Visit to Thirunelveli Temples – Part 4

This is a part of the 4 part travelogue on Thirunelveli Temple tour:

This is the concluding part of our Thirunelveli temple trip.

Note: This is a gist of travel information only and I am not repeating here the temple timings, the archagar phone nos, temple legends and other details from the religious aspect since they are already documented in the ”Directory of the temples around Thirunelveli 1 and 2”.

Day 4:

We wanted to save as much time as possible since we had so many more temples to visit on the last day. So we got ready and were present at the Srivaikundam Nava Thirupathi by 6:30 AM sharp but to our dismay we were told that the temple will open only by 7:45 AM! (It’s too lazy to wake up Perumal at that time!). Then we went to the Srivaikundam Nava Kailasam where the temple was kept open and renovation works were going on even at that time but the Gurukkal was not there. Anyway, we could see the Lord through the doors and were going around various shrines. The temple is one of the biggest in the Nava Kailasa temples and very beautiful with wonderful sculptures in pillars and many mandapams.

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Sri Boothanathar is considered very special in this temple


By the time we completed all the shrines, the Gurukkal also had arrived. We had a nice dharashan of God and Goddess. The renovation work is going on only outside the main shrines and so the main deities are under regular worship. After that we completed our breakfast and then went back to the Nava Thirupathi temple again. It is also a huge and very beautiful temple, well maintained by TVS. The temple has numerous sculptures in various pillars and mandapams.


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An exclusive blog post is needed for the sculptures of the Perumal and Shiva temple of Srivaikundam.

The Srivaikundam bridge:


One nice aspect of Nava Thirupathis is the temple timings. Normally the Perumal temples are very strict in their timings and they close between 1 and 4 PM come what may, whereas here, in many of the temples, the closure time is between 1 and 2 or between 1 and 1:30 only such that you can complete all the nine temples very conveniently before 2 to 3 PM. Srivaikundam, Azhwar Thirunagri, Then Thirupperai and Thirukkolur are the only temples which close very early by 11 AM itself (However, opening the temple at 7:45 AM is too lazy, especially for such popular temples and hope something will be done for this also).

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Our next temple was Azhwar Thirunagari Nava Thirupathi. The sthala vruksham tamarind tree is more than 1000 years old and it is under this tree, Nammazhwar remained from birth to 10+ age without any food or water. Under the tree, now there is Nammazhwar shrine and the sanctity of the place can be felt very easily.

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Then we visited the following temples in the given order. I give the time of arrival at the temple (the time of the first photo with my camera) in bracket so that you can have an idea of how long it will take to go from one temple to the other.

Thirukkolur Nava Thirupathi (9:26 AM)

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Then Thirupperai Nava Kailasa temple (9:48)



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We visited Then Thirupperai Nava Thirupathi (10:10) again since we could not see the Thayar shrine the previous night. Like the previous night, this time also we had to wait for about 20 minutes for the pooja to complete. At that time, 20 minutes wait was too much for us. After the wait, we visited all the shrines and had the delicious prasad also.

Thirukuzhandai (Perunkulam) Nava Thirupathi (11:24)



Irattai Thiruppathi1 Nava Thirupathi (11:50)


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Irattai Thiruppathi2 Nava Thirupathi (12:06)



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Thiruppuliangudi Nava Thirupathi (12:48)





The Ranganatha Perumal of this temple is very tall so that you can not see His foot from the sanctum. There is a separate window outside the shrine in the praharam through which only we can have the dharshan of Lord’s feet.

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Thiruvaragunamangai (Natham) Nava Thirupathi (1:14)



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Only in this temple, we had to wait between 1 and 1:30 for the lunch break but otherwise we had completed all the Nava Thirupathis conveniently by 1:45 itself without any wait in any temple.

Our next temple was the Morappanadu Nava Kailasam and so travelled back towards Thirunelveli. While passing through Srivaikundam, we bought some packed food at a hotel just opposite the Government Hospital.

On the way to Morappanad, we saw only the exterior of the Karungulam Perumal temple on a small hill since it was closed.


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We also passed through the Vittalapuram Pandurangan temple and it was also closed.

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We reached Morappanad Nava Kailasam by 3 PM. Since the Tamirabarani flows towards North here, it is considered very sacred to take a bath here.

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Here, we had our lunch of the packed food we bought at Srivaikundam. The quantity of each pack was high and quality was just ok. We called up the Gurukkal over phone only to find out that he was at Ambasamudhram and will come only by 5:30 PM, meaning a wait of 2 hrs and possibly missing Nellaiyappar temple. So we decided to leave the temple (this is the only temple which was left out in our Nava Kailasa temples) and proceeded towards Nellaiyappar temple in the Thirunelveli town. Since the temple will open only by 4:30 PM, the driver suggested to take rest at the Science Centre! With plenty of trees and (badly maintained) rest rooms, it was a good option with an entry ticket of just Rs.5! Since there was no sufficient crowd, we could not go to the 3D show or the planetary show and simply rested for about 45 minutes.

