Friday, May 12, 2017

Soundara Pandeeswar Temple (Natarajar Temple), Mela Karuvelankulam, Thirunelveli

Soundara Pandeeswar Temple (Natarajar Temple), Mela Karuvelankulam, Thirunelveli
Soundara Pandeeswar Temple (Natarajar Temple) is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Mela Karuvelankulam Village near Kalakkad in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. It is located at around 2 kms North of Kalakkad. This is one of the popular Natarajar temples of Tamilnadu. This is located at the foot of the Pothigai hill.

This temple is believed to built by Jatavaraman Sundara Chola Pandya, the son of Rajendra Chola I. During his rule in Madurai, his daughter was affected with chronic illness. Despite treatment by the best physicians of madurai region, her illness was never cured. Once, a learned man visited his court and advised him to take his daughter around his kingdom. He also instructed when you saw a tank circumbulated by elephants, immediately stop and ask your daughter to bath in that tank. Her chronic illness will be cured once she took bath in the tank. As advised, the prince took her daughter for the tour and found the tank. He made her daughter to take bath in the tank and her illness got cured. He built a Mandapam in the mid of the tank and a temple in memory of this event. Since, the temple was built by Jatavarman Sundara Chola Pandya, the Lord came to be called as Soundara Pandeeswarar. As elepants circumbulated the tank, the place came to be called as Kari Valam Vantha Kulam (pond circumbulated byy the elephants). Later, got corrupted to Karuvelam Kulam.
The Temple is considered as one of Pancha Nataraja Sthalams. The Sthapathy who created the Chidambaram Nataraja idol is said to have created five Idols. Apart from Chidambaram, the other four idols are present in the following temples around Thirunelveli: Kari Soozhntha Mangalam, Kattarimangalam, Mela Karuvelankulam and Chepparai. Inscriptions belonging Rajendra Chola I and Jadavarma Sundara Chola Pandya can be found in the Temple premises. The temple had its last consecration in 1944. The Temple receives grants from Thiruvananthapuram Royal Family.
The Temple
Presiding Deity is called as Soundara Pandeeswarar. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. Mother is called as Gomathi. She is housed in a separate shrine. Goddess Parama Kalyani can be found in the pillars of the Temple. She is held in high esteem by the devotees who yearn for child birth and by the pregnant ladies for achieving safe delivery.

Nataraja Sabha was painted with murals representing various deities of Hindu pantheon. Most of the murals have faded. Murals of Anandha Thanadava of Nataraja along with Sivagami, Patanjali, Vyagrapatha, Karaikal Ammaiyar and Manickavasagar can be found in one of the walls in the Nataraja Sabha.

There is a beautiful wooden Mandapa in the Temple. Nataraja is placed in this wooden carrier during the Arudhra Festival and is taken out on procession on the Arudhra darshan day. Images of Pathanjali, Vyakrapada, Gnanasambandhar and Karaikkal Ammaiyar can be found near the pillars of this wooden structure.

There are Mandapams preceding the sanctum and Nataraja Sabha. Musical Pillars in these Mandapams are an architectural wonder to look for. The Temple Tank with central Mandapam can be found adjacent to the Temple premises. Sthala Vriksham is Amla Tree.

Temple Opening Time
The Temple remains open from 06.30 AM to 10.00 AM and 05.00 PM to 07.00 PM.
10 days Arudhra festival during and all other Shiva related festivals are celebrated here with much fanfare.
Devotees pray to Lord Shiva for getting relief from medical ailments.
Soundara Pandeeswar Temple (Natarajar Temple),
Mela Karuvelankulam, Thirunelveli District
Mobile: +91 99447 35288 / 99437 58928 / 94864 83033
The temple is located at about 3 Kms from Kalakkad, 20 Kms from Cheranmahadevi, 45 Kms from Thirunelveli, 95 Kms from Thoothukudi, 210 Kms from Madurai and 140 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Cheranmahadevi. Nearest Airport is located at Thoothukudi, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.