Thothadri Nathan, Nanguneri, Tirunelveli
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Thothadri Nathan||Ambal / Thayar:||Varamangai Thayar|
|Timing:||7 to 12 & 5 to 9||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Divya Desam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Nanguneri||District:||Tirunelveli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tirunelveli (34 km)||Nagercoil (52 km)|
|Kanyakumari (58 km)||Thoothukudi (80 km)|
Nanguneri is located about 30 km from Tirunelveli on the road to Valliyur, Tirukurungudi and Kanyakumari.
Sthala puranam and temple information
When Vishnu decimated Madhu and Kaitabha, their death created an unbearable odour across the earth. As a result, Bhoomadevi lost her purity, and prayed here to the lord. Vishnu gave Bhoomadevi his Vaikuntha Darsanam and blessed her to be cleaned of the impurities.
There are eight temples in India where Perumal is swayambhu – swayam vyakta kshetram – and this temple is one of them. Abhishekam (ablution) for Perumal are done only with gingely oil and sandal oil. This oil is collected after the abhishekam in the temple’s Setruthamarai Theertham, a 25-foot deep well. This oil is said to have medicinal properties, and devotees collect it for treatment.
Another unique aspect of this temple is that Vishnu is seen in a seated posture, with Sridevi and Bhoomadevi on either side. He is seen showing his right hand at his feet and left hand to his lap, indicating saranagati (meaning those who surrender to him will get a place on his lap). He also has the prayoga chakra in his hand and those who sight this and pray are believed to have no enemies at all.
There are eleven idols considered to be swayambhu murtis at this temple: Thothathri Nathar; Sridevi; Bhoomadevi; Sage Brighu; Sage Markandeyar; Suryan; Chandran; Urvashi; Tilottama; Garudazhwar; and Vishvaksenar.
The temple has two prakarams, and the Thayar’s shrine is in the outer prakaram. This prakaram has a festival hall depicting various avatars of Vishnu. There are separate shrines for Andal, Varamangai Thayar, Lakshminarayanan, Venugopalan and Laksmivarahar. There are a number of mandapams adorning the temple and these are with beautiful sculptures, carvings and paintings.
This town derives its name – Nanguneri – from the fact that it is surrounded by four lakes (naangu aeri)
Mangalsasanam here had been done by Nammazhvar, while other azhvars have sung at this temple.
Other information for your visit
Not too far from here, and which has beautiful sculptures and carvings, is the Satya Vakeeswarar temple in Kalakkad (15 km from Nanguneri, 45 km from Tirunelveli). Tirukkurungudi – another Divya Desam temple with exquisite architecture and sculptures – is 16 km south west of Nanguneri and 10 km south of Kalakkad. One can plan a 5-6 hour day trip covering these three temples in a circle route.
Nanguneri does not have much by way of accommodation etc, and so it is advisable to stay at Tirunelveli.