Sri Nellayappar (Chepparai Natarajar) temple is situated in the small village named Chepparai, in the district of Tirunelveli, in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. The primary deity of this temple is Nellayappar (Lord Shiva) and his consort is Gandhimathi. The festive deity is Natarajar.
The holy tree of this temple is Vilwa. The holy water of this temple is nearby stream water. The agamam or pooja of this temple is called as Kameekam. This temple is just 1000-2000 years old in this region. The historical name of this particular place is Chepparai.
The festivals that are grandly celebrated in this temple are in the month of Chithirai (April-May) transit day of planet Jupiter from one zodiac sign to the next with special pujas, Car festival for Lord Dakshinamurthy, Poornima day (Full moon day), Thai poosam in January-February, Panguni Uthiram in March-April, New Year days, Pongal and Deepavalli. It is to be highly noted that the idol in the shrine is regarded the first Nataraja statue of the world.
The temple is open for pilgrims and devotees from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. In this temple, Lord Shiva is a swayambu murthy. According to the local legends, “It is said that four Nataraja idols were designed closely similar to that of the idol in Chidambaram. These are in Chepparai, Karisuzhunthamangalam and Karuvelankulam in Tirunelveli district and Kattarimangalam in Tuticorin district.” Devotees and pilgrims perform abishek to the Lord and Mother with vastras or clothes.
Address: Sri Nellayappar (Chepparai Natarajar) Temple, Chepparai, Tirunelveli district. Tamil Nadu