Temples in and around Tirunelveli
Tirunelveli-1 page contains the following areas:
- In and around Tirunelveli
- Tirunelveli – Thenkasi
Tirunelveli-2 (this) page contains the following areas:
- Tirunelveli – Nagercoil (NH7)
- Tirunelveli – Thiruchendur
Last Updated: 5th June 2016
Tirunelveli – Nagarkoil (NH7)
Sri Navagraha Varasakthi Vinayagar Temple at Muthur Reddiarpatti
Sri Kalangu Udyar Sastha Temple near Koganthanparai
Singilkulam is 7 kms West of Panaankulam and Paanangulam is around 23 kms South of Thirunelveli on the NH7
1) Sri Aavudai ambal sametha Sri Kailasanathar Temple
2) Sri Bhagavathi Temple on a hillock
Sri MuthuVaduganathar Siddhar Temple / Sri Esaki Amman Temple at old Singikulam
Nanguneri is located at about 30 kms South of Tirunelveli enroute Nagercoil on the NH7. The place is also called Srivaramangai, Sri Purushamangai and Vaanama malai. Since there were 4 big Lakes around this sthalam, this was named as “Naangu Neri”. (Naangu means four). But currently, only one lake is found.
1) DD90 – Sri Vaanamaamalai Thothathri Perumal temple
- One of the 108 Divya desams
- Out of the 108 Divya desams, only 8 have Lords as Swayambu (self emerged) and this is one of them
- The main deity takes oil bath every day with Gingili oil and Sandal wood oil and the oil is collected in a 25 feet open well inside the temple. The oil has rich medicinal value which is said to cure all sorts of incurable diseases.
Main deities: Kothagirinathan or Thothathrinathan in sitting posture facing East with Thayar Sirivaramangai Nachiyar.
Periya piratti, Bhoomi piratti and Neela devi are the three Naachiyaars of this sthalam.
Utsavar: Deiva nayagan
Prathyaksham: Indhran, Brahmma, Romasar, Bhrigu, Maarkandeya Rishi
- This sthalam is one of the Ashta (eight) suyambhu (which develops on its own) sthalams. Other seven sthalams are Badrinath, Mukthinath (Salagramam), Naimisaranyam (Lucknow), Pushkaram (Aajmeer), Tiruvenkadam (Thirupathy), Sri Mushnam and Srirangam.
- This sthalam is also called as “Vaanama malai” because a pandiya king married a Cheran daughter and he got the name as “Vaanavan”. Since, he built this temple, this sthalam is called as “Vaanama malai”.
- Moolavar is found along with two pirattiyaars in sitting posture served by the celestal women Rambhai and Thilothamai. Brighu Maharishi, Maarkandeya Maharishi, Chandra – Soorya, Vishwakshenar are found. The Aadhiseshan serve as the Umbrella for the Lord.
- Utsavar Deiva Nayagan is found along with His Pirattiyaars, Srivaramangai Thaayar and Andal. He is wearing Maga Kandigai, a special ornament and is present in a very big peetam.
- There are separate shrines for Lakshmi Narayanan, Lakshmi Varagar, Venugopalan, Dasavatharam, Vadakku Naachiyaar, Therku Naachiyaar, Manavala Maamunigal, Udayavar, Pillai ulaga Asiriyar, Ramar, Krishnar and Chakarathazhwar.
- Except Nammazhwar, all the Azhwars are found in a separate shrine. Nammazhwar is found as “Sadagopar” in “Sadaari” (which is kept on our head in Vishnu temples) as “Sadagopar Sadaari” in utsavar shrine.
Setruthamarai theertham: Since this pushkarani is without water and found only with oil, mud and clay, the pushkarani is called “Setru thaamarai theertham”.
Indra theertham: Since, Indiran took bath in this to get out of the diseases, this Pushkarani is called Indira theertham.
Vimanam: Nandha varthana Vimanam
Festivals: Chithrai, Panguni Brahmothsavam
Temple Timings: 7 AM to to 12 noon and 5 PM to 9 PM
Contact: Nambi Srinivasa Bhattar @ 04635 – 250119
2) Sri Krishnan Temple with Temple tank
Located at the back side of the Vanamamalai Temple
3) Sri Vanamamalai Mutt
4) TPT – Sri Thirunageshwarar Temple
Significances: One of the Murugan temples revered by Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh
Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Thiru Nageswarar with His consort Sivakami Ammai.
One can come out of severe Sarpa dhosha by conducting pooja here.
Murugan appears in single face with four hands in standing posture along with peacock
Ponnum Peruvembudaiyar Sri Sastha Temple at Rajakkalmangalam
This is Ayyappa Sastha temple is located on the northern bank of Nambiyaru at the base of the hill called Koormagiri (Tortoise Hill) which looks like a Koormam (Tortoise) from the top. The hill has a legend connection with Ramayana.
There are archaeological findings near this temple recently unearthed by ASI indicating the presence a city on the northern side of river Nambiyaru, like the sastha at chitoor a few km east of this place on the sourthern side of the river called Thenkarai Maharaja temple dedicated to Sri Ayyappan’s brother, Panthala maharaja, who came here in search of Sri Ayyappan.
The Boothathar moorthy of this place is a marvelous stone work. Bhoothathar is the personal god of Sri Ayyappan, like Veerabhhu to Murugan, hence you may see him in all Ayappan temples facing south in front of the Sastha sannithi.
DhalapathySamudhram is around 7 kms North-East of Valliyur
Sri Nambi Narayana Perumal Temple at Nallankulam
Valliyur is around 50 kms South of Thirunelveli on the NH7 and has a railway station also. Most of the express trains stop at Valliyur.
1) Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple at (Thiruppugazh Sthalam)
- One of the Murugan temples revered by Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh
- A beautiful rock-cut temple
- The presiding deity here is Subramaniyar with His consort, Valli, in whose name the place is called.
- Lord Shiva as Jayandheeswarar facing West is in a separate shrine with Soundara Nayahi amman.
- Indra and Agastyar worshipped Subramanyar here.
- The Saravanapoikai tank was created when Murugan struck his spear to the ground as requested by His consort.
The temple has a rock-cut sanctum carved out of a hill and several mandapams surrounding it. There are also shrines to Natarajar and Dakshinamūrti here. The Saravanapoikai tank is located adjacent to the hill. The diamond studded Vel held by Subramaniyar is of great beauty.
The beautiful Temple, the temple tank and the Kuravan Malai (Western Ghats) give the town a beautiful look and feel.
7 worship services take place daily.
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
2) Shri Meenakshi Sundareshwara Deivapandiya Swamy Temple
An ancient Shiva Temple. The temple was built by King Kulasekara Pandian. There is peedam for the King Kulasekar Pandian , his 4 brothers and Vadukachi amman in the temple.
3) Veyilukkuganda Pillaiyaar Temple
4) Perumal Temple
Ervadi is around 6 kms North of Valliyur (There is another more popular Erwadi near Rameswaram).
1) Sri Periyanayaki Ambal Sametha Sri Thiruvazhundheeswarar Temple
The Shiva linga moorthy here is Swayambu
2) Sri Veeraraghava Perumal Temple
3) Shiva Temple on a small hillock
Thirukkurungudi is situated at 47 kms South of Tirunelveli past Nanguneri en route Nagarkoil in NH 7. It is 15 kms South-West of Nanguneri Divya desam. The nearest railway station is Valliyur which is about 10 kms away.
