Individual Issues

Tiruvengadu Subramania Pillai

  • Issue 259
  • Published By Sruti
  • ₹100.00

Heritage <br/> Vanamamalai

Leaving the dust of Chennai and its environs behind, let us proceed to sylvan Nanguneri or Vanamamalai or Tirucheeri / Sree Vara Mangai Nanguneri-Totadri to give it its full name. This is a kshetram that is in far away Tirunelveli and a truly magnificent kshetram it is with a link to Carnatic music as well.

There are really two distinct geographical identities to Tirunelveli. One is flat and dusty with water scarcity to boot and the other is idyllic, with mountains, waterfalls, lush fields where God is generally in His heaven and all is right with the world. The second type is close to the tail end of the Western Ghats and abuts Kerala. Nanguneri falls into this category and is en route from Tirunelveli town to Tirukkurungudi, the native village of the TVS family. A bus journey from Tirunelveli town to Nanguneri would last around 45 minutes. It is a sleepy hamlet with the temple dominating. For the Vaishnavites it is said to be such a holy shrine that it is equated with Vaikuntham itself. The sacred Chetru Tamarai tank is believed to be Tirupaarkadal and every grain of sand here is said to be a Salagrama. Nammalwar has sung in praise of the deity here and hence the shrine also qualifies as one of the 108 Divya Desam-s of Vaishnavite lore. It is also the headquarters of the Vanamamalai Mutt, whose Jeer is the religious head of the Tenkalai Vaishnavites.