Thirunelli Temple: The setting of this temple is as expected among the lush green forests and it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserved among Hindu trinity of Gods. The temple got its name from Nelli tree (Amla tree) where Lord Brahma sighted the image of Vishnu as he took a stopover.
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.
We decided to bring in 2013 far away from Bangalore madness and finalized on going to Thirunelly/Tholpetty. I have been to Adhivilla at Thirunelly multiple times because of its- Privacy | Greenery | Sense of calmness | Great food and a good host this place provides only to do nothing and I prefer non touristy places to stay. The best part of Adhivilla is you dont get to share the place with other guests as the host doesn't accept more than one booking if you are going as a family.We spent our time here playing Uno and water balloon game, swimming in a stream few yards away, visiting the temple, on a road safari and eating some delightful food. There are 2 routes to reach Thirunelly which borders coorg district(Karnataka) :-1. via Kutta(Coorg) travelling through Nagarhole forest or from Thithimathi.
My last destination for the day was an ancient 500 years old Vishnu Temple called the Thirunelly temple. It is situated on the top of a rock from where travels the melodious sounds of malyali bhajans in female voice.As I reached the top to enter the temple, I observed some unconventional rituals which are rarely followed these days. It goes as follows. “The boys should not be wearing anything on their upper body while entering the temple. Do not touch anything inside the temple, not even touch the temple bell as everything is put there in the purest form. If you do not belong to the Hindu clan of south India, the priest will not touch you and will hand over the sandalwood paste in your hand.” Though it is a beautiful monument, it can be avoided if you are not enthusiastic about the religious tourism in India. The drive back home was long and beautiful.The very next day I decided to do some climbing on the hills and therefore headed to Edakkal Caves. Though this place cannot be recognized as a trekking route due to the fact that it is only a 1.5 km uphill climb, yet it is a very steep climb and needs to be done with a lot of caution. It should definitely be avoided during the rains but certainly not to be missed on the other days.There are hundreds of years old ancient rock paintings inscribed on the rocks. These rocks are huge and stand erect and tall. From the top, Wayanad is visible and one can experience the view of the greens with the Western Ghats in the far sight. The town is indeed very green.
Thirunelly is also known as 'Thekkankasi' or the kashi of the South. Its scenic beauty has made it a major tourist attraction on the pilgrim circuit. The setting is serene that it washes away your stress. Devotees usually come here to do prayers during night. the main attraction includes the places like Thirunelly Temple, Papanashini, Panchateertha etc.