Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi

Kasi Viswanathar, Tenkasi

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Kasi Viswanathar, facing east


Ulagamman, facing east

Other Deities

Outer Prakaram – Durga, Naagar, Veerakanta Venthaiyanar, Sahasralingam, Vinayaka, Muruga, Parasakthi Peedam, Meenakshi Chokkanadar, Bhairava, Gopura Srikali. Inner Prakaram – Suryan, Adhikara Nandi, Vinayaka, Naalvar, 63 Nayanmar, Juradevar, Saptha Maadhar, Vinayaka, Kanni Vinayaka, Somasundarar, Panchalingam, Ayyappan, Chandramouleeswarar, Mahalakshmi, Shanmuga with consorts, Gajalakshmi, Saneeswara, Vyagrapadar, Nataraja. Sanctum Niches – Dakshinamurthy, Mahavishnu, Brahma, Chandikeswara. Inner Prakaram of goddess shrine – Dwarapalakas, Vallabha Vinayaka, Arumuga with consorts at the entrance, Kanni Vinayaka, Muruga with consorts, Chandikeswari

Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi is a large temple with a huge 9 tiered Rajagopuram at the east entrance. There are 2 Prakarams. The outer Prakaram has a large courtyard in front with the entrances for the sanctum sanctorum and separate shrines of the Goddess and Muruga. The goddess and Muruga shrines are located south of the main sanctum sanctorum. The outer Prakaram is large and has beautiful trees around. The Thiruolakka Mantapam in front of the inner Prakaram has exquisite carvings on 8 pillars. On the south side pillars are Agni Veerabadhra, Manmadan, Mahavishnu, and Badhrakali. On the north side pillars are Agora Veerabadhra, Rati, Oorthuva Thandavar, and on the eastern side are 2 beautiful pillars with Tamizhanangu Thilagam and Perarasi. The Mantapam in front of the Bala Muruga shrine has wonderful carvings of the Pancha Pandavas, Karna, 4 Yaali Pillars, and 2 Dwarapalakas. Both the goddess and Muruga shrines have large Mandapams followed by Ardha Mandapams and Antralayas leading to the sanctums. The Vinayaka Idols in the inner Prakaram are very large ones. The pillars and carvings are all works of art and worth spending time upon. A processional idol of King Parakrama Pandyan is present in the sanctum. He is considered the head of all festivals and given the first respect even today.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Kasi Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Shenbagam (Michelia champaka)


Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi is an ancient temple with several stone inscriptions all around the outer walls of the Sanctum Sanctorum and the Ardha Mandapam. Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi and the town was built in the 15th Century CE by Jatayavarman Parakrama Pandyan (Regnal years 1422 – 1463 CE). Inscriptions here at Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi mention the gift of houses and villages to Brahmanas to recite Vedas and Purana. The dream he had with the Lord of Varanasi requesting him to build a temple here is also mentioned in an inscription kept before the Rajagopuram. His devotion to the Lord was so great that he had requested followers of Saivism and his successors to take care of the temple through very beautiful poems which are seen in the Gopuram. The Rajagopuram was started by him, but construction was completed by his brother Jatavarman Kulasekhara Pandyan (Regnal years 1429 – 1473 CE). The later Pandyas ruled different parts of the Pandya Kingdom and their regnal years overlap each other. Coronation of the later Pandyas took place at Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi. The Rajagopuram then collapsed and only the remnants were present for 250 years till 1967 when a new tower was initiated but completed only in 1990.


Parakrama Pandian a staunch Siva Devotee was provided the ability to visit the Kasi Temple by Lord Muruga. In his dream appeared Lord Shiva one day and requested him to construct a temple at Tenkasi. He was advised by Lord Shiva to follow an army of ants that would guide him to a Lingam in an anthill. Realizing the miracle of the lord he found the lingam and built the Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi temple. This is also mentioned in an inscription belonging to him. Indran, Vaali, Sages Narada, Agastya, Mrikandu, Silakitha, and Kanwa are believed to have worshiped the lord here at Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi.


Kasi Viswanathar Tenkasi is in the center of Tenkasi which is 52 kilometers northwest of Tirunelveli.

Stay and Food

Tenkasi has several good hotels and restaurants. Kutralam is about 6 kilometers away and has many resorts.

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