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Thirunelli Temple is one of the best visited Hindu temples in Wayanad by tourists across the world. It is located in Brahmagiri hills in Kerala. As per studies, temple is found to be over three thousand years old. It is surrounded by thick forests and sky kissing mountains.
What is the specialty of Thirunelli temple? This question is quite common from people.
Thirunelli is the place where one can perform all rituals from birth to death and life after death. It is built under the concept of Kerala's ancient architecture. Rituals for ancestors are generally conducted on the banks of Papanasini which flows from Brahmagiri. As per veda, this river is considered to be special to dissolve the sins of all mortals.
Holy rock is another specialty of temple. From this rock, you can pray for forefathers. Temple is believed to be built by Lord Brahma. Brahma got idol from an amla tree. Nelli is the name of amla tree in Malayalam. Hence temple got the name Thirunelli. At times, Thirunelli temple with idol in Chaturbuja form is also referred to as Sidha temple and Amalaka temple.
As per belief, river Papanasini is considered to be the blend of river Ganga and river Saraswati. If you wish to wash away the worldly sins committed in lifetime, just have a dip in Papanasini. Rituals performed in the banks of papanasini own the same effect as that of rituals performed in Gaya.
Balitharpanam for the departed soul is generally conducted on Pinnappara in Papanasini. Pinnappara is situated almost eight hundred meters away from temple. In the middle of temple pond named Panchateertham, you can see a footprint of Lord Vishnu. This footprint is generally known as Vishnupada.
Bali tharpanam in Thirunelli temple is believed to be very auspicious to let the departed souls to rest in peace. Rituals for tharpanam are generally done in batches. You can find here priests to give instructions for the departed souls. As per puranas, it is from this place where Sri Rama and brother Lakshmana performed their pithrukarma of their father King Dasaratha.
Panchateertham situated at the back of temple is believed to be as the meeting point of five rivers. Festivals celebrated in Thirunelli temple include puthari, Navaratri, shivarathri and sree Krishna Jayanti. You can reach at this destination by travelling 32 kms from Mananthavady. This temple is also mentioned in puranas like matsya purana, skanda purana, Padma purana and Narasimha purana.