Our final destination was the grand Nellaiyappar temple which is bigger than even Madurai Meenakshi amman temple in size. It needs atleast 2 hours to completely see the temple and we had visited all the shrines and saw numerous wonderful sculptures.

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Gandhimathi Ambal shrine

In Shiva Temple 1 In Shiva Temple 2 In Shiva Temple 3 In Shiva Temple 4 In Shiva Temple 5 In Shiva Temple 7 In Shiva Temple 6 In Shiva Temple 6b In Shiva Temple 6a In Shiva Temple 5 IMG_9213 IMG_9215 Hanumar In Shiva Temple 8 IMG_9227 IMG_9226

Again, this temple requires an exclusive blog post and it is very difficult to express the beauty of the temple and sculptures in words. It has to be seen and enjoyed, especially the Kanthimathi amman!

Since the famous Iruttukkadai Halwa shop opens only for some specific time in the afternoon, we informed the Cabs people to buy Halwa for us. We went to the Cabs office, collected the Halwa, complemented the driver and the company, took dinner opposite the railway station and boarded the train for Chennai.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable and satisfying trip but the biggest upset was the missing out of Krishnapuram temple and no Thirunelveli pilgrimage is complete without a visit to Krishnapuram and the Nellaiyappar temple. We missed exploring lot more of the Ambasamudhram, Kallidaikurichi areas in the day time (especially the shooting spots!) and also missed taking bath at Tamirabarani. Two days more would have permitted us to explore around Thenkasi, Kutralam, Sencottah and Sankaran koil. All these only mean that this trip is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG!

Note: The information on the Thirunelveli temples over the internet is very very limited excepting some info on the Nava Thirupathis and Nava Kailasams. This is yet another Kumbakonam and Kanchipuram but is highly under-explored and under-exposed! I request the temple lovers to focus some attention towards this region and popularize the temples for the sake of devotees.

Thanks for your patient reading..

Click here to go to Part1Part 2 and Part 3


  1. Respected Sir

    I read all the four parts of Thirunelveli Temples. Amazing and wonderful description with Photos. We are visiting first week of February 2019 Thanks a lot. Great guidance.

  2. Dear sir,
    I ve planned to visit navakailasam and nava tirupathi and cover suchindram,to tiruchendur, and few selected places from your blog. After reading your 4 parts of blog i felt extremely happy and thought that the almighty is guiding me to meet him through your narrations. Because I was confused from were to start..(it’s 12.45 AM now!) Thank you for this wonderful blog sir.

    My pilgrimage starts from 23 for 4 days..

    Naresh Kumar.

    • Day1: From Thirunelveli travel east – Nava thirupathis / Nava kailasam and Thiruchendur and come back to Thirunelveli
      If Day1 is hectic, you may stay at Thiruchendur and see left out temples on return to Thirunelveli the next day.
      Day2: From Thirunelveli travel west – Remaining Nava Kailasams upto Papanasam and other temples and come back to Thirunelveli
      Day3: Head South to Nanduneri / Valliyur / Thirukkurungudi – stay at Suchindram
      Day4: Suchindram and around

  3. Dear Raju Sir, I have been following your posting about divya desams and shiva temples. The description and photography are excellent. One word I would like to add is thirukkurungudi temple visit you have not mentioned the emperuamar temple and thirumangai alwar temple which are nearby. Thirumangai alwar temple is the place where he attained the moksham. had been to all 106 divya desams twice but I cannot understand tamil hence I could not gather much information about these temple.

    Thank You very much sir,

    • Sir, I could not visit the temples u have mentioned and so will not be there in my travelogues whereas they are detailed in the Directories.

  4. Dear Raju
    I am Ramasubramanian from Ahmedabad, native of Vallioor.
    I enjoyed reading all the 4 parts.superbly written and we’ll supported by photographs.quite informative for persons wishing to visit these places.
    I did my primary schooling in board high school in 50’s .and visit Vallioor often.Thanks for kindling my old memories.Wish you a great life ahead.

  5. Splendid description. Seeing ur write up, we are recollecting our pleasant memories. It is a fact to say & feel that Tamil Nadu is ” GOD’ S OWN COUNTRY”. We blessed to be living in this part of th earth. Thousands of temples with so much of history & importance. When ever time permits, we take the maps & books for new destinations. A week back, we visited Krishnapuram . Breath taking sculptures. Plz wait for six months, we were told, work is going on.At present, the main deity is closed.. Happy visiting to newer temple destinations. Plz upload for us to see & share. Namaskaram

  6. Hi Raju,

    I am mahesh from Mumbai and i originally hail from ambai. There are a few temples which i would recommend especially the pancha guru sthalams then tribhuvanam , harikesavanallur, idaikkal. Also there is thiruvaliswarar temple near bramhadesam. I am an avid temple goer myself so we can compare notes.

  7. dear raju,
    nice to go through your wonderful remembrances of nava tirupathi temples
    my request is that pl furnish the tel nos of archakas of these nine temples i would be highly oblige d if you could do this to me. in addition which is the central place from where i can cover all these 9 temples in one day and what about the food arrangement are there hotels or some places where i can get homely veg food

    • Thanks, Sir. I want to visit Karkotaka Nallur Perumal Koil near Pettai, on Tirunelveli to Tenkasi route. Kindly guide me.