Place of Stay:
A couple are doing a yeomen service with home stay and home food. Any no of people up to 40 can be accommodated with prior information. His address is:
Shri D Ramanujam, No. 31, Sannathi Street, Thirukurungudi 627115
Phone: 04635-265692 / Mobile: 93605-48252
Srirangam Andavan Ashram at Thirukkurungudi is also convenient place to stay.
Note: T.V.S owner Sri Srinivasa Iyengar was born in this town and the temples are being maintained by TVS family.
1) DD89 – Azhagiya Nambi Temple (Divya Desam)
- Thirukurungudi is a holy Divyadesa complex of 5 temples and 5 Nambis (“Nambu” in Tamil means believe and “Nambi” means believed by all).
- The main temple of Thirukkurungudi has 3 Nambis in Nindra (standing), Irundha (sitting) and Kidantha (reclining) postures.
- The other two Nambis are in the nearby ThiruParkadal Nambi Temple and Malaimel Nambi temple.
- The other two nearby temples Thiruvattaparai and Thirumangai Azhwar Thiruvarasu are also very significant and part of this Divya desam.
- As per the Vaishnava Sampradayam, Thirukurungudi is said to be the ‘Southern Home’ of Lord Vishnu and is also called Dakshina badri.. Hence, it is believed that ‘Vaikuntam’ is at a ‘calling distance’ from Thirukurungudi. (Thiru Narayana Puram (Melkote) in Karnataka is said to be the ‘Mela Veedu’, Kanchipuram the ‘Keezha Veedu’ and Srirangam ‘The Veedu’.)
- Sundara Kanda in Valimiki Ramayana portrays the greatness of Thirukkurungudi. Hanuman rested on top of the Mahendragiri Parvata before travelling to Sri Lanka. He saw a beautiful city at the foot hills of Mahendragiri, glowing brightly in the night which made him to even think it could be the eternal Sri Vaikunta loka which was none other than this kshetra.
- Nammazhwar, the foremost amongst the Vaishnavite saints, is considered to be the incarnation of this Lord Nindra Nambi. He was born to his mother Udaya Nangai after her prayers here.
- The famed Araiyar Sevai and Kaisika Puranam originated from here,
- Thirukkurungudi is located at the foot of the Mahendragiri hills in the Western ghats and on the banks of the river Nambiyaru. Apart from the spiritual sense, the temples are located in fascinating locations.
Moolavar and Thaayar: The Moolvar of this Divyadesam has 39 different names including Azhagiya Nambi, Nindra Nambi, Kurungudi Nambi, Sundara Paripoornam and Nambi Narayan in standing posture facing East;
Irundha Nambi and Kidantha Nambi are the other two Nambis of this temple in separate shrines.
Thaayar: Kurungudi valli Naachiyaar. Two separate shrines for two pirattis.
Prathyaksham: Lord Shiva and Gajendra.
Urchavar: Vainava Nambi (Azhagiya Nambi) along with two pirattis, Neela Devi and Kurungudi valli thaayar. The Lord is called Vaishnava nambi as it is believed that the Lord Himself obtained Vaishnava initiation from Ramanujar here.
Legend of Kaisika Puranam:
The legend of Kaisika Puranam revolves around Nambaduvan, a low caste person belonging to the Baanar (musician) family who had unflinching faith on Lord Nambi. Since Nambaduvan was a low caste person, he was embarrassed to come to the temple during the day time and so used to come during every night. He will stand in front of the temple and sing the praise of Lord Nambi with a Veena all through the night and leave before dawn. During one such night, on the way, he was intercepted by a hungry wild demon which wanted him for the dinner. Undaunted, Nambaduvan requested the demon to wait for a little time so that he could complete his Kaisika Ekadasi Vratham and the dharshan of Kurungudi Nambi assuring that he will return back. Unable to convince the demon, Nambaduvan made 18 promises that night to the demon. Through these promises, narrated beautifully in the Kaisika Puranam as a lengthy discussion between the two, one comes to know of the different sins we commit every day in our lives as a result of not adhering to some of the basic values in life.
17 promises later and not having got the nod from the demon, Nambaduvan made the 18th promise:
“If I do not return, I would have committed the biggest sin that exists – that of comparing and equating Lord Narayana with others. And I will become a sinner who will never get Moksham from this cycle of births.”
This extraordinary promise moved the demon and the demon let him go.
Nambaduvan, after singing the Nammalwar pasurams in a mesmerising musical note in front of the temple, was returning to see the demon as promised. On the way, Lord Nambi in the guise of an old man, stopped Nampaduvan and after knowing his story from Nambaduvan, advised him to escape in some other route and not to get in the clutches of the demon. But Nampaduvan reiterated that he would not deviate from his promise. The old man gave dharshan of His original form of Lord Nambi, blessed Nampaduvan and also gave him the title “Nampaaduvaan”, meaning “the person who will sing the praise of me (Lord)”.
Nampaduvan, then went straight to the demon and offered himself as the demon’s food. But the demon changed his mind and asked for the fruit of the songs he sang on Lord. After repeated submission by Nambaduvan, the demon explained that he was a Brahmin in earlier birth and became demon due to a curse. Only the purest of the Nambi devotees had the power to relieve him from his curse – and that’s why he wanted to listen to Nambaduvan’s praise of Lord Nambi. Nambaduvan shared with him the ‘Kaisika’ verses, which he sang that very night in front of Lord Nambi. Just listening to these verses helped the demon getting liberated from the curse and attain Moksham.
Belief is that those who undertake fast, and listen to the Kaisika Puranam, on Kaisika Ekadesi will attain Vaikunta Moksham.
It is well explained in Varaha Puranam and this story is enacted as a small drama during the Kaisika Ekadashi Utsavam which is highly popular at Thirukurungudi.
Even today, the Dwajasthambam of the temple is displaced to a side, for Nambaduvan to have a clear dharshan of Perumal from outside the temple.
- This temple is also called as “Vaamana kshetram” which infers that the shrine is related to the Vamana avatara, one of the ten avatharams of Sriman Narayanan. Vamana was born in Purattasi month – Sukla patsham in Sravana Thuvadasi for Kaasyabha Maharishi and Athithi. He was taught the Savithri mantram by Suryan and Brahma Soothram by Vyazha Guru Bragaspathi. He got the Dharbai from His father, Kaashyaba Maharishi; Krishna Aasanam from Bhoomi (earth); Thandi (used as a support for the hand) from Chandran; Koupeenam (clothes) from Athithi; Kamandalam from Brahmma; vessels from Guberan. Bharadhwaja Maharishi was His Guru and taught all the vedas. Mother Parasakthi gave him food with Her holy hands when He begged for food.
- In spite of taking the gigantic Thirivikraman – Ulagalandha Perumal Kolam, Vaamanar is giving His seva as a short sage in this sthalam. Because of this, this sthalam is called as “Kurungudi”.
- When Lord Shiva got His Brahmahathi dosham by plucking the head of Brahma, He came to this sthalam and as advised by the Nindra Nambi, begged from Kurungudi Valli Thaayar for Amudham (food) and got out of the dosham. He also learnt the Sudharsana Japam from Vaamanar and got completely out of the Dosham.
- Thirumangai Azhvaar who built the huge walls of Srirangam and contributed in no small measure to the Srirangam temple asked for Moksham from Srirangam Ranganathar, who directed him to visit His ‘Southern home’ here. Thirumangai composed the last of his Paasurams here and attained moksham here.
