Thondargal Nainar Swami Temple, Thirunelveli
Thondargal Nainar Swami Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located in Thirunelveli Town in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is called as Thondargal Nainar Swami. Urchavar is called as Bhaktavatsalesar. Mother is called as Gomathi Amman. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree. Theertham of this Temple is Pancha Theertham. Historically this place is called as Venuvanam. The temple is located just behind the Nellaiyappar Temple
During his pilgrimage, saint Tirugnanasambandar came to Nellaiyappar temple from Kuttralam, worshipped the Lord and sang hymns. His followers wanted to install a Shivalinga here. Though Sambandar agreed to their wish, he did not want to do it individually himself. He prayed to Sage Agasthya and sought his blessings to fulfill the desire of his followers. Sage Agasthya pointed out a place thick with Vilwa trees and indicated the presence of a Swayambu Shivalinga. Sambandar got the Shivalinga and worshipped him with his followers (Thondargal). As Lord Shiva appeared here for the Thondars, He is named Thondargal Nainar.
Karuvur Chithar, a staunch Shiva devotee begged Lord Nellaiyappar seeking his darshan but Lord did not turn up. Chithar angrily said that Lord Shiva was not there and cursed the land be infested with bushes and returned back. After passing a short distance, Chithar had the darshan of Lord in the form of Jyoti-light. When he prostrated at his feet, Jyoti began to move towards the Nellai temple and merged with the Linga. Granting darshan, Lord advised Chithar to practice patience and said impatience could not bring anything good. Chithar said, “Lord is here, let the bushes disappear and moved away. This event is celebrated in the temple on Aavani Moola Star day in August-September.
Lord Shiva in the temple is a Swayambumurthy. Presiding Deity is called as Thondargal Nainar Swami. Urchavar is called as Bhaktavatsalesar. Mother is called as Gomathi Amman. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree. Theertham of this Temple is Pancha Theertham. Main Vinayaka of the temple is Vanni Vinayaka. The vimana-tower above the sanctum sanctorum is of hexagonal type.
Lord Vinayaka graces on an Avudayar (the seat or peetam on which Shivalingas are installed) in the prakara under a peepal tree (Arasa maram). Behind him is another Vinayaka facing north. This is a strange form of Vinayaka facing opposite sides. There is a Shivalinga to the right of Vinayaka with two Nagas (serpent deity) nearby each facing the opposite side. Those facing adverse effects of serpent planets pray here for relief. Lord Dakshinamurthy in the ghoshta wall has his left hand on a serpent.
Saint Tirugnanasambandar and Sage Agasthya are in the mandapam in front of Lord Shiva shrine. Sani Bhagwan in the prakara graces with a parrot in his hand. There is also a Vanni tree and a well in the temple complex. It is worth recalling the story of a well, Vanni tree and a Shivalinga deposing in a case of wedding of a girl in Madurai in her favour at Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, when mischievous relatives tried to defame her. Lord Vanni Vinayaka reminds us this story.
There are shrines for Lord Nardana Vinayaka and Lord Muruga in the prakara. Mother Gomathi is located to the left of the Lord graces from a separate shrine facing east. Sri Chakra is installed in the Maha Mandapa before Mother’s shrine. Devotees chant Abhirami Andhadhi hymn on Fridays in the shrine. During Aadi Thapasu festival, devotees light Maa Vilakku lamps made of a paste of rice flour and ghee.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.30 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 5.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Chitra Poornima in April-May, Aani Uthiram in June-July, Aipasi wedding festival in October-November, Tirukarthikai in November-December and Masi Shivaratri in February-March are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
People pray for the welfare of children, relief from the adverse effects of serpent planets and wedding boons. Performing special pujas, offering vastras and sweet pudding (sarkarai Pongal) to Lord and Mother, devotees execute the prayer commitment. Women facing problems in wedding proposals offer Sari to Mother. Those having adverse aspects of serpent planets (Rahu & Kethu) pray here to get relief.
Sri Thondargal Nainar Swami Temple,
Near Sri Nellaiyappar temple,
Thirunelveli - 627 006
Phone: +91 – 462 – 256 1138
The temple is located just behind the Nellaiyappar Temple. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thirunelveli and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.