Sivasailanathar Paramakalyani Amman Kovil, Sivsailam ,Tirunelveli District, TN

Sivasailum temple, Tirunelveli, copper temple flag staff.
Sivasailam Temple, tirunelveli  dist. TN
Tiruneveli district of south Tamil Nadu has innumerable  historical Shiva and Vishnu temples besides, temples dedicated to various Goddesses. The Shiva temple close to Azhwarkuruchi is a popular one. Located just 3 miles from Azhwarkurichi in Sivasailam village  is an old  big Shiva temple called   Sivasailanathar Paramakalyani Amman Kovil, popularly known as Sivasailam Temple (west facing).  This place itself is a serene one as   Sivasailam is surrounded by Velli Malai (Silver Hill), part of  Western Ghats and Mulli Malai, and is close to the Gadananathi River. It is one of the Thevara Vaippu Sthalams.
Sivasailam temple, Tirunelveli distt. TN.

 Here God's consort is  Paramakalyani Amman  and the shrine is just near the main sanctum. Here  rituals and pujas are done on daily basis  as it is done for the main deity.  The unique feature of the goddess' idol is her emerald green cheeks .
The legend has it that a landlord was doing milk business by keeping numerous milch cows and employees to take care of them and gather milk daily. One day, for no reason, all the cows, in unison, refused to give milk.  Taken aback, the employees told the landlord about the cows and their refusal to give milk.  Being a sensitive person, he fired all the employees and drove away the cows from his pasture land. The cows  gathered atop the hill and flooded the  milk  from their udder on the hill sides.  

At the place of flooding of milk a shivalingam appeared. Later the deity came to called  Sivasailanathar, the presiding God of this temple.  Here his mount (vahana)  bull (nandi) is in a sitting position in the mandap (hall), facing the sanctum/ garbagriha. It is a beautifully made stone-carved nandi  right behind the Dwajasthambam (flag staff).
Nandi, Sivasailam temple, Thirunelveli distt.

It is believed that  once when a  Pandya  received prasadam  and also a garland from the temple priest  here. Accidentally, the king saw a shred of hair on the garland. The king became furious because  it would diminish the sanctity of the garland  removed from the God's idol. The king got angry with the priest.  With a view to saving the priest  from the fury of the ruler, the God gave the king dharsan.   The God himself came to the rescue of the priest  as he happened to be a  dedicated devotee of Shiva. 

The main idol in the garbagriha is a  Suyambuligam - self-manifested (formed naturally in the ground). The image is made without  use of any chisel or any sharp  tool. An interesting aspect of this image is the presence of few lines on the back- something like hair.  This can be seen when the priest does aarthi at the back of the linga, visible from the prakara (prathakshana path). Hence the god is called Sadaiappar.
63 tamil saint/poets (nayanmars)
The temple, like many old Hindu temples,  has a number of mandapams (ritual pavilions) -  Nartha, Maa, Aartha and Mani.The 5-tier  main gopuram or tower carries countless small statues of gods and goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. The gilded vimanam enhances the appearance  of the main tower. There are shrines dedicated to God Ganapathi, Karthkaya (Murugan), south facing
 Dakshinamurthy,  Sri nataraja, Sun God/Surya and Moon God /Chandran, etc. There are idols of great Tamil saints/poets 63 Nayanmars  all facing south  enshrined all along the wall with their names on the wall.
Svasailum Temple tank. TN
From the stone inscription  of Sivasailam temple found in Poovankurichi lake in 1916, we get the information that the landlords of  Ambur, Alwarkurichi, Kadayam, Krishnapuram, Poovankurichi, etc  collected tax from people  to main the temple and conduct temple festivals, etc more than 100 years ago. Inscription found in Kizha Ambur tells us about King Ravivarman.

 For the annual chariot festival, the temple has  two wooden chariots bases one for the  main God and the smaller one for the Goddess. This festival brings in thousands of devotees every year and it a big annual festival event.