Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Kerala State
Keralapuram Temple, Kerala
Keralapuram is a small suburban town in Kollam district of Kerala, India.This township is located on NH-208. The nearest towns are Perumpuzha and Kundara. Located at 11 km away from Kollam city and 4 km away from Kundara town, this is an important budding township.
Keralapuram is a town renowned for its communal harmony. Keralapuram has several famous temples like Poojappura temple, Varattuchira temple,Sree bhalasasta kovil, kovilmukku. Puthankulangara temple, Melootte ValiyamadanThampuraan Temple, Konathe kaavu Devi Temple, Nediyavila devi temple etc. to name a few.
Palliyarathalam Bhadrakali Kshethram, KeralaPalliyarathalam Bhadrakali Kshethram is a very ancient temple located at Nedumprom East(near Podiyadi, Thiruvalla) in central Travancore district of Pathanamthitta. The deities of temple are:
- Devi (Bhadhrakali)
Nedumprom Nampoothiri family is related to this temple history and the King. The King and his loyal chief minister(Devan) Ramayyan Dalava took asylum in the Madom (Brahmin house). It is said that some members of this Nampoothiri family sacrificed their lives in order to protect the King and became Brahmarakshassu. With courtesy to this sacrifice, the King gave lands in Alapra, Ezhumattoor, Mannur and a Devi temple in the forest region of Pothenpuzha(Alapra) and making all these wealth and possessions free from taxes.
TheeyattuTheeyattu is an ancient and ritualistic art form done for the blessings of Devi Bhadrakali. It is being conducted in the temple as offerings(vazhipadu) by the devotees of Devi. Theeyattu is performed by the members of a Brahmin community called 'Theeyattunni'. One of the ancient Theeyattunni families called Panavelil is located in front of the temple itself. They are responsible for conducting the above mentioned Theeyattu in this temple.
Pandalam, KeralaPandalam is one among the fastest growing towns in Kerala, India. Known far and wide for its legendary connection with Lord Ayyappa and Sabarimala, Pandalam is considered to be a holy town. It is also a renowned educational and health care center in central Travancore. Pandalam hosts a lot of educational institutions ranging from reputed schools to post graduate, training, ayurveda and engineering colleges.
LegendAccording to legend, Lord Ayyappan, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human sojourn at Pandalam as the son of the King of Pandalam. During Sabarimala pilgrimage season, devotees come to Pandalam in large numbers to worship the deity of Valiyakoikkal Temple near the Pandalam Palace. This temple is on the banks of river Achenkovil. Three days prior to the Makaravilakku festival, the sacred ornaments of Lord Ayyappan (known as Thiruvabharanam) are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala. Pandalam was in Mavelikkara taluk, before forming the Pathanamthitta district.
Other famous worship centers in Pandalam are :
- Pandalam Valiyakoikkal Temple
- Pandalam Mahadeva Temple
- Muttar Sree Ayyappa Temple
- Kurampala Puthankavil Bhagavathi Temple
- Thonnallur Pattupurakkavu Bhagavathi Temple
- Kaippuzha Sree Krishna Swami Temple
- Poozhikkad Sree Dharma Sastha Temple
- Kadakkadu Devi Temple
- Kadakkad Mayayakshikkavu Sree Krishna Swami Temple
- Thumpamon Thazom Vadakkumnatha Temple (A temple with two sreekovils)
- Pandalam Mutharamman Kovil
HistoryIt is believed that the Pandya kings of Tamil Nadu fled to Pandalam after losing a battle and settled here in the land they bought from Kaipuzha Thampan, a landlord. The Pandya dynasty had provinces on either sides of the Western Ghats. The King of Pandalam helped Marthanda Varma to conquer the Kayamkulam province. In return for this help, Marthanda Varma did not attempt to attack and conquer Pandalam, during the expansion of his kingdom. The princely state of Pandalam had extended up to Thodupuzha in Idukki district once. Pandalam was added to Travancore in 1820. Before the formation of the Pathanamthitta district, Pandalam was in Mavelikkara taluk of Alappuzha district.
