Kothaparameswarar Kunnathur

Kothaparameswarar, Kunnathur

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Kothaparameswarar, facing east


Sivakami, facing south

Other Deities

Kanni Vinayaka, Muruga with consorts, Bhairava. Sanctum Niches – Mangala Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswara

Kothaparameswarar Kunnathur is a beautiful little temple situated in a single tree filled Prakaram. The entrance is from the main road on the south side. The carvings and architectural details of the sanctum sanctorum are very nice. An excellent idol of Arumuga with 12 hands, carved in a single stone including the arch (Tiruvaasi) around him is found here. The Lingam reveals the mark of a serpent on it during ablution. This place is also known as Senkaani (Sen – red, Kaani – land) because of the red soil found here. Kothaparameswarar Kunnathur is the fourth of the Nava (9) Kailasha Temples where Lord Shiva represents one each of the Nine Planets. Here he represents Raaghu (shadow planet, North Lunar node of the moon). The others are in Papanasam (Sun), Cheranmahadevi (Chandran – Moon), Kodaganallur (Mars) 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.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Tamiraparani River

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)


Inscriptions found in Kothaparameswarar Kunnathur temple mention the name of this place as Keezhvembu Naattu Senganiana Navaninarayana Chaturvedimangalam’ and the construction is attributed to the 13th Century CE. King Veerapandyan’s contribution of 4200 Panam (currency) towards the performance of daily rituals is also mentioned. An ancient measuring stick used in settling land issues in the olden days is preserved here and its use is mentioned in the inscriptions. A copper plate inscription preserved in Nellaiappar Temple in Tirunelveli mentions this temple’s name as Thirunangeesaneri and the lord as Tirunageesar (a name similar to another Raaghu Sthalam, Thirunegeswaram).


Nava Kailasha temples are believed to have been created by Sage Romasa to attain salvation. The original temple was closer to the Tamiraparani River that flows a little way in the south. It was shifted here to protect it from the frequent floods in the river. This place was cursed to be with only cows and women by a pregnant lady who was hung for a crime she did not commit, that of stealing a prized fruit from an orchard belonging to a local king. This fruit was believed to occur only once in a year, one in number, and provide long life to the person who eats it. Because of the curse Kothaparameswarar Kunnathur temple also was neglected and due to the ravages of nature was damaged badly. Sometime later it was discovered when a herd of cows was seen shedding mile in the spot. The Pandya ruler of that time then discovered the temple and had it reconstructed.


Kothaparameswarar Kunnathur is about 10 kilometers southwest of Tirunelveli and situated at the base of the Kunnathur Hill. Before this is the famous Venkatesa Perumal Temple and an ancient Varadaraja Perumal temple. This place is also called Keezha Tiruvenkatanathapuram.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest is Tirunelveli.

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