Kailasanathar Gangaikondan

Kailasanathar, Gangaikondan

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Kailasanathar, facing east


Anandavalli Ambal, facing east

Other Deities

Sthala Vriksha Lingam, Bala Vinayaka, Bala Murugan, main deity Inner Prakaram – 63 Nayanmar, Narthana Ganapathi, Dakshinamurthy, Kalpanathar, Viswanathar, Prithvilingam, Appulingam, Agnilingam, Vayulingam, Agasalingam, Mahalakshmi, Saraswathi, Muruga with consorts, Vamadeva Rishi, Saneeswara, Chandikeswara, Kutravernathar, Gunanathar, Punukusabapathi, Sivagami Ambal, Kalabhairava, Chandran, Adhikara Nandi, Naagar. Goddess Shrine Maha Ganapathi, Dwarapalaka, Vinayaka, Balamuruga, Inner Prakaram – Kanni Vinayakar, Muruga with consorts, Chandikeswari, Periya Vinayakar, 2 Nandis

Kailasanathar Gangaikondan is a large temple with two entrances in the east. The one before the main deity’s Sanctum Sanctorum has a large 5 tiered Rajagopuram, though kept closed. The entrance to the temple is through the large gateway that leads directly to the Goddess Shrine. Both have 2 Prakarams around them. The outer Prakaram runs all around both the shrines of the god and goddess. The inner Prakaram are cirumambulatory paths in both the Sanctum Sanctorum of the main deity and the shrine of the Goddess. There are a number of peafowl in the tree filled campus and it is a beautiful to listen to them and see them frolicking around. The Mahamantapas before the God and goddess shrines are large with huge pillars and wonderful carvings. The Dwarapalakas of the main deity are large and beautiful idols. The main deity is a small Lingam. The Goddess has two Nandi’s facing her. One day in the month of January the Sun’s rays is said to fall on the main deity. There are no Navagrahas here. There is a large temple tank outside the entrance Gopuram occupying almost the entire width of the temple wall. The Chittar River which originates above Tenkasi flows just north of Kailasanathar Gangaikondan. This river is also fed by the nearby Indra Kulam and joins Tamiraparani at Seevalaperi. About 5 kilometers southeast of Kailasanathar Gangaikondan and after the Gangaikondan Railway Station on the Seevalaperi road is an ancient Rock Cut temple for Lord Shiva excavated by the Pandyas. The single sanctum sanctorum is empty, except for the base.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Ganga Theertham (Temple Tank), Kamadhenu Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)


Kailasanathar Gangaikondan was built by the Cholas and later extended by the Pandyas. Kailasanathar Gangaikondan is an ancient temple and has a large number of carvings, particularly in the inner walls of the Goddess’s Shrine. Gangai Kondan (the one who conquered the Ganges) is the title of Rajendra Chola I (1011–44 CE) after his conquests in the northern parts of India. The village was a gift made by him to Brahmans who were to serve the Kailasanathar Gangaikondan temple along with other communities who all had clearly defined tasks. The village is said to have been named Gangaikondaan later by his grandson Kulothunga Chola. A Pandya inscription here (Seevalamara Pandyan – to be confirmed with the actual name) mentions the lord and village in names such as ‘Seevalappa Mangalathu Kailayathu Pattaragar’, ‘Kailayathu Perumal Adigal’, ‘Pandi Nattu Kudikonda Kodi Valanattu Keezha Kalakootrathu Gangai Konda Chola Chaturvedi Mangalathu Kailayamudayar’, ‘Gangai Kondan Udayar’, ‘Kailayamudaya Nainar’, ‘Nachiyar Anandavalliyar’, ‘Sitratrankarai’. From this, it is also understood that Seevalappa Mangalam became Gangai Konda Mangalam and Gangaikondan.

Inscriptions in Vattezhuthu (ancient Tamil script which is said to have disappeared around the 10th Century CE), were found near Kailasanathar Gangaikondan. The inscriptions mention Sundara Pandiyan’s (could be referring to one of the few more Sundara Pandyans who had an alliance with the Cholas) land donations to temples, various taxes, development of water bodies, and villages. The inscription discovery along with a Shiva Lingam was mentioned in an article by Chennai based archeologist and scholar, Priya Krishnan and her associate Vinod in Times of India.


This area had a lot of Tamarind Trees in the ancient days. A cow was discovered giving milk under one of the trees. The cowherd reported this to a king who discovered a Lingam under the snake mound. When the King attempted to establish a temple there a diving voice interrupted him and asked him not to chop the tree down and build a temple a little distance away. Symbolic of this legend is seen a Tamarind tree with a Shiva Lingam underneath it, on the left, before you enter the Mantapam towards the main deity. Sage Vamadevi is believed to have been blessed by the Lord here at Kailasanathar Gangaikondan. Agni is believed to have immersed himself in the Kamadhenu Theertham here and worshiped the Lord.


Kailasanathar Gangaikondan is about 20 kilometers north of Tirunelveli on the Madurai Highway. There is a Perumal Temple nearby.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest is Tirunelveli. There are a few restaurants in the Highway.

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