Friday, February 24, 2006

Wayanad Trip - Part I - Thirunelli Temple

Thirunelli Temple

Thirunelli temple, situated in the Norhtern part of Wayanad, stands always as one of the main attraction of tourits and pilgrims. This is a very ancient temple, I dont know exactly when it was built, but a very old one. From Kartikulam, one of the towns situated near the border of Kerala - Karnataka, a diversion towards left while going towards Mysore will lead us to Thirunelli temple. From kartikulam, there is almost 18 to 20 kms distance through forest towards Thirunelli. We reached there by 5:00 in the evening. It is a MahaVishnu Temple.

Surrounding Hills of Thirunelli Temple

The temple is situated in the midst of forest, but there is a small lodging facility for the pilgirms very near to the temple. We can see here and there, warnings that restricts the entry to the nearby forest, for there are freely roaming elephants, bisons and other animals like deers, foxes and jackal. Tigers and leapords are spotted very rarely in the forest.


Paskhipathalam is an exotic location for trekking and camping in the night. In the picture above, we can see the hill that stands behind the temple. Paskhipathalam is situated some where in that hill, which will be one of my next trekking location. Since we have to travel throuh dense forest, it is not safe to go there without the assistance of a gun man. The entry to the place is restricted with pass by the department of forest. Up above the hill there is a very deep cave, which is named Pakshipathalam, since a lot of birds and bats are there inside the cave, making it difficult to go through and nobody has explored till the other end of the cave.

Pancha Theertham

PanchaTheertham is a sacred pond, which is situated near the path that leeds to Papanasini river from the temple.

Papanasini River

According to the belief, pilgirms who take bath in Papanasini will be getting "Papamoksham" (will be relieved from all the sins) for all the sins in his/her life time. So the name 'Papanasini'.

Ganapathi Statue near Papanasini

On the way back, we stopped at the Junction were one road leads to Kartikulam and the other to Tholpatti. There is a small teashop named Jungle View Tea shop where the only snacks available is "Unniyappam". This tea shop is famous through out India for the "Unniappam" the served there. The sweat taste of "unniappam" available there is unique and many news papers and TV channels has covered articles on this tea shop. The tea shop was there for the past 50 or more years, another wonder.

"Unniappam" Tea shop


  1. Thats a wonderful account. I have once had Uniappam at one of my friends relatives place near nagercoil.It jus was wonderful..

  2. One thing i remember about Thirunelly is there is a board telling no admision for non-hindus!! And there is another board telling the archiitect for the refurbishing of this temple was a christian!!!

  3. Sughee,
    Hope you will go to Thirunelli once to have this "Unniappam" :-).

    Hey John,
    That is a new information to me, I did not notice it, even though I am visiting this temple for the 6th or 7th time. These kind of contradictions we can see in most of the places. Dr. K J Yesudas is not allowed to enter Guruvayoor tmeple though his songs are always played there.

  4. hey deepu

    i hav been to thirunelli 3 months should be proud say that you are from wayanad... i was so fed up with bangalore life which i have been leading for the last 4 was a great experience to be in wayanad.. i m waitinf 4 the next chance to drive down..

  5. Dieter Norbert GrosskopfTuesday, March 13, 2007 12:46:00 PM

    The Thirunelli temple is dedicated to Mahavishnu. It is Mahavishnu Kshetram. The Murti is Mahavishnu in Caturbuja. It is not a Shiva temple as denoted my you.

  6. Dear Dieter Norbert Grosskopf,

    I think I gave the wrong information. I wrote it from my memory of some one at some day or probably in one of the Malayalam movie one of the characters mentioning that it is a Shiva Temple.

    I am grateful to your for pointing out this mistake, I did a Google-research after receiving your comments, and found that every where it is mentioned as a Mahavishnu Temple. I am correcting the particular statement now.

    I visited
    Mountain View eco farm and Ayurveda retreat seems to be great.

  7. Hi Mr.Deepu,
    Its a wonderful account that, me too I have experienced the great feeling since I ve been to Thirunelli very unexpectedly.

    But this was my most unforgottable journey in my life. The pleasure I felt ... no words. especially it was mom's i year after she left me alone in this world.. The papanasini bath and the darpaan and so on...

    And I really appreciate u..

  8. Hi Sana, Thanks for leaving the comments on my blog. Prayers for your mom.

    --Deepu George V

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. nice are super....

  11. Thanks Sarun... I have visited your blog..
    Great blog....
    Keep blogging...

    --Deepu George V

  12. a great write-up.

    my trip was equally good. I think those who are from cities will definitely like this place, which is pollution free.

    staying in a home in a eco friendly place- really one would for sure like this. this post is equally good as thanks deane for suggesting

  13. Thanks Matt for visiting my blog and leaving the comments.
    I could not comment on your blog, or the bikersfraterninty due to some javascript error in the page.
    Please Visiting again.
    --Deepu George V

  14. Deepu, can you suggest as to how to stay there for one day. We are 10 members of a family going for a religious ritual on 25 Mar 2014 and want to stay there for one night. On Tuesday morning we will complete the rituals and come back.

    1. Dear Krishna Das,
      Sorry, it is a long time since I visited Wayanad last time, and I never bothered to know facts about where to stay near the tourist places around Wayanad since Wayanad is my home town and all destinations are reachable within a couple of hours from my home.

  15. Pictures are so beautiful. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the history of the temple dates back to 3000 years. Archives and research have shown that Thirunelli was an important spiritual centre during the reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varma, a Chola king ( 962–1019 CE). It remained largely inaccessible due to impassable mountains and thick forest cover. Today, the temple is also known as 'Sahyamala Kshetram' or 'Kashi of the South'. Check out all best Wayanad tourist places also.