Tirunelveli-1

An offering at the lotus feet of the divine…..

Temples (….and pleasure spots!) around Tirunelveli

I thought, making a Tirunelveli temples directory was going to be just a matter of Nava Thirupathis and Nava kailsams, but OMG, I never imagined it’s going to be so vast. Finally I realised that it is yet another Kumbakonam or Kanchipuram and a lovely Nature’s paradise in the backdrop of the Pothigai hill and the Thamirabarani or Porunai river. I made it myself tougher by intertwining the tourist spots and movie shooting spots as well to make our trip a combined Spritiual cum Pleasure trip.  Generally, the Eastern region of Tirunelveli towards Tuticorin is a spiritual belt containing all the Nava Thirupathis and most of the Nava Kailasams; and the Western part of Tirunelveli via Ambasamudhram, Papanasam to Thenkasi is a spiritual cum pleasure belt.

Tirunelveli-1 (this) page contains the following areas:

  • In and around Tirunelveli
  • Tirunelveli – Thenkasi

Tirunelveli-2 page contains the following areas:

  • Tirunelveli – Nagercoil (NH7)
  • Tirunelveli – Thiruchendur

Last Updated: 11th Sep 2012

The name “Thirunelvei”:
Once there was a poor Brahmin here named Veda Sarma who was a great Siva Bhakta. Every day he used to go out begging and the alms thus gathered were used for offering to the Lord. One day, when the brahmin was drying the paddy which he had collected, it rained suddenly and Veda Sarma feared that all the paddy might be washed away. He prayed to the Lord for help who protected the paddy from the rain by covering it and standing around it like a fence and hence the name Thiru Nel Veli (Nel – means paddy and Veli – means fence). The Lord also came to be known as Nellaiappar who has a massive temple in the town.

Sage Agasthiyar and Pothigai hill:
The Pothigai hill is almost synonymous with Sage Agasthiar. Per Legend, on the occasion of Lord Shiva’s marriage to Goddess Parvati at KAilayam, the whole of celestal world had assembled there and so the equilibrium of the earth got affected. So Lord Shiva sent Sage Agasthya to this region to balance the earth and showed His marriage dharshan in many temples in Tamilnadu. So almost all the temples in this region were worshipped by Agasthiyar and he can be seen in all those temples.

Nava Thirupathi and Nava Kailasam:
Tirunelveli region is popular with 9 Nava Thirupathi temples, part of the 108 Divya desmas and 9 Nava Kailasams – Shiva temples. These temples are located in the Papanasam-Tirunelveli-Thiruchendur belt along the Thamirabarani river on both side banks of it. They are considered as the Navagraha parihara sthalams. Whereas in Kumbakonam we worship the actual (Nava) grahas for the pariharams, here we can worship their bosses Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu themselves as the (Nava) Graha Gods for pariharams.

Nava Thirupathi
When Vaishnavites say Azhwar, they mean Nammazhwar and Azhwar Thirunagari, one of the Nava Thirupathis, is his birth place. Just like the cluster of Thirunangur Divya desams near Sirkazhi is closely associated with Thirumangazi Azhwar, this cluster of temples is closely associated with Nammazhwar and he is the only one to have sung on all the nine. Since Udaya Nangai, mother of Nammazhwar is also considered as another Thayar, all the Nava Thirupathis have two Thaayars. These temples are being maintained very nicely by TVS group, even though the temples are under HR&CE.

One good thing about Nava Thirupathis is the temple timings – they are so arranged that you can very conveniently complete the dharshan in all of them between 7:30 AM and 2:30 PM. You can start with Sri Vaikundam at 7:30 AM, then to Azhwar Thirunagari, Thirukkolur and Then Thirupperai before 11 AM since they are big and close early at 11 AM. All the other temples have only half an hour or one hour lunch break between 1 and 1:30 PM or between 1 and 2 PM and so can be very conveniently covered before 2:30 PM even with a little wait, if at all needed.

1.          DD91 – Sri Vaikundam – Sooriyan
2.          DD92 – Thiruvaragunamangai (Natham) – Chandran
3.          DD93 – Thirupuliangudi – Bhudhan
4 & 5.   DD94 – Irattai Thirupathigal (Tholavillimangalam) – Rahu & Kethu
6.          DD95 – Thirukuzhandai (Perungulam) – Sani
7.          DD96 – Thirukolur – Chevvai
8.          DD97 – Then Thirupperai – Sukkiran
9.          DD98 – Azhwar Thirunagari (Thirukkurugur) – Viyalan

Photos of the Nava Thirupathis are here

Nava Kailasam:
Sage Agasthiyar was doing penance in the Podhikai hills and Uromasa rishi was his prime disciple. Uromasar wanted to get liberation and he prayed to Lord Shiva. The Lord wanted to bless through his Guru Sage Agasthiar who put nine flowers in the Thamirabarani river and asked Uromasar to install a Shiva lingam and pray at places wherever these flowers dock on the banks. Also he was advised to take bath in the place where the river confluence with the sea.  Uromasar did the same and got liberated. These nine abodes are called Nava Kailasam. Most of the temples look very beautiful, though small in size.

1.          Pabanasam – Sooriyan
2.          Cheranmahadevi – Chandran
3.          Kodaganallur – Chevvai
4.          Kunnathur – Rahu
5.          Murappanadu – Viyalan
6.          Srivaikundam – Sani
7.          Thenthiruperai – Bhuthan
8.          Rajapadhi – Kethu
9.          Serntha Poo Mangalam – Sukkiran

Photos of the Nava Kailasams are here

In and Around Tirunelveli

Sri Nellaiappar Temple

Location: The temple is located within the town, at about 2.5 kms from the railway junction in the straight road opposite the junction.

Significances:

  • One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
  • One of the Pancha Natya Sabha Temples (Copper) of Lord Natarajar (Shiva).
  • Reverred by Arunagiri nathar’s Thiruppugazh
  • A massive temple, bigger than even Madurai Meenakshi amman temple
  • Main deities: Nellaiappar / Venuvana Nathar with Kanthimathi ammai

Legend:

  • A poor Brahmin Veda Sarma who was a great Siva Bhakta, used to go out begging and offer the alms thus gathered to the Lord everyday. One day, when he was drying the paddy which he had collected, it rained suddenly and Veda Sarma was worried. He prayed to Lord in distress and the Lord protected the paddy from the rain by covering it and standing around it like a fence. So this place came to be known as Thiru Nel Veli (Nel – means paddy and Veli – means fence). The Lord also came to be known as Nellaiappar.
  • Lord Shiva once took the form of a Lingam, came to Tirunelveli and took His abode here. All the four Vedas stood around Him as bamboo trees and provided Him the shade. So this Sthalam is came to be known as Venu Vanarn (Venu means bamboo and Vanam means forest) and the Lord came to be known as Venuvana nathar.
  • Sage Agasthya worshipped Lord Shiva here and got the Kailaya marriage dharshan of Lord Shiva.
  • Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahmma and Karuvur Siddhar worshipped Lord Shiva here
  • The 32 kind of truth people should adopt in their life was shown to the world here
  • In the south-eastern corner of the prakaram, a Siva Lingam, known as Anavarata Khan, has been enshrined. It is said that the queen of one of the Nawabs was suffering from some acute disease and consulted the Brahmins for a cure. They advised her to worship Nellaiappar and perform some religious ceremonies in the temple. The Muslim queen did the same and she not only recovered from the disease but also gave birth to a male child. The boy was named Anavarata Khan and she built a shrine with a sivalingam known as Anavarata Khan in a corner of the prakaram. An opening in the outer wall of the prakararn just opposite the shrine was provided so as to enable the Nawab’s family to worship the Lingam, standing outside the temple.

