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Gunaseelam Sri Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple, Tiruchirappalli

#22 of 25 in Historic Sites in Tiruchirappalli
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Gunaseelam Vishnu Temple(Abhimana Sthalam) is a famous Vishnu temple near Trichy, in the state of Tamil Nadu India.It is located on the banks of river Cauvery. An exceptional feature about this temple is that mentally challenged people are taken to the temple and kept in the temple premises for 48 days(mandalam in Tamil). At the end of the 48 days it is believed that their illness is cured by the grace of the Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathi.


The etymology of the name derives from "Gunam" (Cure) and "Seelam" (Place), meaning the place in which all illnesses are cured. This temple is around 20 miles from Trichy.

However a deeper understanding of the meaning of the place is very interesting, gunam also means "Qualitites" seelam also means "Assuming a lower position". Hence gunaseelam is the ability of lord to come down and address the devotees problems, while doing this he chooses himself voluntarily to climb down from the highest possible position he occupies in the universe just for the sake of this baktha.


The temple has a sannidhi for viganasar ( Founder of Vaikanasa aagamam), Legend says he was given Brahminhood by lord Venkateshwara himself alongside Shri Brahma (Creator God)


The temple bears absolutely no resemblance to what it was a quarter of a century ago. With devotees’ contribution, the hereditary trustees have been able to transform the temple into a very impressive one. Currently, interesting paintings and photographs adorn the inside of the temple, nice solid flooring welcomes you leading to the handsome Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal seen in a Standing posture facing East. Being a parikara and prarthana sthalam has its obvious advantages in attracting devotees, yet the effort taken by the trustees in giving this temple a complete face lift is commendable. There is written documentation that the temple should be renovated in the 5000th year of Kaliyuga. The renovation was accordingly done.

The story In Bhavishyotra Puranam, one finds reference to the significance of this temple in Gunaseela Mahaatmiyam. Thaalpiya Maharishi along with his disciple Gunaseela Rishi once went to the Himalayas. On his way back, Gunaseela Rishi stayed back at Tirupathi and was so attracted to Lord Venkatachalapathy that he wanted the Lord to appear in Gunaseelam and bless the devotees.

He came back, bathed in the Cauvery and undertook severe penance here in his ashram in Gunaseelam. Impressed with his sincerity, the Lord appeared before him along with Goddess and promised to remain here till the end of Kali Yugam. Pleased with the darshan of Lord Prasanna Venkatesan, Gunaseela Maharishi continued to offer his daily poojas to the lord from his ashram here.

At the end of the Dwapara Yugam, the Gunaseela Maharishi’s Guru wanted him to go to Naimisaaranyam. Gunaseela Rishi designated his young disciple to continue the daily poojas. However, floods in the Cauvery and dangerous animals in the forest led the disciple to flee the place and thus the poojas came to an abrupt end. The Lord decided to hide himself in a pit.

King of Uraiyur builds the temple Several years passed. Later Chola king Nyana Varma, who ruled this place with Uraiyur as the capital, used to visit Gunaseelam regularly. Every day, cowherds would milk the cows from near the pit and carry the milk all the way back to his court.

One day, to everyone’s shock, the milk that was filled to the brim of the pot vanished all of a sudden. An invisible voice wanted the king to dissolve the pit by pouring milk. The king brought in his army and used thousands of litres of milk to complete this exercise. Once dissolved, Vaikunta Vasudevan is said to have appeared before the king as Prasanna Venkatesan. As per the king’s wishes, the Lord agreed to remain here till the end of Kali Yugam and help fulfil all the prayers of the devotees, who visit this temple. Delighted at the darshan of Lord Prasanna Venkatesan, the King shifted from Uraiyur to Kallur, (this place was then called ‘Badra Chakra Pattinam’) near Gunaseelam and built the beautiful Gunaseelam temple and laid down the process of the daily poojas as directed by Prasanna Venkatesan. He also allocated a lot of land for the temple as well as funds to undertake the daily pooja formalities.

