, indicating that it was named after a Chola queen and was a place
inhabited by people learned in the Vedas. Many festivals are celebrated in this temple even today, the most important being Maha Shivaratri and Pradosham.