Temple:

  • This is one of the big temples in Pandiya Naadu measuring 756 feet by 850 feet, bigger than even Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. This temple is a complex of two huge temples, one for Lord Nellaiappar and the other one for Kanthimathi Ammai, located side by side linked by the Mani mandapam.
  • The Govinda Raja Perumal shirine was discovered by Kanchi Mahaswami in 1940s. He suspected that the temple must be like Chidambaram and asked to break a wall. The shrine of huge Govindaraja Perumal, affectionately called “Nellai Govindar”, in a reclining posture, then came to open. It is believed that the utsava idols of the local Karia Manikka temple is actually from this Perumal shrine only.
  • This temple was a stone structure in 8th Century itself
  • The beautiful statue of Lord Arumugar (Muruga) with His 2 consorts Valli and Deivaanai sitting on His mount Peacock in the western prakaram is beautifully carved from a single block of stone.
  • The Nellaiappar temple has a smaller Shiva shirine close to the main one. Now the prahara is raised and most of the wall of this temple is not visible
  • It is said that there is a tunnel behind the Ravana sculpture in the temple corridor that connects Tirunelveli and Madurai. This tunnel was supposed to have been used by the Pandya kings and their spies on secret missions.
  • A gorgeous garden, established in 1756 CE by Thiruvengadakrishna Mudaliar, next to the chain mandapam, welcomes visitors with full of flowers in beautiful colours. A square vasantha mandapam with hundred pillars is located at the centre of the garden.
  • The 1000 pillar mandapam inside the Amman temple is very famous and it is here the celestial wedding of Kanthimathi Ammai with Nellaiappar takes place every year during the festival in the Tamil month of Aippasi corresponding to October 15th to November 15th.
  • Unseen jewels, the Golden Lily Tank, Musical Pillars, the hall of a 1000 Pillars are gift for our eyes.

Musical Pillars:

The Nada Mani mandapam has two huge pillars carved out of a single stone. Each giant pillar has a cluster of as many as 48 small pillars which produce musical sounds when tapped gently. The fact that a single piece of rock can produce different musical keynotes stands as a testimony to the unique understanding of the “physics and mathematics of sound” by our forefathers. In all, there are 161 such small pillars that make music in the Nada Mani Mandapam. In the South Tamilnadu, though there are several temples boast of such pillars, like those at Azhavar Thirunagari, Tenkasi, Kalakaadu, Kuttralam, Shenbagarama Nallur, Suseendaram, Thiruvananthapuram and Madurai, the pillars of Tirunelveli stand out.

“This is an architectural rarity and a sublime beauty to be cherished and preserved”

Sthala Vruksham: Bamboo
Theetham: There are 32 theerthams and the most significant ones are: Inside the temple – Potramarai, Karumari, Vairava and Sarva; Outside the temple – Kambai, Theppakulam, Sindhupoondhurai, Durgai and Krukkuthurai.
Contact:  0462-2339910.

Note: Tirunelveli is famous for its Alwa and the ‘Iruttu Kadai’ opposite to the Nellayappar temple is the hot spot for it.

Links: Location Photos

Sri Thondargal Nainar Swami temple

Location: The temple is located just behind the Nellaiyappar Temple
Main deity: Lord Shiva as Swayambu lingam in the name of Thondargal Nainar with Gomathy amman

Legend:
During the pilgrimage of saint Thirugnanasambandar here, his followers wanted to install a Shivalinga here. Though Sambandar agreed to their wish, he did not want to do it individually himself.  He prayed to Sage Agasthya and sought his blessings to fulfil the desire of his followers. Sage Agasthya pointed out a place thick with Vilwa trees and indicated the presence of a Swayambu Shivalinga.  Sambandar got the Shivalinga and worshipped Him with his followers (Thondargal).  As Lord Shiva appeared here for the Thondars, He is named Thondargal Nainar.

Temple:
Lord Vinayaka graces on an Avudayar (the seat or peeta on which Shivalingas are installed) in the prakara under a peepal tree (Arasa maram). Behind Him is another Vinayaka facing north. This is a strange form of Vinayaka facing opposite sides. There is a Shivalinga to the right of Vinayaka with two nagas (serpent deity) nearby each facing the opposite side. Those facing adverse effects of serpent planets pray here for relief. Lord Dakshinamurthy in the ghoshta wall has His left hand on a serpent.

Liniks: Location Weblink

Sri Narasimha Perumal Temple

The temple is located in Mela Mada Veeethi just behind Nellaiyappar Temple.
Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar generally appears with Mother Mahalakshmi on His left lap and embracing Her by the left hand. Here, Mother is seen on the left lap of the Lord with Her hands on the shoulders of the Lord holding a lotus looking at the Lord.
The other difference is that though the Lord is called Narasimha, He does not have the face of a Lion.  Such form of Narasimha is known as Prahaladha Varada, Lord who protected Prahaladha from the cruelties of his demon father Hiranya.   It is also the belief of devotees that Perumal in this form would consider their prayers with all sympathy.

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Sangili Boothathar Temple

The temple is located at the Boothathar corner at the left side corner of Nellaiyappar temple. In this tower like temple Sangili boothathar is present in three tiers. The card festival of Nellaiyar used to start after breaking coconut and getting permission from Boothathar only.

Sri Kariamanicka Perumal Temple

The temple is located under 1/2 km South-West of Nellaiyappar temple

Links: Location Weblinnk

Thachanallur

Thachanallur is located 3 kms North of the Nellaiyappar temple

1) Sri Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi ammai Temple

Don’t be confused with the main temple which is in the town

2) Perumal Temple at Thachanallur

3) Sri Navaneetha Krishnan Temple at Thachanallur

Uchishta Ganapathy Temple at Manimoortheeswaram

Located near Mehalingapuram, this is one of the rare temples of Vinayagar with a 5 tier Rajagopuram. The temple is massive in size with huge compound walls.  Uchishta Ganapathy is one of 32 forms of Vinayagar in a posture of embracing a woman with His Trunk on the naval of a woman. This is rare when Vinayagar is said to be a brahmachari.  Devotees believe that worshipping Ganapthi in this form will reward them with a child of great characters.

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink2

Vannarapettai

Vannarapettai is just the adjacent area to the railway junction

1) Thiru Perathu Selvi Amman Temple

Links: Location Weblink

2) Thiru Theepachi Amman Temple

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Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple at Thimmarajapuram

Links: Location Weblink

Palayamkottai

Palayamkottai is adjacent to the railway junction on the Eastern side

1) Sri Vedha Narayana Rajagopalaswamy Temple

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Thripuranthakeswarar Temple

A Thevara Vaipu Sthalam

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Sri Salai Muthukumara Swamy Temple

This Lord Muruga temple is a popular one and is located just below the Thiruvalluvar two tier road bridge in the railway junction area.

Links: Location

Sri Kailasanathar Temple

Located very near the City bus stand and Salai Muthukumara Swamy Temple

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Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

The temple is located near the City bus stand

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Kalyana Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Sanyasi Gramam

The temple is located near the Varadharaja Perumal temple

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple at C.N Village

The temple is located near the Kalyana Srinivasa Perumal temple at about 2 kms from the main city bus stand.

Links: Location

Sri Murugan Temple at Kurukuthurai

This beautifully carved Lord Murugan temple is located right in the middle of the Thamirabarani river on a rock known as Thiruvuruvamalai at about 3 kms from the City bus stand. In 1653, the same rocks were used for carving the Lord Murugan temple at Thiruchendur.

Apart from the spirituality, this temple has to be visited for its beautiful location also.

Links: Location Photos

Sri Thirunageswar Temple at Melanatham

The temple is located at about 2 kms South of Kurukkuthurai Murugan temple

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Sri Sastha Temple at Chekkadi

Located in Pettai Tirunelveli at around 3 kms East of Nellaiyappar temple, this Sastha temple has a great significance and antiquity same as that of Nellaiyappar temple. Once this temple was popular with all the three – Moorthy, Sthalam and Theertham but today just the temple complex alone remains.
Sastha gave sharshan to Agasthiyar.
One of the biggest forms of Sastha in about 5.5 feet height.
As a unique feat, Sastha has His right leg raised and has the sendu in left hand. In a hurry to give dharshan to Sage Agasthiyar, it is said that He has interchanged His legs position. Agasthiyar is seen in front of Sastha.

Links: Location

Tirunelveli – Papanasam – Thenkasi

Mela munnirpallam

1) Paripoorna Kirupaswarar Shiva Temple

Links: Location

2) Govinda Mahalakshmi Temple

The temple is recently renovated and the people claim to have seen the Goddess walking through agragaram in the early morning, as if a bright light is passing through

Links: Location

Sri Venkatachalapathy temple at Mela Thiruvenkada natha puram

Located at around 9 kms South-West of Tirunelveli on the northern bank of River Thamirabarani, atop the Swetha Varaha hill is the Venkatachalapathy temple in Mela ThiruVenkatanathapuram, an Abhimana Sthalam. The temple is also called Thirunankovil.

