Srivilliputtur, Shankaranayanar koil, Tenkashi, Kutralam, Tirunalveli, Tiruchendur and Totadri

                  Srivilliputtur: Famed for Rangamannar Mandir, this Place is some 16 km from Viruddhunagar the birthplace of Perialwar Vishnuchitta Swami, whose daughter Andal or Godamba, stated to be of Devi Lakshmi’s Manifestation. This hallowed Place is the abode of Ranganatha / Ranga Mannar as affectionately popular. The Ranganatha Mandir is known for wall paintings depicting Bhagavat Leelas and Incidents of Maha Bharata. At the Sanctum of the Temple are the Idols of Ranganatha and Godamba. At this Temple itelf is situated another Mandir underneath which is the Murti of Bhagavan Nrisimha and on the upper level is Seshashayi Vishnu with Devi Lakshmi at his feet, besides Vatapatrashaayi Murti in the company of Garuda Deva and of Maharhis like Durvasa. Nearby the Rangmannar Temple is a Sarovar where Andal Devi used to bathe. Some distance away is Shiva Linga Vishwanatha and a separate Parvati Mandir, where Shiva Ratri Festival is observed. Further to the Shiva Temple is stuated a Lord Venkateshwara Mandir with Sridevi and Bhudevis. Shankarnarayana Koil is a unique presentation of Shankara and Narayana as half body parts as in the concept of Arthanareeshvara of Shiva- Parvati; interestingly the Hari-Hara Deva Idol is installed in between the two separate Murtis of Shankara and Narayana!

         Tenkashi: is some 50 km from Virudhnagar, known as Dakshina Kashi, where there is Kashinatha Linga is installed; unfortunetely, the gopura of the central part of the Temple was hit by a lightning since reconstucted; the Mandapa outside the Gopura displays Idols of Veerabhadra, Bhairava, Kamadeva, Devi Rati, Venugopala, Nataraja, Shiva Tandava, etc. are on display as these Idols are large in size attracting ready attention. Besides the Shiva Linga, there is a big Mandir of Devi Parvati seperately. From Tenkashi within about a km are the well -known Kutralam Water Falls among the picturesque settings of Western Ghats, especially the pride of Tirunalvelli Dt. in Tamilnadu. Tha Water Falls are plenty but the major ones of a maximum height are of some 520 ft and they all originate from Tambaraparani River besides many seasonal rivers. The best months to enjoy the visits are from June-September as the climate changes with excessive rains and floods. The falls classified are the major, medium and minor ones and those major ones approachable are of the heights mentioned. A number of yatris are attracted by several temples and worship places but tourists with families have facilities of boat houses, snake parks, aquaria, children parks and resorts.

   Tirunelveli:On the banks of Tamraparni is a Place of significant Temples, mainly the Nilappaleshwara Shankara Mandir, Varadaraja Mandir, Subramanya Mandir, and Kantimati Amba (Devi Parvati) Mandir. Actually, the Shankara Mandir is the prime Temple comprising the Nilappaleshwara Swayambhu Maha Linga and its second part is Parvati Mandir. Yatris first perform snaanas first at Tampraparni and worship Shankara and then into theParvati mandir, where after the Subramanya. Outside this Temple complex is the Teppakullam Sarovara, Sahasra Stambha Mandapa; right opposite the Main Temple are two golden pillars and a big Nandi Murti Indeed the Prime Temple Complex is the dominating factor in the Township.From Tirunalveli to Amba Samudra Station of about 18-20 km is Paapa nashana Tirtha where Tamaraparna falls by 50 feet approx from mountains and that Kund indeed is Paapannashana. Shiva Purana and Kurma Purana both eulogize the Mahatmmy of this Tirtha is the destroyer of all sins after taking dipsj in this Tirtha.

             Tiruchendur is among the Five most famous and Sacred Subrahmanya Tirthas in Bharat, viz. Swami Malai, Tiruttani, Tiru- chendur, Palani and Tirukundram.Tiruchendur is on the shores of the Sea and normally yatris perform Samudra Snana before entering this Sacred Kshetra, which has a large Mandapa after crossing which only the Main Temple unfolds the Lord’s darshan. The Golden Murti of the Lord Swami Kartikeya is indeed brilliant both in terms readily arresting features and shape as also the artistic attraction readily experiencing inner vibration of feelings.

             Tothadri / Nanganeri: From Tirunalveli to one of this extraordinary Vaishnva Kshetras of Dakshia Bharata, near to the heart of Ramanujacharya is Tothadri which is some 12-13 km.This is one of the prime Moola Peethas of Ramanujacharya whose Upa danda, Kashthasana or the Seat on which he sat, the Shankha-Chakra Mudras as always cherished by him are still preserved. The legendary belief is that at the Pushkarini Tirthanat this Place, devotees while performing snaana-anushthaana discovered the Sri Murti of Bhagavan. The Vigraha of Vishnu Bhagavan as seated under the care of’Sesha phana Chhatra’or the Umbrella of Sesha Naaga hoods along with the Murtis of Sri Devi and Bhu Devi was then installed and regular ‘Tailabhishekas’ are performed and half the oils so used is deposited in the Pushkarni which is taken by bhaktas for curing several incurable skin and other diseases borne by wind and indigestion since the waters of Pushkarini have herbal values added to the oil from the Abhishekas.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]