Puliangudi is a city in Tirunelveli District, located on the NH 208 highway connecting Thirumangalam (near Madurai) with Kollam in Kerala.
Located on the foothills of the Western ghats, is one of the fast emerging options as a base for the sankarankoil-Courtallam tourist circuit, located midway between the two. It is also known for lemon cultivation.
Nearest Railway station on the Chennai Egmore –Sengottai line is at Pambu Kovil Shandy (PBKS) around 4 Km from Puliangudi. A more popular station nearby is the temple town of sankarankoil, about 15 Km away. Pothigai Express is the daily service that connects Chennai with Puliangudi. The train starts in Chennai at 2050 hours passing through Tiruchirapalli (0235 Hours), Madurai (0525 Hours) and reaching sankarankoil at 0740 Hours.
Nearest Junction is at Kovilpatti located on the Chennai Central – Trivandrum line offering connectivity to rest of India through express trains through out the day.
Puliangudi is located on NH 208 and is well connected by bus with all the towns. Popular starting points to reach Puliangudi and distance by road are as below –
You will find heavy traffic on the Madurai to Tirumangalam stretch.But it is smooth driving once you hit NH 208.The highway cuts through villages and is lined with trees on either side.
With recent investments in highways in form of ring-roads, bye-passes and 4-laning, driving to nearby cities like Tirunelveli and Nagercoil has become safer and more comfortable.
Cab from sankarankoil station on the Chennai Egmore –Sengottai line would cost around Rs.150 to Rs.200 and cab from Kovilpatti Junction on the Chennai Central – Trivandrum line would cost around Rs.500.
Puliangudi is well connected with all towns around through the State Government run buses. Cabs and vans are also available for hire, with the drivers doubling up as your guides.
sankarankoil is a unique temple dedicated to Sankaranarayana who is the combined manifestation of Siva and Vishnu. Thus it is held sacred by both Saivites and Vaishnavites. It is very famous for "Adi Thabasu" festival. In older times, the city was called as sankaranayinarkoil. There are two other shrines dedicated to Siva and Parvathi. Twice a year, the sun’s rays fall on the pedestal.
It is located about 14 Km from Puliangudi and is accessible by government buses. Tourist cars and vans can also be arranged from Puliangudi.
This temple also called as Avudai amman Kovil or Davasu kovil or sankaranayinarkoil or gomathi amman depicts a good example for Siva and Vishnu being One and the same. Here the main deity Sankara Narayanar poses himself with half Shiva (on the left side) and half Vishnu (on the right).
Goddess Gomathi Amman is said to have worshipped the Lord at this place. This temple is also considered to be representing one of the five elements (Nilam/Land/Prthivi)in this area, the other being Nallur (Agni) ,Tharukapuram (Neer/Water/Jal) ,Thenmalai (Vayu) and Devathaanam (Agayam/Sky/Akash) .It was built by Ukira Pandiyan BC 900.
The general belief is that the Holy Sand "Puttrumann" that you get from this temple is capable of curing all the diseases. Devotees believe that Sankarankoil‘s Nagasunai (sacred tank) have been dug by serpent kings named Paduman and Sangam which has a miraculous power to heal those who bathe there. The Annadhanam scheme is being conducted in the temple when daily noon meals are being provided for around 100 devotees. It is believed that all devotees who pray to the goddess Gomathi amman have always found solace.
Ph: 04636 222265.
It is located near Vasudevanallur. One has to take right before Vasudevanallur while on the NH 208 towards North/Tirumangalam. Lord Shiva is called as "Mathiastha Naathar". His consort is Godess Akilandeshwari.Legend is that Lord Shiva Himself did "Mathiastham", meaning moderator, for Chera and Pandia kings when there was a dispute between them, over dividing land territory. It is beleived that this sthalam is a Neer (water - among the Panjaboothams) Sthalam. One who visits this temple is releived from all diseases ( internal and external) pertaining to Water. The Lingam covered with the Golden Nagabaranam. The temple also consists of a Grand Natarajar Sannadhi, a Siddhar's Samadhi. One special thing to mention is the Dhakshnamoorthy here.Dhakshnamoorthy is sitting above all Navagrahas, in a peetam.