Then Thirupathi:
The temple is revered as “Then Thirupathi” and visiting this temple is considered equivalent to visiting Thirupathi. The temple resembles Thirupathi in many ways – Lord Srinivasa is on a hill of white stones like Thirupathi; Like Akasha Ganga falls in Thirupati, the River Thambiraparani falls here; Like Kalahasthi near Thirupathi, there is a Then Kalahasthi named Sangani Kailasanathar temple nearby.   Srinivasa Gattam here has many sacred springs as Pushkarani with other such springs in Thirupathi.

Legend:

  • When Perumal took on a war to protect Mother Earth, He left His conch and discus with Garuda to protect the world which Garuda did till the return of the Lord.  Hence, Garuda in this temple graces with conch and discus.
  • Venkatappa Naicker, ruling this region then went on a pilgrimage to various sacred places seeking a child boon and finally came to this place.  When he had a dip in Srinivasa Gattam, he had a voice that he would be blessed with a child if he fed 1000 children quenching their hunger.  He followed the directions of the voice and was blessed with a male child.  Immensely pleased, he built this temple, cured the land and made it fit for human habitation.  He named the place as Tiruvengadanatha Puram after his name.
  • 12 sage poets who eulogized Perumal in their hymns and celebrated as Azhwars wished to be at the feet of the Lord in this temple.  The 12 steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum represent 12 Azhwars.

Temple:
Belief is that Lord Venkatachalapathy will bless childless couples if they perform Pal payasa pooja on the Shravanam day.
This is a prarthana sthalam for a healthy life, prosperity, liberation from curse and a good marriage.

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple at Keezha Thiruvenkada natha puram (Sangani)

This ancient temple is located at about 800 meters East of Mela Thiruvenkata natha puram temple on the bank of the river Thamirabharani. Due to the abundant presence of Red Soil around the temple, this place got the name “Sengani”, where “Sen” meaning “Red” and “Kani” meaning “Land” in Tamil.

Significances:
Since the Lord has all the positives in his “Dhana regai”, this sthala is called as Sukra Sthala.

Legend:

  • The Lord was installed here by Saint Brughu
  • A king who ruled Nellai in the 14th century came to this temple to get blessings from the Lord, but the priest was unavailable due to illness. At that time the Lord, disguised Himself as the priest, performed the pooja, saving the priest from the King’s punishment. So the Lord is often called “Vaazha Veikum Perumal” (The one who saves).

Temple:

  • The temple was built by the king “Veerapandian” in the 12th century. To the northern side of this temple lies “Gubera vassal” through which devotees enter.
  • Shri Varadaraja Perumal is present with four hands along with the consorts Sridevi thayar and Bhoomadevi Thayar. He has Chakra and Dhanaregai (money yielding line) in his right hands and Sangu and Gadayutham in his lefts hands. It is a belief that by getting the money blessed by keeping it in His Dhanaregai, one would never be in trouble due to lack of money,
  • The Lord here is called “Thenn (South) Kanchi” in synonymous to Kanchipuram Varadharaja Perumal.

Poojas: Thenn kalai vaikanasa agamam
Sthala virusha: Bamboo tree
Temple timings:
Monday to Friday: 7 AM to 11 AM and 5 PM to 7:30 PM
Saturday: 6 AM to 1PM and 5 PM to 8:30 PM
Sunday: 7AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 8 PM

Links: Location Photos

NK4 – Kunnathur (Sangani)

Location: 9 kms South-West of Tirunelveli and 100 meters from Keezha Thiruvenkatanathauram temple on the northern bank of Thamirabarani river at the Kunnathoor hillside.

Significances:

  • One of the Navakailasams
  • Navagraha Raghu Sthalam
  • Special temple for Viruchigam and Mesha Rasis

Main deities: Sri Kothai Parameswar / Kailasanathar with Sivakami Ambal
Contact: Chandru Bhattar @ 0462-2340955 / 94420 18567 / 94420 18077
Timing: 7 AM to 11 AM and 5 PM to 6:30 PM

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Sri Poorna Pushkala sametha Thirmeni Azhagar (Sastha) Temple at Pazhavoor

Pazhavoor is 10 kms West of Tirunelveli. A very ancient temple of Sastha where He is sitting in a wonderful style. When a British official wanted to demolish this temple to construct a dam, Sastha Himself arranged to shift the dam and not the temple.

Links: Location Photos

Kodaganallur

Location: Around 3.5 kms from Pazhavoor 1km south of Kallur

1) NK3 – Nava Kailasam

Significances:

  • One of the Navakailsams
  • Navagraha Sevvai Sthalam
  • Special temple for Viruchigam and Mesha Rasis

Main deities: Sri Kailasanathar with Avudainayagi / Sivagami Ambal
Thirukkalyanam takes place for Nandhi daily
Contact: G.Suresh @ 96597 28621
Timing: 6 AM to 12 PM and 4:30 PM to 7 PM

Links: Location Photos

2) Sri Soundaryanayaki sametha Abhimuktheshwar Temple

The main deity Abhimuktheshwar faces West and Goddess Soundaryanayaki in the standing pasture facing South. The temple is located in a calm and serene atmosphere. The temple was patronised by Kodaganallur Sri Sundara Swamigal in the Appiah Dheekshidhar’s clan in the 18th century.

Links: Location Photos

3) Sri Periya Piran Perumal Temple

4) Sri Sringeri Sankara Mutt

This is the place from where the famous Sundara swamigal and Sivananda Saraswathi swamigal preached and practiced the religious activities and started the much wanted relegious path to the society.

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5) A powerful Siddhi Vinayagar temple on the bank of the Thamirabarani river

Mela Cheval

This is located at around 15 kms South-West of Tirunelveli

Temples:

1) Sri Aadhithavarneswarar-Soundari Ambal Temple

2) Sri Navaneetha Krishnan Temple
Links: Location Weblink

3) Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple

4) Sri Viswanathar Temple

Pathamadai

Pathamadai is 4 kms from Mela Cheval ands world famous for its silken mats woven from korai grass.

Temples:

1) Shiva Temple
2) Perumal Temple
3) Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple
4) Moola Kesavasamudram Shiva Temple
5) Swami Sivananda Ashram – Pathamadai is the birthplace of one of India’s greatest sages Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)

Kari Soozhntha mangalam

Located at 2 kms North of Pathamadai, the village has the following temples:

1) Sri Karichoozhnda Nangai Amman Temple

This is the temple of the presiding deity of the village

2) Sri Kanaga Sabapathy Shiva Temple

This is one of the Pancha Natarajar Sthalams. The sthapathy who created the Chidamabaram Natarajar idol created five idols including this. The others are: Kattarimangalam, Mela Karuvelankulam and Sepparai.

Contact: Sundaresan Gurukkal @ 99435 55866

Links: Location Photos

3) Sri Kalahastheeswarar Temple

Considered as Then Kalahasthi, this was once the ashram of Sage Durvasar.

4) Sri Chakrathazhwar Temple

Moolavar: Chakrathazhwar; Urchavar: Venkatachalapathy
This ancient temple of Narasimha, established by the Namboodharis of Kerala has an unique idol of the deity holding ‘Sudarshana Chakra’ in all the four hands (no sangu). An inscription about a Nawab’s renovation work 800 years before is a testimony that this temple is atleast 800 years old.

Contact: Venkatesan @ 75985 78254; R.Sundaram @ 94880 62925 / 75981 88716 / 75981 78716
Timing: 6 to 9 AM and 4 to 5 PM

On Garuda sevai days, the temple opens from 6 AM to 6 PM without any break and there are 65 permanent Garuda sevas in an year.

Links: Location Photos

5) Nadhikarai Maha Ganapathy temple

This Vinayagar does not have trunk!

6) Sudalai MadaSwamy Temple

Links: Photos

Cheranmahadevi

Location: 20 kms South-West of Tirunelveli

1) NK2 – Nava Kailasam

Location: Near Cheranmahadevi railway bridge
Deities: Sri Ammai Nathar as Swayambu lingam with Oppila Nayagi amman (the one with no comparison) / Sri Aavudai Nayahi

Significances:

  • One of the Navakailasams
  • Navagraha Chandra Sthalam
  • Special temple for Kadaga Rasi

Temple:

  • The temple has 5 tier 63 feet high Rajagopuram
  • There was no Navagraha shrine in this temple since the NavaKailasam represents the 9 Navagrahas. However a Navagraha shrine has been constructed recently.

