Thiruvenkadar Temple, Pappankulam, Thirunelveli
Thiruvenkadar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Pappankulam Village near Alwarkurichi in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. This temple is situated just opposite to Sri Ramaswamy temple, a little far away on the eastern side. This is a beautiful temple and its peaceful atmosphere will be liked by the devotees. It is considered one of the Devara Vaippu Sthalam temples. Shiva Linga is made up of Chandrakanta stone. The size of Shiva Linga appears differently when viewed from different places. Presiding Deity is called as Thiruvenkadar and Mother is called as Vadakalai Nayaki. Sthala Vriksham (holy tree) is Banyan tree.
Temple built by a Sculptor with the help of Pandya King:
Pandya King Aditya Varma, a staunch Shiva devotee, built many Shiva temples. He employed Chadurvedi a master sculptor. The sculptor did his job with a deep sense of devotion to the entire satisfaction of the king. The king donated him lands. This came to be known as Chadurvedi Mangalam. In the days followed, the sculptor landed in troubles in life. Astrologers predicted that the cause of woes was but adverse aspect of planets and advised him to build a Shiva temple with a Linga made of Chandrakanta stone installing also all sub-deities and Navagrahas the nine planets. Chadurvedi informed the king of his sufferings and plans to overcome the same. With the help of the king, he built the temple on the land donated to him and also dug a tank, called Kal Kurichi Kulam now. All the woes of the sculptor came to an end. Lord was named Thiruvenkadar and Mother Vaadaa Kalai Nayaki.
As many species of birds and water beings as fish etc. flourished in this place on the banks of Tamirabarani, the place was named Pappangu meaning offspring of a bird. The name changed as Pappankulam in the days followed.
Pandya Kings worshipped Lord Saneeshwara here:
The legend also says that the Pandya Kings worshipped Lord Saneeshwara here and through his blessings got victories over their enemies in wars. Thus, each and every deity here has been sculpted in its own uniqueness.
The temple is small and it is east facing. The main shrine has slightly big Shiva Linga made up of Chandrakanta stone – Thiruvenkadar. The south facing shrine outside the Maha Mandapa has very attractive idol of Goddess Vadakalai Nayaki. The Shivalinga made of the Chandrakanta stones appears small if worshipped close from the Mandapam near the sanctum sanctorum and big if looked at from the Kodimaram-flag post.
Lord Shiva is praised as Thiruvenkadar as he had come all the way to the place of this temple from the snow clad Kailash. During the failure of monsoon, devotees perform Dhara Homa for rains. The result is instantaneous as experienced by the people of the place. It is also a miracle that a Garuda – the eagle – makes rounds on the sky during the Homa ceremony. The idol of Sri Sani Bhagwan is made to rules. People pray to him for relief from enemy threats.
The goddess Vaadaakalai Nayaki Ambal deity is sculpted in very special way depicting her 32 expressions (Samudrika Lakshnam) with minute skill in the single sculpture. Hence she is called as Vaadakalai Nayaki (Vaada-never fading, Kalai-beauty aspects, Nayaki – Chief, Vaadaa Kalai Nayaki). Devotees perform abishek to Mother on Mondays, Fridays and Poornima days with milk, honey and sandal to realize their wishes.
Inside the main deity shrine, in one corner there is an open shrine for a Siddhar who attained moksha here and he is laid to rest here, about whose details are not available. It was learnt that on every full moon day, this Siddhar shrine is beautifully decorated and special poojas are performed to this Siddhar and large number of devotees will attend the poojas to seek siddhar's Blessings.
The idol of Sri Subramanya – Muruga – with his consorts Valli and Deivanai in sitting on the mayil (peacock) Vahana is made of a single stone. Pillars, Mani Mandapa and the sculptures are made with minute skills. Lord Guru Bhagwan shrine, the sculpture is sculpted with a nagam (snake) under his feet which goes with the legend that whoever worships Lord Guru Bhagwan here he will save them from the clutches of their Raghu Kethu Dosha.
Lord Saneeswara shrine is also sculpted in a very beautiful manner and the crow, his Vahana in stone sculpture will appear as if a real crow standing under his feet, such a beautiful craftsmanship done by the sculpture. A big and tall compound wall protects and surrounds the temple. The temple has just one prakara. The temple does not have a tower. The flag staff, Bali peetha and Nandi are all located facing towards the main shrine.
The following deities are found there:
· Two Shiva Linga
· Ganesha in a sub shrine
· Subramanya-Valli-Devasena in a sub shrine
· Adhikara Nandi
Presently, the temple is not in good shape. The temple needs complete renovation to preserve its uniqueness and other special features. Last Maha Kumbabishekam to this temple was done in 1945 as per culvert findings. Members of Arul Nandhi Adigalar Peravai (club) are maintaining the temple with two time pujas a day. Efforts are on for renovation and consecration of the temple.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Monthly Pradoshams, Annabishekam in October-November and Maha Shivarathri in February-March are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
People pray to Sani Bhagwan in the temple for relief from enemy threats. Devotees perform abishek to Mother Vaadaa Kalai Nayaki with milk, honey and sandal on Mondays, Fridays and on Poornima-full moon day.
Sri Thiruvenkadar Temple,
Pappankulam – 627423,
Mobile: +91 98949 62523
Pappankulam is located at about 4 Kms from Alwarkurichi, 30 Kms from Tenkasi, 14 Kms from Ambasamudram, 55 Kms from Thirunelveli, 98 Kms from Thoothukudi, 200 Kms from Madurai and 135 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Pappankulam is located at about 55 Kms from Tirunelveli via Mukkudal and Idaikal on the Kadayam route. From Tenkasi, this place is 30 km far via Pottalpudhur. Bus facility is available from both ends. Nearest Railway Station is located at Alwarkurichi and Ambasamudram. Nearest Airport is located at Thoothukudi, Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.