Karivalamvanthanallur / Nallur/ Karivalam
Located 8km from Sankarankovil, Palvannanathar temple here is believed to be the agni stalam. It has the primary feature of moorthy. It has sukkira theertham, agni theertham, Devi theertham
Located 37 km from Puliangudi, is famous for its numerous waterfalls. You can literally find people running around and taking bath in waterfalls with towels on their shoulders. The waterfalls are fed by the monsoon, colloquially referred to as "Kuttralam Season". Due to its location and relative cheap expenses, it is often referred to as "Poor man's paradise".The best time to visit is mid-June to September and October-January.
Numerous rivers such as the Chittar River, the Manimuthar River, the Pachaiyar River and the Tambaraparani River originate here.
Round trips by cab can be arranged from Puliangudi for Rs.1000.Modern lodging facilities are now available here at much reasonable costs. Remember during peak season Coutrallam can get very crowded!
Tenkasi (South Kasi) is famous for its Ulagamman Temple and its Shiva Temple. The Ulagamman temple was built by Parakrama Pandian, but was shattered by lightning. In the 1990s, the temple was restored with much financial assistance of Sivanthi Adithan and others, and it was given a fresh coat of paint again in 2006 by the same philanthropists. However, the first few feet from the ground has not been painted as that part appears to have survived the lightning. The gopuram or the entry gateway remains among the highest in southern Tamil Nadu. The main deity here is Kasi Viswanathar (Shiva). This temple has three Sannidhis [a unique aspect] - Sivan, Amman and Murugan Sannidhis. This temple has beautiful sculptures and also has musical stone pillars, that emit notes of different pitch when tapped with fingers. The entrance is really grand, with heavy steps. One could view the majestic Temple Gopuram even while entering the town. The Gopuram of the temple welcomes pilgrims with a pleasant cool breeze straight from the nearby Thirikooda Malai.
Kalugumalai locates in between Kovilpatti and Sankarankoil - around 35 Km from Puliangudi. An ancient Jain site in Tamil Nadu, which probably holds, many untold stories about the growth of Tamil civilization. One can see fine examples of Jain architecture and cave sculpting. We can find the rock cut images of Bhagawan Parshwanatha flanked by Daranendra Yaksha and Padmavathi Yakshi, umbrella and Chauri Bearers dating back to 8th and 9th century AD. There are many rock reliefs of Jain tirthankaras Vattuvan Koil (meaning a sculptor's paradise) is a Hindu temple built between the 8th and 9th century. The carvings reflect the southern temple style of the Pandya era.1
Kalugumalai contains a priceless unfinished Pandyan monolith cave temple, part of the iconographic richness that helped chronicle the burgeoning richness of the Tamil culture, traditions, and sacred centres containing religious art. The name of the town takes after the temple for Lord Muruga Kalugasalamoorthy Kovil built sometime in the 18th century.
Eco-Development and Model Farm project Ullar
Around 36 Km from Puliangudi A model farm, established by volunteers from through out the world , brought together by Projects-abroad. The farm features an area for preparing organic fertilizer, a nursery for medicinal plants and community work area. Main activities revolve around development and demonstration of organic and sustainable farming.4
Puliangudi is known for its powerloom products, kadalamittai and halwa.
There are numerous tea-shops for a hot sip of tea or coffee.
No fancy bar & restaurants over here! Liquor is sold through Government run agencies and we advise that travelers desist from venturing out to purchase directly. If temptation persists, the service boys in the lodge can get it for you! Please be aware that public comsumption is prohibited, and you could get into trouble.
Janatha Hotels, started in Feb 2009, offers modern air-conditioned lodging with 24 hour hot water and room service. Phone - 91-4636-233850 Janatha Restaurant Phone - 91-4636-326162 http://janathahotels.blogspot.com
There are other small lodges available near the bus terminus
TTDC approved bed and breakfast - Smt. A. Padma, W/o - S. Arumugam, Uttchimahali amman , Koil Street, T.N. Puthukudi - Puliyankudi, Contact no. 91-9443323539
Apart from buses, the Pothigai Express departing from Sankaran Kovil station every day at 1951 Hours in the evening is most popular option to headback in case your next destination is on the Madurai - Tiruchirapalli - Chennai line.
Incase, you have some more time, you can continue on the temple circuit - Tamil Nadu is land of temples.You can go further south and set base at Tirunelveli.