Contact: Chandrasekara Bhattar @ 04634 265111 / 94422 26511
Timing: 6 AM to 9 AM and 4 PM to 6:30 PM

Links: Location Photos

2) Bakthavatchala Perumal Temple

The temple is being maintained by ASI and is near the Nava Kailasa temple

Links: Location

3) Sri Milagu Pillaiyar Temple

Links: Location Weblink

4) Sri Aadhi Narayana Perumal Temple

Main Deitires: Sri Aadhi Narayana Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi in standing posture.
Legend: Brugu Muni and Markandeya had darshan of Lord Siva and were blessed by Him.

Temple:
The temple has two praharams and a 3 tier Raja Gopuram. Other deities seen in the temple are Sri Lakshmi Narashimar, Krishnar, Sri Ramar, Anjaneyar, Manavala Mamunigal, and twelve Azwars.
Vimanam: Ashtanga Vimanam.
Timings: 7.30 AM to 11 AM and 5.30 PM to 7 PM

Other Temples:

5) Sri Vaidyanathar Temple
6) Sri Sundaresar Temple
7) Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple
8) Sri Dheiveeswaramudaiyar Temple

9) Sri Ramar Temple
Links: Location Weblink

10) Sri Appan Venkatachalapathy Temple
Links: Location Weblink

Sri Balasubramanya Swamy Temple at Kozhundhu malai

The temple is on a hill near Cheranmahadevi.

Links: location

Veeravanallur

Location: Around 6 kms West of Cheranmahadevi

1) Sri Bhoominatha Swamy Temple

Main deities: Bhoominatha Swamy is a Swayambu moorthy with Amman Maragatha valli

Legend:

  • When Yama (Lord of death) was kicked off by Lord Shiva to save Markandeyar, Yama became a creeper plant here. The weight of the bhoomi (earth) was increasing as there were no deaths at all. Bhoomi devi, unable to bear the weight, prayed to Lord Shiva here who then gave life to Yama and asked to do his job as before. Thus the Lord became Bhoominathar.
  • Agasthiyar, Dharmar, Nakushan, Vishnu, Brahmma, Sage Viruhar, Sage Visu, Sage Kanagar, Sage Bargavar and Ganga worshipped Lord Shiva here.

Temple: The temple has two praharams.
Sthala Vruksham: Punnai
Theertham: Gnana Theertham

Links: Location

2) Sri Sundararaja Perumal Temple

3) Sri Shenbagavalli Amman Temple

Sri Gajendhra Varadhar Temple at Athalanallur

Location: Around 5.5 kms West of Veeravanallur
Timing: 7 AM to 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Last Saturday of the month: 5:30 AM to 1:30 PM and 3:30 to 8 PM
On Purattasi Saturdays: 4 AM to midnight without any break
Contact: Raman / Rangan @ 04634 – 287295

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Sri Narumbunatha Swamy Temple at Thiruppudaimarudhur

Location: 1 km North of Athalanallur
Main deities: Narmbunathar / Pudargeneswarar as swayamu lingam with Gomathi Ambal

Significances:

  • This is the kadai (last) marudhur temple of the three Marudha temples – Sri Sailam, Thiruvidai Marudhur and this one where the Marudha tree is present as the sthala vruksham.
  • Both Ambal and Swami are Swayambu

Legend:

  • Indhran did penance under the Marudha tree and got the dharshan of Lord Shva and so this place was called Marudhur
  • Suyambumanu (son of Lord Brahmma), Agasthiyar, Parvathi, Lakshmi, Saraswathy and Boomidevi worshipped Lord Shiva here

Temple:

  • This massive temple with excellent stone sculptures is located on the bank of Thamirabarani River in a beautiful location. The temple has all the four styles of temple architectures namely Pandiya, Chera, Chola and Vijayanagara which add beauty for this glorious Temple.
  • The temple has 5 praharams and 6 times worship services take place daily.
  • It is considered best to worship this Shiva on the day of Pushya star.
  • Kanni Vinayagar, Subramanyar, Suryan, 63 Nayanmars, Agasthiyar, Saneeswarar, Saraswathy, Sahasralingam and Natarajar shrines are present

SthalaVruksham: Marudha tree
Theertham: Thamirabarani river
Timings: 5:30 AM to 11 AM and 4:30 PM to 8 PM
Contact: Sri Kannan Bhattar @ 98596 77070

Note: The temple as such, the bathing ghat and the surrounding locations are beautiful and popular film shooting spots. The temple nadavanam adjacent to the temple itself is a declared bird sanctuary, though tiny.

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Sri Moondreeswarar Temple at Pappakudi

Pappakudi is North of Thiruppudaimarudhur at around 6 kms.

Links: Location

Sri Padagalinga Swami (Padaga Pillayar) temple at Malayankulam

This temple is located at about 8 kms South-West of Veeravanallur

Links: Location Weblink

Kallidakuruchi

Kallidaikurichi is on the Southern bank of the river Thamirabarani at about 12 kms West of Cheranmahadevi and 32 kms from Tirunelveli. ‘Kal (rock) + idai (midst) + kurichi (village)’ means, a village in the midst of hills and it is almost synonymous with delicious appalam (pappad)..

1) Shiva Temple

Main deity: Swayambu Lingam known as Sri Maannendhiappar with Vadivambikai Amman.
Sage Kanvar got the dharshan of Lord Shiva here.
The temple has two praharams and 6 worship services take place daily
Theertham: Kanva teertham and Thamirabarani.

Links: Location

2) Sri Aadhi Varaha Perumal Temple

Per legend, this ancient temple was built on the advise of Guberan, the Lord of wealth. Lord Aadhivaraha Perumal is seen in sitting posture with Thayaar. The upper tier of the temple’s vimanam also has a shrine of Perumal in reclining posture and it is opened only on the day of Vaikunta ekadesi.

Links: Location Weblink

3) Karanthayar palayam Sastha temple

Sastha preethi festival here is one of the most ancient and vibrant ones to be witnessed by the Ayyappa devotees atleast once.

Links: Location

Other Temples:

4) Sri Kulasekara Perumal – Aram Valartha Nayahi Temple
5) Sri Chidambareswarar Temple
6) Ramar Temple
7) Murugan Temple
8) Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple
9) Agastheeswarar Temple

10) Sri Sadai Udayar Sastha Temple
The temple of Sri Porsadayachi and Sri Sadaiyudaiyar Sastha is situated right in the middle of paddy fields.  It is not a temple built according to the Agama sastras. There is no flag mast or prakarams. No utsavam is performed or festival celebrated but  has a moving tale behind its origin. When a brahmin  was taking his daughter home for delivery, she gave birth to a child here helped by Sastha Himself playing the role of a harijan midwife.

Location Weblink

AmbaSamudram

Ambasamudram, the second biggest town of Tirunelveli District lies 36 kms West of Tirunelveli and 4 kms West of Kallidaikurichi. As Mother of Kasinatha Swamy is all merciful like an ocean, the place is named as Amba (Mother) Samudram (ocean).

1) Sri Kasinatha Swamy Shiva temple

The temple is located on the Northern bank of the Thamirabarani river.

Main deities: Kasibeswarar / Eritthatkondaar as Swayambu lingam and Maragathavalli ammai.

