Nellaiappar temple in Tirunelveli is the largest Shiva temple in the whole of Tamil Nadu. It was constructed in 700 A.D by the Pandyas and is composed of two distinct shrines for Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathy. These are connected by the Sangili Mandapam which was constructed during the 17th century. The temple towers were also built in the 17th century.
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According to the myth, the temple was one of the places where Shiva danced the Tandava and hence is an important centre for classical dance and other art forms. Inside the temple is the Thaamirai Ambalam or “copper stage” which celebrates this belief. Visiting Nellaiappar Temple during the festivals of Tirukkalyanam, Navaratri and Arurdra Darisanam would be a rewarding experience. These happen during the period between October 15 and November 15, during the Tamil month of Aippasi.
The Thaipoosam festival is another famous festival that is celebrated in the Temple. Visitors will not have any trouble finding the temple as it is right in the middle of the town.