How to reachThe Road, Rail and Air distances to Pandalam are listed below:
- 105 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala
- 120 km to the south of Kochi, the state's commercial capital
- 51 km to the south of Kottayam
- 16 km from Chengannur railway station
- 18 km from Mavelikkara railway station
- 27 km from Kayamkulam railway station
Pathanamthitta is a town and a municipality situated in the central Travancore region in the state of Kerala, south India, spread over an area of 23.50 km2. It is the administrative capital of Pathanamthitta district. The town has a population of 38,000. The Hindu pilgrim centre of Sabarimala is situated in the Pathanamthitta district; as the main transport hub to Sabarimala, the town is known as the 'Pilgrim Capital of Kerala' The district have over taken Kottayam in literacy and became the most literate state of India in 2012. Pathanamthitta is a developing city and business center.
The main trunk road to Sabarimala is from Pathanamthitta. The Main Eastern Highway (Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Road/SH-08) and T.K.Road (Thiruvalla-Pathanamthitta-Kumbazha Road/SH-07) pass through Pathanamthitta.
Malayalappuzha Devi Temple, KeralaMalayalapuzha is a temple town just outside Pathanamthitta City Suburbs, located in Kerala state, India.
It is 7 km away from Pathanamthitta Central Jn. and 5 km from Kumbazha Jn.
The village is famous for the ancient Durga Devi Temple.
Hundreds of devotees across Kerala visits the Temple Daily.
Both KSRTC and private Buses operate to this Temple Town from Pathanamthitta.Jeep service is another mode of transportation.
The History behind this temple is very interesting.This temple was originally situated in a small village called Edathitta, in Pathanamthitta Dist.This was a full fledged village, ruled by Raja Shaktibhadran, the only Sanskrit south Indian writer.One day a tantrik from Malayalapuzha visited this place, as he heard a lot about this temple.Malayalpuzha was in drought for many years.So the TANTRIK with his power, migrated the shakti's of the devi to malayalapuzha.And the place progressed like anything.As the shakti's were taken away from edathitta, the place faced many destructions.And gradually there were no signs of the temple.Then according to the prashnakundali people found out as in when it was migrated and when will it come back,as the power cannot be transferred completely, it mentioned that it will take 3000 yrs for this shakti to come back.And in 1992,somebody from that village saw a dream that the vigraham,and the pooja utensils were beneath the ground,and people started digging that place, where they found everything mentioned by the person.And the villagers then contributed towards temple.And it is very famous now.
Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, KeralaThe Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the "Divya Desams", the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars located near Aranmula, a village in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, South India.
The temple is dedicated to Parthasarathy, Lord Krishna's role as Arjuna's Charioteer in the Mahabharatha war The temple is on the left bank of the Pampa River. The sacred jewels of Ayyappan (Thiruvabharanam) are taken in procession to Sabarimalai each year from Pandalam, and Aranmula Temple is one of the stops on the way. Also, the Thanka Anki (golden attire) for Ayyappa, donated by the king of Travancore, is stored here and taken to Shabarimala during the Mandala season (late December). Aranmula is also known for the watersports involving a spectacular procession of snake boats. It is also linked with legends from the Mahabharata.
It is one of the most important Krishna temples in Kerala, the others being at Guruvayur, Trichambaram, Tiruvarppu and Ambalappuzha.
Also, it is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharata. The Thrichittat templeChengannur is related to Yuddhishtra; the Tiruppuliyur temple to Bheema; Aranmula to Arjuna; thiruvanvandoor to Nakula and Tirukkadittaanam to Sahadeva). It has been glorified by the Tamil hymns of Nammalwar of the 1st millennium CE.
The temple has four towers over its entrances on its outer wall. The eastern tower is accessed through a flight of 18 steps. Descending 57 steps through the northern tower, one can reach the Pampa River.
Mahabharata legendsLegend has it that the Pandava princes, after crowning Parikshit left on a pilgrimage of India, and in Kerala, each of these brothers installed Vishnu on the banks of the Pampa and nearby places and offered worship. (Chengannur,Thrichittattu - Yuddhishtra, Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Thiruvanvandur - Nakula and Tirukkodithanam - Sahadeva). It is said that Arjuna built this temple at Nilackal near Sabarimalai. and the image was brought here in a raft made of six pieces of bamboo to this site, and hence the name Aranmula (six pieces of bamboo).
Legend has it that Arjuna built this temple, to expiate for the sin of having killed Karna on the battlefield, against the dharma of killing an unarmed enemy. It is also believed that Vishnu (here) revealed the knowledge of creation to Bhrama, from whom the Madhukaitapa demons stole the Vedas.