Legend:

  • Sage Kasibar got the dharshan of Lord Shiva here and so He is called Kasibeswarar
  • A king of Kerala fell ill which could not be cured by the best physicians of that day.  A voice advised the king to make a doll of black dhil (Ellu), transfer the disease to the doll and donate it to a Brahmin.  King followed the advice.  A poor Karnataka Brahmin youth accepted the doll donation.  The king also gifted to him valuable gems and diamonds.  The doll became alive and told the youth that it would leave him if he parted with it half the benefit of the Gayathi mantra chanting he had done so far. The youth agreed and freed himself from the disease he acquired from the king through the doll.
    The youth wanted to spend the material gifts he got for a public cause.  He proceeded to Pothigai hills to seek the advice of Sage Agasthya.  Before leaving, he left his valuables with the Archaka of the temple to get it back after his return.  The Archaka gave the youth a dal bag when he returned saying it was the bag he was given originally.  The youth took the case to the king.  When asked to depose before the Lord, the priest unhesitatingly spoke lie in the temple.  Angry Lord burnt the priest.  The youth begged the Lord to restore the priest to life again and the merciful Lord responded to youth’s prayer. Based on this event, Lord Shiva is named Erithatkondar and Erichudayar.  Erithal in Tamil means burning. The first puja is dedicated to Erithatkondar in the temple.
    The youth spent the wealth he got from the king by digging a canal nearby which is known as Kannadian (native of Karnataka) canal.
    Even after burning the priest for his fraud, Lord did not become normal in temperament and continued to be furious.  Mother Parvathi requested Lord Vishnu to cool Him down and restore Him to mercy as before.  Perumal brought Shiva to normalcy.  Perumal graces in the temple from a shrine opposite Shiva shrine.
  • Agasthiar worshipped Shiva here
  • In the Saivapuranam, the 9 chapters from 23 to 31 explain the glory of this temple only.
  • An Eagle, a brahmachari, 4 doves, a King called Vasumanan got salvation here

Temple:

  • The temple is located on the banks of Tamarabharani river with rocky filed convenient places for bathing.
  • The temple measures 440×260 feet with two praharams
  • Those seeking child boon offer bangles in the shrine and hang cradles.
  • There are shrines for Anugnai Vinayaka, Kasi Viswanathar, Annamalayar, Arumuganayinar (Muruga), Lord Meenakshi Chokkar, Juradeva, 63 Nayanmars, Sani Bhagwan (Saturn) and Sastha with Pooranai and Pushkalai.
  • Lord Nataraja in the temple is praised as Punugu Sabapathi

Theerthams: 7 theerthams named Devi, Shala, Deepa, Kasiba, Kirumikara, Gokila, Purushothama and it is believed that Thambirabarani is a confluence of all these seven Theerthas.

Festival:
Lord visits the river on Thaipoosam, Thai new moon day and Chithirai first day.  The wedding festival takes place on Uthiram star day in Aipasi-October-November.  Lord comes in procession draped in Red on the 7th day of Panguni festival.  On the 8th day Lord comes in white.  Then He grants darshan to Sage Agasthya in Green.  This is a very famous festival in the temple.

Sthala Vruksham: Amla (Gooseberry)
Timing:  6.AM to 10.30 AM and 5.30 PM to 7 PM
Contact:  Main priest @ 93658 41179; Office: 4634 – 253 921 / 98423 31372

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Agastheeswarar Temple

Links: Location Weblink

3) Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple

Links: Location Weblink

4) Sri Ammaiyappar Temple

Goddess is SugunthaKunthalambal; Arasaradi Vinayagar, Kanni Vinayagar and Sundara Vinayagar are present

Links: Location

5) Sri Veeramarthandeswarar Temple

Amman Nithyakalyani and therrtham is Harihara theertham.

Links: Location Weblink

6) Sri Krishnan Koil

Links: Location Weblink

7) Sri Purushothama Perumal Temple

Links: Location Weblink

8) Sri Thirumoolanatha Swamy Temple

Main deitiy Thirumoolanathar is Swayambu lingam with Ulagammai. Agasthiar worshipped Lord Shiva here. The temple is called Thiruchalaithurai in the scripts.

9) Sri Thirukoshtiyappar Temple, a big temple

10) Hanumar temple on the bank of Thamirabarani river

11) Sri Sankaralingaswami temple at Kottarakulam / Chinna Sankaran koil

Kottarakulam is around 3 kms South-West of Ambasamudhram. The temple is for Raghu/ Kethu worship and considered highly sacred.
Contact: Sri Maragatha Subramanya Bhattar @ 04634-221821 / 93602 19237 / 94891 19594

Links: Location Weblink

12) Sastha temple at Palavadi

Links: Location Weblink

Interesting places to see around:

1) The road leading to the Kasinatha Swamy temple is locally referred as Aathu Salai (River Road) because it is used to access River Tamirabarani as well. The road is very appealing with a canopy of tall trees and paddy field on both sides. It is a popular shooting spot for Kollywood and the number of Tamil movies that were shot here is countless – Mudhalvan, Gentleman, Pudhu nellu pudhu naathu – just to name a few..

2) The tall Ambasamudram Railway bridge to the West of Kasinatha Swamy temple is also an interesting place that is seen in many movies

3) The road bridge across Thamirabarani to the East of Kasinatha Swamy temple is another lovely place to be seen

Nice photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24693345@N02/sets/72157606436587153/with/2725120740/

Sri Thennazhagar Temple at Kovilkulam

Kovilkulam is 3 kms North of Ambasamudhram

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Kailasanathar Temple at Brahmmadesam

Brahmmadesam is about 3 kms North of AmbaSamudhram located on the southern bank of River Karunai.

This is a Thevara Vaipu Sthalam and the sixth Thirumurai of Tirunavukkarasar refers this temple as Ayneeswaram.

This is also the birth place of Sri Sarvagna Atmendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the second Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakodi Peetam.

The temple is an architectural marvel. Nandikeswara, Nataraja (Punuku Sabhapathi), Athma Vyakya Dhakshinamoorthy with chin mudra facing His own self in a rare self preaching posture and Jwarahara Deva are a few examples of the sculptural treasures of this temple. The Arudra Mandapam and Somawara Mandapam are examples of Architectural excellence. The magnificent Dharma Nandhi is skillfully carved in a single stone .

The temple and the village were gifted to the Brahmins by the Raja Raja Chola for the chanting of all the 4 vedas. It is easily one of the largest temples in that region. The reigning Lord is a Swayambu lingam called Kailasanathar and His consort is Brahmanayaki. Apart from this there are five Shiva lingas in the temple, including Badari Vaneswarar, Kasi Viswanathar, Arunachaleswarar and Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar, each having their own individual sanctum.

The original deity in this temple Badhari Vaneswara was worshipped by Romasa Maharishi, the grand son of Lord Brahma, and so the village was named Brahmadesam.

Everything about the temple is massive. The temple even has five wells within its compound. Towering pillars support the numerous halls in the temple, with each adorned with wonderful sculptures. There are ten gopuras in the temple and there is one specific point within the temple compound from where all the ten gopuras of the temple can be witnessed.

The huge wooden doors with intricate carvings at the main entrance and the wood sculptures inside the temple indicate the active participation of artisans from Kerala in the construction of this temple. Pradosha Sabhai with Pradosha Moorthy, Ashta Dik Balakas with their respective Vahanas, Siva Boothaganas and Apsaras women are very rare specimens of iconography. Chandikeswari goddess Saraswathi and Uchchishta Ganapathy are seen in the Prakaara of the goddess Brahannayaki’s shrine.

The Gangalanathar shrine is very special with the human form of Lord Shiva in a standing posture who goes out seeking alms. The entire deva loka come all out to watch this glorious form of the Lord. This sight is so vividly and beautifully captured by sculptures embedded on all the four walls of the room.

Contact: Rajkumar @ 94428 94094; B.N.Kulathu Bhattar @ 04634-254247
Timing: 7:30 to 9:30 AM and 5:30 to 7:30 PM

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Sri Thiruvaleeswarar Temple at Thiruvaleeswararm (Kakkanalllur)

The temple is being maintained by ASI.
In the Ghatana Nadhi Mahatmiam it is mentioned that the Swayambu Lingams of Sivasailam, Thiruvaleeswaram and Brahmmadesam emerged at the same time and those who take bath in the River Ghatana and worship the above lingams get freed from the sins.

Links: Location

Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple at Mannarkoil

Mannar koil is the adjacent village to Brahmmadesam on the Western side. The place is called Vedhanarayanpuram in ancient scripts
Moolavar Sridevi, Bhoodevi sametha Sri Vedha Narayana Swamy in sitting posture is made of Sudai with herbs. Perumal is seen in all the 3 postures – sitting, standing and reclining in various shrines.
Urchavar Sri Andal sametha Rajagopla Swamy along with Garudazhwar
This is the Mukthi sthalam of Sri Kulasekara Azhwar who was born in a King’s family but became an Azhwar. There is a separate shrine for him.

