Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur

Palvannanadar, Karivalamvanthanallur

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Palvannanadar, facing east


Oppanai Ambal, facing east

Other Deities

Outside Rajagopuram – Vinayaka, Shanmuga. Outer Prakaram – Kodimara Vinayakar, Muruga with consorts, Parasakthi Peedam, Udayamarthanda Lingam, Mukhalinga Nadar, Kanni Vinayaka, Naagar, Bala Murugan, Palvannanadar Karivalamvantha Nallur, Navagraha. Inner Prakaram of main deity – Adhikara Nandi, Suryan, Vinayaka, Muruga, Naalvar, 63 Nayanmar, Juradevar, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Gandhari, Vinayaka, Saptha Maadar, Vinayaka, Pancha Bhootha Lingams, Veera Shanmuga with consorts, Saneeswaran, Naagar under Sthalavriksham, Bhairava, Chandran, Sage Agastya, Lakshmaneswara, Kamalambikai. Sanctum Niches – Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Brahma, Chandikeswara. Inner Prakaram of Goddess shrine – Vinayaka, Rajarajeswari, Saptha Maadar, Vinayaka, Muruga with consorts, Chandikeswari.

Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur is a large east-facing temple with a 125 feet tall, 9 tiered Rajagopuram at the entrance. The temple has 2 Prakarams. The outer Prakaram is a large one and houses the Goddesses Shrine and other shrines. It is filled with beautiful flowering plants and trees. There is a hanging ant hill here. The inner Prakaram houses the sanctum sanctorum of the main deity. The pillared Mandapams are with beautiful carvings and are painted on top along with ornamental patterns in the ceiling. There are large Vinayaka and Veera Shanmuga idols in the inner Prakaram of the main deity. The main deity is whitish in color giving the name Paal (milk) Varna (color) Nadar. A Vasantha Mandapam is in between the sanctum and the shrine of the goddess. In front of the goddess’ shrine is the Thiruvadirai Mandapam. There is a large tank south of the Palvannanadar Karivalamvantha Nallur temple. The Nitcheba River flows in an arc north of the temple. Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur is one of the Pancha Bootha (5 Elements) Temples in the region representing Agni (Fire). The others are Sankarankovil (Land), Devadanam, Virudunagar District (Sky), Mathyasthanadar, Dharugapuram (Water), Tirupuranathar, Thenmalai (Air).

Holy Water (Theertham) – Nitcheba River, Sukhra Theertham, Agni Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Kala Tree (Carissa spinarum)


Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur is an ancient temple and has many inscriptions around the sanctum and the goddess shrine. In one inscription the place is mentioned as Aar Nattu Karivara Nallur. Adiveera Rama Pandyan (Regnal years 1564 – 1604) has written a literary work called Thirukaruvai Padhitru Pathandhadhi about the Lord and the temple here at Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur.


Lord Shiva had cursed Indra and his son, Jayanthan, to be borne as hunters on earth. During their wanderings, they saw an elephant and killed it with their arrows. Upon close observation, they discovered that the elephant was performing pooja to a Shiva Lingam. Worried about further curses they did not know what to do when the Lord appeared and disclosed that the elephant was actually meant to be killed by the two of them due to a curse in its previous birth. He further blessed both of them, gave back their original form, and brought the elephant back to life. Kari means Elephant and Varam is Boon, thus the name became Kari Vara Nallur. Another version of this is that the elephant was Airavat, the mount of Indra which turned into its original white form upon seeing its Lord, Indra. Two paintings depicting Indra and Jayantha worshiping the lord are seen here.

During the churning of the ocean, the Asuras were deprived of drinking the Amrut that came out. Upon lamenting to their Guru Sukracharya he created a pond of milk here (Sukra Theertham) and said it would provide them the same boon. The Devas got scared and fell at the feet of Lord Shiva, who in the form of a small brahmin boy immersed himself in it, turning the milk to water. He thus imbibed the color of the milk becoming Paal Varna Nadar.

Goddess Parvati is believed to have performed penance here in the midst of Kala Trees on the banks of the Nitcheba River to see the lord in his formless form. Agni, the god of fire, is believed to have worshiped the lord here, after purifying himself in the Agni Theertham here at Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur.

The Lord is believed to have performed the last rites of King Adiveera Rama Pandyan who died without progeny. This event is enacted as a ritual every year even today in Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur temple.


Palvannanadar Karivalamvanthanallur is 11 kilometers north of Sankaran Kovil in the Rajapalayam Road.

Stay and Food

None locally except tea shops. The closest are Sankarankovil and Rajapalayam depending on your travel plan.

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