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  • Nellai Nellaiappar Gandhimathi Temple
  • Nellai Nellaiappar Gandhimathi Temple
  • Nellai Nellaiappar Gandhimathi Temple
  • Nellai Nellaiappar Gandhimathi Temple
  • Nellai Nellaiappar Gandhimathi Temple

Nellai Nellaiappar Gandhimathi Shiva Temple

Tirunelveli, TamilNadu
(SKU: TN72/1065)
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This shrine is found in the core of Tirunelveli city, which can be found in the Indian state, Tamil Nadu. Before the town was developed, there was a forest containing bamboo plants that existed in that spot, because of which the town was earlier referred to by the name, Venuvanam. This shrine is well known all over the South Indian state, for its melodic columns and beautiful stone carvings, it is also said to have a rich history, and it is said to be the biggest among the shrines that are situated in the South Indian states.
Records say that both the towers, the gopurams were constructed by Muluthukanda Rama Pandiya, whereas King Nindraseer Nedumaran, who governed the area during the seventh century, erected the remaining significant elements of the shrine. He built the mani mandap, when he was presiding over the area in the seventh century itself. Earlier, the shrines of Kanthimathi as well as that of Nellaiappar were actually two separate structures, and there was some distance between them. However, two shrines were linked or connected to each other, by the help of a chain mandap, in the year 1647, by Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyan, who was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. One can see a flower garden, which was developed by Thiruvengadakrishna Mudaliar that is located in the western part of the chain mandap, and was constructed in the year 1756. There is a square shaped vasantha mandap, held together by hundred beams, which can be found in the middle of the flower garden. The Nandi Mandap is said to have erecte by Sivanthiappa Nayak, and the flagpole that is located at a close distance from it was built in the year 1155. One is able to view in all their beauty, many inscriptions that are made of stone, inside the shrine. The most well known out of the many are those of Rajendran I and Kulothonha Chola I. Kulasekkara Pandiyan's inscriptions tell us that he won the battles that he fought against the kings that belonged to the Chola, Hoysala and the Chera dynasties. He was the one who erected the outer walls of the shrine, using the money that he acquired when he won the wars.
This shrine sprawls over a large area of land, those visiting the shrine are awestruck by its beauty and its intricate details. The musical beams which are located in the mandap, produce beautiful music when they are struck. A hall which comprises of thousand beams called the Somvara mandap as well as the Tambra sabha, which is characterized by beautiful work of wood as well as the vasantha mandap are the highlights of this shrine. The mandaps are decorated with several huge sculptures which seem almost life like the most beautiful of them all can be found in the chain mandap, which connects or links the two temples with each other.
Important festivals such as those of Navaratri, Tirukalyanam are celebrated here between the months of November and December. A lot of people visit this temple during the festival of Arudra Darisanam, the carriage that is used in the shrine is rather huge, and holds a close second spot, to the one that is found in the temple of Tiruvarur. There is a golden colored car that belongs to the shrine and it is usually taken out during important celebrations like those of Karthikai and Aruthra.
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