(Last Updated on : 22/01/2009)
Tiruppainneeli Neelakantar temple is one of the seven Saptastanam Temples in Tiruppainneeli. Here Shiva is called Aranya Vitankar. It is considered to be the 61st in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located north of the river Kaveri.
Legends of Tiruppainneeli Neelakantar temple :
Shiva blessed Vasishtar with a vision of the cosmic dance and the Ratna Sabha. Shiva blessed Tirunavukkarasar with a sumptuous meal on a banana leaf here. It is here that Yama worshipped Shiva, to retrieve his power over mortal souls, after Shiva vanquished his powers at Tirukkadavur in saving Markandeyan.
Tiruppainneeli Neelakantar temple structure:
This is a vast temple with four prakarams, a 100-pillared hall, and a Vinayaka Vasanta mandapam among other mandapams. The third prakaram houses Sorudaiya Eeswarar and Viswanathar. The second prakaram houses the stalavriksham.. The outer walls of the temple have been built with a rock that has the texture and feel of a tiger's skin. There are two shrines dedicated to Ambal here. There are no navagraham, and there just nine pits adjacent to the Dwajasthampam. The vast tank to the north of the temple is called Deva Theertham, while Vishala Theertham is a well. There is a shrine to Yama in the third prakaram. Inscriptions dating from the period of Rajendra Cholan and his descendants are also seen in this temple.
Tiruppainneeli Neelakantar temple Festivals:
Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai. Appar's association with Shiva here is celebrated even today in the month of Chittirai (Aries) - Avittam.