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Thirupanjali Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple

It is a long-familiar fact that most of the historic temples and 'parihara sthalams' (remedial temples) are located in the malaikottai maanagaram of Tiruchirappalli in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Starting from the world’s largest functioning Hindu temple in Srirangam (Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple) to the rare Sri Brahmmapureeswarar Temple, which is one among the very few Hindu temples in all of South India, dedicated to Lord Brahma. Tiruchirappalli is dotted with far-famed religious sites, across the length and breadth of the region, which receive scores of pilgrims from all over the globe, irrespective of the seasons.

The Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple, located at Thiruppaingneeli (often written as Thirupanjali) in Mannachanallur Taluk of Tiruchirappalli is one among the most-visited Hindu temples in the region. This antique Hindu temple is one among the 275 Paadal Petra Sivasthalangal and Lord Shiva here offers his blessings in the name of Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar. Thirupanjali Shiva Temple is just 25.6 km away from the city center of Trichy, 5.1 km away from the notable Thiruvellarai Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple and 17.9 m away from the Trichy Chatram Bus Stand. The temple is easily accessible from Manachanallur as mini-buses are operated at regular intervals. Let's get to know more about the significance of the Thirupanjali Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple in detail.

Significance of Thirupanjali Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple

Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple Deities

Thirupanjali Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple is one among the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams and is popularly called as 'South Kailash' and 'Melai Chidambaram' by the devotees of Lord Shiva. This holy abode of Lord Shiva is intricately glorified by the Saiva poet-saints Thirugyana Sambandar, Appar Tirunavukkarasar Nayanar and Sundarar in their divine literary compositions. The Thirupanjali Temple is the 61st sivalayam, situated on the southerly bank of River Cauvery that is named in the Saiva devotional verse of Tevaram. Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar (Lord Shiva), the presiding deity of this temple is a Swayambhu Murthy (self-manifested) deity and is called by several names which include
  • Gneelivaneswarar (most common name)
  • Paramasambu
  • Aaraniya Vallaver
  • Kathali Vasanthar
  • Eluthariya Peruman      
  • Sorudiya Eswarar
Entrance of Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple

Legend has it that Lord Shiva defeated Yamadharman (Lord of Death) in Thirukadaiyur (Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu), in order to rescue the distinguished rishi Markandeya, from the grip of death. As the 'lord of death' Yamadharma himself lifeless, people were not subjected to death and the world turned overly populated. People stopped going to temple and poojas were stopped all over. Goddess Bhumadevi (Mother Earth) could not endure the burden of the Earth, which is full of immortal population.
Incomplete Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple Tower

On the other hand, the Thirupanjali Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple was functioning as was common and daily poojas were not discontinued at all. Hence, Goddess Bhumadevi along with the creator and protector of the universe, Lord Brahma and Lord Mahavishnu and several other devotees of Lord Shiva visited Thirupanjali temple. They pleaded Lord Shiva to give rebirth to Yamadharma. Their prayers were answered that Lord Shiva offered a new birth to Yamadharma on the day of Thaipoosam, through 'pilathuvaram'.

Second Tower at Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar Temple

There are several others who received blessings of Lord Shiva in this temple, who include Lord Indra (King of the Gods), Kamadhenu aka Surabhi (Mother of Cows), Sheshanaga aka Adishesha (King of all Nagas), Lord Vayu Deva (Lord of the Winds), Lord Agni (god of Fire), Lord Rama, Arjuna (3rd of the Pandava Brothers), Saint-poet Appar, Sage Vashishta, Soothamamunivar and so on. The main temple tower (rajagopuram) of this temple was constructed by the Pandyan king Sundara Pandyan and the tower is not completed fully.

The second tower is called as the 'Ravana Vayil' and just before the entrance is the rare shrine of Yamadharma. The lord of death is in the form of a child as he got his new birth here. The Yamadharma sannadhi is in a cave under the ground level. Devotees offer special poojas to Yamadharma, seeking longevity. Another small sannadhi of Lord Shiva is located close to the second temple tower and the deity here is called as Sorudiya Eswarar. Another unique feature of this temple is that there is no separate shrine for Navagrahas is found. The nine steps leading from the second temple tower are regarded as the Navagrahas that were at the dictation of Ravana.

The primary deity of Gneelivaneswarar (Lord Shiva) offers his blessings in the sanctum sanctorum and there are two separate sannadhis present for goddesses, Arulmigu Visalakshi Amman and Arulmigu Neela Nedunkann Amman. There is a separate sannadhi for Ravanan is also present in this temple.


Presiding Deity (Moolavar): Arulmigu Gneelivaneswarar
Goddess (Amman/Thayar): Visalakshi, Neelnedungannayaki
Temple Tree (Sthala Virutcham): Kalvazhai (Plantain tree)
Temple Tanks (Theertham): Visalakshi, Yama, Kalyana, Agni, Deva, Appar and  Maniankarunai
Agamam (Pooja): Kameekam
Vimanam (Tower above Sanctum Sanctorum): Badra Vimanam
Name of the Vinayagar in this Temple: Vasantha Vinyagar

Location and Contact Information:
Arulmigu Gneeliwaneswarar Temple
Thiruppaingneeli (Po), Mannachanallur Taluk, Thiruchirapalli Dist, Tamil Nadu
Pin Code - 621005
Phone Number: 0431-2902654/2902655
Email: eothiruppaingneeli@gmail.com

Temple Timings:
6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM

Parihara Timings:
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 4 PM to 5:30 PM

During three days in the Tamil month of Puratasi (6th, 7th and 8th) and three days of Panguni (6th, 7th and 8th), the sun light will precisely fall on the deity of Lord Shiva

Important Festivals:
Chithirai festival, Aadi 18, Aipasi annabishekam, Karthikai  deepam, Thiruvathirai, Ekadashi, Thai Theerthavizha, Maasi mahasivaratri, Panguni utharam and so on

Transport Information:

Nearest Bus Stand:
Chatram Bus Stand, Trichy - 17.9 km
(via MDR823, SH 62 and Salem - Namakkal - Trichy Road/Trichy Chennai Trunk Road)

Nearest Airport:
Tiruchirapalli International Airport (IATA: TRZ, ICAO: VOTR) - 28.1 km
(via MDR823 and Grand Southern Trunk Road/NH45)

Nearest Railway Station:
Srirangam Raiway Station (Station Code: SRGM)
(via MDR823 and SH 62)

Nearby Places of Interest:
Arulmigu Uthamar Kovil - 12.9 km
Srirangam Sri Renganatha Swamy Temple - 16.4 km
Thirupattur Sri Brahmapureeswarar Temple - 28.6 km
Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswarar Temple - 16.1 km
Thiruvellarai Sri Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple - 5.1 km
Vayalur Murugan Temple - 30.9 km
Woraiyur Vekkaliamman Temple - 21.4 km
Amma Mandapam Ghat - 17.3 km
Rock Fort Ucchi Pillaiyar Kovil - 18.7 km
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple - 12.9 km
Trichy Government Museum - 19.4 km
Srirangam Kaatazhagiya Singaperumal Kovil - 16 km
Our Lady of Lourdes Church - 19.3 km

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