There is yet another legend associated with Parthasarathy here. On the ninth day of the battle of Kurukshetra, the Kauravas reigned supreme under the leadership of Bheeshma, when Krishna motivated Arjuna to take initiative and vanquish his foe. Upon his hesitating to do so, Krishna jumped down in rage, and took up his discus; seeing this sight Bheeshma surrendered to him and Arjuna beseeched him not to kill Bheeshma, as it would bave been against Krishna's vow to take up arms in his battle. It is believed that it is this image of Krishna that is enshrined here, with a discus. Aranmula Mirror is also very much related to the history of this temple
FestivitiesThe water carnivals taking place at the temple include a boat race during the Onam season. A tradition of sending an offering of rice and other material required for a feast from a nearby village, on a waterboat relates to the origin of this festival and this tradition is continued even today (this is related to a legend in which a devotee fed a hungry pilgrim, who directed him to send food to Aranmula and disappeared, revealing that he was none other than Vishnu).
Snake boats accompany the sacred boat. The boat race: Snake boats from 39 Karas from Chennithala in the west to Ranni in the east participate in the watersport Vallomkali. These boats assemble at dawn and sail in pairs for about 2 hours. A snake boat is about 103 feet in length. Each boat has about 4 helmsmen 100 rowers and 25 singers. After the watersport there is an elaborate feast in the Aranmula temple.
Another festival celebrated here is the Khandavanadahanam celebrated in the Malayalam month of Dhanus. For this festival, a replica of a forest is created in front of the temple with dried plants, leaves and twigs. This bonfire is lit, symbolic of the Khandavana forest fire of the Mahabharata.
The Malayalam month of Meenam witnesses a festival where Aranmula Parthasarathy is taken in a grand procession on the garuda mount to the Pampa river bank, where an image of the Bhagawati from the nearby Punnamthode temple is brought in procession for the arattu festival.
Omallur, often alternatively spelt Omalloor, is a small town, about 4 km south of Pathanamthitta District headquarters, in Kerala. Omallur is famous for Vayal Vanibham which is an annual cattle fair held in the month of Meenam (Malayalam Year). People from both within and outside the state participate in the fair.
Various sections of Hinduism co-exist harmoniously, the Ezhavas, Nairs, Viswakarmas and the Scheduled Class & Tribes constitute the major sections of the Hindu religion.Mathoor Kaavu Bhagavathi Temple, situated on the banks of Achenkovil river, is a famous Hindu temple.
The River Achankovil marks the eastern border of the Omalloor Panchayat.
The Thazhoor Bhagavati Temple, famous for the annual Padayani rituals during the Malayalam month of Kumbham is located on the banks of the River Achankovil.
Perunad, KeralaPerunad is a village in Pathanamthitta district, located in Kerala state, India Perunad is one of the 11 villages of the Ranni taluk. It is located on the banks of Pamba River and Kakadu River.
Perunad is located on the main trunk road to Sabarimala, the Pathanamthitta-Pampa State Highway. It is surrounded by the villages Chittar, Vadaserikara and Naranammoozhi. The road to Gavi, Kakki and Moozhiyar passes through the village. A part of the famous Periyar Tiger Reserve is situated in this Panchayat.
Perunad is chiefly a plantation township, the important crop being rubber.
EtymologyPerunad is known for its natural beauty,rivers,rubber and pineapple plantations,hills, valleys, forests.
Transportation1. By Air Chipsan helicopter service from Nedumbassery Helipad Kuttikayam. 2. Both state-run KSRTC and private operated buses connect Perunad to Pathanamthitta and Ranni towns. 3. Auto rickshaws are available and generally hired for short distance (1–3 km) where bus service are non-existent or rare. 4. Jeep & Car is another preferred mode of transport.
RailwayThe nearest railway stations are at Thiruvalla and Chengannur.
AirportTrivandrum International Airport and Cochin International Airport, at Nedumbassery, Kochi are the airports conveniently used to reach here.
Kadammanitta Devi Temple, Kerala
Kadammanitta is a village in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India. It is located 6 km from Pathanamthitta. It is known for its religious unity and festivals and rich heritage. Kadammanitta icludes three Christian Churches and two Temples. Kadammanitta village is now being proposed as a Cultural Village Padayani Gramam by the state government.
