Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Kerala State -12

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Kerala State

Kunnathoor Padi, Kerala

Kunnathur Padi is the historic center ("aaroodam") of the folk Hindu deity Sree Muthappan. It stands in the Kannur District of the Kerala state of South India, 3,000 feet above sea level, atop Udumbamala of the Sahyadri mountains.
The Kunnathur Padi festival is conducted here, but there is no temple for Sree Muthappan. The festival takes place in a natural setting because Sree Muthappan said that "fallen leaves, a spring, a large mountain, a round stone, forest and palm trees are enough for Me."

Kunnathur Padi festival

There is an open place and a cave in the middle of the forest. During the festival season, a temporary madappura is erected here, which is called Sreekovil. On the west side of this madappura, there is a stone, a rock stand and a mud platform. On each side of the cave there is a palm tree. On the north side, there is a spring called Thiruvankadavu. Beyond that is Aadipadi.
Thanthries do the purifying rituals (Sudhi, Pasudanam, Punyaham, Ganapati homam and Bhagavathiseva). The Malayirakkal (invoking) of Sri Muthappan is done by Puralimala. In all other madappuras, this is done by Kunnathurpadi.
Thiruvappana and Vellattam do not appear simultaneously in the padi as in many other Sree Muthappan centres.
The festival at Padi lasts from the month of Dhanu 2 to Makaram 2 (mid-December to mid-January).
Sree Muthappan is a Hindu deity worshiped commonly in Kannur district of north Kerala state, South India. Muthappan and Thiruvappan, are considered to be a manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu, and hence Muthappan wholly represents the idea of Brahman, the unity of God, as expressed in the Vedas.
Worship of Muthappan is unique, in that it does not follow the Sattvic (Brahminical) form of worship, as in other Hindu temples. The main mode of worship is not via idol worship, but via a ritual enactment of Muthappan. Fish is used as an offering to Muthappan, and people of all castes, religions and nationalities are permitted to enter the temple and take part in the worship.
Muthappan is also the principal deity in the ritualistic. The ritual performers of Muthappan Theyyam belong to the tribal community of Kerala. It is unique because in Kerala both the upper-caste Brahmins, and the lower-caste tribals, both have a significant contribution to the major forms of worship. Kunnathur padi Muthappan Devastanam

Kunnathur padi Muthappan Devastanam Kerala, India

Kunnathur Padi, the Aroodam of Sri Muthappan in located near Srikandapuram in Payyavur Village of Taliparamba taluk in Kannur District. Kunnathurpadi festival which starts in Malayalam month of Dhanu 2nd and ends in Makaram 2nd is conducted in a natural settings because Sree Muthappan said that "fallen leaves, a spring, a large mountain, a round stone, forest and palm trees are enough for me." There are no temples for Muthappan in Kunnathur padi . This area is beautiful with its greenery and is 3000 feet above sea level atop Udumbamala of Sahyadri Mountains. The divinity and the purity of this place is been maintained for centuries, with its breath-taking beauty. Any visitor, coming to this area will feel the blessing hand of Sri Muthappan and will be able to cross the thin line that separates the spiritual existence and the miseries of the material world. There is an open place and a cave in the middle of the forest. During the festival season, a temporary madappura is erected here, which is called Sreekovil. On the west side of this madappura, there is a stone, a rock stand and a mud platform. On each side of the cave there is a palm tree. On the north side, there is a spring called Thiruvankadavu. Beyond that is Aadipadi.
Thanthries do the purifying rituals (Sudhi, Pasudanam, Punyaham, Ganapati homam and Bhagavathiseva). The Malayirakkal (invoking) of Sri Muthappan is done by Puralimala. In all other madappuras, this is done by Kunnathurpadi.

