Appan Venkatachalpathi Cheranmahadevi

Appan Venkatachalpathi, Cheranmahadevi

Vaishnavite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Appan Venkatachalpathi, facing east


Alarmelmangai and Padmavati Thaayar, facing east

Other Deities

Garudan, Vishwaksenar, Azhwars, Perianambi, Ramanujar, Anjaneyar, Naagar

Appan Venkatachalpathi Cheranmahadevi is a large east-facing temple set beautifully amidst green paddy fields and banana plantations. The majestic 5 tiered Rajagopuram at the eastern entrance is visible from a distance. A path leads to the large Mantapam in front of the Gopuram. Entering the outer Prakaram through the Rajagopuram the imposing walls of inner Prakaram runs all around. Entering the inner prakaram through a doorway we see the large Mahamantapam, go through the Ardhamantapam and see the Lord in his glory in the Sanctum Sanctorum. Goddesses Sreedevi and Bhoodevi are outside the Sanctum. The place was called Chaturvedimangalam in the ancient past when scholars of the 4 Vedas were living here performing rituals. This place had also been called Naadhambuja Kshetram. The temple remained unattended for a long time and renovations were taken up and completed some years back. Luckily all the inscriptions had been preserved intact.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Soma Theertham (a section of the Tamiraparani river. There are two more sections in Cheranmahadevi called Vyasa Theertham and Romasa Theertham)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Braan tree


Appan Venkatachalpathi Cheranmahadevi is an ancient temple. There are about 60 inscriptions in this temple. The earliest inscription (1120 CE) found here belongs to Jadaavarman Kulasekara Pandyan.

Inscriptions found here have revealed details about irrigation, agriculture, society, culture, lifestyle, art, music, dance, donations made, development of temples, laws of the society, law system, free food distribution, and governance.

An inscription dating back to 1209 CE indicates that provision was made for Sandal, Camphor, and all other monthly requirements of the Lord.

An inscription of 1226 CE belonging to the time of Maravarman Sundarapandyan mentions the establishment of a Mutt (Mudivalangum Perumal Mutt) and handing over its operations to a person called Thirithandi. A lot of vaishnavites have been given shelter and education in the Madam.

Another inscription of 1250 CE mentions Vedic education facilities, enrolling students, the appointment of faculty, creation of a library(Saraswathi Pandarum), and land donations by Sundara Pandyan. During his rule, there was a gift of money by Virasinga Deva to create a Nandavana (Garden) in the temple for providing flowers for rituals and garlands. in the Cheran Narayanan Nandavanam in return for some prasadam from the temple. There was also an agreement given by the temple authorities to Pillai Vijayarayan for the 8 Achchu given by him for maintaining the flower garden and supplying garlands to the temple.

A 1267 CE Inscription during the rule of Vira Pandya II records an agreement deed given to Sriranganatha Bhattar by the Pandarikal Sri Vaishnavas and Nambiman of the Appan temple of Cheran Maha Devi Chaturvedi Mangalam. As per this deed, the latter agreed to measure out 40 Kalam of Paddy to the temple for certain services in lieu of interest on a sum of 20 Achchus as they were in arrears to the temple.

A 1288AD inscription on the Eastern Wall of the temple records a gift of 2 Aanai Achchu for a lamp by pupils of Pinsenra Villi Jeeyar of Mudivalangum Perumal Mutt. The interest on each Achchu was one Ulakku of oil per day.

A person from Karnataka called Kannadiyan (in whose name there is a Canal existing even today) had created lodging and housing facilities for Kannada Brahmins, providing donations for their maintenance. The inscriptions also mention the name of the Lord here as Dwarakapadhiappan. In a recognition, Kulasekhara Deva records a gift of an annuity of Paddy and a portion of the ‘deity offered food’ to Cherai Mangai Silpasari for doing stonework in the Appan temple. On the sidewall of the temple is a record that states the gift of money for providing 6 offerings to God on New Moon days.


The main deity at Appan Venkatachalpathi Cheranmahadevi has been installed, worshiped, and treated as a father (Appan) by sage Brighu and thus the name came about. Many other sages have lived, worshiped, and performed penance in the area. To cure the stomach ailment of his daughter a Chera King was advised by an astrologer (Kannadiyan) to build a temple and lodging facility here on the banks of the Tamiraparani River and give the daughter a concoction made with Pepper – Milagu Rasam. This popular item is famous even today as an offering to the Lord. There is a record on the Northern side of the temple of a gift of land by the temple authorities to Azhagiya Manavala Jeeyar, one of the Tridandi Sanyasins who was in charge of the above mutt, for conducting the Spring festival of the God every year.


Appan Venkatachalpathi Cheranmahadevi is on the north side of Cheranmahadevi on the road going to the bridge across Tamiraparani river to join the Tirunelveli-Mukkudal-Kadayam-Tenkasi road. The Rajagopuram is visible from a distance amidst beautiful green fields.

Stay and Food

None locally except tea and snack shops. Closest is Tirunelveli or Ambasamudram depending on your travel plan.

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