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Swami Nellaiappar Temple

Swami Nellaiappar Temple ஸ்வாமி நெல்லையப்பர் திருக்கோயில்

Basic information

Location Tirunelveli


Swami Nellaiappar (Shiva) Kanthimathi amman (Parvathi)

Anavaratha DhanaNatha Sundara Thiyaharasar

Sri Kanthimathi

Festivals Aani Brahmostavam, Aadi Pooram l, Avani Moola Utsavam, Puratasi Golu Darbar, Iypasi Thirukalyanam, Iypasi Visu, Kandha Shasti, Karthigai Thiruvananthal, Margazhi Thiruvathirai, Thai Poosam Theerthavari, Thai Amavasya, Masi Sivarathri, Panguni Uthram, Chitirai Pournami Theerthavari, Vasanthosthavam, Vaikasi Sheerabhishegam, Koratham, Visagam.

District Tirunelveli

State Tamil Nadu

Country India

Website http://kanthimathinellaiappar.tnhrce.in/

Architectural description

Creator Early Pandyas

Completed 700 CE

Swami Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
(ஸ்வாமி நெல்லையப்பர் திருக்கோயில்)[2] is a Hindu temple
Hindu temple
dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Tirunelveli, a city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Shiva
is worshipped as Nellaiappar (also called Venuvananathar) represented by the lingam and his consort Parvati
is depicted as Kanthimathi Amman. The temple is located on the northern banks of Thamirabarani River
Thamirabarani River
in Tirunelveli
district. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple complex covers an area of Fourteen and a half acres and all its shrines are enclosed with concentric rectangular walls. The temple has a number of shrines, with those of Swamy Nellaiappar and his consort Sri Kanthimathi Ambal being the most prominent. The temple has three six rituals at various times from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and six yearly festivals on its calendar. Brahmotsavam festival during the Tamil month of Aani (June–July) is the most prominent festival celebrated in the temple. The original complex is believed to have been built by Pandyas, while the present masonry structure was added by Cholas, Pallavas, Cheras, Nayaks( Madurai
Nayaks). In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.


1 History 2 Architecture 3 Thaamira Ambalam 4 Religious importance and festivals 5 Pancha Sabhai
Pancha Sabhai
Sthalangal 6 Literary mention 7 References 8 External links


The Gopuram
of Nellaiappar Temple

According to the puranas, both the Gopurams were built by Pandyas
and the sanctums of the temple were constructed by Nindraseer Nedumaran who reigned in the 7th century. The mani mandapam with its famous musical pillar was built by Later Pandyas
in the 7th century. Originally the Nellaiappar and Kanthimathi temples were two independent structures with spaces in between. It was in 1647 that Thiru Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyan, a great devotee of Siva linked the two temples by building the "Chain mandapam" (In Tamil Sangili Mandapam). To the western portion of the chain mandapam is the flower garden that was set up in 1756 by Thiruvengadakrishna Mudaliar. In the centre of the Flower Garden is a square vasantha mandapam with 100 pillars. The Nandi mandapam is said to have been built by Sivanthiappa Nayak in 1654. The flag stand near the Nandi was set up in 1155.[3] There are a number of stone inscriptions in the temple. The most important of them are those Veerapandiyan who regained about 950 and those of Rajendran I and Kulothunga Chola I. The inscriptions of Maravarma Sundara Pandiyan refer to the Lord as "Woodayar" and "Wodeyanayanar" and the Goddess as "Nachiar". From the inscriptions of Kulasekkara Pandiyan we learn that he defeated the Chera, Chola and Hoysala kings and built the outer walls of the temple with the war booty.[4] Architecture[edit]

The temple tank

Nellaiappar temple is spread over 14 acres.The gopuram of this temple is 850 feet long and 756 feet wide.[5] Sangili Mandapam built on 1647 by vadamalaiyappa pillayan connects the Ganthimathi Amman and Nellaiyappar temples.[6] The composite columns of Virabhadra
holding sword and horn are found be additions of the Vijayanayagara kings during the early 1500s. Similar columns of Virabhadra
are found in Adikesava Perumal Temple at Thiruvattaru, Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi Temple
at Madurai, Kasi Viswanathar temple at Tenkasi, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple, Ramanathaswamy Temple
Ramanathaswamy Temple
at Rameswaram, Soundararajaperumal temple at Thadikombu, Srivilliputhur Andal temple, Srivaikuntanathan Permual temple at Srivaikuntam, Avudayarkovil, Vaishnava Nambi and Thirukurungudivalli Nachiar temple at Thirukkurungudi.[7]

Sangili Mandapam

Thaamira Ambalam[edit] Tirunelveli
also is one of the five places where Lord Shiva
is said to have displayed his dance and all these places have stages/ ambalams. While Tirunelveli
has the Thaamirai (Copper) Ambalam, the others are the Rathina Ambalam at Thiruvaalangadu (rathinam – ruby / red), the Chitra Ambalam at Courtallam (chitra – painting), the Velli Ambalam at Madurai
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple
(velli – silver) and the Pon (Gold) Ambalam at Thillai Nataraja
Temple, Chidambaram.[8][9] Religious importance and festivals[edit]

Picture of Tirunelveli
Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
Golden Car taken on Nov 2,2009

