May 24, 2014

Vikramasingapuram Shivantiappar Temple

Site Name:  Shivantiappar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Vikramasingapuram village, near Papanasam, near Ambasamudram town, near Tirunelveli city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:  A huge temple of Lord Shiva located near the beautiful Podhigai hills/Papanasam
Nearest Railway Station: Ambasamudram
Nearest Airport: Tirunelveli
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tirunelveli
Hotel: Few options in Ambasamduram and Papanasam; more options in the nearby city Tirunelveli
Restaurants: Only few options in Ambasamudram and Papanasam

Ambasamudram is a picturesque town located on the banks of the beautiful Tamrabharani river and on the foothills of the Western Ghats. The nearest city of Ambasamudram is Tirunelveli. It is located in Tamil Nadu state in South India.The town has a lot of scenic spots and temples. Papanasam is a smaller town located near Ambasamudram which offers a lot more scenic spots, dams and wonderful waterfalls. Vikramasingapuram is a small village located near Papanasam. It has a big temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called as Shivantiappar temple. This temple is quite popular in this region. Let us explore about this site in this article.

·                      A majestic temple covering a large area with so many big idols
·                     God – Shivantiappar
·                     Goddess – Vazhi Adimai Konda Nayaki
·                     Sthala Vruksham (holy tree) – Vilva tree
·                     Holy Water – Kadana river

Temple Layout:

Exterior area:

The temple is around 400 years old. As it was constructed by Shivantiappa Naicker who ruled this region, the deity was named as Shivantiappar. The massive temple has five-tier tower (Raja gopuram) and is facing the eastern direction. There is a tall flag staff and bali peeth located near the Nandi Mandapa. The Nandi mandapa is strikingly beautiful with sculpted pillars and the statues of women holding oil lamps.

Near bali peeth, there are two sub-shrines dedicated to Sthala Vinayaka and Shamukha.

The temple has two prakras. Similar to other temples in this region, bali peetha is located between the main shrine and Nandi. It is unusual and found like this only in this region.

Main Shrines:

The sanctum sanctorum has a moderately big sized Shiva Linga named as Shivantiappar. The shrine faces the eastern direction. Right next to his shrine, the main shrine of Goddess Vazhi Adimai Konda Nayaki bearing a beautiful Tamil name, is located. It faces the southern direction.

The inner prakara around the main shrines has the following sub shrines:

  • Dakshinamurti
  • Chandikeshwara
  • Prakara Vinayaka
  • Shanmukha sitting on peacock with his consorts Valli and Devasena facing each other – rare and beautiful idols

Maha Mandapa:

Unlike other typical temples, the maha mandapa of this temple is really a maha (big) mandapa (hall) with a lot of artistically beautiful pillars and idols.

The metal (utsava) idols found in this mandapa include:
  • Nataraja – Sivakami
  • Nalvar
  • Veerabagu
  • Somaskanda
  • Uma
  • Sapta Matas
  • Veerabhadra
  • Subramanya-Valli-Devasena
  • Shiva devotees

The stone idols found in this mandapa include:

  • Surya
  • Chandra
  • Veerabhadra
  • Bhairava
  • Adhikara Nandi
  • Ganesha
  • Shaneeswara

Outside the maha mandapa, there is another exterior mandapa. There is a Ganesha idol found there.

Other Shrines:

  • Nalvar – Karaikkal Ammaiyar, Sekkizhar, Mangaiyarkkarasi
  • Ganesha
  • Siva Subramanya
  • Navagraha

Happy travelling.

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