An ancient 14th Century AD temple similar in size to Mannar Koil
Exquisite Sculptures similar to Krishnapuram Temple
Located 10kms east of Nanguneri Thothadri Nathan Divya Desam in a remote village is the 14th Century AD Jagannathan Perumal Temple in Shenbaga Rama Nallur, a temple almost similar in size to the Mannar Koil near Ambasamudram and the Nambi Divya Desam in Thiru Kurungudi with huge outer walls, built during the Chera period.
The story goes that Chera King Udaya Marthanda Varma’s descendent (Shenbaga) Rama Varma built this temple. Having visited Lord Jagannathan at Puri, he was on his way back. With flash floods striking this region, he halted here for the night at this village.
It is believed that Puri Lord Jagannathan appeared in his dreams and directed him to build a similar temple here at this place. An invisible voice the next morning showed him the exact spot for building the Garuda Sannidhi and installed the East Facing idol of Jagannathan with Sri and Bhoo Devi with Dwarapalakas at the entrance.
A separate sannidhi for Shenbagavalli Nachiyar was also built South of Jagannatha Perumal Sannidhi.
In recognition of his contribution to the temple, one finds an idol of Shenbaga Rama Varma at the entrance.
There are several inscriptions inside the temple that date back to the 14th century
At the main Eastern entrance are artistic sculptures of Rathi and Manmatha, similar to the ones found at Krishnapuram temple, 13kms east of Tirunelveli (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2007/07/non-divya-desam-temple-tale.html)
It is believed that lot of grants were given to the temple in centuries gone by with over 130acres of land still in its possession.
In the inner prakara is a Lakshmi Narayana Sannidhi. Belief is that lighting a ghee lamp on a lemon on Tuesday/Friday will fulfil one’s wishes. Thirumanjanam and Kalyana Utsavam is performed on special days at the special Mandapam erected on the Eastern side.
In the last 40years, Gopala Bhattar has been taking care of the temple all by himself without much of a salary. He has installed a bore well to improve the water facility at the temple. He has also installed new vahanas that carry the lord out on the grand processions in Thai.
Currently, two time pooja takes place at the temple every day.
The gopuram at the Eastern Entrance remains a Mottai Gopuram with the Chera King not being able to complete the Raja Gopuram.
10day Brahmotsavam Utsavam in Thai
Chitrai Thiruvonam Utsavam
Chitrai Pournami Utsavam
Moolavar : Jagannathan East Facing Standing Posture
Thayar : Shenbagavalli Thayar
Time : 630am-10am and 430pm-8pm
Contact : Gopalan Bhattar / Srinivasan Bhattar @ 94861 34755/87543 58489
How to reach
Ananthapuri Express stops at Nanguneri. From Nanguneri, an auto to the temple will cost Rs. 150-200. Also, share auto/share van run every hour. Bus ply every hour from Nanguneri towards Moolaikaripetti. One can get down at the Shenbagaramanallur junction – 2kms away- and take a local auto to the temple (Rs.50).