Timing: 7 to 10 AM and 5 to 7 PM
Contact: Sri Narasimha Gopalan @ 04634 2528

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink2 Photos

Sivanthiappar Temple at Vikramasingapuram (Sivanthipuram)

A big temple and Goddess is Vazhi Adimai Konda Nayagi

Links: Location

Papanasam

Papanasam is located at 42 kms from Tirunelveli and 8 kms West of Ambasamudhram. It is the place where the Thamirabarani reaches the land level from the higher level. The place is also called Vikramasingapuram in memory of Vikramasinga Pandian.

1) NK1 – Papanasam

Main deities: Sri Papavinasar / Kailasanathar as Swayambu lingam facing East with Sri Ulagammai Ambal

Significances:

  • One of the Navakailsams
  • Navagraha Surya Sthalam
  • Special temple for Simha Rasi
  • Thevara Vaipu Sthalam
  • Reverred by Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh

Temple:

  • The Rajagopuram is 80 feet high with a 7 tier Rajagopuram. There are two praharams.
  • There are shrines for Natarajar, Agasthiyar, Karadevar, 63 Nayanmars, Kalyana Sundarar, Ulagammai, Mukkalalingar, Vinayagar, Arumugar, Saneeswaran, Navagrahas, Punuhu Sabapathy and Ayyanar.
  • There are beautiful and intrinsic sculptures of many Rishis, Kali, Urthuva thandavam, Bitchadanar, Nirtha Ganapathy, Thiripura Samharam, Perumal, Ekapathamoorthy, Brahmma, Subramanyar, Devi in between Sangamalai.
  • The prasadham here is a special and unique combination of rice.

Sthala Vruksham: Kala
Theertham: Kalayana theertham, Thamirabarani river
Worship benefits: For Eye and skin related problems
Contact: Sathasiva Bhattar
Timing: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4:30 PM to 8 PM

Links: Location Weblink Photos

External Links:

http://divyadarisanams.blogspot.in/2011/07/pothigai-malai-hills-spiritual-journey.html
http://divyadarisanams.blogspot.in/2011/08/pothigai-malai-hills-spiritual-journey.html

Note: Just at the backside of the Shiva temple the Thalai Anai (Thalai Dam) is located

Agasthiyar and Murugan Temple

Located at about 4 kms from Papanasam on the hilly terrain near Agasthiyar falls

Links: Location

Kalyana Theertham

This is a holy pool located at an elevation of 125 feet further up from the Agasthiyar falls and Agasthiyar falls gets its water flow from this pool only. There are some sacred places around this place and it is said that Siddhars come here in the form of light after midnight daily.

1) Sri Shiva Durga Temple

2) Sri Kodeeswarar and Sri Loka nayahi amman temple

3) Sadhu Krishnaveni amma Mutt

A lady saint, by name Krishnaveni Ammal, popularly known as “VanaDevathai” lived here. It is said that she had been staying in solitude since coming up to this spot following a siddhar when she was barely 13 years of age and never went back.  She lived here for more than 60 years in solitude in a cave of a Tiger Sanctuary! She would say that she is the daughter of Siddhars and so was protected by Siddhars.
Incidentally she passed away recently on an auspicious Chitha Pournami day on 17th April 2011.

Links: Photos

Tourist places around Papanasam / Kalakkad:

1) Agasthiyar falls

2) Bana theertham falls and Karayar Dam

This gorgeous outing spot is just 7 Km from Papanasam town. This is the place where “Chinna Chinna Aasai” song of “Roja” movie was shot.

3) Servalaru dam in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

4) Manimutharu dam

5) Manjolai Estate

6) Kuthiraivetti View point

7) Zamin Singampatti palace

External Links:

http://www.incredibleindiaphotogallery.com/2011/11/weekend-drive-to-manimuthar-falls-manjolai-kuthiraivetti/
http://www.incredibleindiaphotogallery.com/tag/kuthiraivetti/
http://sshinu.blogspot.in/2009/03/manjolai-kodayar-8-03-09-mr.html
Manjolai Estate Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59865572@N00/sets/72157627351253129/with/6061382077/

Sri Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple at Kaaraiyar

This is not the temple of Ayyanar, the village God as it looks like from the name but that of Ayyan (Ayyappan), the Sastha. There are three main deities Lord Shiva as Mahalinga Swamy, Sastha and Bootha nathar along with a large numbe of sub-deities. Lord Shiva is the prime deity of the temple and the temple is being managed by Singampatty Zamin.

Sastha:
This is one of the five important temples of Sastha along with Sabarimala, Achankoil, Aryankavu and Kulathupuzha. Sastha, as Aiyappan in the palace of Pandala king as his adopted Son, came to this place first as a young lad to learn martial arts, hence this is the first temple dedicated to His worship. Based on events in His life subsequently, other Aiyappan temples at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu and Achankoil came into being. Sabarimala temple is the last when the Lord stayed there for His penance.
Sastha is present here with all the 21 Parivara moorthis in individual shrines.
When Agasthiyar was penancing here, he got an unexpected bright light dharshan and it took some time for Agasthiyar to even realise what was happening. There Sastha gave dharshan with Poorna Pushkala and all His parivars. There was a Swarna abhishegam on Sastha by all the devars. So the Sastha was called “Pon Soriyum Muthaiyan” (the God who induced the Swarna rain). To support this, even today golden nuggets are being found in this region.

Bootha natha Swamy:
Bootha natha Swamy, being called as Sangili Boothathar by locals is another main deity of the temple and he is the head of the Sastha’s parivar. Once, when the bridge connecting the temple to the main land was broken, the temple became isolated and inacceible for people. Boothanar took control over the wife of a popular industrialist of Coimbatore and arranged to rebuild the bridge. Now, a beautiful bridge is in place.

There is a tree here called “Bell eating tree”. When bakthas hang bells over this tree as prayers, these bells disappear in course of time and it is believed that these bells are slowly engulfed by the tree!! To substantiate this, we can see some bells half outside and half inside the tree.

Pattavarayan:
There is a separate shrine for Pattavarayan, one of the Parivara moorthies of Sastha, in a separate mandapam in the midst of rocks. People who have knee and other leg related problems hang a new chapel in front of the shrine. The new chappels become like old and used ones as days pass on and the disease of the person also reduce gradually.

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Azhwarkurichi

Azhwarkurichi is around 9 kms North of Papanasam en route Tehnkasi.

1) Sri Vanniappar Temple

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Azhwar Koil
3) Sri Avudaiamman Temple
4) Sri Venkateswara Temple
5) Agni Theertha karai koil
6) Sri Kakkum Perumal and Vinayagar Temple

Sri Paramakalyani Temple at Sivasailam

Sivasailam is around 6 kms West of Azhwarkurichi.
The main deity is Sivasailanathar with jadamudi as Swayambu lingam and the back of the lingam has jadamudi like formation, Amman is Paramakalyani
Sages Brihu and Athiri worshipped Lord Shiva here
The place is surrounded by three mountains – Vellimalai, Western ghats, and Mullimalai
The temple has 5 tier rajagopuram facing West. The temple is famous for the beautiful Nandhi and there is a grand festival for him during the last Friday of Aadi month.
The theertham that was created by Sage Athiri at 1500 ft height in the Sivasaila hill is called Athiri theertham. A detailed account of the Athri hills is available here.

Timing: 7 AM to 12:30 PM and 5 to 8 PM
Contact:  Narambunatha Bhattar @ 04634 283128 / 94867 78640

Links: Location Photos

Pappankulam

This is located at 7 kms from Azhwar kurichi

1) Sri Thiruvenkadar Temple

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Thirukkarutheeswarar Temple

Main deity is Thirukkarutheeswarar as Swayambu lingam
Ramar worshipped Shiva here
The temple has two praharams and the poojas take place four times a day

3) Sri Ramaswamy Temple

Kadayam

Kadayam is around 5.5 kms North-West of Azhwarkurichi

1) Sri Vilvaraneyeswarar Temple

Significance: Thevara Vaipu sthalam
Main deity Vilvaraneyswarar as swayambu lingam with Ambal Nithyakalyani
The temple has 7 stage Rajagopuram with 3 praharams
Sthala vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Chakra theertham

Links: Location

2) Ramar Temple

Sri Murugan Temple at Thoranamalai

Thoranamalai is around 8 kms North-West of Kadayam
This is a highly popular temple on a hilltop in a beautiful location. The temple’s speciality being that there are 60 natural water springs (sunai) around the Hill.

