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Nellaiappar Temple: 1300+ years old Lord Shiva temple and its musical mystery


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The Shiva temple is located in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu which is undisputedly one of the most prominent temples in the State. The temple has been in news for many reasons but the significant one is, the musical pillars. The stones imbedded produce melodious sound which resembles that of musical instrument.

First and foremost, the believers should know that the town is known for its direct involvement with Shiva. The almighty lord is said to have displayed tandava in the town. According to the researches, the temple was constructed in 700 CE and is considered as finest piece of architecture.

The original garbh area of temple was built by pandavas that covers an area of 14.5 acres. Subsequently, rulers constructed and beautified the temple as it appears at the date. The inexplicable example of architecture amuses every person when the stones are being tapped. The sound that it reverts is exactly similar to what a musical instrument produces.

The pillars of the temple produce all seven musical notes which makes it an exceptional monument amongst many. The architecture here is of such high standards that a cluster of 48 pillars were carved from a single stone, and they surround a central pillar. There are 161 pillars in total that make the musical sounds. Interestingly, surrounding pillars vibrate when one of them is tapped. Researchers inferred that there is a directly correlation to the sound produced in by the pillars and bell sound.

Subsequently, the reports elucidated about the classification of the pillars as, Shruti pillar, the Gana thoongal, and the Laya thoongal. At the Nellaiappar temple, you will find a combination of Shruti and Laya. While Shruti is the basic notes, Laya pillars are those that can produce beats or taal.

Assumptions can be made by observations regarding the efficient approach to design the architecture since it showcases their profound knowledge and hard work in carving.

Similarly, in every sub-continent and continent the example of highest engineering architecture can be seen. The temples and monument across the globe are breathtaking examples to boast of.


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