Kurundhudaiyar Sastha Temple, Karisulndamangalam, Thirunelveli
Gurundhudaiyar Sastha Temple is located at Karisulndamangalam Village near Cheranmahadevi in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. The local Lord Sastha in a village normally becomes the Kuladeivam for people who have been residing in that village for three or four generations. Even today, for most Hindus, the location of their Lord Sastha temple denotes their native place and native Kuladeivam. Presently, in many families, as the elders have not educated the younger family members with regard to the various family traditions, customs, the family Kuladeiva vazhibadu, etc., there is little or no awareness on these matters.
In Karisulndamangalam, Lord Sastha showers his benign presence from his abode consecrated at the entrance overlooking the village atop a big rocky place in the middle of farm lands. The Kurundhudaiyar Sastha temple was consecrated earlier to the Lord Venkatachalapathy temple. It is evidenced by an image of Lord Sastha carved in a pillar on its northern façade in the Perumal temple. This pillar is located to the north of the pillar in which Lord Ganesha’s image has been carved. This Lord Sastha’s image in its appearance, seating style and Headgear totally resembles the image of Kurundhudaiyar Sastha and so believed to have been in existence before the Perumal temple was consecrated.
In those days it was customary to carve the images of Lords of one village temple in another village temple pillar and vice versa. The village residents faced difficulty in their daily pooja and darshan of Lord Sastha, since the temple was on the outskirts of the village. Hence they consecrated a Goddess Poorna Pushkalamba samedha Lord Sastha on the southern side of the local Kanagasabhapathy Shiva temple. On every Panguni Uthiram day, the villagers worshipped the Lord Sastha Murthy consecrated atop the rocky stone in the post-harvest vacant fields; prayed and gave thanks for the bountiful harvest bestowed upon them.
The last Kumbabishekam of the Sastha temple was performed in 1998. Karisulndamangalam is located at about 3 Kms from Pattamadai, 5 Kms from Cheranmahadevi, 12 Kms from Veeravanallur, 30 Kms from Thirunelveli, 191 Kms from Madurai, 75 Kms from Thoothukudi and 150 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. From Tirunelveli, buses every 15minutes to Pathamadai (Ambai / Papanasam) bound buses. Take an auto from Pathamadai to reach Karisulntha Mangalam( 2kms). Auto will cost Rs. 80 (to and fro). Bus 36D runs between Tirunelveli and Karisulntha Mangalam. Nearest Railway Station is located at Cheranmahadevi and Veeravanallur. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai, Thoothukudi and Thiruvananthapuram.