Chitra Sabai Sivan Temple – Kuttralam

Kuttralam Chitra Sabai Sivan Temple

Chitra Sabai Sivan Temple or the Hall of Painting is located at a walkable distance from the main falls of Coutrallam in Tenkasi District. The place is a treasure trove of beautiful mural art and hence the name Chitra Sabhai. It is one of the five locations where Lord Shiva is said to have performed his Cosmic Dance.

Pancha Sabhai

Pancha Sabhai refers to the temples of Lord Shiva located in Tamil Nadu. It marks the place where Lord Shiva performed the Cosmic Dance in the form Lord Nataraja. The five temples are found at Thiruvalangadu (Rathina Sabhai), Chidambaram (Por Sabhai), Madurai (Velli Sabhai), Tirunelveli (Thamira Sabhai) and Coutrallam (Chitra Sabhai). Each of the temple names is associated with a particular dance form or Thandavam of Lord Shiva.

Legend behind the temple

According to the legend, once there had been imbalance on Earth due to the multitude of crowd present to witness the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi in the Himalayas. At the Lord’s request, Sage Agastyar went southward to balance the instability. The sage came down to Coutrallam but was dejected that he was not able to witness the divine wedding. Lord Shiva, on understanding the sage’s desire, is said to have presented himself before the sage along with Goddess Parvathi. The Lord then performed the Thirupura Thandavam.

The Temple Structure

Chitra Sabai Sivan Temple is a rectangular structure with a wooden entrance and pyramid style of roofing.

The hall within the Sabha is classified broadly into two compartments in the form of two rings. The two rings are adorned with artistic mural paintings on the wall.

The paintings in the Sabha are of various sizes and represent some very beautiful stories. Some of the paintings found in the hall symbolize the history of Coutrallam, the divine wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, Lord Vishnu in a reclining posture (Anantha Sayanam), scenes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and many other depictions of mural arts.

How to reach Chitra Sabai Sivan Temple

Chitra Sabhai Sivan Temple is located at a distance of around 7 kilometres from Tenkasi and around 65 kilometres from Tirunelveli. Tenkasi Railway Junction at a distance of around 7 kilometres connects the temple to all major cities in the State. Madurai Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 161 kilometres from the temple.