The Kailasanathar Temple is in Srivaikuntam. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It is located 30 km from Tirunelveli. The temple was constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. It has three precincts. Shiva is worshipped as Kailasanathar and his consort Parvathi as Sivakami. The temple is the sixth temple in the series of Nava Kailasams where the presiding deity of all the nine temples is Kailasanathar and associated with a planetary deity. The temple is associated with the planet Saturn. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
About The Temple
The temple is originally believed to be built by the Pandya king, Chandrakula Pandya, who ruled over the regions of Madurai. He built the central shrine and vimana of the temple. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The temple has a flat gateway tower. Unlike most other South Indian temples that have a pyramidal entrance tower. The temple was originally built by Chandrakula Pandya Vijayanagar and Nayak kings commissioned pillared halls and major shrines of the temple during the 16th century. The temple has artistic sculptures representative of Nayak art. The idol of Kailasanathar in the form of Lingam is housed in the sanctum. The shrine of Sivakami is housed in a west facing shrine. The shrine also houses the images of Vinayaka, Subramanya, Veerabhadra, Rishabandika, and Nataraja on the walls. There are two sculptures of Veerabadra and a warrior in the flagstaff hall, which are noteworthy. The west facing shrine adjacent to the flagstaff has a hall with yali pillars, where Nataraja is housed. A guardian deity, by name Bhoothanathar is one of the major shrines in the temple. The image of Bhoothanathar is made of wood and the deity is given the primary role during the Chittirai Brahmotsavam festival. It is believed that during historic times, the templestaff used to surrender the keys of the temple in front of Bhoothanathar who used to protect the temple.
Legend and Stories
As per legend, sage Urosamar floated a set of flowers in Tamiraparani River and the sixth flower reached the shore at this place. The sage established a temple for Kailasanathar. The lingam, the iconic form of Shiva in the temple is believed to an aspect of Shani, one of the planetary deities. The flagstaff of the temple is believed to have been brought from Devi Kanya Kumari in Kanniyakumari. The Nataraja in this temple is called Santhana Sababathi (anointed with sandal). The temple forms a series of Navagraha temples in the banks of Tamiraparani river where each of the nine planetary deities are considered to reside in one temples. The temples are classified as Nava Kailasam and the presiding deity of all the nine temples is Kailasanathar. The temple is associated with the planetShani (Saturn) and considered sixth in the series of the nine temples. Kumaraguruparar, a saint of the 18th century and who got his speech at Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, was born at this place.
The Brahmotsavam festival celebrated during the Tamil months of Chittirai (April - May) and Aippasi (October - November) are the most prominent festivals of the temple. Other festivals like Sivarathri, Arattu festival, Thirukalyanam (sacred marriage) and Kanthasasthi are the other festivals celebrated. The Thirukalyanam festival is attended by thousands of devotees in the region.
Poojas and Rituals
The temple follows Saivite tradition. The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Kalasanthi at 8:30 a.m., Uchikalam at 11:30 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Aravanai Pooja between 8:00 – 8:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Kailasanathar and Sivakami. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.
People visit the temple to pray to the Lord to fulfil their wishes and gain prosperity and get relief from unfavourable influence (Dosha). Those who are affected by Sani Dosha pray to Sri Kailasanathar and Sri Sani to get the curse relieved. It is a belief that this is equal to Thirunallaru Sani Bhagavan temple.
The nearest airport is in Tuticorin. There is a direct train between Chennai and Srivaikuntam. It is best to take Tiruchendur Exp from Chennai to Srivaikuntam. There is no direct bus between Chennai and Srivaikuntam. The nearest major bus terminal is at Tuticorin.
Sri Kailasanathar Temple, Nava Kailayam, Kailasanathar Temple Road, Near Sannathi Street, Srivaikuntam Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu – IN, Pincode – 628601
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple is open from 06:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 04:00 pm to 07:00 pm on all days except during festival days when it is open the full day.