108 Divya Desams, Tiruchirapalli District


Pundarikakshan, facing east


Shenbagavalli Thaayar, facing east

Other Deities

Azhwars, Garuda, Ramanujar, Uyyakondar

Thiruvellarai temple is surrounded by a large granite. The Rajagopuram in the north, is unfinished. There are Eighteen steps leading up which represent the Eighteen chapters of Bhagavad Gita and the four steps in the next 3 tiered entrance gopuram (also facing north) represent the four Vedas.  The next entrance after the first Prakaram is with a 3 tiered east facing gopuram which has five steps representing the Pancha Bhoothas (5 Elements). The shrine of the lord is east facing. There are two entrances to the sanctum sanctorum, the Dakshinayana (open from mid-July to mid-January) and Uttarayana (open from mid-January to mid-July). There is a  Swastik shaped temple tank here. There two Prakarams are spacious and enclose all the shrines. The sounds made in front of some of the big pillars of the temple echoes around the temple. Many old paintings are seen on the walls. Pallava sculptures of Narasimha and Varaha can be seen here at Thiruvellarai.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Divya Theertham, Kanda Pushkarini, Ksheera Pushkarini, Pushkala Theertham, Kusa Theertham, Chakra Theertham, Varaha Manikarnika Theertham and Padma Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)

Vimaanam – Vimalakriti


Thiruvellarai temple is believed to have been built by the Pallavas, as learned from the three inscriptions in its two rock-cut caves dating from the period of Nandivarman II (732–796 AD) and Dantivarman (796–847). A Chola inscription indicates an endowment to the shrines of Krishna and his consort Rukmini inside the temple. The Thiruvellarai temple has later additions from the subsequent Cholas, later Pandyas, Hoysala and the Vijayanagara kings. The temple suffered extensive damage during a flood and was repaired by a merchant around 1262–63. Periazhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar (7th–9th century CE) have performed Mangalasasanam here. Ramanujar (1017–1137 CE) is also said to have visited Thiruvellarai. Vedantha Desikar (1269–1370) has revered the temple in his work Hamsa Sandesam. Thiruvellarai is the birthplace of Uyyakondar.


Thiruvellarai name came from the white rocks which supposedly used to be seen in this region. It is believed that emperor Sibi brought about 4000 Vaishnavites from the northern parts and requested them to perform services to the Lord here at Thiruvellarai. The goddess here is believed to have questioned the Lord about his late return in the night and hence the doorway is called ‘Naazhikettan Vayil’.


Thiruvellarai is about 17 kilometers from Thiruchirapalli on the Thuraiyur Road.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest is Thiruchirapalli and Srirengam.

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