Karkuvel Kayyanar Temple - Tirunelveli

Karkuvel Kayyanar temple is located near the famous Tiruchendur temple.This temple is hoary yet powerful. The prime deity of this temple is Karkuvel Kayyanar, he graces from his shrine along with his two consorts Poornam and Porkamalam. There are lot more deities inside the temple premise, such as Udhiramadan, Malayamman, Ivar Raja, Vanniya Raja, Vannichi and Pechiyamman. People wishing for better life, child boon, and early marriage offer Pongal to Karkuvel Kayyanar.


The legend states that many centuries ago, this part of the land was ruled by Athi Veera Rana Soora Pandyan. Kayyanar was the minister in the court of Soora Pandyan, he and the king were very close friends and the region flourished under their excellent rule. There was a divine mango tree in the country, this tree yields one fruit once in a year, and this fruit is held in par with divine nectar. And so the tree was encircled with heavy protection.

In the same village lived a devout widow, she used to take bath in the river next to the mango tree and also takes water from this river for drinking. On a fine night the ripen mango fell into the pond. Widow as per her routine took water from the pond and didn’t notice the mango been caught up in her pot. The very next day the King ordered his soldiers to make a raid in every house in search of lost mango.

Widow’s spell:

And the soldiers went as per ordered, as they were about to enter the widow’s house. Kayyanar stopped them and warned them not to disturb a pious widow. In spite of his warning the soldiers barged inside and found the divine mango in her house. Even though she was innocent, she was branded as a thief. To prove her innocence the widow cast spell on the village that the fire god will engulf all the evil men. And as per her wish all the men in village were burnt to ashes, but the fire didn’t touch Kayyanar as he supported the widow. Later the Kayyanar went inside the forest and took the form of Karkuvel tree. He resided in the tree for many years.

Kayyanar in the form of Karkuvel tree:

On a fine day one of the wood cutter in the village went to cut the Karkuvel trees. He was astonished to find blood oozing from the roots. And suddenly a prophet from heaven says that Kayyanar is residing in this tree. If they worship him as the guardian deity, He will protect them from all evil and adversities. From that day on, people of this village revere Kayyanar as their guardian deity.


Karkuvel Kyyanar temple is situated near Thiruchendoor Murugan temple.


There are lots of buses from Madurai, Erode, and Thiruneveli to Thiruchendoor. From Thiruchedoor, you can reach this temple within a five minutes’ walk.


Thiruchendoor has train facilities to and fro to all major cities of Tamilnadu.


Nearest airport is at Madurai