Presiding Deity : Kasi Viswanathar
Consort : Ulagamman
Beauty : Rajagopuram (Tower)
Tower height : 180 feet
Holy tree : Shenbaga tree
Holy water : Kasi Theertham
Attraction : Sculpture
Place : Tenkasi
Scriptural name : Dakshina Kasi
District : Tirunelveli
Prayers to Kaiamman in the temple is very popular. Deepas are lit on the lime fruit cups before this Devi on Tuesdays and Fridays during the Ragukalam time. Devotees throng here for marriage settlements, children etc.
This is in the northern side of the temple Prakara where women pray on Tuesdays and Fridays. Generally people visit the temple to pray to the Lord for Peace. Offerings to the Lord and Goddess Durga are made in the form of Dhotis and Sarees, adoring Devi with Turmeric paste, bathing with Panchamirtha ( juice made of five components) and milk. Annadhanam is a speciality. Also offering the Nivedhanam to the visiting devotees. The wealthy offer liberal donations for the maintenance of the temple puja proceedings.
The construction of the Rajagopuram (tower) was inaugurated by Parakrama Pandian in AD 1440 and was completed in the year 1505. The Gopuram caught fire in 1824 and was in a bad condition from 1826 to 1966. Then the renovation began and was completed in the year 1990.
The Rajagopuram is 180 feet tall and is a masterpiece of aesthetic beauty. A 2-5 feet wide pathway is also provided in the tower in the 9th tier to have an aerial look of Tenkasi. One enjoys the pleasure of walking on the sky while making a round in the tower.
The Tenkasi Kasi Viswanathar temple is a palace of sculptural skill of the stone craftsmen of Tamilnadu. There are twin statues, two Veerabadras, two Thandavamurthis and two Tamil women of highest standards of art. The sculpture of Rathi-Manmatha, the divine lovers, individual idols of Thirumal and Kali Devi are the creations of artists with divine skills.
Benefits to the devotees:
Those who worship in Tenkasi get the same benefit of worship undertaken in Utharakasi (Varanasi). The Durga in Tenkasi faces the west, opposite to the swami sannidhanam, while the tradition is that Goddes Durga faces the North in almost temples. The sculptures are made of single stone. The Balcony facility in the 9th tier of the gopuram is a facility to the devotees to have an aerial look of the town Tenkasi.
Tenkasi is 55 Kms from Tirunelveli, 105 Km from Tuticorin, 136 Km from Kanyakumari and 150 Km from Madurai. There are lodges in Tenkasi, the charges ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 400. Tenkasi is connected with almost important towns and cities of Tamilnadu by road. The nearest railway station is Tenkasi and the nearest airport Thiruvananthapuram.
For more details, the devotees may get in touch with the Executive Officer, Kasi Viswanathaswami Temple on telephone No. 04633-222373.
10 days Masi Magam festival (Feb-March), Navarathri (Sept-Oct), Aipasi Wedding festival (Thirukalyanam in Oct-Nov.),Karthikai Rudra Deepam, Margazhi Thiruvadhirai, Thai Amavasya, each full moon day, Kruthika Star day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Each first day of Tamil months are the important holy days when special pujas are performed. There will be huge crowd in the temple these days.
About seven centuries back, King Parakrama Pandian was taking a pilgrimage to Varanasi (Uthara Kasi) to worship Lord Viswanatha each year. The Lord, one day appeared in the dream of the king and directed him to construct a temple in the place naming it Tenkasi or Dakshina Kasi. While seeking a land for the construction of the temple, the King got a Nandhi statue in the Chitra River. There, he constructed a temple and installed the Lord and consecrated the temple. Till the year 1967 the Gopuram was of a flat type. In the year 1990, a beautiful tower came into being. Today, the temple looks so majestically with the 180 feet tall tower.