Thirunelly Temple Guide
This 3000 years old temple dedicated to Vishnu has 30 granite columns to shield it. The Papanashini stream is nearby. There is an aqueduct from the Papanashini to the temple to have Papanashini water for the temple use right in its precincts. On the southern side of the temple there is a pond called Panchatheertha where five rivers used to meet in the past. In the summer the pond is waterless. Usually the pond is covered by dense undergrowth. A mound is seen in the centre of the pond on which a stone slab with the imprint of Vishnu’s feet is also seen. The imprint is called Vishnupad.
Papanashini (destroyer of sins) has an interesting story to reveal. When Brahma was consecrating Vishnu’s idol, Garuda (the carrier of Vishnu) reached over the sky above the installation venue with the Amrit Kumbha (pot of nectar). During Garuda’s circling over, a drop of Amrita fell on the stream, thereafter obtaining purifying power to the water in the stream. After that incident the stream was known as Papanashini.