Places of worshipThe village has two temples including Kadammanitta Devi Temple, which celebrates the Padayani festival each April
The word Padayani literally means military formations or rows of army, but in this folk art, a series of divine and semi-divine impersonations wearing huge masks or Kolams of different shapes, colors and designs painted on the stalks of arecanut fronds. The most important of the Kolams usually presented in a padayani performance are Bhairavi (Kali), Kalan (God of Death), Yakshi (Fairy), Pakshi (Bird), Kuthira (Horse), Marutha (Mother Goddess), etc.,
Sreevallabha Temple, Kerala
Sreevallabha Temple (Malayalam - ശ്രീവല്ലഭ മഹാക്ഷേത്രം), a highly orthodox Hindu Temple dedicated to Purusha as Lord Sreevallabhan, is one among the oldest and biggest Temples of Kerala and a major destination for devotees all over India for centuries. Located in Thiruvalla town of Pathanamthitta district, this ocean of orthodoxy is well known for its architectural grandeur and unique customs that can be found in no other temples. The stone-wooden carvings and fine mural paintings inside the temple are worth seeing. Being one among 108 Divya Desams, Sreevallabha temple has been glorified by Alvars and many other ancient works. It is considered to be the vallabha kshethram mentioned in Garuda Purana and Matsya Purana. Kathakali is played daily in the temple as an offering, pushing it to the top in India in terms of places where Kathakali is staged in largest number of days per year. Lord Vishnu appeared here as Sreevallabhan for sage Durvasa and Khandakarnan. Pleased by prayers of an old Brahmin lady Sreevallabhan incarnated as a brahmachari and killed the demon Thokalaasuran. Later the idol of Sreevallabhan worshipped by Lakshmi and Krishna has been installed in the temple in BC 59. From then till date, the temple follows its own worship protocol that is known to be followed nowhere else yet. Sage Durvasa and Saptarishi are said to reach the temple every midnight for worshipping the Lord. The temple had governed one of the biggest educational institutions in ancient time and heavily contributed to the cultural and educational developments of Kerala.Great poets Nammalvar and Mankai Alwar who lived in the 6th and 9th A.D. respectively had vividly described the greatness and importance of Sree Vallabha Temple, the abode of the great Almighty the Lord Maha Vishnu.
This famous Temple is situated at Thiruvalla Sub district. The exact location of this temple is ½km south of Ramapuram vegetable market on the Thiruvalla - Kayamkulam Main Road.
The present Thiruvalla was known as Sree Vallabhapuram in the past and was an important place of Pilgrimage in South India.
Sree Vallabha Temple is one of the 108 famous Vaishnava Temples in India. The grandeur, beauty and serenity of this temple are manifested in the famous poem "Unnuneeli Sandeesam". Because of its serenity and grandeur people from far and wide used to visit this temple and offered their prayers. As has been explained, Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple a unique one situated on the Bank of Manimala River is one worth seeing. It is a great loss for those who have not seen this temple so far.
It is believed that this temple was built about 4000 years ago. The very architecture is unique and portray the antiquity so vividly that it is capable of arresting the attention of everybody. Those who see this temple once can never forget the absorbing beauty and sanctity of this temple.
The area of land (8 acres and 30 cents) in which the temple remains is enclosed on all four sides with walls whose height is 12 feet and its length in each side is 566 feet on the east and west exactly in the middle of the wall the gate towers (Gopuram) of equal dimensions can be seen on the other hand in the north and south gate towers (Gopuram) of different dimensions can be seen. The North gate Tower (Gopuram) is kept closed and is opened only in "Uthra Sree bali" a unique festival which is celebrated once in every year. This unique festival is a speciality which is celebrated only in this temple of Lord Vishnu. In no other Vishnu temple such a festival is celebrated.
In front of the eastern gate tower (Gopuram) there is a big pandal for which is widely used for enacting "Kathakali" and also for performing marriage ceremony. As far as the area of the temple premises is concerned this temple ranks first among all the temples of the erst while Travancore State.
