Kerala: the Thirunelli temple is being renovated

The ‘Kashi of the South’ is being renovated at ₹10 crore

Updated - January 12, 2024 05:10 pm IST

Published - January 12, 2024 04:52 pm IST

The sanctum sanctorum will be renovated and a granite pavement laid from the temple to the Papanashini River

The sanctum sanctorum will be renovated and a granite pavement laid from the temple to the Papanashini River | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Thirunelli temple, believed to be 5,000 years old, is dedicated to Vishnu. It is located on the slopes of the Brahmagiri hills on the Kerala-Karnataka border.

Thirunelli, for the faithful, is the Kashi (Varanasi) of the South. Every year, thousands of devotees throng the banks of the Papanashini River during the new moon days in the Malayalam months of Thulam and Karkidakom to perform pithrutharpanam ( obeisance to the ancestors). A one-week-long Vishu festival in April is all-important at the temple.

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Its renovation is underway at ₹10 crore. This includes the renovation of the sanctum sanctorum and the laying of a granite pavement from the temple to the Papanashini River. The creation of a chuttambalam, a structure around the sanctum sanctorum, will be completed in six months.

Meanwhile, around Sabarimala, with its Ayyappan temple, huge infrastructure projects, such as an airport and an elevated rail network, are coming up. The 75-km-long rapid rail transit route from Chengannur to Pampa, envisaged through elevated structures and tunnels, is expected to cost over ₹10,000 crore. The Sabarimala Greenfield airport, being built on a 2,570 acre property in Erumely and Manimala panchayats on the foothills of the Western Ghats, will cost ₹3,411 crore.

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