The river Tamravarni flowing from the Western Ghats reaches
the plains at Papanasam where it drops to form a small waterfall.
This waterfall which is believed to absolve all sins from people
who bathe in it has made Papanasam (meaning absolution of sins)
an important pilgrim centre.
Papanasam is a small village away from the tourist trail. The
nearest town is Thirunelveli from where buses ply to Papanasam.
Accommodation though available in Papanasam is basic.
Once there was a Pandyan king who converted to Buddhism. He
harassed and ill-treated those among his subjects who did not
convert to Buddhism as he decreed. A family of a father and two
children who were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva, unable to face
this harassment left their state and went to a neighbouring
state. Unfortunately the family got caught up in a civil war that
was raging in that state. The children, one boy and the other a
girl, got separated from each other. Many years later after
wandering through many states they arrived in Banares. By chance
they met each other, fell in love and got married without
realising that they were siblings. They found out their mistake
afterwards and sought ways of absolving their sin. They were
advised to wear black and to bathe in all the sacred waters in
India and when their black clothe turned white it was an
indication that they were absolved of their sin. Accordingly they
clothed themselves in black and went from place to place in
search of redemption. Finally they arrived at Papanasam and when
they bathed in the river their clothes turned white thus
indicating the absolution of their sin. Hence the deity in this
temple is called 'Papavinaseswarar' (the redeamer of
The river runs on a rocky bed and fishes are found in
abundance in the water. They are quite harmless and approach the
bathers in large numbers. The devotees believe that these fishes
are redeemed souls and harming them would bring retribution
Help Desk : Mailerindia provides valuable services to
those who wish to discover the bliss and wisdom by the practice
of Hindu Vedas, Dharmas and Yogas.
Query Answer service : If you have any queries
regarding this article or hindu way of life section, send an
email to the editorial team headed by the section editor rishi
and vedic scholars who have indepth knowledge in the principles
and practice of Hinduism.
The editor rishi belongs to the "Saiva" sect of hinduism, the
forefathers of which are the noble saints like Thirumoolar,
Thirugnana Sambandar, etc.,.
Click here to email