Intrigued by the fables,we visited the Thirunelli temple last weekend.They say that it was built more than 1000 years ago.The temple is in Mananthavady region of Kerela.
The route towards the temple is via breathtakingly beautiful forest .The temple is surrounded by Bramhagiri hills all around,offering panoramic view of mountain ranges covered with lush green slopes .
There are beautiful engravings in the exterior of the Temple, the inside is more like a courtyard.Lord Vishnu is placed in a Sanctorum with Gold plated carvings inside.
There is legend,that enchanted by the beauty of the region,Lord Bramha himself descended and placed the idols of Lord Vishnu,picking from under a Anwla tree(indian gooseberry) there. Impressed by his devotion Lord Vishnu blessed the river in vicinity to wash away all the sins of pilgrims, hence the name Papnashini of the river.
It is believed that Lord Bramha comes here,to worship every day so the priest keeps fresh worshipping materials daily.
The name of the place too is derived from this legend – Thirunelli means the holy gooseberry in Malayalam.
The temple is much famous in southern region for offering prayers to ancestor during Pitr(a hindu month for offering prayers to departed souls) or doing the last rites much like the Kashi in the North.