Agasthiyar Munivar Temple, Agasthiyar Falls, Papanasam, Thirunelveli
Agasthiyar Munivar Temple is located very close to Agasthiyar Falls in Papanasam in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. The temple is situated above the waterfalls; attached to the rocky walls of the mountain. An idol of Saint Agasthiyar Munivar is installed here. This is the place where Agasthiyar Munivar had meditated, during the wedding of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvathi, to balance the world on the south. Later, Lord Shiva appeared to him and blessed him.
Sage Agasthiyar is also known as Kurumuni. His contributions towards Nadi Jodhidam and Siddha are immense. There are seven great recognized Sages and they are known as Saptharishis. Sage Agasthiyar is one among them. Agasthiyar Temple in Papanasam is located at 8°42'22.7"N 77°21'50.1"E or 8.706308, 77.363923.
The celestial wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place on the northern side. Hence all the people reached the northern side to see that auspicious ceremony. Since all of them reached the north the southern side raised. To balance this Lord Shiva asked Sage Agasthiyar to move towards South. As directed by the Lord, Sage Agasthiyar reached southern side and the world got balanced. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati gave darshan to the sage at this place and a temple had been constructed here for the Sage Agasthiyar. Devotees take bath at the falls and worship this lord. They believed that their sins will then be absolved.
This is a small Temple dedicated to Agasthiyar at the top of the waterfalls. One has to trek to that place from Agasthiyar Falls or Papanasam Falls. Whenever the water level and flow is high the officials close the trek to this place. The statues of Agastya and his wife Lopamudra installed on a rock near the stream look very attractive. It is believed that he is said to have meditated in this place during the time of wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This temple was washed away during the 1980s flood and only the base of the temple remains now. It is situated near Kalyani Theertham.
The Temple is located at about 4 kms from Papanasam on the hilly terrain near Agasthiyar falls. One can reach the Agasthiyar falls and temple by trekking a distance of 3 Kms. Papanasam is around 52 Kms from Thirunelveli, 16 Kms from Ambasamudram, 34 Kms from Tenkasi, 215 Kms from Madurai and 140 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Ambasamudram and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.