- Lord Narayana took the role of a disciple and took Vaishnava Initiation from Ramanuja.
- The famed Araiyar Sevai originated from Thirukkurungkudi. Legend has it that the Lord used to listen to Araiyar’s Abhinayam hiding behind a wall in Bashyam Street (South Mada St).
- Everything about the temple is beautiful. Moolavar Nindra Nambi or Azhagiya Nambi is also called as “Sundara Paripoornam”, meaning “Perfect and complete beauty”. He is beauty personified and simply stunning. It is difficult to take one’s eyes off the deity. The deity is present along with two pirattiyaars, Maarkandeya Maharishi and Brighu Maharishi. Also there are separate shrines for Veetrirundha Nambi called as “Vaikundhanadhan” and Kidantha Nambi. Close to the Nambi’s legs, the head of Mahabali is found. These huge idols are carved of stone with the application of natural colours and decorated with gold leaves as per the agama rituals.
- Srii Vaishnava Nambi is the prime utsav deity of the temple. All the utsavs are performed only to Him. He stands with four hands, two of them carrying the Sangu and Chakra, third with Varada hasta and the fourth in the Yoga mudra. He wears Kasturi tilaka on His forehead and the sacred Yagnpoaveeda on His body. Also the sacred Vaijayathi mala occupies His chest. Swami Nammazhwar sees everything on the eternal body of Sri Vaishnava Nambi and picturized them in his Veda sara “Thiruvaimozhi”.
- Lord Shiva is given equal place in this temple as Magendragiri nathar and poojas are performed in both the shrines at the same time. The Bairavar shrine is also present.
- The temple has lots of sculptures and it may take many hours to appreciate them fully. A hanging bell can be found in Kulasekara Mandapam which is offered by a king of Thiruvidhangodu.
- Nambi narayana
- Mahendra Girinadhar (Shiva)
- Sri kurungudi valli thayar
- Lakshmi Narasimhar
- Lakshmi Varahar
- Sri Andal (Looks like thayar)
- Kala bhairavar
- Pallikonda nambi
- Veetru irundha nambi
- Mahabali chakravarthi
- Alwars and Acharyas
- Manavala mamunigal
Pushkarani: Thiruppaarkadal, Panchathurai and Sindu Nadhi
Vimanam: Pancha Kethaka Vimaanam.
Festivals: The Kaisika Ekadashi Utsavam is highly popular; the other festivals are: Chithrai Vasanthothsavam, Vaikasi Jeshtabishegam, Aavani Pavithrothsavam, Purattasi Navarathri, Ayppasi Oonjal, Thai Theppam, Panguni Brahmothsavam
Timings: 8 AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 9 PM
Contact: Murali Bhattar@ 94432 05739
2) Sri Narasimhar Sannidhi
The Narasimhar shrine is located on the bank of the temple tank at the end of the Sannidhi street just in front of the main Nambi temple
3) Thirumangai Azhwar Thiruvarasu
This small temple, also part of the Thirukkurungudi Divya desam, is located at less than a km North-East of the main temple on the banks of the river in a very tranquil place that is surrounded by dense sugarcane and paddy fields.
Thirumangai Azhvaar, who built the huge walls of Srirangam and contributed in no small measure to the Srirangam temple asked for Moksham from Srirangam Ranganathar, who directed him to visit his ‘Southern home’ here. After reaching Thirukkurungudi, he rendered Thirumadhil (Castle) and pushpa kainkarya until he attained mosksha. So, the last of his Paasurams was rendered here. Unlike in other temples where Thirumangai Azhwar is seen with sword & weapons, here he is seen without any weapons and with folded hands, since he was leaving this materialistic world.
4) Sri Anileeswarar Shiva Temple
Located near the Thirumangai Azhwar Thiruvarasu
5) Thiruparkadal Nambi Temple
This temple, also part of the Thirukkurungudi Divya desam, is a small chathram located at about 700 metres SouthWest of the main temple at Vattakulam road on the banks of the river Ksheerapti or Thirupparkadal.
Per Legend, this Thirupparkadal Nambi took the Vamana avatar. Kurungudiyavan kudi is the other name for Him. He is a short deity with four hands. Thirupparkadal Nambi doesn’t have any Thaayar (Divyamahishi) since He is a bachelor.
6) Thiru Vattaparai Emperumanar Temple
This temple, also part of the Thirukkurungudi Divya desam, is located at 1.7 kms South-West of the main temple and about 900 meters from the Thirupparkadal Nambi temple on the bank of the river Nambiyaru.
This is the place where Sri Ramanujar was unconsciously shifted from Kerala overnight and where The Lord Himself became a disciple to him.
Here there is a rock image of Sri Ramanujar. The brindavan of Thirumangai Azhwar is also present.
An ideal place for peaceful meditation
It was the time when Sri Ramanuja was in Kerala region and his fame was spreading far and wide. Lot of people there became disciples of Sri Ramanuja (amongst whom VadugaNambi was close to Ramanuja), which couldn’t be tolerated by the Nambhoodhiris there. Soon they requested the Lord Ananthapadmanabhan not to let Swami Ramanuja to penetrate into Thiruvananthapuram and convert them to follow the Vishishtadvaita Siddhanta. Lord Ananathapadbhanabhan nodded to satisfy their wishes. Swami Ramanuja was then carried overnight by Garuda at the behest of Ananthapadmanabhan to Thiruvattaparai (just a hill separates this place from Kerala). As a result of this event, it is believed that one does not find Garuda in the Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple.
The next day, the unsuspecting Ramanuja, thinking he was in Kerala, woke up calling his disciple, “Vaduga.. Vaduga..“. The Nambi of Thirukurungudi, moved by poignancy of the moment, immediately appeared before Sri Ramnuja as Vaduga Nambi carrying the Kashaya vastrta (Holy saffron cloth worn by Sages) of Sri Ramanujar. After a holy bath, it was usual for Swami Ramanuja to adorn Dwadasha Urdhwa pundrams (Twelve pundra’s that a Srivaishnava need to wear on his body as per Shastras) himself and then to Vaduga Nambi also. It was the turn that the Lord Vaishnava Nambi was waiting for long to get such a chance of adorning His body with Urdhwa pundras from the hands of His own disciple Swami Ramanuja and so without any hesitation, Lord Nambi accepted it.
Lord Sri Vaishnava Nambi, in the disguise of Vaduga Nambi, then marched towards the main temple carrying Swami Ramanuja’s kashaya vastra in the bamboo container. As soon as they reached dwajasthambha, Vaduga Nambi disappeared leaving the bamboo container there. Without noticing the absence of Lord Sri Vaishnava Nambi, Swami Ramanuja reached the sanctorum. Then only he noticed that the fresh Urdhwa pundra that was applied for Vaduga Nambi was explicitly displayed on the face of Sri Vaishnava Nambi. Soon, he realised the fact it was none other than Lord Sri Vaishnava Nambi Himself, who came in the disguise of Vaduga Nambi.
Note: Sri Vaishnava Nambi, the utsava idol of the main temple stands with four hands, two of them carrying the Sangu and Chakra, third with Varada hasta and the fourth in the Yoga mudra. He wears Kasturi tilaka on His forehead and the sacred Yagnpoaveeda on His body. Also the sacred Vaijayathi mala occupies His chest. Swami Nammazhwar sees everything on the eternal body of Sri Vaishnava Nambi and picturised them in his Veda sara “Thiruvaimozhi”.
