One of the oldest cities in the Indian subcontinent, Tirunelveli is not often on the traditional tourist’s bucket list. If you do have the good fortune to visit this city, you will get to experience the essence of Tamil Nadu in just one place. From waterfalls to wildlife sanctuaries to spectacular temples, there’s something for everyone here. But there’s nothing more impressive than the renowned Swami Nellaiappar Kovil, an architectural masterpiece that inspires awe in all those who see it.
Swami Nellaippar Kovil is a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity, Shiva. Spread over a sprawling 14.5 acres, the temple complex has multiple shrines that are enclosed within concentric rectangular walls. The most prominent shrines belong to Swamy Nellaiappar and his consort, Sri Kanthimathi Ambal. It is popularly believed that the Pandyas built the original temple complex, with the Cholas, Pallavas, Cheras, and Nayaks adding to the masonry structure we know presently. This kovil is also renowned as one of the 5 pancha sabhas or dance halls of Nataraja (Lord Shiva). The most popular time to visit the temple is in the Tamil month of Aani that falls between June-July to celebrate the Brahmotsavam festival.
Just outside the Swami Nellaippar Kovil is the well-known Irutukadai Halwa, a shop that dates back to 1900, and makes the best halwa ever. Halwa is a sweet made of sugar, ghee, and wheat, a sticky treat that is adored by countless people. This particular shop opens only around 5 PM and you will find long, winding queues outside it, with people waiting eagerly to get their hands on some halwa. The proud locals claim that is the waters of the Tamaraibarani river that sets their halwa apart, imparting its unique taste. Whatever the secret ingredient is, we can certainly say that you will want to pack a few boxes to take home with you!
A few kilometres away from the Kovil is the Regency Tirunelveli by GRT Hotels. Since its establishment, the hotel has been setting the standards of hospitality in Tirunelveli. It’s the perfect place for those on a business trip or on a vacation with friends and family. The staff here, like at all the GRT Hotels and Resorts, go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure you have a memorable experience. And with the thoughtful amenities and elegant decor you certainly will. All that’s left to do now is reserve your room. We look forward to welcoming you soon!