Kasi Viswanathar Temple Tenkasi

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2016

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We reached Tenkasi at about 8 pm. Just behind temple meaning 6 minute walk we got a good hotel for Rs 1,000/ per night. This temple has only one Gopuram as you see, very impressive. Gatekeeper insisted I wear a Dhoti so had to go to hotel and get it. "Lord Shiva graces in the temple as a swayambumurthi. Worshipping the Lord in this temple is as equal to worshipping the Lord in Kashi."

Just the gopuram. "Presiding deity Lord Kasi Viswanatha is visible to the devotee even from a distance of one Km. While Mother Durga faces South in almost all temples, She faces west in this temple." I missed darshan at the Durga Mandir. No cameras allowed inside temple, very strict.

Founder of the temple Parakrama Pandian 1454 A.D. "About 700 years ago, King Parakrama Pandiya was taking up a pilgrimage to Kasi as and when he desired to worship Lord Viswanatha. The Lord appeared in his dream that he could build a temple here itself to avoid a long journey to north. He advised the king to follow the movement of ants row and build the temple where it ended. "

"The ant-line ended on the banks Chitraru River dense with Shenbaga trees. He found a swayambulinga near an anthill and built the temple as directed by the Lord. The tower of the temple was simply flat till the year 1967. In the year 1990, a tower, as tall as 180 feet was very artistically built and the temple looks quite majestically now." Left of pic is a Ganesha mandir.

It was Pongal time. During the month of Margazhi (dec15-jan15) it is customary for women in Tamil Nadu to get up early in the morning and draw the KOLAM in front of the house. Took this pic on my way to temple.

Base of the gopuram is made of stone and has images as you see. "The temple is noted for Murthy (deity), Thalam (holiness of the place) and threertham the holy water attributed to the temple. The Presiding deity is Sri Kasi Viswanatha with Mother Ulgamman. Shenbagam tree and Kasi theertham add to the importance of the temple."

Images on right of entrance.

Close up of gopuram left side. Has images of Ganesha, Nataraja amongst others.

Close up of gopuram right side. Has images of Siva/Parvati, Kartikeya etc.

Close up centre part of gopuram. Very imposing structure.

Close up top - note the Kirti Mukhas on all sides, to keep away evil spirits.

Temple entrance.

Entrance mythical animal. Whilst driving out of town got to see old stone structures. Was told that the original temple extended to that area - with time the area became part of town with temple area reduced to what it is today.

Experienced this a bit. Loved this temple, something very special about it. Truly felt like had gone to Kashi Vishwanath Mandir in the north.

Temple entrance. 3 images centre is Siva Parvati, left is Ganesha, right is Kartikeya. Below that u can see faintly see sculptures on left an right. Their beauty is known world over. "The twin sculptures – the Veerabadras, Thandavamurthis, two Tamil Mothers, Rathi and Manmatha (the cupid and his beautiful wife Rathi), single sculptures as Lord Vishnu and Kali Devi are noted for their exquisite beauty. " Unfortunately not allowed to take pics. To see pics of some sculptures Click here

Left is Durga mandir, right is main temple. More about sculptures "Kali towers in all her ferocity. To stand in front of the statue for a long time gives an unnerving experience." To read more about the amazing sculptures Click here

View of gopuram from north east side. Unfortunately very few stone images in niches.

North side view of gopuram. "Rare and endangered species of plants have been conserved in the temple premises. Asoka (Saraca indica) a rare ornamental and medicinal plant that has found mention in the Red data book is well maintained."

There is a three headed person at every level in the centre. Level one standing, other levels sitting. Please tell who is person. To see pics of Kandariya Mahadeva Mandir Khajuraho Click here

Close up of top part of gopuram. At top with two eyes is Kirti Mukha to keep away evil spirits. Temple serves meals at lunch time. According to this site devotees visit here for peace of mind and to get benefits of pilgrimage. Link has Shlokhas in Sanskrit and English Click here

Gopuram view south side. Here image in centre is that of a man with a musical instrument. Level one standing, other levels sitting. Please help with who is person.

South east view of gopuram, 6 kms away is Coutrallam Waterfalls. Was told there was little water, it being month of January, so skipped. To read about Chitra''s pilgrimage to temple Click here

Shop outside temple is where saw many locals come for early morning coffee, idli and vada. It is like a place where friends meet to chat. To see pics of Gangai konda cholapuram temple Click here

Vertical view of gopuram ie 180 feet high. To see pics of Kailasa Mandir KanchipuramClick here

Co traveller Rahul trying to put away a local person who was selling local dhotis. He eventually bought three. To read a good travelogue on temple Click here

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