Raghaveswarar Temple, Derisanamcope, Kanyakumari
Raghaveswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Derisanamcope Village in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. Raghaveswarar Temple is locally referred as "Periya Kovil". Presiding Deity is called as Raghaveswarar and Mother is called as Ulaga Nayaki Ammai. Though the temple is built in Tamil style, all the poojas are held in Kerala style. Derisanamcope Village is famous for ayurvedic treatment for nearly a century. The village is on the eastern side of the Nagercoil – Palmore Road.
It has its history related to Ramayana (The Epic of India). When Lord Ram had killed Thadagai (Demoness), he worshiped Lord Shiva at this place in order to get relief from the sin of killing a woman. Thus, the Lord Shiva here was consecrated by Lord Ram before he had worshipped at the more famous Rameswaram. So, this place is also called Adi Rameswaram and the Lord is known as Raghaveswarar.
Derisanamcope is so called because Lord Ram had shot three arrows at the Thadaka which together had stitched up her body. Thus, Trisharam (Three arrows) Korpu (stich) has become today’s Derisanamcope.
It is believed that Rajaraja Chola build this temple with the same structure of Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar Temple.
Presiding Deity is called as Raghaveswarar and Mother is called as Ulaga Nayaki Ammai. Lord Shiva and the Mother shrines are seen facing the east. In between the two is the shrine of Lord Subramanyar along with his consorts Valli and Deivayanai. Hence, the place is also referred to as Somaskanda Sthalam. The roof above the Lord is in the shape of Meru. The main shrine is at a height above the prakaram due to which devotees have to climb up a few stairs to reach it.
Ulaga Nayaki Ammai is seen holding the flower Neelotpalam in her right hand. It is believed that this idol, about 5 feet high, was obtained in the Ganga river and brought here. Locals believe that by worshipping the Goddess here the devotees derive the benefit of worshipping the Goddess Ulaga Nayaki at Papanasam. On the right side of the shrine, stairs leading into a tunnel underground is visible. It is believed that this was created to hide temple properties etc. during times of enemy attacks.
Shrine of Lord Vinayakar is in front of Lord Shiva. On the left side of the Lord Shiva, bronze idols of Aadalvallan, Sivagami, Chandrasekhara Murti, Karaikkal Ammaiyar, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman are seen. In a corner of the inner prakaram, Lord Dakshina Murti is seen. Shrine of Lord Chandeswara is also seen. The Holy tree of the temple is Vilvam. The shrine of Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar faces east. Worshipping here is believed to bestow prosperity and wealth on the devotees.
A sculpture of Lord Ram killing Thadaka is seen inside the Mahamandapam on the west Prakaram. Inscriptions are seen in some stones which were written during the eighth and tenth years of the reign of the King Rajaraja Chola. In these inscriptions, the Lord is referred to as Cheeraghavan Iswaramudai Nayanar. In a pillar, the figure of Adi Shankaracharya is inscribed from which it is inferred that the saint had visited this temple.
As at Rameswaram, there are two Theerthams (ponds) are located in the front and back of the temple. The pond in the front is called Theerthavari Kulam and the pond at the back is called Godavari Theertham. A small rivulet case Nanjil Nattu Gangai flows in front of the temple. Outside the temple, on the way to the rivulet, there is the Vadakku Vazh Selvi temple. The Goddess, Munnootru Nangai is worshipped as the guardian deity of this village.
The Temple is located at about 3 Kms from Azhagiapandipuram, 4 Kms from Boothapandi, 2 Kms from Thittu Vilai, 15 Kms from Aralvaimozhi, 8 Kms from Thazhakudy, 15 Kms from Nagercoil, 16 Kms from Thovalai, 20 Kms from Suchindram, 34 Kms from Kanyakumari and 80 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Nagercoil and Aralvaimozhi. Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.