Shiva Temples of Tamilnadu

Thevaara Paadal Petra Shivasthalangal

Kutralaanathar Temple, Kuttralam

Temple Information
Location of the templeKutralam near Tenkasi
Deity known asKuttralanathar, Kurumpalanathar, Trikootanathar, Trikootachaleshwarar
Female deity known asKuzhalvoi Mozhiammai
PathigamSambandar - 2
How to reach The temple is situated approximately 5 kilometers away from Tenkasi, which is well-connected to other parts of Tamilnadu by road and rail. One can easily reach Tenkasi by bus from Madurai and Tirunelveli, with bus services available from Tenkasi to Kutralam. Trains numbered 16101 & 12661 from Chennai Egmore, and train number 20683 from Tambaram, go to Senkottai, which is 7 kilometers away from Kutralam.
Temple addressArulmighu Kuttralanathar Temple
Kutralam Post
Tenkasi Taluk
Tirunelveli District
PIN 627802
Shakthi PeetamParashakthi Peetam
Panch SabhaChitra Sabha

Temple legend - According to the SkandaPurana, Sage Agasthya transformed Mahavishnu to Shiva and worshipped Him at this particular location. During the celestial wedding of Shiva and Parvathy at Kailash, the combined weight of all who had assembled to witnesses the wedding, caused the earth's balance in the North/South direction to be disrupted. To restore the balance, Shiva instructed Sage Agasthya to travel south, promising that he would be able to witness the wedding. Agasthya arrived at the 'podhigai' hills, bathed in the nearby waterfalls, and proceeded to a nearby temple. However, he was denied entry into the temple because it was a Vaishnav Temple and Agasthya was not a 'Vaishnav'. Disturbed by this, Agasthya went to 'Ilanji' and prayed to God Muruga. Lord Muruga advised Agasthya to disguise himself as a Vaishnav and enter the temple, where he would then witness the wedding scene.

See also:- Places visited by Sage Agasthya in his journey to south - 1) Tirupanankattur, 2) Tirukallil, 3 Tiruvotriyur, 4) Tiruverkaadu, 5) Tiruvanmiyur. 6) Achirupakkam

Agasthya went into the temple and saw an idol of Vishnu in the sanctum sanctorum. Upon closing his eyes and placing his hand on the idol's head while praying to Shiva, the idol of Vishnu shrank and became a Shiva Linga. Agasthiya was also granted a divine vision of the celestial wedding during this transformative moment. The Linga bore the impression of Agathiyar's five fingers as he pressed the former Vishnu idol. It is believed that just as Vishnu's idol became a linga, Sridevi was transformed into a Kuzhalvaimozhi Ammai and Bhudevi into Parashakti.

Temple Layout - The temple is located at the base of a scenic hill, approximately 5000 feet high, known as Trikutamalai. It covers an area of about 3.5 acres and is shaped like a conch with four entrances. Originally built in the shape of a conch as a dedication to Vishnu, the temple still retains its conch-like structure and can be seen from the surface of the waterfall on the way to the Senbhadevi temple on Thirukkutala Hill. Trikootanath, also known as Kurdalanathar, is the main deity of the temple and faces east as a self-manifested Linga. Adjacent to the main deity, on the right side, is the shrine of Kuzhalvaimozhiyammai Sannidhi, which also faces east. Within the circumambulating path of the temple, there is the Parashakti Peetam, believed to have been consecrated by Agasthiya. Along the narrow path, one can find the shrines of Adhikhara Nandi, Surya, Kumbhamuni, the Goshta idol of Dakshinamurthy, Vinayaka, and Sapthamatha. Additionally, there are shrines dedicated to Panchaboothalingams, Nannakaraperumal, Subramaniyar, and Sanibhagavan.

The Kutralanathar Temple holds a special place among the five Sabhas dedicated to Lord Nataraja, known as the Chitra Sabha. Situated approximately 1 km away from the Kutralanathar Temple, the Chitra Sabha stands as a separate temple within the encompassing wall. Adjacent to it lies a small pond called Theppakulam. One cannot miss the opportunity to witness the exquisite wooden carvings that adorn the Chitra Sabha, leaving visitors in awe. The roof of this wooden temple bears a striking resemblance to the roof of the renowned Chidambaram temple. Inside the Chitra Sabha, there are two halls, each with its own unique features. The first hall is adorned with numerous windows, allowing ample natural light to illuminate the space. In the center of this hall, a small stage is erected, which serves as a platform for Lord Nataraja during the auspicious day of Tiruvadhirai. The second hall, on the other hand, captivates visitors with its beautifully painted walls. These intricate paintings depict all 64 Thiruvilayadals, or divine plays, performed by Lord Shiva. The vibrant colors and attention to detail in these paintings leave spectators in awe, making it difficult to choose which one to admire the most. Additionally, the sculpture of Natarja within the Chitra Sabha faces south, whereas the Chitra Sabha itself faces east.

Kuttralam Temple Photos

Temple view
Temple entrance
Prahara (corridor)
Saptha Matha