Town steeped in history and spirituality

Sankaranayinarkoil Mandir

Also Known as Sankarankovil Mandir

Abstract :

Sankaranayinarkoil, commonly known as Sankarankovil, is a town in the Tenkasi district of Tamil Nadu, India. This town is renowned for its ancient Sankara Narayanan Temple, a unique place of worship dedicated to a deity that symbolizes the unity of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The temple carries a rich history, and its significance lies not only in its religious importance but also in the captivating legends that surround it. This research article aims to explore the history, legends, architecture, and religious significance of Sankarankovil.

Introduction :

Sankarankovil, located in the Tenkasi district of Tamil Nadu, is a town steeped in history and spirituality. It is best known for the Sankara Narayanan Temple, which stands as a symbol of the harmonious coexistence of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, the principal deities of Saivites and Vaishnavites, respectively. This unique temple carries a legacy of religious significance and captivating legends that continue to attract devotees from various backgrounds.

History :

Sankarankovil has a rich historical background. It is situated in the Tirunelveli district and is approximately 56 kilometers away from Tirunelveli City. In ancient times, the town was known as Sankaranayinarkoil, a name that still resonates among the local populace. The town is particularly famous for its “Adi Thabasu” festival, a significant religious event.

One of the most intriguing legends associated with Sankarankovil revolves around an angel named Manikkeerivan, who was cursed by Goddess Parvathi and subsequently descended to Earth to work as a gardener. While tending to a beautiful garden, Manikkeerivan had an extraordinary discovery. While clearing a snake pit, he inadvertently cut the snake’s tail, revealing a Sivalingam (an iconic representation of Lord Shiva) next to the snake. Manikkeerivan promptly reported this miraculous find to his king, Ukkira Pandiyan. The king perceived this event as a divine directive to construct a temple and a city around the sacred site. The pit where the Sivalingam was found is referred to as “Vanmeekam,” and the deity in the temple, known as Sri Sankaralingar, is also called “Vanmeeganadhar.”

The main deities of the Sankara Narayanan Temple are Sri Sankareswarar, Sri Gomathi Amman, and Sri Sankara Narayanar. Sankarankovil is also home to the revered deity Avudai Ambal.

One of the most notable beliefs associated with the temple is the healing power of the “Puttrumann” or “Puttru Mann” (Puttru = Ant Hill, Mann = Sand). Devotees consider this holy sand, obtained from the temple, to have curative properties capable of curing various diseases. The sacred tank in Sankarankovil, known as Nagasunai, is believed to have been dug by serpent kings named Paduman and Sangam. Bathing in this tank is thought to have miraculous healing powers.

Legends and Significance :

The legend of Sankarankovil is not limited to the historical narrative. It also involves a fascinating story of divine intervention and harmony between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. According to this legend, devotees of Lord Hari (Lord Vishnu) and Lord Shiva engaged in a heated debate to determine whose deity was more powerful. In response to their fervent prayers, Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar, a deity embodying both Lord Hari and Lord Shiva. This divine manifestation aimed to enlighten devotees about the oneness of these two deities and the unity of all divine aspects. Thus, Sankarankovil holds sacred significance for Saivites and Vaishnavites alike. However, it is essential to note that some followers of Srivaishnavism, who exclusively worship Lord Vishnu, do not accept this concept of unity and consequently do not revere the deity of Sankarankovil.

Architecture :

The Sankara Narayanan Temple complex features an awe-inspiring three-tiered rajagopuram (monumental entrance tower) rising to a height of 50 feet and a granite wall surrounding all the shrines. The central shrine faces east and enshrines the divine image of Sathyanatheswarar in the form of a lingam, a sacred symbol of Lord Shiva.

The temple’s design and architecture are in alignment with the traditional Dravidian architectural style. The walls surrounding the sanctum are adorned with images of deities and saints, adding to the temple’s aesthetic appeal and spiritual atmosphere.

Conclusion :

Sankaranayinarkoil, commonly known as Sankarankovil, stands as a testimony to the religious and cultural diversity of India. This town is home to the unique Sankara Narayanan Temple, which beautifully symbolizes the harmonious coexistence of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. With a rich history, captivating legends, and architectural marvels, Sankarankovil has emerged as a spiritual destination that continues to inspire and unite devotees from various faiths and backgrounds. The healing properties attributed to the temple’s sacred sand and tank further contribute to its significance, making it a place of profound spiritual and cultural importance in Tamil Nadu.

Editor – Kaalchakra Team

[ Note – Before Concluding anything as a Finale, Please Go through Original Scriptures of Vaidik Literature Written in Sanskrit and Also with Meaning of That time of Language. Because English is a Limited language to Explaining the Deeper Knowledge of Vaidik Kaal. ]