As soon as we enter the eastern gate tower (Gopuram), we reach another Pandal in which we see the beautiful carving of the great Lord Mahavishnu in a single piece of wood in lying posteure (Anantha sayanam). Similar pandals are there in all the other three sides. Just behind this pandal there remains the unique ensign which is not seen anywhere in the world. This tall ensign (garudamadathara) in cylindrical shape, on the top of which one could see the bird vehicle of Lord Vishnu (garudavahana) with folded hands worshipping Lord Mahavishnu.
From 'garudamadathara' if one turns round to the south he could see a big pandal with 16 pillars in which during festivals 'Nagaswara seva", a kind of musical pipe is being played. The big Dining hall is seen on the southern side of this pandal. Generally Dining hall is being seen on the northern side of the temple everywhere but here it is in the southern side. One could also see the temple of Ganapathy and Dharma Sastha on the south west in the same premises. In between the Dining Hall and Ganapathy temple remains the Administrative office. On the west a well protected Pepal and Mango trees could be seen. It is also believed that the renowned Maharshi 'Durvasavu' used to meditate the great Lord Mahavishnu by sitting under these trees.
If one turns round to the north one could see a small temple without roof in which the idol of Lord 'Kurayappa Swamy' is placed. The peculiarity of this temple is that there is no 'pooja' but ablution is being done everyday by someone either from Punnassery illom or from Kaduvalli illom. Those who are suffering from cough and various skin diseases used to worship this God and many have got great relief. Therefore people from far and near used to come and worship Lord Kurayappa for the permanent cure of skin diseases and cough.
Very near to the Kurayappa Swamy temple there remains the "Jalavanthy Theertham" a pond automatically formed, is well preserved. On the bank of this pond a beautiful three storied building is built in which the poojaris used to take rest. This pond is earmarked for the Brahmin Poojaris alone for taking bath. None other than the Brahmin poojaris are allowed to go to the pond.
In front of the temple one could see the tall ensign built in pure gold which is a delight to the eyes. In front of this beautiful ensign, there remains the big sacrifical stone or alter on which one could see the beautiful carving of three lions on each side of the alter.
In front of the alter a very big wooden Coridoor which is fully covered with copper plates could be seen. This coridoor and the carvings are so beautiful that, they as to arrest the attention of everybody. Its architectural excellance here is capable of demonstrating the architectural skill of our forefathers who built this most beautiful temple. Under the roof of this beautiful corridoor one could see rare and delightful carvings of many things that are found in the universe.
As soon as one crosses the corridor they will come to the prostration building which is in between the corridor and the altar. This prostration building is 24 feet rectangle with roof erected in four stone pillars and 12 woodden pillars. Beautiful carvings made in the wooden beam could be seen in the roof. The roof is made of copper plates with top dome. The whole structure is worth seeing. Brahmins alone were permitted to occupy this place for the purpose of meditation and chanting prayers.
The buildings surounding the sanctum sanctorium have very wide enclosed varandah. The southern varandah had the temple kitchen and the navakappura. This building has granite roof. The varandah has 54 pillars in which the carving of beautiful ladies with lamps could be seen. On the western side of 'Navakappura' there is a number of underground cellars.
The cellars are still a mystery. No body knows why such underground cellars were built. Where these cellars lead to and what was the purpose for which these cellars were built. Many people want to go into the cellar but nobody is brave enough to do so as they believe that these cellars are being guarded by venamous snakes and ghosts. After these cellars in the western side, there remains the temple wherein the idol of Vadakkumdevar, the idol on which Sankaramangalathamma had been worshipping. On the north east there remains another temple in which the idol of Lord Vishwasena could be seen. The food offered to this deity is the remanants of the food offered to the great Lord Sreevallabha. In front of Lord Vishwasena temple there is a well having pure water which is used for all purposes in the temple.
