Kailasanathar, Thenthiruperai, Tirunelveli

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:KailasanatharAmbal / Thayar:Azhagiya Ponnammai
Deity:SivaHistorical name:
Vriksham:Maha VilvamTeertham:Tamirabarani river, Vricha Teertham


Age (years):


Timing:7 to 10 & 5 to 7Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

Temple set:

Nava Kailasam




City / town:ThenTiruperaiDistrict:Tirunelveli
Maps from (click): Current location Thoothukudi (36 km)Tirunelveli (42 km)

Kanyakumari (93 km)Nagercoil (95 km)


Sthala puranam and temple information

This is the seventh of the Nava Kailasam temples located on the banks of the Tambraparani river, and is dedicated to Budhan. The temple was consecrated by Sage Romaharshana and is on the banks of the river Tambraparani. Read the story of the Nava Kailasam temples, here.

Budhan (Mercury) is the planetary deity associated with the mind and intellect. Budhan is also the planet associated with rains, just like Varuna is the god of rains and water. Both Budhan and Varuna worshipped here, and so this place is also called Varuna Kshetram.

The word “perai” refers to a fort. There is a place called Tirupperai near Trichy, which used to be a key location during Chola times. This place must have also had a fort at some time in the past, and to differentiate it from the other town of the same name, this place is called Then (southern) Tirupperai. According to another sthala puranam, Bhudevi worshipped at this place along with Lakshmi (Sri or Tiru) in her Perai form, and that may have given the place its name.

Devotees worship here to attain command over faculties of speech and intellect. Worshipping Siva here is regarded as equivalent to worshipping at the Swetaranyeswarar temple at Tiruvenkadu near Mayiladuthurai (also a Budhan sthalam). Worshipping This temple is also regarded as beneficial for those under the Mithunam and Kanya rasis.

The coconut with horns
During colonial times, a visiting British army officer asked for coconut water to drink. The farmer refused, since the practice was to offer the coconuts only to the temple. The enraged officer thundered and asked if the coconut was so special that it had grown horns. When the frightened locals eventually gave him the coconut, he found that it had indeed sprouted two horn-like extensions, bewildering the officer! That particular coconut is kept in the temple even today, in front of the Amman sanctum.

At the orders of the officer, the British government would pay 26 “salli paisa” to the temple for its daily worship; this is done even today by the state government!

The exact origins of the temple are not known, but inscriptions in the temple date back to the time of Maravarman Sundarapandyan, and refer to the place as Sundarapandya Chaturvedi Mangalam.

The garbhagriham faces east, as does the Amman shrine here, making this representative of their kalyana kolam. There are some unique and interesting iconographic elements at this temple. The moolavar Lingam here is installed on a padma-peetham, while Nandi is seen wearing headgear like a turban! Interestingly, the daily neivedyam for Siva at this temple is curd rice in the morning, and a variety of sundal in the evenings.

Kala Bhairavar is also depicted rather unusually, featuring six arms, but equally interestingly, is depicted without his dog (which represents the Vedas), since Siva Himself is believed to represent the Vedas here.

In the Navagraham shrine, Guru and Sukran are seen riding horses instead of their usual mounts. Suryan is depicted riding his usual 7 horses, but Chandran is shown with 10 horses. There is a murti of Sage Romaharshana, which was left at this temple by an unnamed devotee. Today, devotees are directly allowed to perform puja to this murti by themselves.

Other information for your visit

Then Tirupperai is also home to the Divya Desam and Nava Tirupati temple of Vishnu as Makara Nedunkuzhaikathar. Both the Siva and Vishnu temples are being supported significantly by members of the TVS family, who hail from Tirukurungudi.


Phone: 93658 89291

Temple history by temple caretaker

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