Papanasar Papanasam

Papanasar, Papanasam

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Papanasar, facing east


Ulagammai, facing east

Other Deities

Sthala Vinayaka, Vinayaka, Navagraha, Arumugan, Adhikara Nandi, Aditya Lingam, Suryan, Juradevar, Sage Agastya, Sapthamadar, Dakshinamurthy, Kalyanasundarar, Chokkanadar, Meenakshi, Madhilingam, Subramanya with consorts, Saneeswara, Somalingam, Bhairava, Chandra, Kasi Viswanathar

Papanasar Papanasam is the first of the Nava (9) Kailasha Temples where Lord Shiva represents one each of the Nine Planets. Here the Lord represents the Sun. The others are in Cheranmahadevi (Moon), 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. Papanasar Papanasam is a large east-facing temple situated on the banks of the Tamiraparani River which flows right in front, the bathing ghats attract a large number of devotees and tourists. A 7 tiered Rajagopuram with a Mantapam in front is in the east entrance. There are 3 Prakarams including the one outside the huge walls surrounding the inner two Prakarams. There are several Mantapams including Thirumana Mantapam, Vasantha Mantapam, Vahana Mantapam, and Thirumurai Mantapam. The inner Prakaram is fully covered. The Sanctum sanctorum of the Lord has some beautiful carvings on its sides. A large temple tank is a short distance away adjacent to the parking lot.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Tamiraparani River, Veda Theertham, Papanasa Theertham, Vairava Theertham, Vaanatheertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Kala Tree (Kalakkai – Carissa carandas)


Papanasar Papanasam is originally believed to have been built by a Pandya king, Chandrakula Pandya, who built the central shrine and vimana of the temple. Veerappa Nayak (1609-23 CE), of Madurai Nayak dynasty, developed the temple later. The historical information available to us is contradictory. There are several inscriptions in this grand old temple and the details of the same are not available to us as of now.


Sage Virat is believed to have worshiped the lord here at Papanasar Papanasam and attained Mukthi. This is where Lord Shiva blessed Sage Agastya and Loba Mudra with the view of his wedding in Mount Kailash.


Papanasar Papanasam is about 45 kilometers west of Tirunelveli. Parking is available near the place where you buy the parking ticket, adjacent to the Temple Tank. This is a crowded place and it is advisable to park here and walk the short distance to the temple.

Stay and Food

Though Papanasam has a few eateries adjacent to the temple, because of the crowd here we advise going back to Ambasamudram for food. There are a few lodges in Papanasam.

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