Links: Location

Note: Ramanadhi dam nearby is a beautiful location for outing

Tirunelveli – Alangulam – Thenkasi

Ramar Hill Temple at Alangulam

Alangulam is around 32 kms North-West of Tirunelveli

Links: Location

Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple at Keezhapavur

Keezhapavur is around 14 kms from Alangulam en route Thenkasi and around 9 kms before Thenkasi.

Links: Location Weblink

Thenkasi

Thenkasi is 53 Km from Tirunelveli and 5 kms from Kutralam. The name of this place ThenKasi implies the town is ‘Kasi (Varanasi) of the south’ (Then means South).

1) Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple

The temple is massive with a size of 554 feet x 318 feet.  The 172 feet high temple tower was built by Parakirama Pandian in 1456. The temple tower got damaged in 1924 due to thunder and then was remodelled to a height of 163 feet by Sivanthi Adithan.
Allocate some time to sit and relax under the Rajagopuram to enjoy the blowing cool air and drizzling water droplets from the Kutralam water falls located at 5 kms away!

Contact: 04633-222373

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Kulasekaranathar Shiva Temple
3) Chidambareswarar Temple

Note: On the way to Sundarapandiyapuram, about 4 kms before, there are scenic spots of Keezha Puliyur Aazhi parai and another one nearby.

SundaraPandiapuram

SundaraPandiapuram is around 10 kms East of Thenkasi.
This village is Cinema’s hotspot and the agraharam has come up in many movies. On either side of the Agraharam the Shiva temple and the Rajagopala Swamy Perumal Temple are present. Behind the Shiva temple is the massive 250 acre pond. The Thaipoosam festival in Rajagopala Swamy temple is popular and native people who migrated to foreign countries assemble.

Sri Balasubramania Swamy Temple at Ayikudi

A highly popular Murugan Temple

Links: Location Weblink

Kutralam

Kutralam is around 5 kms South-West of Thenkasi

1) PNT13 – Sri Kutralanathar Temple

One of the 275 Thevara Padal petra sthalams

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Natarajar Temple at Kutralam

Chithrasaba – one of the five dance halls of Natarajar

Links: Location

Interesting places to see around:

Kutralam water falls – the highly popular water falls

Thenkasi – Shenkotta – Thenmalai (Punalur – Sabarimala)

Sri Kumaran temple at Ilanji

Location: Ilanji is around 3 kms West of Thenkasi en route Shenkotta and 3 kms North of Kutralam.

Significances:

  • Arunagirinathar sang Thiruppugazh on this Murugan
  • One of the popular Murugan temples located in Tirunelveli district.

Temple:
The temple is located in the midst of green Paddy fields and coconut groves on the bank of Chithra River. This temple was renovated by Mara Varman Kulasekara Pandian in 1409 A.D. Lord Muruga blesses with His consorts Valli and Deivanai. The prime deity is called Varada Raja Kumarar.

Links: Location Weblink

Shencottah

Thanks to Mr.H.K.Krishnan (kannan27may@yahoo.co.in) from Shencottah for the following information:

Shencottah, the border town between Kerala and Tamilnadu was formerly with Travancore Cochin State and now in Tamilnadu. This is the birth place of Veera Vanchinathan, Mathematics Genius S.S.Pillai, Old age great S.G.Kittappa and Veteran Tamil actor S.V.Subbiah. It has 7 agraharams. It is a clean and neat Municipal town with a very big park, near the bus stand,inaugurated by Sir.CP Ramaswami Iyer in 1945. Very near the agraharams on the Main Road and adjacent to the Post Office and Federal Bank branch you can visit the three Brahmin owned and One non brahmin owned restaurants;the morning break fast items of Rasa vadai and Thayir vadai are famous here.Like Kerala temples, in this place also men have to remove shirts for Dharshan in Sivan,Perumal and Navaneethakrishnaswami temples.

Temples near Agraharam:

Other temples:

  • Vandimalachchi amman koil near Taluk Office
  • Saiva pillayar koil
  • Senaithalaivr Pillayar koil and
  • many other Vinayagar koils

Places to see:

  • The famous song Rendakka Rendakka in the Tamil film Anniyan directed by Sankar and Vikram was shot in Amman Sannathi Street[Sivankoil Street] here;also the latest malayalam film Madurai bus has some scenes shot in the same street.
  • Kundar dam, a beautiful place,  is a few kilometres away on the road after Shencottah Taluk Office;
  • Raja thottam – 275 acres of clove plantations surrounded by towering hillocks and woods - Travelogue

Sri Thirumalai Murugan temple at Panpozhi

Location: 13 kms North-West of Thenkasi; 9 kms North of Shenkotta
Significances: One of the very popular murugan temples of Tirunelveli district
A special temple for people borin in Visaka star,

Temple:
The Thirumalai Murugan Temple is located on a hill at a height of 400 m with 623 steps. Lord Muruga gave darshan to sage Agasthiar at Thirumalai. It is believed that Sage Agasthiar worships Lord Muruga even today. He formed a spring named Poonchunai to perform Abisheka and dug three pits on the spring in the name of Sun, Moon and Fire. The water never dries up in this spring.

Temple timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 5 PM to 8:30 PM
Contact: 04633 – 237131 / 237343

Links: Location Weblink

Guru Dakshinamoorthy Temple at Puliyarai

Beautiful temple surrounded by thick green forest slopes on one side and fields and pond on the other side. Excellent place with drizzles during south west monsoons.Temple is a Guru sthalam and a beautiful small Krishna baghvan is also present.

Links: Location

Kottavasal Karuppa Swamy Temple

An important temple to worship while going to Sabarimala located the Tamilnadu-Kerala border.

Links: Location

Aryankavu Ayyappan Temple

One of the four important Sastha temples in this region along with Aryankavu, Kulathupuzha and Sorimuthu Ayyanar at Kaaraiyar

Thenmala dam

Kulathupuzha Ayyappan Temple

Achankoil Ayyappan Temple

Around 26 kms diversion at Kazhuthayurutty junction from the Sabarimala main route
Many of the Ayyappan temples of Kerala were installed by Parasuramar.  In all these temples, the idols became unfit for worship or the temples had been washed out in floods. So they all were exchanged including Sabarimala vigraham which was installed in 1952 but Achankoil vigrahams alone is the original one installed by Parasuramar.
Yakshi Kavu behind the temple is not to be missed.

Links: Location

Thenkasi – Sankarankoil

Sri Neelamaninathaswami temple at Kadayanallur

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Chitamaninathar (Arthanareeswar) temple at Vasudevanallur

Links: Location Weblink

Sankara Narayanar Temple at Sankarankoil

Links: Location Weblink

Responses

  1. There is a bhoothanathar temple in singikulam on the banks of pachaiyaru. Singikulam is on Seval to Kalakkad road. Please provide historical information and link of this temple with Sorimuthu Iyan temple.

  2. Sir, it is a very nice collection. One info. i wish to add. In the route from shenkottah to surandai (a commercial place), enroute between Ayikudi (balasubramania swamy temple you have cited) and Surandai, there is a village Sambavar vadakarai. In the Agraharam, there is 80 yr old Vedanarayana perumal temple and a sivan kovil Sreemoola nathar with Madhuravaani ambaal in the vicinity. This koil is family deity to several families. Just 3 kms south, Vindhankottai (near sundarpandiapuram kulam) there Sundararaja perumal with thayaars with a beautiful Garudan is blessing. a kovil with good sanithyam and varaprasaadam. If you find time, please visit.
    = Sundararajan,

  3. CAN WE HAVE IDEA ON “POTHAIYADI” OR “pathai” near Kalakkadu,,Molavar KULASEGARA EASWARAR temple?
    thanks. sivasubramanian

  4. I am looking for a perumal temple in a elevated place, with a waterbody south of it , with sivan, ambal, and murugan shrines near tirunelveli

    • must be tirunankovil just 10 -12 kms from t veli jn. also known as melatiruvengadanathapuram

  5. DO YOU KNOW ANY FAMOUS TEMPLE IN AROUND TIRUNELVELI , HAVING PERUMAL, THAYAR AND LORD MURUGA

  6. In Kodaganallur, there is also an ancient Perumal Temple. You can find more details at

    http://www.geocities.ws/kodaka_nallur/page2.html

    http://www.geocities.ws/kodaka_nallur/page4.html

    Sarpa Dosha pariharam is performed in this temple like Kalahasti. The name Kodaganallur itself is derived to Karkodagan, the great Snake mentioned in our Puranas.Special pujas is also performed in this temple for Garudan for removal of effects of poisons.

