Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi

Ammainathar, Cheranmahadevi

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Ammainathar, facing east


Aavudai Nayaki, facing east

Other Deities

Kanni Vinayakar, Juradevar, Kalabhairava, Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswara, Vinayaka, Adhikara Nandi, Suryan, Chandran, Natarajan, Narasimhar, Saastha, 63 Nayanmar, Saptha Kannigal, Kannimoola Ganapathi, Mahavishnu, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Subramanya with consorts, Gajalakshmi, Saneeswara

Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi is the second of the Nava (9) Kailasha Temples where Lord Shiva represents one each of the Nine Planets. Here he represents the Moon. The others are in Papanasam (Sun), Kodaganallur (Chevvai – Mars), Kunnathur (Raaghu – shadow planet, North Lunar node of the moon) in Tirunelveli District and Murappanadu (Guru – Jupiter), Srivaikuntam ( Sani – Saturn), Thenthiruperai (Budhan – Mercury), Rajapathi (Ketu – shadow planet, South Lunar node of the moon) and Sernthapoomangalam (Sukran – Venus) in Thoothukudi District. Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi is a huge temple with 2 Prakarams. The east-facing Rajagopuram is 5 tiered and is a magnificent structure. The temple is beautifully located on the banks of the Tamiraparani. The God and Goddess are in separate east facing Sanctum Sanctorums. The sanctum sanctorum of the main deity has an inner Prakaram which is reached passing through a corridor, Maha Mantapam, and Ardha Mantapam. Navagrahas are not installed here as the Lord himself is considered as one here, representing the Moon. The temple has many beautiful carvings including that of the legend depicting two sisters (see below in legend section), Sage Romasa, and several other deities and ornamental designs. The corridor of the Goddess shrine also has some beautiful pillars with good carvings. The entire campus has many tall trees and flowering plants. The location is away from the clutter of life and provides a serene and peaceful retreat. A bathing ghat is in front of the Rajagopuram to reach the river. The Lord here is present depicting the Moon (Chandran). There is a beautiful Nataraja made of a single stone and Bhairava without his mount, the dog.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Tamiraparani River

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Aal (Banyan – Ficus benghalensis)


Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi has several inscriptions indicating its antiquity. The details of them are not available as of now.


The Sanctum Sanctorum of Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi is believed to have been constructed by two sisters whose occupation was grinding rice. In spite of their best efforts, they could not save enough money to achieve this and kept praying to the Lord. One day the Lord came to their house as a Brahmin, ate the food offered by them, blessed them, and went. From that day their wealth started growing and the Sanctum Sanctorum was built. A nice carving depicting this is present in one of the pillars in front of the sanctum. Saint Nandanar, a low caste person who was not allowed inside the temple visited Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi and yearned to see the Lord. The Nandi here is believed to have been moved to one side by the Lord for his devotee to see him. Actually, the legend is said to have happened at Thirupunkur Temple also. Sage Romasa is believed to have worshiped the Lord here at Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi.


Ammainathar Cheranmahadevi is 3 kilometers northeast of Cheran Mahadevi bus stand. take a right at the Ramar Temple and continue till the end to take the last left, drive on and reach the temple close to the Railway track and bridge.

Stay and Food

None locally except tea shops. Closest is Tirunelveli or Ambasamudram depending on your travel plan.

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