May 18, 2014

The Grand Siva Sailam Temple

Site Name:  Sivasailam Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Sivasailam, near Ambasamudram town, near Tirunelveli city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:  Shiva Linga is found with his tresses
Nearest Railway Station: Ambasamudram
Nearest Airport: Tirunelveli
How to reach: Well connected by road from Ambasamudram and Tirunelveli; public transportation is not dependable
Hotel: Few options in Ambasamduram and no option in this village; more options in the nearby city Tirunelveli
Restaurants: Only few options in the nearby Ambasamudram town

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. Sivasailam is a small village located near Ambasamudram. The village has a majestic and beautiful temple, Sivasailanathar temple. Let us explore about this temple in this article.

·                     A Devara Vaippu Sthalam temple
·                     Shiva Linga found with his tress
·                     A majestic temple covering a large area with so many big idols
·                     God – Sivasaila Nathar aka Sailanatha Swamy aka Atreeswarar
·                     Goddess – Parama Kalyani
·                     Sthala Vruksham (holy tree) – Kadamba tree
·                     Holy Water – Kadana river


The sages Atri and Bhringi worshiped Shiva in this temple. Atri’s ashram is found on top of the hill.

Temple Layout:

The temple is very big in size. It has a stunning tower and the front side of the temple is covered with trees.

The Nandi idol that is located near the flag staff and bali peeth facing the main shrine is artistically beautiful.

The temple is full of long mandapas, huge idols, different designs of huge pillars and large sculpted pillars. Everything in this temple appears to be grand.

Main Shrine

The sanctum sanctorum unusually faces the west direction. A large sized Shiva Linga idol named as Sivasailappar is found there. The highlight is that he has tresses. The devotees can view his tresses through holes on the back side of the sanctorum. It is said that it is only west facing Swayambu Linga. It is also said that there are 27 Aavudais (the base of Linga) placed one above the other and the idol is placed on top of 27th Aavudai.

The entrance of Ardha Mandapa has a small Ganesha idol.

The Maha Mandapa has Nandi facing the sanctorum; it also house few sub-shrines with so many utsava (metal) idols that include Nataraja-Sivakami, Chandrasekhar-Uma, etc.

Inner Prakara

The inner prakara surrounding the sanctum santorum has many sub-shrines which enshrines the following deities. All of them are unusally large in size.

  • Jwara Deva
  • Maha Lakshmi
  • Anna Poorani
  • Shaneeswara
  • Vishnu Durga
  • Bhairava
  • Surya
  • Chandra
  • Dakshinamurti
  • Sapta Matas
  • Ganesha
  • Vishwanatha-Vishalakshi-Navaneetha Krishna

Goddess Shrine

The Goddess Parama Kalyani is found in a separate west facing shrine. She is found in the standing posture and has four arms.The shrine has its own front side mandapa, Nandi, flag staff and bali peetha. It is said that the idol was found in a well.

The inner prakara has Agastya, Ganesha, 63 Nayanmars and Dakshinamurti.

Other Shrines

Some of the other sub-shrines in the temple:

  • Saila Vinayaka
  • Nellaiyappar-Salvaateeswarar-Kantimati
  • Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar
  • Subramanya-Valli-Devasena

Ganesha and Adhikara Nandi idols are found near the entrance.

This temple is not to be missed.

Happy travelling.

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