Thirunelvayil, a place of pilgrimage best known for the Uchinathar temple is one of many important “shivasthalams” scattered across Tamil Nadu. Two principal shrines are present inside the temple: one of Lord Uchinathar, and the other of Paalvannanathar. The shrine of Lord Uchinathar boasts of a panel sculpted in the precise perfection of ancient Tamil architecture. Frozen in this stone panel is an image of Shiva and Parvati.
The temple itself is a sight to behold with its magnificent five-tiered gopurams and the path for “pradakshina” (circumambulation on the outside, along which you see smaller shrines for deities like Bhairava, Ganesha and Murugan). Another shrine with images of Lord Shiva as the Nataraja and Sivakami is also located inside the temple complex. Thirunelvayil is located at a distance of about 3 km from Chidambaram. The temple lies in proximity to Annamalai University and the Thiruvetkalam temple.