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Papanatha Swamy Temple at Papanasam in Tamil Nadu – First Nava Kailasam Papanasanathar Temple

Papanasam Papanatha Swamy Temple is one of the Nava Kailasam Temples and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Papanasanathar Temple is located at Papanasam in Tirunelveli Distrct, Tamil Nadu. This temple is associated with Surya or the sun god among the Navgrahas. The shrine is also known as Surya Kshetra and Surya Kailash.

This is the first among the nine Nava Kailasam temples.

Stories of Papanasanathar Temple

Legend has it that Shiva gave darshan by standing between the horns of Nandi in Nataraja form to Sage Patanjali and Vyakrapatha at Papanasam temple. This happened on the Thaipusam day.

Another legend has it that Shiva gave darshan of his divine wedding with Goddess Parvati between the horns of Nandi to Sage Agastya and his wife Lopamudra here. This happened on the first day of Chithirai month.

Another legend has it that Indra, the king of Devas, got redemption of papam or sin here and therefore the name Papanasanathar.

Murtis worshipped in the Temple

Shiva is worshipped here as Papanasanathar and Mother Goddess Shakti is worshipped here as Ulagammai. The Shivling is considered an aspect of Surya, the sun god.

The temple complex also has murtis of Ganesha, Subrahmanya, Dakshinamurti, Goddess Durga, Nataraja (in Ananda Thandava posture known here as Punugu Sabapathy) and Navagrahas. Murti of Sage Agasthya and his wife are also found in the shrine.


Located on the banks of Tamiraparani River, the architecture of the temple is in typical Dravidian style with a seven storey gopuram and huge granite walls. The Nataraja murti in the temple is enshrined in a hall supported by Yali pillars.

The temple tank is known as Papanasa Theertham. Other two tanks in the temple are known as Agastya Teertham and Kalyani Teertham.


Thaipusam, Chithirai Brahmostsavam, Panguni Uthiram, Navratri, Kanda Sashti and Shivratri are the important festivals in the temple.

Papanasam Papanatha Swamy Temple Timings
Morning Pooja and Darshan Time: 6:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Evening Pooja and Darshan Time: 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Cheranmahadevi Kailasanathar Temple in Tirunelveli - Second Nava Kailasam Temple