The main temple (sreekovil) is conical in shape and has a perimeter of about 160 feet. It is built in pure granite stone. Beautiful Mural Paintings were made on the wall. These Mural Paintings included the pictures of Malsyam (fish), 'Kaliyamardanam', Kurmam, Dakshinamurthy, Varaham, Venugopalan, Mahaganapathy, Narasimham, Vamana, Sudarshana Murthy, Parasuraman, Sree Raman, Purushasuktham, Balaraman, Sree Krishna, Lekshmi, Kalki and Garuda. The conical roof is covered with copper plates. On the top of the roof there remains a dome made of pure gold. The inner chamber of the sanctum sanctorium where the idol of Lord Mahavishnu is erected facing the east side. Facing westward Sudarsanamurthy's idol is erected. The devotees of Sudarsanamurthy are always been protected from enemies, diseases and fear. The remanats of the offering to diety is ashes of dried cowdung (bhasma )which should only be used by the devotees outside the temple premises. No devotee is permitted to enter the temple with ashes of dried cowdung in the forhead or any part of the body. Even the priests are not allowed to have ashes on their body when they are inside the temple. If they put ashes in their body they deemed to have lost their purity and are prevented from offering puja or offering to Lord Mahavishnu. This custom is peculiar and is observed only in Sreevallabha Temple and is not seen in any of the temples in India. Another notable peculiarity is that both Mahavishnu and Sudarsanamoorthy are erected in the inner chamber of the sanctum sanctorium under the same roof, Mahavishnu facing east and Sudarshanamurthy facing west respectively. Such a thing is not seen anywhere else in India. Upto 1968 women were not allowed to enter the main temple except on the day of "thiruvathira" in the malayalam month of Dhanu and on the day of "Vishu" in Medam. However since 1968 women have been permitted to enter the main temple.
Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple was for a long time the greatest centre of learning in South India. Thousands of students from far and near were learning the Vedas, Astronomy, Astrology, Poems, Philosophy etc. The art of warfare (Kalaripayattu) was also taught.
Thumpamon Vadakkumnatha Temple, Kerala
Thumpamon Vadakkumnatha Temple is an ancient temple in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala. This temple has two Sreekovils (sanctum sanctorum). Both Sreekovils are round (vatta).
The deity in the first Sreekovil is called Vadakkumnatha. Some worshipers believe that this deity is Shiva. Some another worshipers believe that this deity is Muruga and another opinion is that the deity is Vishnu. However, the deity resembles Sree Buddha.
The worshipers believe that the deity in the second Sreekovil (known as Thekkumnathan) is Balamuruga. It is believed that this deity was worshiped by SakthiBhadra the author of Acharya Chudamani (a drama for Koodiyatta). There are mural paintings around this Sreekovil.
Pandalam Mahadeva Temple. KeralaPandalam Mahadeva Temple is situated in between Thottakkonam and Mulampuzha villages of Pandalam, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India. Yearly Kettukazhcha festival is one of the attractions for tourists. 10 days major festival is celebrated for Lord Siva in 'Dhanu masa' November–December every year. the festival start by hosting traditional flag names 'kodiettu' and ends by 'aarattu'. the administration of this temple held by Mahadeva Seva Samithi participated by 12 villages '12 karakal'in Pandalam. It is believed that Lord Parasuram has installed the main idol of the Garbhagriha in this temple.
Pandalam Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest temples out of the 108 Shiva temples consecrated by the great ‘Sanayasin Khara Muni’. The sacred and world famous temple is located on the left banks of the Achenkovil River,one side of this temple is in the banks of Achankovil River so this temple also known as 'Mukkal Vattom' 3 km away from Pandalam town in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala State. Pandalam is also world famous as the home town of Lord Ayyappan.
The temple is unique with its natural procession route around the Sanctorum. The river flows touch the feet of Mahadeva Sanctorum, just like Ganges flows from Shiva’s ‘Jada’ (hair). In addition to Lord Shiva the idols of Lord Ganesh (Ganapathy), ‘Maya- Ekshi Amma’, Lord Ayyappa, Nagaraja (Lord Snake), Lord Subramanian, Brahma Rakshas and Rakshas are also worshipped here. In effect the temple acts as the symbol and replica of ‘KAILASAM’. Millions of devotees experienced the blessings from this holy place.
Gurunathanmukadi Sri Ayyappaguru, Kerala
Gurunathanmukadi Sri Ayyappaguru temple is situated on a hill gifted with beautiful landscape, near the banks of Achankovil River, on the opposite side of Pandalam Sri Valiyakoickal Dharma Sastha temple. The legend of Ayyappaguru temple is intertwined with Pandalam kingdom .The legend says when Sri Manikandan (young Ayyappa) was brought up at Pandalam palace, he learned ‘vidya’ from the guru called Sri Gurunathan who was an incarnations of Sivachaithanya and was a Mahayogi. Sri Gurunathan reached Pandalam as guided by Lord Siva in a dream.
