Nellai Murugan

This article is a continuation of my series on the Kantimati Sameta Nellaiyappar Temple in Tirunelveli. In the previous two installments, we explored the monumental Ravana and the serene Tamra Sabha. Now, let's delve into the remaining deities and sub-shrines located on the western side of the prakara surrounding the Nellaiyappar shrine.

On an elevated platform reminiscent of a traditional thinnai, supported by graceful pillars, an array of divine murtis awaits your reverence. Here, you'll encounter Vayu Linga, Vinayaka, Muzhuthum Kanda Ramakon, and his divine consort. Interestingly, the Kubera icon, believed to date back to the Pandya era, has been affectionately referred to as Ramakon. To further solidify this connection, a female figurine has been placed nearby, symbolizing his devoted wife.

Photo courtesy - Vijay Bhat

As previously mentioned, the entire temple grounds were once a lush bamboo forest, making the bamboo tree the sacred sthala vruksham. You can find this revered tree within this prakara, accompanied by a dedicated Ganesha shrine. Nearby, a shrine enshrines a Shiva Linga, and the Mukha mandapa of this shrine also houses another revered Shiva Linga. Additionally, there is an east-facing shrine dedicated to the Akasa Linga.

Photo courtesy - Vijay Bhat

Now, let's not forget the renowned Nellai Murugan. This depiction of Subramanya stands in a dignified posture, adorned with his characteristic four arms and flanked by the divine presence of Valli and Devasena. The 14th-century poet Arunagirinathar, known for his profound reverence for various Murugan shrines across the country, composed a beautiful song in honor of this particular Murugan deity. It is worth noting that there exists a theory suggesting that this song may have been dedicated not to the Nellai Murugan but to the Tirukkodi Kuzhagar shrine.

Tiruppugazh song numbered 842 is as seen below.

நீலமுகி லானகுழ லானமட வார்கள்தன
     நேயமதி லேதினமு ...... முழலாமல்            1

நீடுபுவி யாசைபொரு ளாசைமரு ளாகியலை
     நீரிலுழல் மீனதென ...... முயலாமற்            2

காலனது நாவரவ வாயிலிடு தேரையென
     காயமரு வாவிவிழ ...... அணுகாமுன்            3

காதலுட னோதுமடி யார்களுட னாடியொரு
     கால்முருக வேளெனவு ...... மருள்தாராய்            4

சோலைபரண் மீதுநிழ லாகதினை காவல்புரி
     தோகைகுற மாதினுட ...... னுறவாடிச்            5

சோரனென நாடிவரு வார்கள்வன வேடர்விழ
     சோதிகதிர் வேலுருவு ...... மயில்வீரா            6

கோலவழல் நீறுபுனை யாதிசரு வேசரொடு
     கூடிவிளை யாடுமுமை ...... தருசேயே            7

கோடுமுக வானைபிற கானதுணை வாசுருதி
     கூர்திருநெல் வேலியுறை ...... பெருமாளே.  8

Happy travelling.

This article is Part 24 of the series of articles I write about Kantimati Sameta Nellaiyappar Temple. 

The other parts of the series can be accessed through the below-listed links.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22


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