Nellaiappar Temple, also known as Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple, is a Hindu temple located in Tirunelveli, a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be one of the most ancient and prominent temples in the region and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
The temple is believed to have been built during the Pandyan dynasty, which ruled over the region from the 4th century BCE to the 16th century CE.
The exact date of the temple’s construction is not known, but it is believed to have been in existence since at least the 7th century CE.
The main shrine of the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Nellaiappar or Kasi Viswanathar. The temple’s name is derived from the words ‘Nellai’ (which means paddy fields in Tamil) and ‘Appar’ (a term used to refer to Lord Shiva), and is a reference to the temple’s location in an area surrounded by paddy fields.
The Nellaiappar Temple is not just a place of worship but also a center of cultural and social activities.
The temple’s premises house several educational institutions, including a school and a college.
The temple also runs several charitable programs, including providing free meals to devotees and conducting medical camps for the needy.
One of the most significant festivals celebrated at the Nellaiappar Temple is the Brahmotsavam, which is held in the Tamil month of Chittirai (April-May).
The festival lasts for ten days and involves several rituals and ceremonies, including the hoisting of the temple flag, the procession of the deities on various vahanas (vehicles), and the performance of cultural programs.
Another important festival celebrated at the temple is the Arudra Darshan, which is held in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January).
The festival commemorates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva and is marked by the performance of the Thiruvathira Kali dance by women devotees.
|Pooja Schedule||Amman Sannithi||Swamy Sannithi|
|Thiruvananthal||6.00 am||6.30 am|
|Vilapooja||7.00 am||7.30 am|
|Sirukala Pooja||8.00 am||8.30 am|
|Kala Sannithi Pooja||9.00 am||9.30 am|
|Uchikaalam||12.30 pm||12.00 pm|
|Saayaratchai||5.30 pm||6.00 pm|
|Ardhajama||8.15 pm||8.30 pm|
|Palliyarai Pooja||9.00 pm||—|
Architecture of Nellaiappar Temple
The temple complex is spread over an area of 14 acres and consists of several shrines and mandapams (halls).
The temple’s architecture is a blend of various styles, including Pandyan, Chola, and Vijayanagara. The main gopuram (gateway tower) of the temple is 200 feet tall and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures of various gods and goddesses.
The temple’s walls are also adorned with several inscriptions in Tamil, Sanskrit, and Grantha scripts, which provide insights into the history and culture of the region.
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- 1000 Pillars Mandapam
- Oonjal Mandapam
- Somawar Mandapam
- Chain Mandapam
- Mani Mandapam
- Vasantha Mandapam
Nellaiappar Temple car is the third largest car in Tamilnadu. The first trail of the temple car was held in 1505.Ratha Street was divided by Ariyanayaka Mudaliyar.This large temple car weighs about 450 to Panja Moorthies also has temple car.
Copper Temple car rounds on monthly festivals.It is only in this temple in Tamilnadu,the Amman temple car has thousands of marvellous wooden carvings.
Thamira Sabha (The Copper Hall of Dance)
The Copper hall of dance is the most indispensable one in the history of Gandhimathiamman with Nellaiappar temple.
Among the different type of Halls,Lord Shiva who performed Aananda Thandavam in the Golden Hall (Porsabai) at Chidambaram,Urduva Thandavam in Ruby Hall(Rathna Sabai) at Thiruvalangadu, Sundara Thandavam in Silver Hall(Velli Sabai) at Madurai,Asaba Thandavam in Chitra Sabha,a hall made out of paintings at Courtallam, performed Brahma Thandavam known as Gnana Dance in Copper Hall (Thamirasabai)
At Tirunelveli which was beautifully portrayed by the Venuvana Purana.Lord Ursava Moorthy is also called as Thamira Sabapathi and Sandana Sabapathi.The Sannithi of Agni Sabapathi also known as Azhagiya Urchava Natarajar is one of the beautiful sannithi to be seen.This was depicted in Appar’s song “kunindha puruvamum kovvai sevvayil kumin siripum”
- The Shrine Where Thirugnyanasambanthar sang.
- Dual Sanctum (Venuvananaadhar, Nellai Govindhar)
- The Poet Muthuswami Dikshitar sung “Sri Gandhimathim” in Hemavathi raga on the Goddess in this shrine.
- Yearly during thai Amavasai Pathiradepam (Ten Thousand lamps) and six year once Latchadeepam during Thai Amavasai is held.During the festival of Pathiradeepam and Latchadeepam in Manimandapam, golden Lamp, two silver Lamps surrounded by 8 deepams are kept for pooja. Those who failed to perform Pitru Karma,They can lit (deepam) lamp during the festival of pathiradeepam or latchadeepam an thai amavasai which will relieve them from sins.This was created in this temple by Kodaganallur Sundara Swamigal.
- Arumuga Nayinar Sannithi is suitable for doing shri vidhya homam Which is augmented with “vidya chakra” in order to be great in education.
- According to Hindu rituals,the priest prepares neivedhyas for God,this incident refers to Goddess offering food to God.It gives the belief that it increases the mutual understandings between the couple.Women believes that the life of their better half strengthens if they attend the Saayaratachai Pooja during panguni (Tamil Month) festivals.
- This temple is meant for the devotees of Punarpoosam star.
How To Reach Nellaiappar Temple?
Nearest Airport is at Tuticorin located about 49kms away from the temple.
Private cabs are available for the last mile connectivity.
The Thirunelvelli Junction Railway Station is in the city itself.
Once you reach Thirunelvelli, there are cabs and Municipal buses plying at quite regular intervals.
Devotees can also reach Nellaiappar Temple also by road & by car. Tirunelveli is well-connected with almost every part of the India and there TSRTC runs daily buses
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