With patronage and blessings of Sri Rajasekharan, then king of Pandalam, Sri Gurunathan established a gurukulam (school) on a hill and he became Gurukula Guru. He taught Manikandan various sasstras. Manikandan became an expert in combat art also. Gurunathan became very much pleased in the learning capability of Manikandan and rewarded him with his golden ‘Churika’ . Sri Manikandan cured the inborn deafness and dumbness of the son of Gurunathan as gurudakshina . Thus, Sri Ayyappa revealed his divinity to the world. Sri Gurunathan spent the rest of his life in the gurukulam hills and later entered into ‘holy samadhi’. This holy hill is now known as "Gurunathanmukadi".
Indeed, the hill has become a holy place due to the blessings of Sri Ayyappaguru and also due to the holy foot contact of Sri Ayyappa. In these holy hills there is a temple complex where idols of Sri Ayyappaguru, Sri Ayyappa, Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu, Sri Bhadra, Lord Ganapati, Sri Nagaraja & Nagayakshi are being worshipped according to religious rites. There are daily poojas, special offerings and yearly festivals. There is chirappu festival beginning from vrichikam 1st to Makaravilakku. This festival ends with a religious procession called ‘Varavelpu’ from Kanikkamandapam to the temple, which recall the incident that Guru accompanied Manikandan to the Gurukulam for the first time. This unique procession blended with Bhakti reveals the greatness of Ayyappaguru temple.
The temple poojas, offerings and festivals are conducted based on legendary and historical records. There is morning and evening poojas daily under the guidance of temple Thantri Brahmasri Subramanya Narayana Bhattathiri (Thekkedathu Illam, Tiruvalla). Annual ‘Prathishta kalasam’, festival kalasam and Sarpa pooja are performed yearly. Programmes like temple festival, Sapthaham, Parakkezhunnellippu are also conducted regularly. However unluckily we could not, so far, give enough publicity to the legendary importance of this temple complex, so as to attract the devotees from far and wide.
How to reachThe Road, Rail and Air distances to Gurunathanmukadi are listed below:
- 108 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala
- 123 km to the south of Kochi, the state's commercial capital
- 55 km to the south of Kottayam
- 17 km from Chengannur railway station
- 18 km from Mavelikkara railway station
- 33 km from Kayamkulam railway station
Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple, Kerala
Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple is a Hindu temple in Kaviyoor, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India dating back over 1000 years. It is commonly called Thrikkaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. The main deity is Lord Mahadeva (Shiva and Vishnu) and the Temple is also known for its Hanuman temple. This is one of the famous major temples of Travancore Devaswom Board under Thiruvalla group of temples.
HistoryKaviyoor Mahadevar Temple has a unique style of architecture and is one of the oldest temples in Kerala. It is believed to have been constructed in the early years of the 10th century and the 'Kaviyoor Shasanas' of 950& 951 AD has references to the gifts that were offered to this temple. But the actual time of construction is not known.
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is also known as Hanuman Temple . As per legends the main Idol was installed by Lord Sri Rama in the presence of Sita, Hanuman, sugreeva and vibheeshana in threthayuga on his return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. It is traditionally known as the most prominent Hanuman temple in South India. There are two inscriptions on the basement of the main sanctum dated 950-951 AD. The Sasanaas are surely an addition, since they were written after the temple was constructed. See 'Kaviyoor' Kaviyoor#History The temple was administered by Ten Brahmin families known as Pathillathil potties and was took over by the Travancore State Govenment in the year 1899. As per records. As per records The Kaviyoor Temple Takeover had added a huge wealth to the Travancore treasury since the take-over of more than 2500 temples in the ME 976(about 100 ago before the kaviyoor temple accession), by Col. Monroe. The Take over/ accession of ME 976 has yielded more than 1600000 acres of land and almost 50000 rupees money to the Traqvancore Treasury (at that time the Travancore King has accessed several major temples of Travancore state including own Sri Padmanabha Temple of Thiruvananthapuram along with the famous Temples of Kanyakumari, Sucheendram, Thiruvattar, Varkala, Harippad, Ampalappuzha, Thiruvalla, Chengannur, Aranmula, Ettumanoor & Vaikom) Infact The Kaviyoor Temple was acced to the Travancore State as the 12th First class Major Temple with itsenormous wealth, includin tens of thousands of acres of fertile lands, tens of thousands of rupees and the huge collection of worthy treasures.