Navaratri, Tirukkalyanam in Aippasi, (Oct 15 - Nov 15) and Arudra Darisanam are some of the important festivals here. Arudra Darisanam attracts huge crowds here. The temple chariot is a massive one, second supposedly only to Tiruvarur. The Bhrammotsavam here lasts for an extended period of time during the Tamil month of Aani (June 15 - July 15). Also, a golden temple car (First Inaugural run of Nellaiappar Temple Golden Car is November 2, 2009) will run during important festivals like Thirukalyanam, Kaarthigai, Aaruthra Festival etc. During Thaipoosam
festival in Thai, Lord Shiva
and Parvathy are taken to the banks of Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli
junction called "Thaipoosa mandapam". Special
rituals are undertaken there and the Lord return to the temple at night. Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
car is the third largest car in Tamil Nadu.And it is the first car to be driven fully automatically.[10] The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed Six times a day; Thiruvananthal at 5.15 a.m Ushatkalapooja at 6.00a.m Sirukalasanthi at 7.00a.m Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 a.m. and Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m. Arthajamam at 8.30 p.m Palliarai at 9.15 p.m Bhairavar Poojai at 9.30 p.m Each ritual comprises four steps: abhisheka (sacred bath), alangaram (decoration), naivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for Nelliappar and Kanthimathi Amman. There are weekly rituals like somavaram (Monday) and sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like pradosham, and monthly festivals like amavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi. The Thai Aaratu festival during the Tamil month of Thai (January - February) is the most important festivals of the temple.[11][12] Pancha Sabhai
Pancha Sabhai
Sthalangal[edit] The temples where Lord Shiva
is believed to have performed the Cosmic Dance.

Category Temple Location Element

Rathinachabai Vada aaranyeswarar Temple Thiruvalangadu, Chennai Emerald

Porchabai Natarajar Temple Chidambaram Gold

Vellichabai Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai Silver

Thamirachabai Nellaiappar Temple Tirunelveli Copper

Chithirachabai Kutralanathar Temple Thirukutralam Art

Literary mention[edit] Tirugnana Sambandar and Appar, the 7th-century Tamil Saivite poet Nayanmars, venerated Nelliappar in ten verses in Tevaram, compiled as the First Tirumurai. Sundarar, an 8th-century nayanmar, also venerated Idaiyatreeswarar in ten verses in Tevaram, compiled as the Fifth Tirumurai. As the temple is revered in Tevaram, it is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples that find mention in the Saiva canon.[12] Muthuswami Dikshitar
Muthuswami Dikshitar
composed one song (Sri Kantimatim) on this temple goddess Kanthimathi Amman.This song is considered to be a rare song set in the rare raga.[5] References[edit]

^ Temple guide published by Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
gov; page 2 ^ ta:திருநெல்வேலி நெல்லையப்பர் கோயில் ^ Sthala Varalaru book published in 2004 by temple administration ^ http://www.kanthimathinellaiappar.org ^ a b "Muthuswami Dikshithar". Retrieved 28 April 2015.  ^ Thirukkoilkal vazhikaatti, Tirunelveli
District; tnhrce; August 2014;page 11 ^ Branfoot, Crispin (1 June 2008). "Imperial Frontiers: Building Sacred Space in Sixteenth-Century South India". The Art Bulletin. College Art Association. 90 (2): 186. JSTOR 20619601 – via JSTOR. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ T. G. S. Balaram Iyer, T. R. Rajagopalan (1987). History & description of Sri Meenakshi Temple. pp.39 ^ Rajeshwari Ghose. The Tyāgarāja cult in Tamilnāḍu: A Study in Conflict and Accommodation . pp. 69 ^ http://www.kanthimathinellaiappar.tnhrce.in/ ^ "Sri Nelliapaar temple". Dinamalar. 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2015.  ^ a b R., Dr. Vijayalakshmy (2001). An introduction to religion and Philosophy - Tévarám and Tivviyappirapantam (1st ed.). Chennai: International Institute of Tamil Studies. pp. 315–7. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nellaiappar Temple.

Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
official site Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
at Tirunelveli Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
travel guide from Wikivoyage

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History of Shaivism



Sadyojata Vamadeva Aghora Tatpurusha Ishana

Nataraja Dakshinamurthy Harihara


Ardhanarishvara Parvati

Ganesha Kartikeya Nandi


Shvetashvatara Upanishad Shivarahasya Purana Shiva
Purana Shiva
Sutras of Vasugupta

Mantra/ Stotra

Om Namah Shivaya Rudrashtakam Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Shiva
Stotram Shiva
Sahasranama Shiv Chalisa Shri Rudram Chamakam Shiva
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Philosophical Traditions

Shaiva Siddhanta Pashupata Shaivism Kashmir Shaivism Veera Shaivism Siddha
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Advaita Shaiva Smartas


Bhimāśankara Ghuṣmeśvara Kedāranātha Viśveśvara Mallikārjuna Mahākāleśvara Nāgeśvara Omkāreśvara Rāmeśvara Somanātha Tryambakeśvara Vaidyanātha

Pancha Bhoota Stalam

Temple (Ether) Sri Kalahasti Temple (Air) Annamalaiyar Temple
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Amarnath Brihadeeswarar Kailash
Mansarovar Katasraj temple Lingaraj Temple Meenakshi Tirunelveli Panch Kedar

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Pancha Sabhai

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Tiruchengode Thirukutralam Vadakkum Nathan List of Shiva
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Pancheshwarams (Sri Lanka)

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