Curing of Diseases One of the special features of the Gunaseelam temple is the power of Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal to cure people from all kinds of diseases. The Lord is also said to help childless couples, if they bathe in the Cauvery and offer prayers for 48 days at Gunaseelam. It is believed that the Lord protects devotees from evil forces and keeps away enemies with the stick he wields in his right hand. Belief also is that sincere prayers to Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal will help remove any negative energy in devotees who visit here.

Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre In addition to the complete reconstruction of the Gunaseelam temple, the trustees have also set up a mental health rehabilitation centre that has the official stamp of the Tamil Nadu Government license. The centre is equipped with individual rooms and toilet facilities. A psychologist visits the centre once every week. There are volunteers who take care of these mentally challenged people on a daily basis.

The curing process Sacred water is splashed on these mentally challenged people each day during Uchi Kaalam (noon) and Artha Jaamam (night) for 48 days. Belief is that one will get cured if they sincerely offer their prayers to the Lord and follow this process. It is today a blend of faith and modern treatment.

Since Tirupathi Lord himself appeared before Gunaseela Maharishi, it is believed that those who are not able to go to Tirupathi can visit Gunaseelam and all their wishes are said to be fulfilled here.

Visiting this temple on a Saturday is special. Lord Prasanna Venkatesan is said to have asked king Nyana Varma to visit the temple every Saturday and offer special poojas.

Festival Puratasi 11 day Brahmotsavam including 9 day Chariot festival Chitrai Theppotsavam Aavani 3 day Pavitrotsavam

Quick Facts Moolavar : Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal East Facing Standing posture with Goddess Lakshmi on his chest Utsavar : Srinivasan with Sri devi and Bhoo devi Temple Time : 830am-1pm, 4pm-830pm


Gunaseelam is the place to perform a sahasranama archanai. Probably the only famous temple in Tamil Nadu that does the archanai with dedication. Guess what all the 1008 Names is rendered. The archanai lasts for half an hour.

Unlike other perumal temples where tirumanjanam (abishekam) is done one in a week, in gunaseelam peumal has thrumajana sevai daily.
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Gunaseelam Sri Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple reviews

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  • This temple has a heritage though looks somewhat modern. The presiding deity is Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathy. The road connecting Trichy to Namakkal runs very close to this temple. Temple has no.....  more
    This temple has a heritage though looks somewhat modern. The presiding deity is Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathy. The road connecting Trichy to Namakkal runs very close to this temple. Temple has no.....  more »
  • Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple has good atmosphere and neat place in the temple.Good place to go for worship in early morning hours 
    Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple has good atmosphere and neat place in the temple.Good place to go for worship in early morning hours  more »
  • Popular temple. One of the 108 divya desam perumal temples. Very divine atmosphere. This deity Sri Prasanna Venkatesa perumal removes and relieves us from all our Sins. Also it's strongly believed by all that this deity cures our mental instability and cures mentally retarded people and they are given abisheka theertham sprinkled on their face.
  • It's a temple that was probably constructed about 8 centuries ago. The inner part of the temple has beautifully carved pillars, ceiling supports, beauty of lotus shaped finishings on the side walls of the sanctum sanctorum both on the inner as well as on the outer side. The pillars of the ceiling supports have beautifully carved conch(शंख,శంఖు,சங்கு)on the left side pillars and chakra(चक्र,చక్రము, சக்கரம்)on the right side pillars. The temple deity is only "Lord Venkateshwara" and resides as "Prasanna Venkateshwara" without his consort's Alamelumanga, or Sridevi or Bhudevi. Narrations about the temple history are available in the form of paintings in canvas, duly photo-framed all along the prahara walls, which is RCC construction and has been probably constructed in the recent past. Gunaseelam temple is a beautiful small temple just beside the Trichy-Namakkal highway(around 35km from Trichy)and a very good place to visit for those interested in Darshan as well as for those who are interested in art, sculpture and olden Tamil culture.

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