Chepparai Natarajar Temple, Thirunelveli
Chepparai Natarajar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Rajavallipuram near Thirunelveli Town in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. It is also called as Azhagiya Kootthar and Sivagami Ambal Temple. It is situated on the banks of Tamirabarani River. Locals also refer to it as Chepparai. It is one of Pancha Natarajar Sthalams. The sthapathy who created the Chidambaram Nataraja moorthy is said to have created five Moorthies. Apart from Chidambaram, the other four moorthies are present in the following temples around Thirunelveli: Kari Soozhntha Mangalam, Kattarimangalam, Mela Karuvelankulam and Chepparai.
This temple is just 1000-2000 years old in this region. The Temple is located at about 14 Kms from Thirunelveli. The Temple is very famous for Arudra Dharshan. It has the equal history of Chidambaram. That is why this place is also called as “South Chidambaram” or “South Thillai”. It is unbelievable that, the first Copper Statue which has been prepared for Chidambaram Temple is in “Chepparai” Temple only. The idol in the temple is considered the first Nataraja statue of the world.
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The primary deity of this temple is Nellaiyappar (Lord Shiva) and his consort is Gandhimadhi. The festive deity is Natarajar. The holy tree of this temple is Vilwa. The holy water of this temple is nearby stream water. The Agamam or pooja of this temple is called as Kameekam. The idol in the temple is considered the first Nataraja statue of the world. It is said that four Nataraja idols were designed closely similar to that of the idol in Chidambaram. These are in Chepparai, Karisuzhunthamanagalam and Karuvelankulam in Thirunelveli district and Kattarimangalam in Tuticorin district. Kumbabishekam was conducted on January 2007.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Aani Therottam, Margazhi Thiruvadirai and Maha Shivaratri in February-March are grandly celebrated in the temple. Arudhra Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January) on Thiruvathirai Nakshatram. It is essentially a Saivite festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. Arudhra signifies the golden red flame and Shiva performs in the form this red-flamed light.
Devotees pray for child boon, excellence in academic pursuits and for removal of obstacles in marriage alliances. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother with vastras.
Sri Nellaiyappar (Chepparai Natarajar) Temple,
Chepparai, Thirunelveli District
Phone: +91 – 4622 – 339 910
The Temple is located at about 14 Kms from Thirunelveli, 160 Kms from Madurai and 165 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thirunelveli and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.