At Kunnathurpadi, invoking of Sri Muthappan (malayirakkal) is from Puralimala whereas at Puralimala, it is from Kunnathurpadi. In all other madappuras, this is done from Kunnathurpadi. On the first day of the festival, four theyyams appear at Padi Puthiya Sri Muthappan, Puramkala Sri Muthappan, Naduvazhissan Daivam and Thiruavappana. The concept of Vannan about Sri Muthappan is that of Eiver Muthappan (five Muthappans) - Puramkala Sri Muthappan, Puralimala Sri Muthappan (Thiruvappana), Nambala Sri Muthappan (Nambala is ant hill) Sri Muthappan (Vellattam), Thoovakkally Sri Muthappan and Andu Muthappan. There are very interesting scenes in the rituals of Padi. Muthppan does Pallivetta and accepts veethu (madhu) One of the acts depicts the Lord’s writing on the granite stone with His arrow. He is writing moola mantras. Perhaps, with this act, the Lord may be writing the customs ad traditions the generations should observe for all times! One special thing at Padi is that Thiruvappana and Vellattam do not appear simultaneously as in many other Sri Muthappan centres. He comes at night and goes at night. After the divine dance is over, He sits on the platform and asks Nayanar also to sit in front. Sri Muthappan recites the pattola. It is the history of the Lord and His relationship with the Vanavar. Bhandaram (coffer) is brought. Devotees do not put anything directly to the coffer. Offerings are given to the Lord in hand, and Bhagvan places it in the coffer. Then begins the most important aspect of the festival. Sri Muthappan starts His arulapadu. The long wait of the devetees is over and He hears their grievances, consoles them and blesses them. Vellattam appears after that


Madai Vadukunda Shiva Temple, Kerala

The Madai Vadukunda Shiva Temple is believed to have been constructed by “Kolathiri” Kings during medieval period on a plateau land generally known now as “Madai Para” in Madai Village, Kannur Taluk and District of Kerala State. This is situating 22 km north of Kannur, the Head Quarter Town. The “Kolathiri” Kingdom is an inherent branch of erstwhile “Mooshaka” Dynasty, which ruled “Ezhimala” empire during 5th to 8th Century. About 1200 years back a branch of their dynasty had migrated and settled down at Madai, which was then an important port and trading center, 4 km south of Ezhimala. They constructed castles and temples and established their head quarters on “Madai Para”, a significant plateau land lying at about 150 ft height from the sea level having sight to an extent of 20 km from all sides. Sree Vadukunda Siva Temple was thus constructed on “Madai Para” in the southwest corner of it at a holy spot due to the presence of the divine power of “Swayambhoo” of lord Siva.


