Vanamamalai Thanthondrinathar temple (Tirunelveli - Tamil Nadu)

It was almost lunch time when I reached Vanamaamalai Nanguneri. There are 2 important aspects of this temple - the Jeer mutt and the Oil well.
The Jeer mutt is where the Vanamamalai Jeer stays and gives blessings to the devotees. Inspite of the timing we went, he took his time off to meet us! 
Next is the oil well!!! No, not the Dubai oil well kinda ones. The oil used to bathe the sculpture of the Lord is collected and poured into a well! Its believed that this oil is capable of curing all ailments, either taken orally as a drop or applied on skin!

The name is derived from Nangu + Eri meaning Four Lakes! So that's a place surrounded by water everywhere. The Lord Vishnu here is Thanthondrinathar and his consort here is Sri Varamangai.
With that said, moving over to the architectural and sculptural marvels of the temple. On one of the outer prakaarams (corridors) atop, just below the roof were these gorgeous panels! 
Remember the dancing Garuda of Thirukkurungudi? The same guy's here too!

Krishna playing his flute and the mesmerized women & cattle!

The dancing clown!

Shiva as Bikshadana, surrounded by wooed women. Spot one pregnant!!!

Dancing Shiva with Karaikkal Ammaiyar!

Dancing women!

The 2 panels of Vamana & Thiruvikrama!

From Tirunelveli: 31 km via Sengulam & Pannankulam
From Thirukkurungudi: 16km via Eruvadi

Hotels at all price points are available in Thirunelveli

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan & Co.


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. the panels are pretty great, I have heard about this place, but never been there

  2. Ancient sculptures tell the story

  3. Ancient sculptures tell the life of people

  4. Hi Bhushavali,

    I always believed that Tamil Nadu is the heartland of temples and Vanamamalai Thanthondrinathar temple seems to offer so much. Is it really true that the oil from the oil well actually cures ailments? I showed my little kids in class the splendid architecture of the temple pillars.

    1. The oil does have something. 'Scientifically' speaking it needs some research. As I observed the well, it was forming bubbles here and there like how ponds do when there are fishes in them. Obviously there are no fishes in this. Whatever caused the bubbles must be some kind of gas that's trapped within that forms tiny bubbles. It might be medicinal, it might not. Research of the oil is needed.

  5. Thanks a lot for your time to leave me the precious comments! :)

  6. The temple was well maintained and the priests and staff took interest in showing us around. I was wondering why the pillars and panels were painted with lime wash or red oxide like paint.

  7. During a visit to the phenomenal Luxor Temple in Egypt I was surprised to see my fellow tourist's reactions, when the guide happened to mention the possibility the temple was based on the structure and proportions of the human body.
    see more info

  8. அழகான குறுஞ்சிற்பங்கள். இதே சிற்பங்களின் இன்றைய நிலை பரிதாபம். மணல்வீச்சால் முனை மழுங்கி விட்டன. உங்கள் படங்கள் மிக முக்கியமான சாட்சி. இதை பத்திரமாக வைத்திருங்கள். என் ஃபேஸ்புக்கில் உங்கள் படத்தைப் பயன்படுத்திக் கொண்டுள்ளேன். இப்போது எடுத்த படங்களோடு ஒப்பிட்டுப் பார்க்க.. உங்களுக்கு மறுப்பு இருக்காது என்ற நம்பிக்கையுடன். நன்றி.


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