September 5, 2010

Temples of Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli is an ancient city located in South India. Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi Amman Temple, which is located at the heart of the Tirunelveli city, is one of the oldest and biggest cities of South India. I have already written multiple blog posts about this extraordinarily beautiful temple. In this blog post, I am writing about the temples that are located around Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple.

Nellaiyappar Temple Sculpture
Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple is located at the heart of the city, and there are four main roads named as car streets are located around the temple. In East Car street, slightly opposite to the entrance of Kanthimathi Amman temple, there is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. Saraswati is the Goddess of Education as per Hinduism. It is very rare to find a temple for Saraswati. As far as know, there are only two temples that are currently present for Saraswati. This is one of those temples of Saraswati. The temple is very small and it's a private temple. Apart from Saraswati, you can also find the idols of Ganesha and Murugan in this temple.

In a small lane near the Amman Sannadhi Street - the street opposite to Kanthimathi Amman entrance, there is a small but ancient temple of Shasta (Lord Ayyappa is the incarnation of Shasta). This temple is called as Chekkadi Shasta temple by the locals. You can find the idol of Shasta along with his consorts Poorna and Pushkala.

Nellaiyappar Temple Corridor
You can find a lot of small temples for the Goddess Uchchinima Kali Amman temple almost in all the streets around the Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple. Towards the southern side of Kanthimathi Amman entrance, there is a small temple for Bhoothathar, who is believed to be the savior God of Tirunelveli. If you enter inside the market from Bhoothathar temple, you can find a small temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha. At the end of the East Car Street, the temple of Vagaiyadi Amman is located, which is very popular among the locals.

The corner between West Car street and South Car Street has a famous temple of Lord Ganesha. The temple is referred as Sandhi Pillayar temple by the locals. It is believed that the sage Agastya had visited this temple. This is one of the oldest temples of Tiruneliveli Town. The temple has a lot of idols and shrines apart from the main deity - Lord Ganesha. The Northern side of Nellaiyappar temple has few temples. Even though they are not located in the main roads, they are also very popular. Thondargal Nayinar temple is a famous temple for Lord Shiva. Near that temple, there is a temple for Pittarapurath Amman - a famous temple for Mother Goddess in Tirunelveli. There is also a temple dedicated to Kamakshi and Draupadi.

When you happen to go to Tirunelveli, apart from enjoying Halwa and Nellaiyappar Kanthimathi temple, go to these temples too for a visit.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
City Name: Tirunelveli
1) One of the oldest cities of South India
2) Famous for its gigantic temple of Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi
3) Famous for Halwa
4) Tamirabarani river, called as Jeeva Nadhi, which generally doesn't dry, flows in the city
Location: 180 kms from Madurai; 620 kms from Chennai; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli; Tirunelveli station is a popular train junction; you can find a lot of trains from all over India to this city
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 180 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tirunelveli
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tirunelveli; Don't forget to taste the Halwa either from Iruttu Kadai or Shanti Sweets

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