Madayi Kavu, Kerala

Madayi Kavu, also known as Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi Temple, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Kali Amma in Kerala, India. The temple, now under the administration of Devaswom Board, was originally under the control of the Kolathiri kings. The temple, situated in Madayi near Payangadi, is an important site of worship in the Kannur District and Kerala region.
The temple is also associated with Mannanpurathu Kavu (Nileshwaram) dedicated to Kali, and Vadukunnu Temple dedicated to Shiva.
Madayiis a small place in Kannur District of Kerala State which is blessed with immense beauty of nature.
When one travel’s from Mangalore to Thiruvananthapura on National Highway 17, 170 km away is Kannur District. It is the native place of Goddess ‘Madayikavu Amma’.
Madayi is famous for Madayikavu (Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi Temple) where devotees worship as ‘Madayikavu Amma’.
'Madayikavu Amma', Goddess who is known for her blessings on devotees is worshipped as Mother Kali and it is a belief that any devotee who worship this Goddess with faith will be free from the black magic’s and witchcrafts of the enemies.
The origin of the temple is ancient, and the main deity worshipped here is Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi in the form of Maha Kali.
As per the history the temple existed from ancient time and there are two different stories about the existence of the deity. 565 In one of the stories, Madayikavu Amma who is in the form of Bhadrakali originally was existing in Shiva Kshethara Thaliparamba Rajarajeshwara temple. But, as she was non- vegetarian and could not continue to exist at Thaliparamba Rajarajeshwara temple, she ordered the then King of that region to construct a separate temple in her name. Then ‘Madayikavu’ temple came into existence as per the deity’s wish.
In another ancient story it is believed the people of Madayi were troubled by a demon named ‘Dharaka’ and Madayikavu Amma in the form of Kali killed him and requested Lord Shiva to give a place on earth where people can worship her always. Lord Shiva ordered his disciple Parashuram and as per his orders Parashuram hit the ground with his sword and the sea which made way for a hill was transformed into a “Punya Kshethara’ of mother Kali very popularly known as Madayi Kavu Ammaor Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi.
The origin of the temple is ancient, possibly preexisting Vedic times. The main deity worshipped here is Madayi Kavu Amma or Thiruvar Kadu Bhagavathi who is Bhagavathi in the form of Kali. The Bhagavathi is worshipped as the daughter of Shiva. Other deities are also present. The temple also contains a Shiva shrine. The Shiva shrine faces East, while the Mata Kali shrine faces towards the West. The Brahmin priests at the temple, known as Podavar Brahmins, belong to a particular sect associated with Kali worship, and are not barred from consumption of meat. A particular aspect of the temple is Kozhi Kalasham, which is the sacrifice of poultry for the goddess which is held in high regard.
The temple was spared from destruction by Tipu Sultan (whose followers destroyed the nearby Vadukunnu Temple). The Madayi Kavu temple was saved from destruction by a Nair warrior, Vengayil Chathukutty Nayanar, who received the title of Nayanar from the temple authorities for his bravery (Sthanaperu). Till this day members of the Vengayil Nayanar family are held in high esteem at the temple.


By Road

Buses are available from Payyanur, Kannur, Taliparamba(nearest town stations) to Payangadi. Temple is situated just 1km away from payangadi bus stand.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Payangadi Railway Station which is about 2kms away from the temple.

By Air

The nearest airport: Karipur Airport which is about 118 kms away from the temple.

Useful Phone Numbers

Temple Office – 4972875834
Kovlilakam Chirakal – 04972778307


Muthappan Temple, Kerala


Muthappan Temple, also called Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple is a Hindu temple, located on the banks of the Valarpattanam river about 10 km from Taliparamba in Kannur District, Kerala. Principal deity of the temple is Sree Muthappan, a manifestation of two mythical characters called Thiruvappana and Vellattam. According to the local tradition, Thiruvappana and Vellattam are the characterization of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, two among the Trimurtis in Hinduism, respectively.
Rituals of the temple is unique in that it does not follow the Satvic Brahminical form of worship, as in other Hindu temples of Kerala. The main mode of worship is the a ritual enactment of both the characters of Muthappan, through a traditional dance known as Muthappan Theyyam.  Fish, meat and toddy are the customary offerings to Muthappan.  Muthappan Thiruvoppana Mahothsavam is the major festival of the temple, celebrated for three days every year on 19, 20 and 21 of Kumbham (the days correspond to 3, 4 and 5 March).

