Ellaiamman Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddess Renukadevi located at Vettuvanam in Vellore District of Tamilnadu. This Temple is considered as one of the Sakthi Peetams. This has a legend connection with the Renuka Devi Amman temple at Padavedu and Gangai Amman temple at Gudiyatham. The Temple is situated on the slopes of Javadhu Hills and on the banks of River Palar. It is said that Ellaiamman of Vettuvanam and Padavedu Ellaiamman are the same. Melaivithur and Vithagapuri are the other names of Vettuvanam.
This place has an important legend behind. This is the place where Renuka Devi’s head was cut off by Parasurama at the behest of his father Sage Jamathgini. Padavedu Renugambal is very popular but this is the place the actual incident took place. Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi Devi incarnated as the great Saint Jamathgini and his wife Renukadevi and lived on this world. Visu, Viswas, Viswarupan, Paranjothi and Parasuraman were their five sons. Parasurama was their last son.
It was a daily duty for Renukadevi to make a pot out of fresh mud and fetch water for Saint Jamadhgani’s Pooja. One day, she saw the reflection of a Kantharva in the water. She stood mesmerized by his beauty for a split of a second. The mud pot dissolved in the river. She tried again and again but in vain. She realized her mistake and told her husband that an animal chased her and so she couldn’t bring water. But the saint who guessed the real happenings, called out for his first four sons and asked them to cut off their mother’s head.
They all refused and saint cursed them and called his last son Parasurama to do the duty. Parasurama asked for two boons from his Father and he obliged. He chased her mother who ran for life and she hid behind a Arundhati girl, who was cutting woods and begged for mercy. Parasurama warned the girl, but she did not oblige. In the heights of anger Parasurama chopped both heads together. In great distress, he took the heads to his father. According to his granted boons. he brought his brother and mother back to life.
But in confusion, he fixed his mother’s head on the Arundhati girl body. Henceforth the deity was named Mariamman and the place was called as Vettuvanam. A farmer who cultivated the land accidentally dropped the spade on the deity. Blood poured out like a river. A divine voice from the sky said, ” I am Ellaiamman” and a temple was constructed in the place. Though the time and year cannot be judged precisely, it said that in 1961, this temple was one among the 2500 temples in Tamil Nadu.