Friday Jun 14, 2024

Thiruvaleeswararm Valisvara Temple, Thirunelveli

Address

Thiruvaleeswararm Valisvara Temple, Thirunelveli

Valisvaram, near Brahmadesam,

Ambasamudram, Thirunelveli district,

Tamil Nadu 627418

Moolavar

Vaalinathar, Valeeswarar

Amman

Soundarya Nayaki

Introduction

The Valisvara Temple in Thiruvalisvaram, Tamil Nadu, is a magnificent example of Chola architecture, built during the early part of the 10th century AD. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its remarkable artistic features.

Puranic Significance:

  • The Valisvara Temple holds puranic significance as it is believed to be associated with the emergence of Swayambu Lingams (self-manifested lingams) of Sivasailam, Thiruvaleeswarar, and Brahmmadesam. These lingams are considered highly sacred, and taking a bath in the River Ghatana and worshipping them is believed to free devotees from their sins.

Special Features:

  • The temple, facing east, is known for its architectural elegance, even though it does not have a tower.
  • It features two sanctums. The main sanctum is dedicated to Vaalinathar (Valeeswarar), housing a large Shiva Linga. The other sanctum is dedicated to Goddess Soundarya Nayaki.
  • Both sanctums have Nandi statues, flagstaffs, and Bali peethas (sacrificial altars) in front of them.
  • In addition to the main deities, the temple includes idols of Ganesha, Subramanya, and the Dvarapalas (door guardians) at the entrance of the Shiva shrine.
  • The temple’s prakara (outer precincts) contains various sculptures and idols, including Surya, Adhikara Nandi, Sapta Matas, Sura Deva, Subramanya, and Bhairava.
  • The vimana (tower) features exquisite carvings, including Bhoota ganas (attendants of Shiva), Rishaba Vahana (Shiva’s mount), Gaja Samhara Murti (Shiva slaying an elephant), Dhakshinamoorthi (a form of Lord Shiva as the Universal Teacher), Ardha Nareeshwarar (the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati), Nataraja (Shiva in his cosmic dance form), and more.
  • The temple is known for its absence of niche images (koshta) around the sanctum, resembling the Pandya architectural style.
  • The temple’s theerthams (sacred water bodies) are the Tamirabarani and Ghatana rivers.
  • A beautiful garden with various plants and trees is located at the backside of the temple, enhancing its overall charm.

Inscriptions:

  • The temple boasts several Chola, Chola-Pandya, and Pandya inscriptions on its walls, which provide historical insights. These inscriptions mention the contributions and grants made during different periods.
  • An inscription by Rajaraja I mentions a gift of land, and another inscription records an agreement among the villagers of Rajaraja Chaturvedimangalam.
  • An inscription refers to Rajarajakesarivarman of Kandalur Salai fame (Rajaraja I) and the sub-division of Rajaraja valanadu.
  • An inscription on a pillar near the bali-pitha records the victories of a Chola army corps called Munru kai mahasenai and mentions that the temple of Thiruvalisvaram was placed under the protection of this army unit.

Festivals:

  • The Valisvara Temple celebrates all Shiva-related festivals with great enthusiasm, making it a hub of religious and cultural activities during these events.

The Valisvara Temple is not only a place of worship but also a testimony to the rich architectural and historical heritage of the region, reflecting the grandeur of Chola craftsmanship.

Century/Period

10th century AD

Managed By

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nearest Bus Station

Valisvaram

Nearest Railway Station

Ambasamudram and Veeravanallur      

Nearest Airport

Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

Location on Map

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