This Shivastalam is a vast temple with sprawling mandapams decked with life sized
images in the town of Tirunelveli. It is one of the most beautiful temples in India and is
hailed as one of the 5 Pancha Sabhas of Nataraja housing Tamra
Sabha (the copper hall) - a beautiful hall with exquisite woodwork, where Natarajar
is worshipped during Arudra Darisanam. The image above is that of the approach to the
Tamrasabha, with the Sandana Sabhapathi shrine behind the dance hall.
This shrine is regarded as the 14th of the Tevara Stalams in the
Pandya region of Tamilnadu.
The five dance
halls of Shiva are Chidambaram, Madurai,
Tiruvalankadu, Tirunelveli and
Kutralam. The Tenkasi temple in the vicinity of
Tirunelveli, Papanasam, Kutralam, Tiruchendur and
Kanyakumari are some of the other tourist attractions nearby.
Legends: It is believed that food grains collected for worship at the
temple were protected from the floods by a fence of grains and hence the name Nel Veli.
Agasthyar & Vishnu are said to have worshipped here.
The Temple: In reality the temple is a complex of two huge temples for
Nellaiappar and Kantimati linked by the Sangili Mandapam which has several life sized
sculptures adorning the pillars.The Oonjal Mandapam and the 1000 pillared hall are of
great beauty.There is a Nellai Govindan shrine near the sanctum. Periya Sabhapathi and
Sandana Sabhapati are the other two Natarajar images enshrined here.
This temple is known for its sculptural splendor and its musical pillars. It could take
days, if not hours to soak in the grandeur of this temple. An example of its several
unique features is the Manimandapam near the Nandi mandapam with 2 giant pillars carved
out of a single stone. Each of these has 48 small sub pillars which produce musical notes
Festivals: Six worship services are offered each day here. The annual
Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aani for an extended period of time.
Arudra Darisanam in Margazhi witnesses a lot of festivity.
For more information on Tirunelveli, please read a
Templenet Feature on Tirunelveli.