Sri Ramanuja begged his pardon, but the Lord requested the Acharyan to preach Him the Thirumanthiram or Mahamanthiram. Accordingly Ramanuja sat on a pedestal befitting his dignity and the Lord seated Himself at a lower level in an obedient posture with His right ear just below the mouth or Sri Ramanuja. Even today we can see the great teacher and the Lord in this position here.
Here the Nambi advised a brahmin and a tribal man who were fighting regarding their rights to have a dip in this place. It is interesting that even now, the dalits of this region perform the last rituals in this spot.
7) Nadukkamparai Sastha Temple
The temple is on the way to the Malaimel Nambi temple
8) Malaimel Nambi Temple
This temple, also part of the Thirukkurungudi Divya desam, is present at 8 kms West of the main temple on top of a hillock amidst forests and a refreshing stream for taking bath in a picturesque location. The very place reverberates calmness and devotion. One has to travel for about 45 minutes in the jeep available outside the Thirukkurungudi main temple (even if you have your own vehicle, hiring one of the many jeeps available is recommended due to the poor rood conditions and the hilly terrain). Malaimel Nambi resides along with Sridevi and Bhooma devi Naachiyars facing eastern direction.
Lord Hanuman is believed to have leaped to Lanka to search for Sita from this mountain top.
The last Saturday of every Tamil month is very special here.
Note: There is also Vannathi parai water falls, Azhukkuni Siddhar Tamarind tree and Sangili boothathar Sunai near the temple
Sri Mayil Vahanan Shiva Temple at Nambi thalaivan pattinam
The temple is located at 2 kms East of Thirukkurungudi on a hilltop
Location: 12 kms West of Nanguneri.
This is the place where Seetha devi was abducted by Ravanan and the place is called Sorakadavi in the epics.
1) Sri Sathyavageesar Temple
Thevara Vaipu Sthalam
A towering 135 feet 9 tier Rajagopuram with about 1,500 stucco figures, wealth of inscriptions, sculptures, murals, music pillars, a masonry granary and more..
Main deities: Sathyavageesar / Poyyamozhiyar as Swayambu lingam with Gomathi Amman / Avudai Nayahi
- When Seetha was abducted, Rama and Lakshman worshipped Shiva under the punnai tree and Shiva gave them the assurance. After Seetha’s return, they all came again and named the Lord as Sathyavageesar.
- The art (trick) of making stone into a very soft material was known here and Manickavasagar had sung about it.
- The towering Rajagopuram is of 135 feet high in 9 tiers with about 1,500 stucco figures in it.
- On the inner walls of the Rajagopuram’s nine storeys there are about 200 beautiful murals, portraying scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam (Siva Leelas), Siva’s marriage to Parvati, episodes from the lives of the Tamil Nadu’s Saivite saints, Siva as Bhikshatana, Rati and Manmatha, Krishna Leelas, the wedding of Saivite saint, Sundarar and so on.
- There are musical pillars that emnate 21 Swarams.
- The temple has a big granary. While granary bins made of wood are found in temples and palaces in this part of southern Tamil Nadu, the one at Kalakkad temple is a masonry granary.
- The sculptures in the temple belonged to circa 16th century CE and they included those of Boothala Veera Udaya Marthanda Varman, a king of Travancore or Venadu.
Sthala Vruksham: Punnai
Theertham: Sathya theertham
Sri Soundara Pandeeswar Thirukovil (Sri Nadarajar Kovil) at Mela Karuvelankulam
Located at around 2 kms North of Kalakkad, this is one of the popular Natarajar temples of Tamilnadu.
The sthapathy who created the Chidamabaram Natarajar idol created five idols and the other four are: this temple, Kattarimangalam, Kari Soozhntha mangalam and Sepparai.
This is located at the foot of the Pothigai hill. This was a forest once and elephants used to come and play in front of the temple tank. On seeing this, King Soundara Pandy created this village and built this temple in his name.
Sthala Vruksham: Amla
Sri Murgan Temple at Keezh Karuvelamangalam
Murugan here is called Ilaya Nayanar
Pathai is around 3 kms North of Kalakkad
Sri Vanuvala Nattal Ambal Temple at Padmaneri
Sri Somanathar Shiva Temple at Devanallur
Devanallur is around 9 kms North of Kalakkad
Sri Boothathar Temple at Pulavankudieruppu
Sri Balasubramanya Swamy Temple at Kozhundhu malai
The temple is on a hill near Cheranmahadevi.
Tirunelvei – Vallanad (Tuticorin)
NK5 – Murappanadu
Location: 14 kms East of Tirunelveli and 3 kms West of Vallanadu
The temple is called Nadukailsam and Dhakshinagangai.
- One of the Navakailsams
- Navagraha Guru Sthalam
- Special temple for Dhanusu and Meenam rasis
Main Deities: Kailasanathar with Sivagami Ammai
Other dieties: Parimuga nandhi, Twin bairavars (Kaala and Veera bairavar).
Contact: Sri K.Chellappa @ 98425 16789 / 98424 04559
Timing: 7 AM to 9 AM and 5 PM to 7 PM
Sri Anjel (Dhasavathara) Perumal Temple at Agaram
Agaram and Murappanadu are the opposite banks of Thamirabarani river.
Thiru Malai Paravthy amman Temple at Manakkarai
This is a Temple on a hill located at 6 kms South of Vallanad
Tirunelveli – Thiruchendur
Sri Venkatachalapathi Temple at Krishnapuram
Location: The temple is located at about 13 kms South East of Tirunelveli.
Significances: The temple is globally popular for its exquisite sculptures
Main deities: Lord Venkatachalapati graces with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi here.
The temple is globally popular for its exquisite sculptures and in spite of the innumerable and wonderful temples in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapuram’s temple holds its own. Some of its pillars emanate interesting sounds, when tapped. The sculptures are so life-like and their features and expressions so natural and real that a person will be under the impression that he is actually in front of living beings.
Vittalapuram is located 3 kms East of Krishnapuram
1) Sri Panduranga Vittaleswarar temple
This is e 500 year old Panduranga Vittaleswarar Perumal temple in Vittalapuram. This is one of the two ancient Panduranga temples in India and is reverred as Dakshina Pandaripuram.
With His handsome look and ‘hands on hips’ posture facing East, Panduranga, seen here with Rukmini and Satyabhama (in separate shrines) steals the heart of the devotees.
Lord Panduranga of Pandaripuram (Maharashtra) appeared in the dream of Vittalaraya, the Vijayanagara Chieftain who had camped near Tirunelveli on his way to a battle against the Travancore King and expressed His desire to provide darshan here. As per the instructions, Vittalaraya came to this village and found the Pandaripuram idol buried on the banks of the Porunai (Tamaraibarani) River. He built this temple and named the place as Vittalapuram (previously called Nattarkulam).Having got the blessings of Pandurangan, he reached Suchindrum with his army, in a sudden turn of events and much to his delight, the Travancore ruler agreed for a favourable settlement without entering into the battle field.
Temple Time: 7 AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 8 PM
Karungulam is 8 kms South-East of Krishnapuram.
There is a big hill in this village and is located on the Southern bank of the Thamirabarani river in a scenic location. The hill is called Vagulagiri in the ancient scripts since the hill was flourishing with beautiful Vagula flowers. The water in the tanks surrounding this area is blackish in colour and hence the name Karungulam.
1) Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple
This is a twin temple of Lord Venkatachalapathy and Lord Srinivasar with Sridevi and Boodevi besides each other on top of the hill.
The enshrined God of Lord Venkatachalapthy is in the form of two sandalwood sticks (THARKALS) that came from Thirupathy, which are used to drive the temple car in the festivals. These sticks are placed close to each other and consecrated in the Sanctum Sanctorum
Once a King called Subakandan was suffering with unbearable pain due to a deep cancer like wound on his neck. No native doctor of his village could cure it. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkatachalapathy and so he went to Thirupathy and stayed there for a long time doing prayers. One day the Lord came in his dream and asked to erect a chariot made from the good variety of Sandal Wood available in the nearby forest. After the erection of the chariot two sticks had remained. The Lord told the king that He himself would prevail in these sticks and asked the king to enshrine it at Karungulam. The king acted accordingly and consecrated these sandal sticks in between the holy tamarind tree called Urangapuli and the existing Sri Srnivasa temple. The tree does not close its leaves in the nights and so called Urangapuli.
It is believed that many Siddas had lived in Vagulagiri and continue to live in different forms. It is also believed that Sage Agasthiyar has also come to the temple several times.
The temple is said to be good for those suffering from heart diseases. The Lord is said to relieve the devotees of Naga dosha and psychological problems like depression.
Temple timings: 7 AM to 10:30 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM
2) Sri Madhava Marthandeswarar Temple
The temple is located at the base of a hill. The Lord Shiva of this temple was consecrated by God Surya. The Goddess Kulasekari is a powerful Goddess who can give us what we wish. Navagrahas are with their wives here.
This is located at 3 kms South-East of Karungulam.
Under ASI control, this is one of the places where the oldest civilization of Tamilnadu was found. This is more than 100 acres of burial ground of the old civilization (possibly the biggest of the world) with thousands of burial pots.
Location: 8 kms South-East of Karungulam and 30 kms South-East of Tirunelveli.
1) DD91 – NT1 – Sri Kallapiran Perumal Temple
One of the 108 Divyadesams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
The Moolavar is Sri Vaikundanathan. Other names of Him are Kalla Piraan and Paal Pandiyan. Moolavar is in standing posture facing East without Thayars.
Prathyaksham for Brighu Chakaravarthy and Indiran.
Thaayar: Two thaayars namely Vaikundha Valli and Bhoodevi are present in their own shrines.
A thief called Kaala dooshakan had a self-imposed agreement that he will offer half of whatever he steal and he did it promptly also. Once he was caught while stealing in the King’s palace and was brought before the King. Without knowing what to do, he prayed to Perumal. Perumal, then took control of the thief’s mind and started delivering the Aathma Gnana. He also gave dharshan to both the King and the thief in standing posture. This perumal is named as “Kalla Piraan”. Kalla – means thief.
Lord Brahmma did the tapas on the Perumal and the Perumal suddenly disappeared underneath the earth. But the cows, which roamed along the place, automatically poured milk at the place where the Perumal disappeared. After digging the place, Brahma took out the Perumal and built this temple. Because of this, this sthala perumal is also called as “Paal Pandiyan” (Paal in Tamil means milk).
- The moolavar Kallapiraan perumal fought with the demon Somagasuran to get back the vedas that were stolen from Brahma. In that hurry, He climbed up on Garudan leaving the two pirattiyaars! Because of this, the Moolavar is found alone in this sthalam
- Usually Aadhiseshan serves as an umbrella to the Lord in a reclining posture but as an unique feature of this temple, Aadhiseshan has his hood above the Lord in standing posture.
- The utsavar – Kallabiraan is seen with the Gadha, Sangu and Chakkaram along with Periya piratti and Bhoomi piratti on either side, giving seva as “Abayakara Varadhan” in standing posture.
- The sculptor, who sculpted the Utsavar Kallabiran, got mesmerised in the beauty of the idol and pinched it in excitement and the impression of it can be seen in the idol.
- Two thaayars, Vaikunda valli (Periya pirattiyaar) and Sora Valli are found in separate shrines.
- There are separate shrines for Yoga Narasimhar, Thiruvenkada Mudayaan, Manavaala maamunigal and Dasavatharams
- Every Tuesday, special Poojas are done for Yoga Narasimhar.
- The Gopuram is very big with 110 feet height and 500 feet in width.
- Numerous beautiful sculptures are found in the 100 pillar mandapam.
- Sun worships this Lord twice a year for 6 days in the month of Chithrai and for another 6 days in the month of Iyppasi during which Sunrays covers the Perumal through the Rajagopura entrance.
Pushkarani: Brighu Theertham and Tamirabarani river
Vimanam: Chandira Vimaanam.
Temple Timings: 7:30 AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 8 PM
Contact: A.K. Vaikunta Natha Bhattar @ 98656 28681
2) NK6 – Srivaikundam
Deities: Kailasanathar as Swayambu lingam with Sivagami Ammai
- One of the Navakailsams
- Navagraha Sani sthalam
- Specia temple for Maharam and Kumba rasis
Contact: Sri Ayyappan @ 94873 85298 / Guru Bhattar @ 97917 64392 / 04630-252117
Timing: 7 AM to 10:30 AM and 5 PM to 8:30 PM
3) Sri Mayilerum Perumal Sastha Temple
4) Nathikarai Sri Murugan Temple
5) SriVaikundam Bridge
A beautiful scenic spot
DD92 – NT2 – Thiruvaragunamangai (Natham) – Chandran
Location: This temple is located at about 2 kms East of SriVaikuntam and the place is more known as Natham.
One of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
This place is said to be a ‘Chandran’ Kshetram.
Moolavar and Thaayar:
The Moolavar of this temple is Sri Vijayaasana Perumal in sitting posture facing East. Vijayasanam means “Seat of Victory” and true to His name, the Lord is seen sitting majestically like a Victorious King on the throne. The Thaayars of this temple are Sri Varagunavalli Thaayar and Sri Varaguna mangai Thaayar on either side of Perumal in the main sanctum (No separate shrines for thayars).
Prathyaksham for Agni Bhagavan, Romasa Maharishi and Sathyavan (Savithri).
- This sthalam explains the power of sathyam (truth), the right path to go.
- Seetha devi after getting into the fire, came out without any slightest damage because of her purity which explains the characteristic of Agni that it will burn only the Adharma but not the Dharma. The legend of Sathyavan Savithri is also an example of Dharma (Sathyam)’s power.
- It is said that a poor brahmin named Vedavith worshipped this Emperumaan and got the dharshan of Emperuman on top of this Vijayakodi Vimaanam as Sathya Narayanan in sitting posture.
Pushkarani: Agni Theertham, Deva pushkarani.
Vimanam: Vijayakodi Vimaanam.
Temple timing: 8 AM to 1 PM and 1:30 PM to 6 PM
Contact: Narasimha Bhattar @ 04630 256476
DD93 – NT3 – Sri Kaaisinavendhan Temple at Thiruppuliankudi
Location: The temple is located 1 km East of Natham
Significances: One of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
Moolavar and Thaayar:
The Moolavar of this temple is Sri Kaaichina Vendhan in Bhujanga sayanam (reclining posture) facing East . There are two Naachiyaars – Malar magal Naachiyaar and Poomagal Naachiyaar. One more small utsava Naachiyaar called Pulingudu Valli is also found.
Prathyaksham for Varunan, Nirruthi, Dharmarajan and Narar.