  7. Very good compilation. My parents are from Tirunelveli and we moved to Mumbai about 50 years back. We are in search of our kuladeivam in our native Papakudi village near Mukudal. My grandfather was a retd. postmaster from that village. Any information on this will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hello sir, I belong to Ariyanayakipuram near Mukkudal, papakudi, (we still have our ancestral property over there and we do frequently visit our native, I can get in touch with people in Papakudi and get you more details if you need. please contact me on. 8978604261,9350545346.
      Thanks and Regards
      Sai Ganesh Hariharan

  8. I am looking out for Kadayam Sastha temple. I am looking out for the address and contact person’s phone number as I would like to perform rituals as sastha in kadayam is our family deity. Kindly help me in this search.
    Thanks Venkatraman email svr_2002@yahoo.com

  9. I was at Old street Cheranmahadevi in 1932-35 studying at Committee Govinda Higher elementary School. Ramar Koil was then at the end of that street.Narqayana Rao of that school was subsequently awarded the President’s Award for best teachers in India. Any contacts from friends from that period will be extremely welcome.

    • if you want I can get photos of cheranmahadevei and ramar temple. ramar temple is due for kumbabhishekam. renovated very nicely. I can send a photo of ramar temple and pazhaya gramam through e mail
      pls share your email to rajaraminchennai@yahoo.com

  10. Thachanallur near Tirunelveli: This brings old memories to me.; In 1940-41 my father was posted as Distillery Officer at the Sugar Factory in Thachnallur. I was then studying in first year Intermediate class at MDT Hindu College. My brother and I were walking to the College from Home by the side of the railway line. The College was then located near the Junction Rly stn, as was also Chandra Vilas Hotel. Grateful if any old batchmates could kindly contact me. Thanks and best wishes

    • Alexander Gnanamjuthu was the principal and Prof A Srinivasa Raghavan was one of the Professors of English at that College in 1940 to 1942. In March 1942 due to evacuation of Madras City some students from Madras Colleges wrote their University exams at Tirunelveli. I would very much like to contact any batchmates in Inter/BA Class of those years in that college. Thanks, again

  11. The beauty of Tirunelveli !

  12. thanks for your information i got plenty of information-raj from hyderabad,andhrapradesh

  13. raju sir iam covering some places in tirunelveli dist i will send u the pics soon

  14. Hello,
    Please can you give me the details of the temple where Idaikaadar siddhar is located in a vishnu temple located at near by tirunelveli where vishni idol is made up of mud and it is believed where this temple only Kalki will raise.The details of above temple published by a article in Trishakti magazie also.

    Please get the details of the above specified temple if possible. thanks.

  15. Well compiled.Excellent.I have benefitted from your blog personally.Please refer my blog – http://miraculousdivinetemples.blogspot.com

  16. most interesting and motivates one to visit the temples at least
    once in their lifetime, to view the grand scale of construction and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere and receive God!s blessings

  17. Can you give some guidance as to go about visiting places around Ambasamudaram like pappanasam ,mancholai, agasthiar falls etc.Where can I stay any decent hotel. Any permission from forest office is required? If so how to get it..I am planning to go on 1st september 2012 An early reply is requested
    T.R.Subramanian
    Email manian1943@yahoo.com
    Mob 9833192454 mumbai

    • mancholai can be reached only by bus no car allowed . if u stay in kallidaikurichi baskar lodge which is accessible all these destination

  18. There are 3 temples at Karukurichi, Lord Shiva temple, Perumal koil and the Sastha temple. Karukurichi is a beautiful village surrounded with Mountains and a lake and paddy field, many with ripe banana trees which brings in fresh air. visit the site to see the varadharaja perumal in garuda sevai. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XdIMZuGyZY

  19. A wonderfully compiled document of temples. As listed the missing one may kindly be added to make the doc complete in itself. Sure, this will left to posterity.
    TVR

  20. DEAR
    sIR
    GOOD WORK NO WORDS TO PRAISE., I AM NATIVE OF PALAMADI
    VENKATRAMAN 9841049843

  21. A wonderful collection.I am thinking of visiting pappanasam and surrounding areas.your article will be very useful.By the way I am from Taruvai village near Tirunelvelli.Our family left it about 70 year back.I am not aware of the things described beautifully by you.Thanks a lot. Keep it up
    T.R.Subramanian
    manian1943@yahoo.com

  22. sir ,please let us know how many days did u take to complete ur visit to these many temples.thank u very much for such a informative blog.

  23. Sir, You have done a excellent work, except you have missed some temples… but an excellent so many temples you have covered.

  24. You have left out Shencottah the border town between Kerala and Tamilnadu;which was formerly with Travancore Cochin State and now in Tamilnadu;the birth place of Veera Vanchinathan,Mathematics Genius S.S.Pillai,Old age great SGKittappa,Veteran Tamil actor SV Subbiah.It has 7 agraharams;one Siva temple – Dharmasamvardhini Ambal samedha Kulasekaranathaswami temple;one Perumalkoil Sundararaja Perumal koil;one ellai deivam Nithyakalyaniambal koil;One Krishnar koil Navaneethakrishnaswamikoil;One big Pillayarkoil near Sivankoil by name Chekkadi Pillayar koil;these above mentioned temples are near the agraharams;other temples –Vandimalachchi amman koil near Taluk Office,Saiva pillayar koil,Senaithalaivr Pillayar koil and many other Vinayagar koils are in other areas;It is a clean and neat Municipal town with a very big park, near the bus stand,inaugurated by Sir.CP Ramaswami Iyer in 1945. Very near the agraharams on the Main Road and adjacent to the Post Office and Federal Bank branch you can visit the three Brahmin owned and One non brahmin owned restaurants;the morning break fast items of Rasa vadai and Thayir vadai are famous here.Like Kerala temples, in this place also men have to remove shirts for Dharshan in Sivan,Perumal and Navaneethakrishnaswami temples.The famous song Rendakka Rendakka in the Tamil film Anniyan directed by Sankar and Vikram was shot in Amman Sannathi Street[Sivankoil Street] here;also the latest malayalam film Madurai bus has some scenes shot in the same street.Kundar dam is a few kilometres away on the road after Shencottah Taluk Office;it is a beautiful place.
    K.H.Krishnan Shencottah.

  25. A very good presentation. How come Sankarankoil is missing in the list?
    A big structure consisitng Snakaralingam, Sankaranarayana Swamy, Gomathy Amman and Subramanya swamy are the deities.
    K S Subramanian

  26. This is too good. I sincerely thank you. May God bless you.

  27. A very good presentation.. Keep it up.

  28. Wonderful collection well documented. You deserve bountiful thanks. I wish you contiunue this mission.
    Regards,
    VVKalyanasundaram

  29. I tried to contact by e mail but it was returned. I have plenty of photos of nava thirupathi and also that of Kurungudi. A few snaps of the Shiva temple in Thirunelveli proper. If you feel appropriate please tell me at dprangan@yahoo.co.in and I will send all the photos like that of Gnanamalai Murugan.

    Where do you find so much time to wander around a place to cover all the temples. You can think of publishing a book of all temples you have covered so far with photos.

    Rangan D P

  30. Thank you so much for letting us know about this post. I appreciate your time and efforts in making each post so much informative and interesting. God bless you for your wonderful efforts.

    Nandini

  31. You have not visited the Abhimuktheshwarar temple and the Kailasanathar Temple at Kodaganallur Village. It has got the Sringeri Sankara Math and a powerful Pillaiyar Koil at the banks of the river Tambarabarani.
    If you need any information on this place and temples you may contact K.S.Subramanian Ph:09381041462 and email abhimuktheshwarar@gmail.com

  32. Very well compiled and documented with exhaustive information.
    Congrats


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