Thirupainjali or Thirupaigneeli is about 20 Kms away from Trichy. The Neelivaneshwarar or Gneelivaneshwarar temple here is one of the Padal Petra Sthalams. The Shivalingam in this temple is a Swayambhu. The Presiding Deity is Gneelivaneshwarar and His Consort is Visalakshi, Neelnedungannayaki. The Sthala Vruksham here is Kalvazhai or Plantain tree. In tamil this variety of plantain is known as Gneeli. This place was once fully populated with this variety of plantain and hence the Lord here is known as Gneelivaneshwarar. There are seven theerthams in this temple viz. Visalakshi, Yama, Kalyana, Agni, Deva, Appar and Maniankarunai.
Lord Shiva vanquished Yama at Thirukadaiyur, after which no deaths occurred. This placed an immense burden on Bhumadevi and she appealed to Lord Shiva to relieve her from the pain of carrying this excess weight. Lord Shiva heed to her pleas and Yama was reborn as a child here and was given back His responsibilities. There is a Shrine in the outer praharam of the temple where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are present along with Lord Muruga are present. Lord Yama is seen as a child near their feet. This happened in the tamil month of Thai and under Poosam star. It is a custom to first pray at this shrine before entering the main gopuram.
Since Yama himself was brought back to life, people throng the shrine in large numbers and pray for longevity. Just like in Thirukadaiyur temple, people celebrate their Sashtiabthapoorthy, Bhimaratha Shanthi and Sathabhishegam here.
The main gopuram is incomplete and the second gopuram known as Ravana Vayil is complete. There is a small shrine for Lord Shiva just outside the first gopuram. The Lord Shiva here is known as Chotrudayaeshwarar. Legend has it that Lord Shiva himself served rice to a tired and hungry Tirunavukkarasar who had come to this temple after a long journey. Lord Shiva had appeared as a priest and offered rice to Thirunavukkarasar. He also offered to lead the Saint to the temple and disappeared on the way. Thirunavukkarasar realised that it was Lord Shiva who had offered him food in the guise of a priest. He prayed to Lord for His darshan. He requested Lord Shiva to be present there in the form of a Lingam.There is a festival at this temple here on the Avittam star day in the Tamil month of Chithirai, to commemorate this event.
There are no Navagrahas in this temple. Instead, they are represented by the 9 steps leading from the Ravana Vayil tower inside the temple. It is understood that the Navagrahas were being controlled by Ravana. One can also find nine small pits near the Nandi in front of the main Lingam. These are worshipped as Navagrahas.
Lord Shiva is also known as Adhikara Vallabhar as He brought back Yama to life and reinstated him. There are separate shrines for Goddess Visalakshi and for Goddess Neela Nedunkann Amman.
Goddess Parvati was performing penance at this temple and desired that there be some shade under which whe could sit. The Sapta Kanyas immediately were transformed into plaintain trees and provided Her the shade. There are seven plaintain trees that once can see at this temple. It is a belief that by praying and performing some special rituals to these seven plaintain trees on Sundays, will remove all hurdles in getting married. The devotees tie yellow threads to the trees as part of the ritual.
Another version is that the Sapta Kanyas viz Brahmi, Maheswari, Gaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamundi came here to seek the blessings of Parvathi before their marriage. The Goddess blessed them with suitable matches and a Happy marital life. She also granted a boon that they would be here in the form of the plaintain trees and be able to have Her darshan everyday.
The Sun’s rays directly falls on the Lord in the tamil months of Purattasi which is around September-October and Panguni in March-April.
Tiruppainjali Temple Timings: 6.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Tiruppainjali Temple Location:
View Trichy Temples in a larger map
Samayapuram Mariamman Kovil
Samevaneshwarar Temple – Thiruppachilashramam
Arulmigu Gneelivaneshwarar Temple,
Phone: +91- 431 – 2560 813.