- Vashista Maharishi’s sons, popularly known as Saptha Rishis cursed Yagnasharma who finally got his curse cleared off by being touched by the Thiruvadi of Emperumaan of this sthalam.
- Once, Devendran was to conduct a Yagna but didn’t respect Devaguru Bragaspath who was to conduct it. So Devaguru left in angry and Devendhran arranged Vicchuvaruna, the son of Sukiran (Thuvatta) in place to conduct the yagna. Vicchuvaruna was basically a follower of demons and so, though he was doing the Yagna to strengthen the devas outward, his mind actually did it to strengthen demons inward. Vicchuvaruna was a person with 3 heads and understanding his betray, Devendran cut the heads of Vicchuvaruna with his Vajrayudha. His three heads turned into Eagle, Vulture and crow and were thrown into the air. Devendhran was caught up with Brahmagathi Dhosham because of this and all the other Devas gave land, water, women and trees to clear off Devendhran’s dhosham, but they were not sufficient. Finally the dhosham was cleared only in this sthalam,
- Sriman Narayanan’s general character is soft and calm and that of Lord Shiva’s is angry. But, in this sthalam, Sriman Narayanan is showing up the character of Lord Shiva to drive out the evil, which also explains to the world that both of them are the same.
- It is said that Vishnu came down to this sthalam with Goddess Sridevi only, leaving out Goddess Bhoodevi,. Angered at it, Goddess Bhoodevi hid Herself in the netherworld. After Vishnu pacified Her, it is believed that the two Goddesses came back together and gave darshan here with the Lord.
The East facing Lord is seen in Bhujanga sayanam (reclining posture). The beautiful Perumal is so long that we can see only one of the feet and the other one can be seen through a small hole on the outer praharam.
Pushkarani: Varuna Niruthi Theertham.
Vimanam: Vedachara Vimaanam.
Temple timing: 8 AM to 12 noon and 1 PM to 6 PM
Contact: Gopalan Bhattar@ 04630 256476
Azhwar Thoppu is around 5 kms South-East of Thiruppuliankulam
1) Sri Egantha lingesvarar Temple, Kantheeswaram
2) Sri Desiga moorthi Swamigal Jeeva Samadhi
Sri Desiga moorthi Swamigal constructed the Rajagopuram of Thiruchendur temple. Lord Shiva of Sri Egantha lingesvarar at Azhwarthoppu (kanthisvaram) Shiva temple gave salvation to this Siddhar. He is considered a very powerfull Siddhar.
Note: Pooja time every morning before 8.30 AM.
DD98 – NT9 – Sri Adhinatha Perumal Temple at Thirukkurugur (Azhwar Thirunagari)
Location: Around 33 kms East of Tirunelveli and 5 kms East of Srivaikundam.
- One of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
- This is the avathara stalam (birth place) of Sri Nammazhwar, When Vaishnavites say Azhwar, they mean Nammazhwar and because of this, the sthalam is called “Azhwar Tirunagari”.
- There are five highly sacred Tamarind trees which are supposed to be 5000 years old. These trees give flowers but not fruits.
- This sthalam is considered to be the Guru Sthalam since Nammazhwar had become the Guru for Madurakavi Azhwar.
Moolavar and Thaayar:
The Moolavar is Sri Aadhinathan / Aadhippiraan / Polindhu Nindra piraan in standing posture facing East. 2 Thaayars – Aadhinadha Valli and Gurukoor valli have separate shrines.
Prathyaksham for Brahma, Madhurakavi Azhwar and Nammazhwar.
Granting the prayers of the childless couple SriKaari and Udaya Nangai, Lord Nambi of Thirukkurungkudi Himself is believed to have been born here as Nammazhwar alias Sadagopan. When born, Nammazhwar is said to have not opened his eyes or cried or eaten anything. The worried parents brought him to this temple and named him as “Maaran”. Closing his eyes, he went near the Tamarid tree and sat there in meditation till the age of 16, without taking any food or water. Thirukolur’s Madurakavi Azhwar (who was to become Nammazhwar’s disciple later) was in yathra in North India and he was directed by a light to this tamarind tree. He arrived and made some noises to wake up Nammazhwar and atlast Nammazhwar did open his eyes! Madurakavi Azhwar posted some interesting questions about life like “செத்தத்தின் வயிற்றில் சிறியது பிறந்தால் எத்தை தின்று எங்கே கிடக்கும்” meaning “If Athma resides in a lifeless body what will it eat and how will it survive?”. Nammazhwar opened his mouth for the first time and said “அத்தைத் தின்று அங்கே கிடக்கும்”, meaning “the athma will reside within the body itself enjoying the happy and sad moments that occur through the body’s connection”. It infers that Nammazhwar lived only by the thinking and experiencing Sriman Narayanan and nothing else was needed for his survival. It also tells the world how a life should be lived. So impressed was Madurakavi (Azhwar) with Nammazhwar’s answers, that he said ‘I do not need God, Nammazhwar is enough’. At that time, Emperumaan gave His dharshan as “Sangu Chakradhari” along with Thayar Lakshmi in standing posture.
When Vaishnavites say Azhwar, it refers to Nammazhwar (Nam – means ours), such is the reverence for him. He is the only one to have sung the praise of Vishnu at all the Nava Tirupathi temples. He sung praises of the Lord in one-third of the 108 Divya Desams and composed 4 Tamil Prabandhams viz. 1. Thiru-viruttham (100), 2. Thiru vasiriyam (7,) 3. Periya Thiru vandaadi (around 160) and 4. Thiru Vaymozhi (1000). All these immense contribution to the Bhakti movement came even when he died very early at the age of just 35, He was buried under the sacred Tamarind tree in the temple. This centuries old tamarind tree neither bears fruit nor closes its leaves at dusk. It is called “Puliyazhwar” and “Üranga Puli” (does not sleep). Daily Thirumanjanam is done beneath the Tamarid tree.
The utsava moorthy, Nammazhwar is giving his seva in a separate Golden shrine (a small one) in Sobhana Mandapam.
Before starting the Ramayana, Kambar wrote “Sadagopar Andhathi” by keeping down his head towards Nammazhwar.
- Sriman Narayanan taught Brahma that He came to Porunai (Thamirabarani) river and lived here even before He produced Brahmma and so this temple is to be considered “Aadhi (first and foremost) temple”. Since Sriman Narayanan acted as a Guru to Brahma and advised Brahma to do the tapas and worship Him here, this sthalam is called “Kurugoor” (Kuru means ‘’do this’’)’.
- Devendran was cursed by his parents because he was not treating them well and obeying them. It was cleared off finally after worshipping the Aadhinadha perumal.
- Once, Periyapiratti came here and asked Narayanan to marry Her and Sriman Narayanan converted Her as a flower and wears it on His body.
- It is said that the moolavar AadhiNathan with a very big body emerged on His own from the earth, though this does not figure among the only 8 temples where the Lord is believed to be Swayambu. The Moolavar comes up from inside the Earth and His feet are still under the ground.
- Thiruvenkada mudayan – Sri Srinivasar shrine is present in the South mada street; Thiru Aranganathan shrine is in West mada street; Ulagaccharyar, Azhagar, Vedantha desikar, Manavala Maamunigal, Andal shrines are found in North mada street,
- The vimanam of Nammazhwar shrine is slightly bigger than that of Perumal
- Sadaari, the holy feet of Emperumaan, which is kept on our head in all of the Vaishnava temples is considered to be the form of Nammazhwar. He is explaining to the world that he acts as the dust below the feet of Emperumaan.