  8. Sir, found your write up very useful and informative. Basically we are also a family of temple lovers. We are searching for our kuladeivam temple. We belong to ashtasahasram sect. Our ancestors hail from tanjore district but later settled in Madurai (last 5 generation) . Our kuladeivam is Sri anandavalli Amman. We worship her by lighting the kuthuvilakku. We don’t know her temple. If you or your readers can share any information in this regard i will be extremely grateful.

  9. Respected Sir,

    REad your blog on Tirunelveli tours. It is informative and useful.

    My husband and I plan to visit Tirunelveli during Sep.2014 and would like to know how many days stay required to complete visit of navathirupathi, navakailasam temples, shankaran koil, nagercoil, suchindram, kanyakumari and tiruchendur, tenkasi (this happens to be my birth place, which I left about 5 decades back and settled at Bangalore) and the route plans. Your reply would be highly appreciated. – Sharada Sundaresh

  10. we regularly visit thanjavur, kumbakonam, mayiladuthurai and other neary by areas. after reading this article we like to visit the other part of tamilnadu. very good work done by you. god should give everything to visit all the temples in TN to promote religious tourism. Keep it up sir.

  11. Your write up is very informative. We are planning a 4 day trip to Tirunelveli and Tiruchenduralong with nava Kailasam’s temples.Is it possible to cover these temples along with Kalakkad? We are planning to pick up the car from Tiruchirapalli and will be back also to Tiruchirapalli.we are traveling with a 6 year old grandchild. Your input will be appreciated. Our trip I’d from 9th sept afternoon to 13th evening.

    • You can very well cover Nava Kailasa temples, Madam. In fact you can cover Nanguneri, Valliyur and Thirukkurungudi as well since you are planning Kalakkad.

  12. Dear RAJU,

  13. Thank you for giving the good information about all temples surrounding tirunalveli . we belong to andhra pradesh state . without this information we are unable to see all the temples . In the month of march I am Planning to visit the srirangam, nava tirupathis, kanyakumari and tiruvanthapuram within week days with my old age parents. Kindly guide us in this programme. Once again thanks for giving the total information about tirunalveli trip

  14. Mr.Raju, My heartfelt thanks and congratulations to you to enlighten our people by providing such a valuable information about our culture and temples. I too interested to disseminate our culture and details of temples but i do not have software knowledge as you have so that i prepare in writing all the temple details very particularly PARIKARA STHALAMS. God bless you to collect more and more information about our temples and publish like this. also my sincere suggestion you can get in touch with SRI.A.M. RAJAGOPALAN of Editor, Kumudam Jothidam to give you more inputs to enhance the quality of information. Hatsoff to your service to our Hindu traditions and culture. R.MAGENDIRAN .

  15. Very nice. Very informative to the pilgrims. Good to look the photographs you shooted. More attractive. Only thing is ,as you said the timings of poojas and the attentiveness by the poojaries towards pilgrims without minding for how much they pained to visit the temples from for away places.The treatment by the poojaries is not upto the mark in almost all famous templesin tamil nadu. No dasipline. Favourism to the frinds and money payers, isinit Thanks for your efforts. Mohan raju.

  16. I am one of the best detectives and private investigators in Mumbai and Raju, your article with all the great photos has made me want to visit them rightaway! Thanks for taking the time to post such great pics of our cultural heritage that one in modern times does not have time for! Malls have become the new temples in Modern India.

  17. your view about sri nellaiappar temple is true.the temple older than madurai meenakshi temple and also big in size.most of the temples in and around tirunelveli are maintained by tvs.thanks to sri venu srinivasan.i am from rengasamudram near kula deivam is mela thiruvenkatanathapuram perumal.
    your write-up will bring more people to tirunelveli.


  18. NavaTirupathi & Nellaiyappar temple alone, we have visited last year October. Near Nava Tirupathi – It was a peaceful place.

    Nellaiyappar temple – Hope it is a junction. I liked it very much

  19. Sir , we also visited Nava thiruoathi temples during some time back. It is totally spiritually and holy t trip. The temples are well maintained. We loved especially Azwhar Thirunagari temple.

  20. Thank you very much for your mail. We are also going temples as per your list and your list is really very useful.
    Keep sending all your trips.
    Thanks once again

  21. I had once visited these temples. Normally, they are maintained
    in the best possible manner. I am thankful to you for publishing the
    photographs as my children who have not visited the above places
    had a nice time in viewing it. Thank you very much Sir. If you have
    the details of Bhattachariyars, you may furnish with their contact
    numbers, so that it would be possible for people to get in touch with
    them before reaching over there, for arranging thirumanchanam, etc.

    Balasubramanian NR

  22. By looking at photos, it appears that many of the temples are well maintained.( atleast for photos ). As you rigtly said, it requires to be publicised thru Net. Can you share the names and phone numbers of the Gurukkal / Bhattars also?

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