Bhoominathar Temple, Veeravanallur, Thirunelveli
Bhoominathar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Veeravanallur in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is called as Bhoominathar and Mother is called as Maragathambigai. Holy Theertham of this Temple is Gnana Theertham. Sthala Vriksham is Punnai Tree. The temple entrance has different style of architecture.
Shiva gave back Yama his life:
As per the legend, after Yama, the God of death, was kicked off by Lord Shiva in order to save Markandeya, he became a creeper plant in this site. As Yama could not perform of his job, there were no deaths on the earth and Bhoo Devi could not bear the weight of heavy population. She prayed to Shiva. Shiva gave back Yama his life. Hence he is called as Bhoominathar in this temple.
People who worshipped Shiva here:
Agasthiyar, Dharmar, Nakushan, Vishnu, Brahmma, Sage Viruhar, Sage Visu, Sage Kanagar, Sage Bargavar and Ganga worshipped Lord Shiva here.
The temple has two praharams. Presiding Deity is called as Bhoominathar and Mother is called as Maragathambigai. Holy Theertham of this Temple is Gnana Theertham. Sthala Vriksham is Punnai Tree. The temple entrance has different style of architecture. The east facing temple is big in size but not gigantic like other temples in this region. The east facing temple has an incomplete tower.
The entrance doors have very fine wooden carvings of various deities. The flag staff, Nandi mandapa and Bali Peetha are all located facing towards the main shrine in a broad and long covered mandapa full of carved pillars. Near the flag staff, the bas relief images of Ganesha and Kartikeya are found.
Navagraha, the nine planets, are located near the Nandi mandapa. The outer prakara is an open space and it is full of trees and plants. An important factor of temple is beautiful sculpture found in the pillars all over the temple.
The main shrine is built in 'maada kovil' architectural style (raised platform which can be reached through steps). The main shrine has moolasthanam, ardha mandapa and maha mandapa. Bhoominathar is in the form of a small Shiva Linga and is located inside the moolasthanam. At the entrance of ardha mandapa, there is a Ganesha idol. The entrance of maha mandapa has two bas relief images - Ganesha and Kartikeya on peacock.
In maha mandapa, there is a sub-shrine where so many Utsava (metal) idols such as one set of big Nataraja and Sivakami, two sets of smaller Nataraja and Sivakami, Chandrasekhar - Uma, Bhikshatana, etc. are all found. Nandi is facing towards the moolasthanam and it is located in this hall. The front side mandapa of maada kovil has many yazhi pillars. The inner prakara is full of pillars with beautiful carvings. Dhakshinamoorthi alone is found as the niche sculpture.
In inner prakara, the idols of three Ganeshas, 63 Nayanmars, Sapta matas, Surya, Chandra, Veerabhadra and Adhikara Nandi are found. The sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena and Mahalakshmi are also located in the inner prakara.
The Goddess of the temple is Maragathambigai. She is found with two arms and in the standing posture. A separate main shrine with front side pillared mandapa and Nandi mandapa is dedicated to her. This shrine is also facing the east direction and located to the left side of Bhoominathar shrine.
Near the Nandi mandapa, there is big mandapa and a big sub-shrine. It is dedicated to Nataraja. There, all the idols such as Nataraja and Sivakami, Patanjali, Karaikkal Ammaiyar and Vyagrapathar are all made up of sandalwood. Nataraja is named as Sandana Sabhapati.
Veeravanallur is located at about 6 Kms west of Cheranmahadevi, 37 Kms from Thirunelveli, 12 Kms from Ambasamudram, 21 Kms from Papanasam, 195 Kms from Madurai and 150 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Ambasamudram & Veeravanallur and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.