ArchitectureIt stands on a small hillock and is built in the gable style architecture peculiar to Kerala. It is one of the earliest structural temples of Kerala. Several historians, like Stella Kramrich has this opinion. The perfect round Sreekovil with Sandhara style and its peculiar basement clarifies this opinion. The temple with its copper covered roof, golden flag mast and the eighteen steps at the eastern entrance, is one of the most beautiful temples in Kerala. The balickalpura, vaathilmaadam, namaskara mandapam and sreekoivil( sanctum) of this temple are decorated with wood carvings. These sculptures belongs to late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. These carvings are based on puranic texts like Mahabharata and Ramayana. The wood work of this temple was done by local sculptors, belonging to Thekkethil family. Each and every part of this temple radiates architectural splendor. All the 44 Rafter shoes of the main prakara( Sreekoil) is covered with beautifully crafted rafter shoes. The 36 rafters of the Namaskara Mandapam were also covered with rafter shoes, but these pieces are now missing. The Temple has a huge collection of precious ornaments which also shows the artistic excellence of the sculptors of Kaviyoor. These include Swarna prabhamandalam, Golden Nettippattams and ezhunnallippu chatams, Golden pots, Golden Reliefs of Deities, Golden Umbrellas, Golden Chains and Several materials with precious gems.
FestivalsThe temple festival is held in December–January of every year. Hanuman Jayanthi, the birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman is also celebrated along with the temple festival.
OfferingThe main offering to Hanuman at this temple include Aval Nadyam and Vada Mala. One have to make take a recipt from the receipt counter before making the offering. Aval Nadyam is given on demand while Vada Mala is given after a month or so due to the large number of offerings per day.
Other common offerings like Ganapati Homan and other Hindu rituals are also offered in this Temple.
Chakkulathukavu Temple, Kerala
Chakkulathu Kavu is a Hindu temple, dedicated to goddess Durga. The temple is located in Neerattupuram, Thalavady panchayat, Alappuzha District, Kerala and is one of the most popular temples in the state.
Bhagawathi is one of the most popular deities in the area. Pilgrims from all over South India visit and worship the Devi.The temple was less known even to the local residents and lay as a family temple of a local resident. This remained until it was renovated a few decades before.
Located on the banks of the holy Pampa River, this temple has attracted pilgrims all over Kerala and became one of the most popular pilgrim centre of the state, thanks to the excellent promotional strategy of the temple management.
The major festival is Pongala which takes place in the temple during the month of Vrischikam (November/December).This is the time when the glory of the Goddess is at its peak. Lakhs of women devotees gather around the temple as early as even one week before the function. The temple premises will be overcrowded and the devotees arrange places for offering the pongala on both sides of the main streets. The queue usually extends to a surprising length of 20 km. Rice, coconut and jaggery are brought by women devotees along with round earthen pots for cooking. The Chief Priest lights the main hearth from the divine fire inside the sanctum sanctorum. This fIre is exchanged from one oven to another.
Panthrandu Noyampu is another festival celebrated at the temple. This is the type of fasting and prayer which qualifies the devotee for eternal blessings of Chakkulathamma. This fasting starts every year from the first day of the Malayalam month of Dhanu till the twelfth.
The other festivals are Naree pooja, Thrikkarthaka
The temple is situated in the border of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha Districts. It is 12 Km westward from the town of Thiruvalla in Neerattupuram Junction. The famous rivers of Pampa and Manimala flow on either side of the temple.
Buses reach Chakkulathukavu several
places of Kerala.
From Thiruvalla one can reach here in 15 minutes drive by car, KSRTC buses ply
evey 10 minutes from thiruvalla to Chakkulathukavu. Devotees who come by Air
can land at Trivandrum or Cochin (Nedumbassery) and proceed to Chakkulathukavu
according to one’s convenience. Devotees coming from Ernakulam side by train
should get down at Thiruvalla, from there are regular bus services to
Chakkulathukavu. Further information related to the temple can be from the
Public relations officer of the temple counter.
CHAKKULATHUKAVU SREE BHAGAVATHI
THIRUVALLA, KERALA, INDIA
PIN : 689571
TEL: 0477-2213550, 09447104242 ,
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )