Sri Sankaralingaswami (Sankara Narayanar) temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Sankaralingam. It is located in Sankarankoil, Tirunelveli Distict in Tamil Nadu. The Temple was built in the 11th century by the Pandya king, Ukkirapandia. This temple also gives the town its name, Sankarankoil. The temple has a 9 tier Rajagopuram. The ant-hill sand is offered as Prasad which the sick consume along with water for cure. Devotees facing problems due to the presence of poisonous creatures in their houses as lizards, scorpions and snakes offer silver pieces embossed with the images of such creatures for solution.
Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu grace the devotees together from the sanctum sanctorum. During March and September months, the rays of Sun fall on Sankaralingam for three days from 21st of the respective months.
There is a holy tank inside the temple. People who take a bath in this holy tank, adore ant-hill earth on their body and offer holy prayers to the preisiding deities of this Temple have a permanent relief from all sorts of dreadful deseases. Shiva lingams usually represent one particular natural element. This temple is considered to be representing one of the five elements (Nilam/Land/Prithvi) in this area, the other being Nallur (Agni), Tharukapuram (Neer/Water/Jal), Thenmalai (Vayu) and Devathaanam (Agayam/Sky/Akash). Sankarankovil is the second largest town in the district. It is very noted for the “Adi Thapasu” festival.
In the 11th century the ruler Ukkirapandia ruled Ukkirankottai. He used to go over to Madurai for dharsan of Lord Arulmigu Somasundarar. One day when he was priceeding to Madurai for worship God Arulmigu Somasundarar, The Elephant tusked the earth on the way and plunged into a pit. At that time Manikireevan, the watchman of Punnai forest came there and told the king “O king, here is a mountain in the forest of Punnai.When the anti-hill was demolished there appeared a tail less cobra. Its strength is not explained. It belongs to the God. After hearing this, the king rushed to the forest and saw Shiva Lingam by the side of the ant- hill to his over whelming happiness. Then he had a bath in the Nagasunai (holy tank) and worshipped the God. The king destroyed the forest in the vicinity of the ant – hill, constructed this Temple with Mandapams, Gopuram and Compound walls. In the 12th century king Seevalaramapandian constructed the Rajagopuram and front Mandapam. This temple has three important sannadhis with in its premises.
According to the legend one of the great devotees of Lord Shankan, a Nagar king, another king ‘Paduman’ Devoted to Lord Vishnu. Both are always fighting against which god in the midst of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. They came to goddess Parvathi. To both of them to tell the truth Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu displayed Parvathi observed penance and appealed to them to show the word with the unified appearance of both.As a result Shiva and Vishnu appearedVishnu represents ‘Sankara Narayanan’ (Shankara Shiva and Narayan). Acceding to the wish of Ambal Lord Shiva appeared as Sankara Lingam.Two Naga kings worshiped Sankara Lingam for long time. Many years later the Linga was anthill. The kings of the Naga were inside.A devotee tried to put down the anthil and while doing so he accidentally cut the snake’s tail. Blood is frozen. The devotee was alarmed and peeped into the anthill and found the lingam. Then king Pandya heard this message, built a temple for the Lord.
Morning 5.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Evening 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
- April / May – Chitthirai Bramorshavam Festival
- July / August – Aadi Thapasu Festival
- September/October – Navarashtri Festival
- October – Kandhasasti Festival
- October – Aippasi Thirukkalyaanam Festival
- December/January – Thiruvempavai Festival
- February – Theppam Floating Festival ( Thai Last Friday)
Sankarankovil is situated between Rajapalayam and Thirunelveli road and is well connected by transport bus services from major towns. Also 120 km from Madurai, 30 km from Rajapalayam and 56 km from Tirunelveli.
The Nearest Railway station to Sankarankovil is Kadaynallur which is located in and around 21.5 kilometer distance.There is daily one express train Chennai to Shencottah through Sankarankovil.
The Nearest Airport to Nelayappar Temple is Tuticorin Airport.
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