Bringing peace to the heart of worshippers with its soothing chants of Lord Vishnu is the Krishnapuram temple, one of the top temples of Tamil Nadu. This place of worship which is also known as Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple takes shelter in Krishnapuram village of Tirunelveli district of the state. The reason that this temple is cherished a bit extra is that it is one of the best examples of Nayak architecture built over an area of 1.8 acres and is revered for its 17th and 18th Century carvings. And as for the rituals that are followed here, you can hear the soothing chants by the saints four times a day where they follow the Thenkalai tradition of worship along with other Vaishnavite festivals. One important festival of Krishnapuram temple is the Vaikuntha Ekadashi which holds great importance for the Vaishnavas as they believe that on this day the Vaikunta Dwaram (the gate to the Lord’s Inner Sanctum) is opened. This 10 days long festival is one of the auspicious events in Tamilnadu that falls in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January) and various yagnas, discourses, speeches and prayers are sung in the praise of the Lord at all the Vishnu temples across the globe.
Stories Associated with the Temple
The history of this temple dates back to 16th century and was sculpted out of the thoughts of Krishnappa Nayak, the ruler of the Madurai Nayak Dynasty and this fact is inferred from the scripture the temple possesses. It was during the rule of Krishnappa Nayak that the name of the village the temple is settled in was changed from Thiruvenkatapuram to Krishnapuram. Furthermore, it is also believed that the temple received a number of grants as copper plates from the ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire, Sadasiva Raya for the constant lighting of lamps and to lay gardens. Among the many beautiful additions that were brought to this temple, some of the most prominent ones by Krishnappa Nayak were the construction of temple tower, precincts, four streets to provide an easy passage for the temple car. The son in law of the minister of Vishwanatha, Deivachillayar also helped in the construction process of the temple along with the six villages which aided in the proper functioning of the temple throughout.
Stretching over a land of 1.8 acres, Krishnapuram temple can be easily classified as one of the most magical works of Nayak architecture. What's probably so special about the Nayak rule is their fondness and inclination towards art and their unique style of architecture is the best example of the same. High gopurams(towers) adorned with painted stucco statues on the surface, innumerable pillared mandapas and long corridors are some of the essentials of their style of architecture. Coming to this famous temple of Tamilnadu, it was built in the 16th century by Krishnappa Nayak who was the son of the founder of Madurai Nayak dynasty, Vishwanatha Nayak. This famous pilgrimage site is also an incorporation of Dravidian and Islamic styles like all the other temples built by the Nayaks. The temple is surrounded by granite walls and was graced with three precincts out of which one was razed on the orders of Nawab of Arcot. Later the stones were brought in use to build up a fort at Palayamkottai. The image of Venkatachalapathy is carved out of granite along with the images of Bhudevi and Sridevi standing on both sides is present inside the sanctum of the temple. Besides, the temple is blessed with a five-tiered rajagopuram and a number of halls namely Ranga Mandap, Pandal mantap, Nanguneri Jeeyar mandap, Unjal mandap and Vahana mandap. Out of these, the Unjal mandap is specially crafted to fit in the swing for the festival gods. Apart from this, the temple also displays the finest examples of sculptures from the Nayak period.
7:00 AM to 11:30 AM; 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Krishnapuram village, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
Best Time to Visit
The winter months of November to February are considered an ideal time to visit Krishnapuram temple as during that time the temple celebrates the ten-day annual Vaikunta Ekadasi as well.
How to Reach?
This popular tourist spot of Tirunelveli is located just 10 kms away from the district of Tirunelveli and one can get a number of buses from Tirunelveli bus stand or hire a cab to reach the temple.