THIRUNELLI TEMPLE OF WAYANAD
Thirunelli temple is one of the ancient Hindu temples in Kerala, India. This temple is located in the forest region of Brahmagiri ranges which is very close to Western Ghats. According to Hindu believes this temple was built by Lord Brahma. The Idol of the temple is Lord Vishnu. As per Mahabharatha, the holy book of Hindus, Lord Vishnu is dignified as the uppermost deity. This temple is also known as 'Kashi of the South'. Thirunelli is known for rites that is offered to the departed souls. Thirunelli temple is surrounded by four big mountain ranges, Udayagiri range at east , Brahmagiri Range at north, Karimala range at west and Narinirangimala rages at south. This temple is located in Thirunelly village, Wayanad district (Kerala State).
History. According to historians, Thirunelli Temple is more than Three thousand years old and it was an important pilgrim center up to 16th century. The Malayalam works of 11th and 12th century like "Unniyachi Charitham" has references about the place. During the archaeological survey copper plate inscriptions of 10th and 11th century belonging to the period of Bhaskara Ravi Varma I and II have been discovered. Mr William Logan, the author of the book Malabar Manuel mentions the name of Thirunelli in his works. Conducting rituals in Thirunelli is emancipation for the departed souls is ultimate. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and sub deities of Ganapathy and Nagam.
Papanasini. Papanasini is a mountain stream which originates from Brahmagri ranges about a kilometer away form the temple. The word Papanasini means cleansing sins. It is believed that Papanasini is a tributary of river Ganga (the holy river of India) and have the power to wash away all the sins. As per Hindu believes Parasurama, the seventh incarnation of lord Vishnu visited Thirunelli and performed last rites for his dead father. He took a dip in Papanasini to atone for his sin of killing Kshathriyas who is responsible for the death of his father Jamadagni.
Gundika Siva temple. The Gundika Siva temple is a cave temple near by Papanasini. It is believed that Gundika Shiva temple is as old as Vishnu temple. Legend says once a hungry man plucked a fruit from a goose berry tree and left it on the banks of the river Papanasini while bathing. After the bath he came out of the river but only to see that the fruit had turned into a Sivalinga. This is the story behind the Gundika Siva temple which is is located alongside of Papanasini.
Panchatheertham. Panchatheertham is the sacred pond of Thrunelli Temple. This pond is located near the Papanashini stream. It is believed that five rivers meets at Panchatheertham in ancient period. The pond is surrounded by dense bushes and there is a stone slab in the center with the feet impression of Lord Vishnu. In the summer this pond become dry.
Rites. Thirunelli temple is known for rites that is offered to the departed souls. The rituals begins early in the morning at around 5 o'clock. it may continue all the day. The ritual is done in small batches and it begin with a prayer in the main temple. The devotees assembled in the banks of Papanashini and a man from Brahmin cast, who is conversant with Hindu rituals will recite the hymns in Sanskrit language.
Thirunelli temple is an ideal spiritual tour spot of Wayanad, its typical Kerala architecture is the main attraction to the visitors. Thirunelli temple is also known as Amalaka temple and Sidha temple. The temple timings is from 0530AM to 0800PM.