Vedasireni, as Velachery was known ages ago, provides this fascinating fairy tale of how the Vedas were purified in the ambience of beautiful lake surrounded by colorful trees.
The legend of Velachery as told in the story of Thiruvanmiyur means that the place is historic and ancient, not just 2,000 years old. It has been a part of Puliyur Kottam but in the early days is the story concerning Asuras, and a massive battle in the ocean between Asuran Somukan and Vishnu as a fish.
At a time when Devars and Asurars were in conflict, an Asuran Somukan spent considerable time in penance and acquired several powers captured the earth and the universe and there was no one to stop him. He tormented and chased the Devars, and even entered Satyaloka to challenge Brahman and grab the Vedas. Brahman was aware of the attempt and camouflaged the Vedas ordinary books. Yet, Somukan managed the trace the Vedas, and fled, dropping the Vedas into the ocean, and hid them there in the slush at the bottom of the ocean.
Priests urged Vishnu to arrange for the recovery of the Vedas, as they could not be recited. Vishnu took the form of a big fish and reached the bottom of the ocean. Vishnu, the fish, and Somukan were locked in a long and fierce battle, at the end of which Vishnu vanquished Somukan. However, the fish being a fish could not be controlled and created such a ruckus in the ocean, that Shiva had to send Saathanaar to control the fish. They were handed over to Brahman but the Vedas were found to be soiled and to be purified. Brahma directed that worship to Siva alone can purify the Vedas and that the best place for the worship was at the place now known as Thiruvanmiyur.
The Vedas acquired a human form and reached Thiruvanmiyur. Adjoining Thiruvanmiyur, they put up a hut near Thiruvanmiyur and installed a Shiva idol. They prayed before this idol and also went to Thiruvanmiyur every morning and worshipped the suyambu Shiva idol there. Shiva later appeared before the Vedas and said he would grant them boons. The Vedas asked that the place now called Thiruvanmiyur be called Vedapuri, and that the adjoining area where they stayed and did the penance be called Vedasireni. They urged that the people who come to Vedapuri (Thiruvanmiyur) and Vedasireni (Velachery) should have their prayers answered and get peace of mind. Shiva granted the boons.
Vedasireni is the present day Velachery.
This is the story of Velachery earlier known as Vedasireni. This area , just like Thiruvanmiyur and many other parts of Chennai, were part of Puliyur Kottam, the ancient Chennai city.
The episode of Vedasireni is mentioned in the story of Thiruvanmiyur.