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Thirunelly Papanasini

Thirunelly Papanasini - Pinnappara

Thirunelli Temple draws pilgrims from all over, primarily for ancestral rites. The rituals are performed on the banks of the stream Papanasini which flows down from Mount Brahmagiri. It is believed that this stream has divine power to dissolve sins of all the mortals. Another major attraction of the temple is the holy rock where people pray for their forefathers.
Papanasini Brahmagiri Hills
Papanasini Kerala
The beautiful Brahmagiri hills and the surrounding lush green forests have made the temple premises a valley of tranquility. So everybody feels completely relaxed after sitting in the sanctum of the temple. The temple is an embodiment of ancient temple architecture.

Papanasini : Emanating from the heart of Brahmagiri flowing through roots, leaves and flowers of ancient trees and medicinal herbs, Papanasini is a holy mountain stream accessible around 1 km northwest of the Thirunelly temple premises.One dip in the cold Papanasini waters is reputed to wash away all sins committed in a lifetime. It is further believed that Papanasini is the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Saraswathy.
Pinnappara - Papanasini Kerala
Thirunelli Temple - Way to Pinnappara
Pinnappara Kerala
It is a wild stream that originates from the Brahmagiri Hills which later joins River Kalindi. It is almost 400 mtrs away from the temple, on its western side. Thus, the spring and river near the temple is called Papanasini: “washes away all sins”.

It is believed that River Ganga and River Saraswathi join in Papanasini. Therefore Papanasini is called the Southern Kashi. A ritual dip in Papanasini is believed to wash one away, of all worldly sins committed in a life time. If we immerse the ashes of the dead in Papanasini, it is equivalent to that of doing Karmas(Rituals ) in Gaya. At Papanasini there is a sacred rock called Pinnappara where ritual offerings to the spirits of the departed are made (known as bali).

People believe that Parasurama, the famous incarnation of Lord Vishnu visited Tirunelly and performed last rites at the death of his father sage Jamadagni. He also took immersion in the Papanasini to wipe away sins committed owing to the annihilation of Kshatriyas. The ashes of Rajiv Gandhi was immersed in Papanasini in 1991. Papanasini (destroyer of sins) has an interesting story to reveal. When Brahma was consecrating Vishnu’s idol Garuda (the carrier of Vishnu) reached over the sky, above the installation venue with the Amrit Kumbha (pot of nectar). During Garuda’s circling over, a drop of Amrit fell on the stream, which provided purifying power to the water in the stream. After that incident the stream came to be called Papanasini. Papanasini later joins in River Kalindi which is a tributary of River Kabani which later joins in River Kaveri.

At Papanasini, there is a sacred rock called Pinnappara where ritual offerings to the spirits of the departed are made (known as bali).
Thirunelli Temple - Way to Papanasini
Pinnappara : This rock is supposed to be the bone of an asuran (demon) named Pazhana-bhedi, who was killed by Vishnu. At the time of his death he prayed to Vishnu that his body be converted into a rock extending from Thirunelli to Gaya and divided into three parts fit for the performance of offerings for the departed, at
1.       Thiurnelli representing his foot,
2.      Godavari representing the middle part, and
3.      Gaya representing the head.
Offerings at any of these three places are supposed to have special benefits in producing happiness and in the propitiation of the spirits. In Tirunelli ritual offerings to the spirits are made at Pinnappara, especially on the New Moon days of the Malayalam months Karkkidakom, Thulam and Kumbham.
Kerala Thirunelly Temple Pinnappara
It is believed that Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana performed the ‘pithrukarma’ of their father King Dasaratha, standing on this rock.

Trisillery temple : It is inextricably linked with legends and folklore to Thirunelli Temple. The belief is that the Pinnappara at Thirunelli is a continuous stretch upto Thrissilery. Therefore it has been a practice that those who come to do the ancestral rites at Thirunelli, first visit Thrissilery and make a Vilakkumaala offering there.

How to Reach : On the side of the Brahmagiri hills in Wayanad lay an ancient temple, dedicated to the Lord Maha Vishnu, Thirunelli temple, surrounded by beautiful hills and forests, is located 32 km away from Mananthavady. 

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