Historical Thirunelli Mahavishnu Temple, Wayanad, Kerala - a quiet place of worship

Thirunelli  Mahavishnu temple, Wayanad. Kerala YouTube
Thirunelli  Mahavishnu temple, Wayanad. Kerala  Kerala Taxis
Thirunelli Temple (also Tirunelli), an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu  is on the side of Brahmagiri hill in Kerala, near the border with Karnataka state. At an altitude of about 900m in north Wayanad in a valley surrounded by mountains and beautiful forests,  the temple offers a quiet and serene ambiance for the devotees who visit this temple for Lord's blessing and peace of mind; a chance to be away from the hustle and bustle of daily mundane existence. It is 32 km away from Manathavady. The name Thirunelli derives from  ''Nelli'', the Tamil/Malayalam and Kannada word for Indian gooseberry of the Amla tree.
Thirunelli  Mahavishnu temple, Wayanad. Kerala Kerala Taxis
As o the origin of this temple, no  proper records  are available, however, there is a documentary proof that during the reign of Tamil Chera king Bhaskara Ravi Varma I (962–1019 CE)  Thirunelli was an important town and  a pilgrim center, notwithstanding its location in the middle of an inaccessible wooded area in a mountainous region. Some historians suggest that this temple was once an integral part of the early recorded history of Kerala.
Veda vyasa, the great sage who wrote ''The Maha Bharata''  also wrote such inspiring Puranas as the Matsya Purana, Skanda Purana, Narasimha Purana, etc.,  and in those Hindu texts  he did mention about  the  presence of a beautiful Vishnu temple built by Lord Brahma, in the picturesque Sahya valley and  referred it as "Sahyamalaka Kshetra.".
Thirunelli  Mahavishnu temple, Wayanad. Kerala  Myoksha Travels
Legend has it that  once Lord Brahma, who was on a mission around the world on his his Hamsa Vahana, when passing over this place, was attracted  by the beauty of the  Brahmagiri Hill. On that spot where Brahma landed, he discovered an idol set in an Amla tree. Brahma recognized the idol as Lord Vishnu and the place as Vaikuntha (Vishnuloka) itself. In no time he built a temple with support from the  Devas. Brahma himself installed the idol and called it Sahyamalak Kshetra. Upon Brahma’s request Vishnu granted that the waters of this area would remove all sins. Thus, the spring and river near the temple are called ''Papanasini" - ''washes all sins away".
main idol. Thirunelli  Mahavishnu temple, Wayanad.thirunellitemple.org
The temple has no well, and to conduct puja, etc  the Srikovil is connected to the nearby water sources - perennial source of a stream in the Brahmagiri hills  via stone aqua duct.

Tradition has been that in the temple the priests in the early morning  leave a portion of the Puja materials in the sanvtum in the belief that Lord Brahma Himself will come and perform pooja rites at the appointed hours. Parasurama, an avatar of Sri Vishnu, is believed to  have visited Thirunelli and performed last rites of his father sage Jamadagni. He bathed  in the Papanasini to absolve of all sins committed in killing Kshatriyas.

It is said that Kottiyoor Temple and Trisillery temple  have close links with Thirunelli temple. In those days ardent devotees who visited
Trissilery Maha Deva Lord Siva temple. used to undertake the dangerous journey through Narinirangi mala to  get the blessings of  Lord Vishnu and Brahma at Thirunelli - a tough yatra quite similar to  the early Sabarimala pilgrimages. The sacred Papanasini that has medicinal properties is just 1 km from the temple. Also conducted here is  Pithrukaryam - thithi to the departed souls of our forefathers. The last rites for the forefathers are also performed here.

The temple that is at an  an altitude of 3000 feet  can be accessed through three wild life sanctuaries - from Mananthavady or Kalpetta.  State government buses are available to the temple.