Kanthimathi Nellaiyappar Temple is the well known twin temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi (Kanthimathi Ammai) and Lord Shiva ( Nellaiyappar - the Protector of Paddy). Covering an area of 14 acres, it is the biggest temple in Tamil Nadu situated in the heart of the city on the banks of river Taamiraparni at a distance of 2kms from the railway station. The temple, believed to be built by the Pandyas in the 13C was entirely remodeled and extended in 17C - 18C. Some of the inscriptions in the temple dates back to 950A.D. The temple is also known as one of the 5 Pancha Sabhas (dance halls) of Nataraja (lord Shiva); the others being at Chidambaram, Madurai, Tiruvalankadu and Kutralam.

Taamira Sabhai :

A copper dance hall, known as Tamra sabha which is made of wonderful woodwork is located within the temple. Lord Nataraja and Sivakami are worshipped here during the Arudra Darisanam festival, celebrated in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Dec 15 - Jan 15). Behind the dance hall, there are shrines of Sandana Sabhapati (Natraja adorned with sandal paste) and Periya Sabhapati where religious services are done only on special occasions. 

Within the temple premises near the sanctum sanctorium, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Nellai Govindan) where his idol can be seem in a lying posture. It was built on a belief that Lord Vishnu had visited Thirunelveli to solemnize the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvathi. The temple is one of the five sacred places in Saiva religion, worth seeing for its beautiful sculptures, musical pillars, valuable jewels, a golden lily tank and a thousand pillared mandapa. 

 

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