Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Gotha Parameswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Sivakami Amman|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kunnathur||District:||Tirunelveli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tirunelveli (7 km)||Thoothukudi (67 km)|
|Nagercoil (78 km)||Kanyakumari (85 km)|
Kunnathur is located 13 km from Tirunelveli.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This the fourth of the Nava Kailasam temples, and is dedicated to Rahu. The temple was consecrated by Romaharshana Maharishi, and is on the banks of the river Tambraparani.
Once there was a king ruling this area, who had a very rare tree near his palace. The tree used to flower once only and yielded only one flower, which would turn in to a fruit which had the powers of giving eternal youth and strength to the person who consumed the fruit. The king used to take special care of safeguarding the tree as the fruit was meant to be consumed only by him.
One day, a pregnant woman was carrying a pot of water from the river and passed by the tree. The ripe fruit fell into her pot, but she did not realize it. The next day, not finding the fruit, the king ordered a house-to-house search and located the pregnant woman.
Without inquiry, the king ordered the woman to be killed. Despite all her pleading, the king remained steadfast and so, the woman cursed that all the living beings in the village would perish except pregnant women, children and the cows. Soon, the village became deserted, and the lingam installed by Romaharshana also went unattended. However, the cows which used to graze in the forest started pouring their milk on the lingam. When the Pandya king was informed of this, he immediately ordered the area to be cleaned the area and built a proper temple for the Lord. This enabled the woman’s curse to be negated. (Gotha is Sanskrit for cow).
This temple is considered to be a Rahu Sthalam. The image of a serpent can be seen on the Lingam, which is a rarity.
Devotees throng here for relief from Rahu dosham and Naga dosham. Those who do not have children pray here for children.
Other information for your visit
This is one of three temples in the vicinity of each other: the Gotha Parameswarar temple at Kunnathur (this temple), Varadaraja Perumal temple at Keela Tirvenkatanatha Puram and the Venkatachalapati, Mela Tiruvenkatanathapuram. Together, these three temples are considered the equivalent of Kalahasti, Keezh Tirupati and Mel Tirupati, and it is customary to visit them together. The recommended order of visit is Gotha Parameswarar temple, Varadaraja Perumal temple and Venkatachalapathi temple. It is also believed that praying at this group of temples has the same, if not better, merit as praying at the corresponding three temples at Kalahasti and Tirupati. Furthermore, it is believed that any prayers in the form of venduthal for Tirupati can be fulfilled here, but not the reverse.
It is considered a blessing to cover all nine Nava Kailasam temples in a single day, in the correct order (ie, starting with Papanasam and ending with Serntha Poomangalam).
If you want to follow the order of Nava Kailasam temples by legend, then it is preferable to stay somewhere near Papanasam or Ambasamudram (which have some budget and small hotels / resorts). In that case, the order of visits should be: Papanasam, Cheran Madevi, Kodaganallur, Kunnathur, Murappanadu, Srivaikuntam (Tiruvaikuntam), Thentirupperai, Rajapathy, Serndha Poomangalam.
Budget and mid-range accommodation is available at Tirunelveli. If coming down on the East Coast Road, then some limited options may also be available at Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) and Tiruchendur.