Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal Athalanallur

Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal, Athalanallur

Vaishnavite Temples - Tirunelveli District


Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal (also called Aadhimoolam), facing east


Therku Nachiyar, facing east

Other Deities

Garudan, Anjaneya, Paramapadanadar, Venugopalan with consorts, Dasavatharam, Vadakku Nachiyar, Chakrathazhwar, Azhwars, Desikar, Ramanujar, Naagar

Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal Athalanallur is an east-facing temple with a beautiful 5 tiered Rajagopurm at the entrance. Before this gopuram in the road is a Mandapam. There are 2 Prakarams. The outer Prakaram has a doorway that leads to the bathing ghats of the Tamiraparani River that runs right behind. The inner Prakaram has cloistered Mandapams on the sides and a raised platform with the Sanctum Sanctorum on top. A Mahamandapam and Ardhamandapam leads to the sanctum sanctorum where the lord is seen with his consorts Sreedevi, Bhoodevi, and Sages Brighu and Markandeya. The sanctum is a beautiful large structure with some excellent carvings all around.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Gajendra Moksha Theertham, Vishnu Theertham, Chakra Theertham (sections of Tamiraparani River)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – No information


Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal Athalanallur is an ancient temple as is evident from the architecture style and the inscriptions found here. Allocation of Taxfree land by Kulotunga Chola I (1100 CE), reference to this village as a hamlet of Cheran Mahadevi, mention of this temple as ‘Moymam Pooumbolil’ Azhvaar temple are some of the information gathered from the inscriptions. Inscriptions mention land donations during the time of Jatavarama Srivallabha Pandya and sacred offerings to the Lord each day by the assembly of Cheran Maha Devi during the rule of Maravarma Pandya.

Of particular interest are the large importance given to the creation and maintenance of Gardens (Nandavanams). A number of gardens seem to have been in existence. The inscriptions mention

* the creation of gardens and appointment of gardeners during the rule of Vira Pandyadeva Pandya,
* a gift of land to the temple by a big army with 10 commands for maintaining the garden during the rule of Jatavarma Pandya
* a record of a sale of garden lands.
* a gift of prasadam to two gardeners for rearing the flower garden called Ramanuja Thiru Nandavanam during the rule of Kulasekara Pandya. They were exempted from tax and they were to grow flowers, pick them and string them together into garlands.
* a gift of Kadamai on certain lands by the temple for providing maintenance of gardeners of the Iladaraiyan flower gardens
* a gift of one kalam of food by the temple for feeding the men in charge of Ramanuja flower garden


Gajendra, an elephant (actually a King called Indradhyumna, cursed by Sage Agastya) was saved from the jaws of a crocodile (a Gandharva cursed by Sage Kapila) by the Lord who cut off its head with his Discus here at Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal Athalanallur. Hence the main deity is called so. The place was called Yanai Kaatha Nallur referring to the Lord saving the elephant (Yaanai in Tamil) in the olden days and later gradually transformed to Athalanallur.


Gajendra Varadaraja Perumal Athalanallur is about 5.5 kilometers southwest of Mukkudal after crossing the Tamiraparani River and Tirupudaimarudur. Mukkudal is 25 kilometers west of Tirunelveli.

Stay and Food

None locally. The closest is Ambasamudram or Tirunelveli based on your travel plan.

error: Content is protected !!