- Udaya Nangai, who gave birth to Nammazhwar is also considered as another Thayar and because of this, in all the Nava Thirupathis, Sri Emperumaan is found along with two thaayars.
- Generally Azhwars sung praises of Emperuman only but in this place Madurakavi Azhwar sung the praises of Nammazhwar.
- As a unique feature, Udayavar Ramanujar is found wearing white dress instead of the usual saffron colour.
- The Rajagopuram is of 5 tier and there are 3 praharams.
- There is a stone nadaswaram at this temple, which is played out on special occasions.
- Around 1 mile away from this sthalam, we can find “Appan Sannadhi” for Kaarimaran, father of Nammazhwar.
Sthala Virutcham: Tamarind tree.
Pushkarani: Thamira Barani river.
Vimanam: Govinda Vimaanam
Festivals: Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Guru Peyarchi
An important festival at this temple is the Vaikasi Utsav, when the deities from all the Nava Tirupathi temples congregate here to listen to the Paasurams with Nammazhwar seated on the Hamsa Vaahan. During Margazhi, ‘Thiru Mudi’ Sevai, the only one of its kind in Divya Desams is being conducted. This is one of the three Divya Desams in Tamilnadu where Araiyar Sevai, the visual song and dance enactment of the ‘Paasurams is still being performed.
Temple timing: 7 AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 8 PM
Contact: Appu Sadagopachari @ 04639-273984
Note: Ahobila mutt is a convenient place to stay and food can be arranged there also.
DD96 – NT7 – Sri Vaithamanidhi Perumal Temple – Thirukolur
Location: This temple is located 3 kms South-East of Azhwar Tirunagari and 4 kms South-West of Thirupperai.
- One of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
- This is the birth place of MaduraKavi Azhwar, the deep disciple of Nammazhwar.
- Gubera was restored with his Nava nidhis here and so, a visit to this temple will help one recover lost wealth
Moolavar and Thaayar:
The Moolavar of this Sthalam is Sri Vaithamaa Nidhi Perumal, also called as “Nishopavitthan” in reclining posture (Bujanga sayanam) facing East.
Two thaayars – Amudhavalli and Koloorvalli and they have their own shrines.
Prathyaksham for Guberan and Madhurakavi Azhwar.
- Once Gubera was cursed by Parvathi and lost his Nava nidhis (nine kinds of wealth). They all went to Sriman Narayanan and were protected by Him. Guberan then prayed to this Perumal and got back his lost wealth. Because of this, the Lord is called “Vaithamaanidhi”. Perumal protected the nine wealths under His shoulder and this can be seen even today.
- It is believed that a visit to this temple will help one recover lost wealth.
- This sthalam is also called as “Adharma Pisunam”, meaning Dharman permanently stays in this sthalam by driving out the Adharmam.
- Madhurakavi Azhwar is said to be the Gnana Nidhi.
The Perumal is in sayana posture and the nerves on His feet can be seen.
Pushkarani: Gubera pushkarani
Vimanam: Sri Hara Vimaanam since Guberan became a friend of Haran (Lord Shiva).
Temple timing: 7 AM to 12 noon and 4 PM to 8 PM
Contact: Srinivasa Bhattar @ 04630 291634
Location: Then Thirupperai is situated at 4 kms East of Thirukkolur. Lodging facility (Choultry) is available.
1) DD97 – NT8 – Sri Makara Nedunkuzhai Kannan Temple
One of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
Moolavar and Thaayar:
The Moolavar of this sthalam is Sri Magara NedungKuzhai Kaathar Perumal, also called Nigaril Mughil Vannan in sitting posture facing East. The two thaayars – Kuzhaikkaadhu Valli, and Thirupperai Naachiyaar are in separate shrines.
Prathyaksham for Sukrachariyaar, Sukran, Rudhran (Lord Shiva) and Lord Brahma.
- The interesting legend of this temple is about the feud between Bhudevi and Sridevi, the two Spouses of Lord Vishnu. Once, the Lord infatuated with Bhudevi, spent all His time with Her, deserting Sridevi. The woe-stricken Sridevi lamented about Her lonely condition to the Sage Dhurvasa and requested him to grant Her the beauty and complexion of Bhudevi. The sage went to the residence of Bhudevi, who in Her amorous mood did not care to receive him. The infuriated sage cursed Her to get the image of Sridevi. Bhudevi, realizing Her mistake asked for remedy. As per the advise of the sage, Bhudevi assuming the name ‘Sriperai’ meaning ‘the body of Lakshmi’ did Her tapas, chanting the Ashtakshara mantra. On a full moon day in the month of Panguni, when She was doing Her oblations after the bath, She found a pair of fish-shaped ear-ornaments and offered them to the Lord who revealed Himself. The Lord, then, acquired the name ‘Makaranetun kuzhaikkaadar’ and decided to stay over there at the request of Bhudevi. Since, Bhudevi or Sriperai conducted Her tapas in this place, it came to be known as ‘Thirupperai’. As there is another divya kshetram ‘Thirupernagar’ near Trichy, this city was named ‘Thenthirupperai’.
- Another legend concerns Varuna, the Lord of Rains. Once, in a war between the devas and asuras, he lost his weapon and surrendered to his guru, Bruhaspathi to whom he had shown disrespect earlier. He excused him and advised him to worship Makarabhushanar and Sriperai at Thirupperai and thus be relieved of the sin. The Lord blessed him with a handful of water, which materialized as his weapon.
- A later day story substantiates this legend that by a rigorous worship to this Lord, severe famine and scarcity of water could be alleviated. Once, the King of Vidarba country followed this measure at the advice of his priest, when his country was suffering in acute water scarcity for 12 years. The dark clouds crowded, rains poured and put an end to the misery of famine. The Lord was joyfully called as ‘Nikaril Mukilvannan’ meaning ‘incomparable Lord of black clouds’.
- Sukran (Venus), the planet in control of water also worshipped this Lord, as Varuna, the Lord of Rains did and was blessed by Makarabhushanar. As a mark of this, it is believed that Varuna, visits this temple, every year, on the full moon day in the month of Panguni and worships Vishnu.
Pushkarani: Sukra Pushkarani, Sangu Theertham.
Vimanam: Patthira Vimaanam.
Temple Timings: 7.30 AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 8 PM
Contact: Anantha Padmanabha Bhattar @ 04639 273902
2) NK7 – Nava Kailasam
Deities: Kailasanathar with Sri Azhagiya Ponnammai
- One of the Navakailsams
- Navagraha Budhan Sthalam
- Special temple for Mithunam and Kanni rasis
Contact: Sri Meenakshi Sundaram @ 98945 52943 / 93658 89291
Timing: 7 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 7 PM
3) Mathura kavi Azhwar Temple
4) Sri Krishna Garuda Swamy Temple
Muthumalai amman temple at Kurangani
A beautiful and highly popular amman temple.
DD94 – NT4 & 5 – Tholavillimangalam Irattai Thirupathigal
Location: This sthalam with two temples 300 meters apart, is situated at around 6 kms from Azhwar Thirunagari on the Northern bank of Thamirabarani. These are also called Tholavillimangalam or Thevarpran koil or Sivaramamangalam
- One of the 108 Divya desams and part of Nava Thirupathis
- Considered as the Rahu & Kethu sthalams
1) North Koil
Moolavar is Sri Aravindha Lochanar also called as Senthamarai Kannan in sitting posture facing East. The Thaayar is Sri Karunthadanganni Naachiyaar.
