Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi

Vanneeswarar, Alwarkurichi

Saivite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Vanneeswarar, facing east


Sivakami Ambal, facing south

Other Deities

Bala Vinayaka, Bala Murugan, Suryan, Annapurni, 63 Nayanmar, Sapthakanniyar, Kanni Vinayakar, Kasiviswanathar, Lingams, Azhagiya Nambi Sastha, Subramanya with consorts, Saneeswara, Easana Lingam, Kala Bhairava, Garbarakshami. Sanctum niches – Dakshinamurthy, Durga, Chandikeswara

Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi is a large old temple and is dilapidated in many places including parts of the imposing compound walls. The entrance is through a 5 tiered Rajagopuram. This should have been a beautiful structure once as it is filled with intricately carved idols, but today though intact it presents a sad picture with weeds on top and all the idols broken and eroded. The large outer Prakaram is overgrown with weeds. A long passage mandapam with carved pillars leads to the inner Prakaram after a beautiful large Nandi. The Mahamantapam is common to both the god and goddess. The inner Prakaram is covered. Both the sanctums have an Ardha Mantapa and Antralyaa leading to the deities. The main deity is on a square base (Aavudayar). There are some beautiful carvings all around on the pillars including a pregnant woman (Goddess Garbarakshami), Krishna with gopis, Arjuna in penance, Siva in Kailash, Anjaneya with a bell on the tail, and others. There are quite a few Anjaneya carvings here at Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi. In the southeast of the compound is a large Nataraja Mantapam which is also dilapidated, but has many beautiful pillars. The entire temple is created with stone including the 20 feet high compound walls. An ancient Mantapam outside was used as the platform to keep the decorated processional deities before taking them on procession in the temple car in the ancient days. This famous and important temple of the ancient past is today a scene of neglect. Till some years back people were warned from entering due to structural instability. Thieves had got inside and tried to remove the flagstaff and being unable to do so had damaged the same. Even the gates with beautiful wooden carvings had been vandalized and the carvings stolen in bits and pieces. Thanks to media attention, well-wishers including some important locals got together and made the temple fit for entry and worship. The Ramanadhi (River, also called Varahanadhi) used to run in front of the temple, but due to flooding, it changed its course and now runs behind the temple.

Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi is considered as one of the Pancha Kurosam temples in this area (others include Sivaleswarar – Sivasailam, Rameswarar (Karteeswarar) – Pappankulam, Papanaseswarar – Papanasam, Valeeswarar – Kakkanallur).

Holy Water (Theertham) – Agni Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vanni (Prosopis cineraria)


Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi is an ancient temple that was rebuilt in the 13th Century CE by Maravarman Sundarapandyan. A stone panel with inscriptions is seen here. As told by the priest here the original Lingam found in the Agni Theertham opposite the temple was moved here and kept amidst a grove of Vanni Trees by a wealthy trader and attained the name of Vanniappar. Later the Cholas built up the temple with this lingam as the main deity. The Pandyas later moved this Lingam to the east of the temple kept it as the Easanya Lingam. They also installed a new and larger Lingam retaining the old Nandi created by the Cholas.


Agni (God of Fire) is believed to have worshiped the lord here at Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi to rid himself of the curse of the Saptha Rishis (7 great sages). Another version is that Agni hid from the Devas in the Theertham here, but was caught by them. After he made amends to them he was accepted as one among them. This theertham is present in a dilapidated condition to the east of the temple.


Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi is on the eastern side of Alwarkurichi Village amidst peaceful surroundings and beautiful green fields. Vanneeswarar Alwarkurichi is about 13 kilometers northwest of Ambasamudram in the Tenkasi Road via Mannarkovil and Kizh Ambur.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest is Ambasamudram for food and stay.

error: Content is protected !!