2) South Koil
The Moolavar is called Srinivasan or Devapiran in standing posture facing East. Two pirattiyaars are found on either side of him.
Prathyaksham for Indiran, Vaayu bhagavan (Air) and Varuna bhagavan (Rain).
- Here, a rishi named Athreya Suprabhar maintained a yaaga shala. When he was cleaning the yaaga shala, he found a bright Tarasu (weighing scale) and a Bow. On touching them, they turned into a beautiful man and woman. They explained him that they were cursed by Guberan to be the tarasu and the bow and it ended by the touch of the rishi. Since, the tarasu (or otherwise named as “Thulaam”) and bow (otherwise called as “Vil”) got the saba vimocchan this sthalam was named as “Thulam Vil Mangalam” and changed to “Tholai villi Mangalam”.
- Legend has it that Lord Vishnu was impressed with Sage Suprabhar’s daily Lotus pooja and gave darshan to the sage. Hence, it is believed that one who does special ‘Lotus Flower’ pooja at this temple will be relieved of all sins.
Pushkarani: Varuna Theertham, Thamirabarani river.
Vimanam: Kumudha Vimaanam.
Temple Timings: 8 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 5:30 PM
Contact: Seshamani Bhattar@04630 256372
Location: Perunkulam is located near Yeral on the northern bank of Thamirabarani at 6 kms East of Tholavillimangalam Twin Thirupathis.
1) DD95 – NT6 – Thirukuzhandai
- One of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Nava Thirupathis
- A Navagraha Sani Sthalam
Moolavar and Thaayar: The Moolavar of this temple is Sri Srinivasa Perumal in standing posture facing East. The two Thaayars are Sri Alamelumangai thaayar and Kulandhai Valli.
Utsavar: Utsavar of this temple is Sri Maayakkoothan.
Prathyaksham for Kamalavathi.
- Legend has it that Vishnu went on his Garuda Vaahan to rescue Goddess Lakshmi from a demon called Acchamasaran in Imbalika Vanam. Hence, one finds Garuda as the Utsav deity here. In the battle that ensued, Vishnu broke his legs and performed His victory dance standing on the demon’s body and hence the name MaayaKoothan.
- In the same way, Lord Shiva also killed a demon named “Muyalagan” and danced on his body.
- Vedarasan, a brahmin had a daughter named Kamalavathi who did tapas to attain Emperuman. Satisfied on her tapas, Emperuman gave His prathyaksham to her and made her as a small bead and kept along with the Kousthuwa Muni (long chain made of beads) which is found on His chest. Since, she was a small girl (Balikai), this sthalam is named as “Baligai Vanam”.
- Vyazha bhagavan who is also called as Deva guru was given the seva of Emperumaan in this sthalam.
In this sthalam, a very big lake (kulam) is found and because of this, the sthalam is also called as “Perungkulam”.
Vimanam: Aanandha Nilaya Vimaanam.
Temple Timings: 7.30 AM to 12 noon and 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Contact: MaayaKoothar Bhattar @ 04630 256372
2) Sri Thiruvalutheeswarar Temple
Since King UkraPandian worshipped Lord Shiva here, Lord is called UkraVazhutheeswarar.
This is the place where Thirukkural was first put on for debate and accepted by Nakkeeran and other Sanga poets in front of King Ukra Pandian. To validate this, the statues of 49 Sanga poets and Ukra Pandian are seen here.
Sri Aayirathu Enn Vinayaka temple at Arumuga mangalam
This is located at around 3 kms North of Yeral
NK8 – Rajapathi
Location: Around 6 kms East of Then Thirupperai; 4.5 kms North-West of Kurumbur; 2 kms South of Yeral
- One of the Navakailsams
- Navagraha Kethu Sthalam
Deities: Sri Aadhi Kailasanathar with Sri Azhagiya Ponnammai / Soundara Nayahi Ponnammal / Sivagami ammai
Worship benefits: Peace with others; remedy for poison related problems; removal of death fear
Contact: Sri Jyothi / Lakshmanan @ 99420 62825 / 97873 82258
Timing: 7 AM to 12 PM (On Sundays upto 1:30 PM) and 4 PM to 8 PM
Arunchunai Kaatha Ayyanar Temple at Mela Puthukkudi
At about 3 kms diversion from the Tirunelveli – Thiruchendur state highway, this is a beautiful Ayyanar Temple in a fantastic location full of huge trees and a big pond in the midst of a vast area of Red Sand mounds.
Pooranam Porkalai sametha Karkuvel Ayyanar Temple at Manal medu
It’s a highly popular Ayyanar Temple located in a scenic location surrounded by a vast area of Red Sand mounds.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal at Vana Thirupathi at Punnai Nagar
This is located near Rajapathi. Chennai based Saravana bhavan have constructed this temple complex along with his hotel. This is being mentioned nowadays by visitors to this area but I was hesitant to include this, built by a person tangled in many murder cases. The temple is PURELY COMMERCIAL as is the case with any other modern day temple and the hotel is also TOO COSTLY for its location and I would not visit this place again. Though I have taken more than 1500 photos of around 50 temples in my trip to Tirunelveli, somehow I had no interest at all to take even a single photo of this place. Instead I recommend you to spend your time usefully to visit the beautiful Arunchunai Kaatha Ayyanar temple nearby which is very ancient and powerful.
NK9 – Serntha Poo Mangalam
Location: In the Tuticorin-Thiruchendur route, side road to Punnakkayal on the Tamarabarani river bank 3 kms from Athoor.
- One of the Navakailsams
- Navagraha Sukran Sthalam
- Special temple for Rishabam and Thulam rasis
Main deities: Sri Aadhi Kailasanathar with Azhagiya Ponnammal / Sondarya Nayagi
This is the last place of the Nava Kailsams, where the lotus became a lingam; after worshiping Lord kailasanathar, Sage Romasar attained mukthy here.
Contact: Sri Manikandan @ 94883 42861 / 94861 78063 / 04639-239319
Timing: 7 AM to 9 AM and 5 PM to 7:30 PM
Sri Somanathar Temple at Arumuganeri
Arumuganeri is located around 9 kms North-West of Thiruchendur
Location: Around 60 kms South-East of Tirunelveli and around 40 kms South of Thoothukudi
1) Sri Sivakkozhundheeswarar Temple
The temple is called Melakkoil and the Goddess is Ananthavalli
2) Sri Thunthukai Vinayakar Temple
This is a small temple near the Murugan temple, for Lord Vinayaga called Tundukai Vinayagar. Devotees should first worship Him, break coconut and then only proceed to Senthilandavar temple.
2) Sri Senthil Andavan (Murugan) Temple
One of the six important abodes (padai veedu or battle field) of Lord Muruga and the second one in that series.
The temple is popular for its Soora Samhara festival
Lord Muruga took war with Soorapadman and his brothers which lasted for 6 days. At the end, the pieces of Soorapadman became cock, which took place in Lord’s flag and peacock, which became the vahana for Lord.
The temple is located right on the seashore
The following site has the complete information about the temple:
There is a Valli cave nearby, which is said to be the place where Valli took refuge inside when elephant chased her.
Nazhi kinaru, a well which was supposed to be created by the spear (vel) of Lord Muruga, is the sacred bathing place.
The temple is kept open from 5 AM to 9 PM without break on all days