 The legends of Muthappan

A version of the legend of Ponnu Muthappan is narrated here: Naduvazhi of Ayyankara Brahmin family in Payyavoor village and his wife, Padikutty Antharjanam, had no offsprings. Padikutty Antharjanam was an ardent devotee of Shiva and when she found a baby floating in a basket of flowers in the river water when she was coming back after a bath in the river, she took it as the blessing of Lord Shiva, and so was her husband. The child grew up and in his boyhood , he was always for the benefit of downtrodden and poor people. However, to the agony of his family he practiced hunting, and also started eating flesh, which was not allowed for a Brahmin. Unable to bear the indictments from his family, the boy decided to leave home. When his mother attempted to stop him, he looked at her in fury and appeared in his original godly figure before the parent. She bowed down before her son. Nonetheless, she requested him to cover his eyes with a Poikannu, a type of shield for the eyes, since she was afraid that such a fiery look on another occasion may cause to emanate the cosmic force, Shakti, that could change the entire world. Wearing a shield on his eyes, he left the family, and passed through various villages in Malabar, such as Kunnathurpadi, Puralimala, Padavil, Thillenkeri, Kannapuram, Parassinikadavu and Valluvankadav.
The legend relates Muthappan with a tribal family for the divine boy started being called as "Muthappan". Accordingly, when he reached a village called Kunnathurpadi, he got a tribalman, Chantan as his friend. One day, when he saw Chantan tapping toddy from Palm tree the boy asked for it but was denied. All of sudden, Chantan was cursed and became a stone. His wife prayed and offered to perform the rituals, Oottu, Tiruvappana and Amruthakalasam, to propitiate the boy in the month of Dhanu. The boy relented and gave her husband back. The Chantan family started to conduct pooja to propitiate the boy and they called him in the name: "Muthappan".
However, according to another version of the legend Muthappan climbed the coconut tree and emptied the toddy jar in the absence of Chantan. When Chantan returned and saw Muthappan holding the jar, he was provoked and defied the latter. It was at this instant, Chantan was cursed.
The chieftain of a nearby village, Kunnathurpadi , who belonged to Karakattidam family, came to know this incident and invited Muthappan to his family. Hence the people of Kunnathurpadi village also started performing rituals to propitiate Muthappan.
The legend also describes a dog which always followed Muthappan throughout his journey. Hence, in the temple of Muthappan, dogs are considered divine and the temple entrance has an idol of dog, at both sides.
Another version of the legend characterizes Sree muthappan as the son of a Thiyya women, Paadikkutty, and hence the people of Thiyya caste consider Muthappan as their principal deity.  

Muthappan temples in other locations

Several Muthappan Temples may be found in Kannur and Kasaragod districts, indicating how popular the deity is in this area. Each madappura has its own tradition. There is an interesting story of how Sree Muthappan Temple came to be built. An elder member of the Koroth family (a famous scholar who was known as "Ezhuthachan" for his commendable achievement as a teacher) regularly visited the place now known as the Muthappan temple and drank madhu, a type of liquor. As he was a devotee, before drinking the madhu he would pour some drops of it on the nearby jackfruit tree for an offering. He regularly repeated the practice. Several years after his death, the villagers began having serious problems , so they tried to determine the cause of their woes with the assistance of an astrologer. He determined that, as a result of the old man's offerings, the deity had taken up residence there. After the man's death, Muthappan didn't get any more madhu. His anger was creating the disturbances. To appease him, the villagers erected a temple in his honor. The Koroth family got the right of Koymma (patronage) for the temple.
In modern times, a committee was formed to promote the temple. As a result, it is now visited daily by hundreds of people. They believe that the deity can cure all diseases and bring prosperity to his devotees.

Rituals and festivals

The ritualistic enactment of both the characters of Sree Muthappan, Thiruvappana and Vellattam, is performed daily in the early morning and in the evening. Puthari Thiruvappana festival, conducted on 16 Vrichikam (this Malayalam day corresponds to 1 or 2 December), is the first Thiruvappana of the temple year. It is associated with the harvesting season of the region. The last Thiruvappana of the temple year is on 30 Kanni every year.
  • Thiruvappana is not performed on the following days:

Popular Offerings

The traditional offerings made to Sree Muthappan by devotees are Paimkutty, Vellattam and Thiruvappana. The offerings to the prime priest, Matayan, are Vecheringat (a boiled mixture of banana, pepper, turmeric powder and salt), Neerkari (a mixture of raw rice powder, salt, turmeric powder and pepper), boiled gram, or coconut slices Toddy and burnt dry fish are also used as offerings.


Parassinikadavu is at 22 km from Kannur town. Kannur municipal bus stand is the major bus terminal nearest to the temple.
  • Nearest railway station : Kannur, about 16 km
  • Nearest airport : Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode, about 110 km from Kannur.

Rajarajeshwara Temple, Kerala

The Rajarajeswara temple is a Shiva temple located at Taliparamba in the Kannur district of Kerala, South India.
The temple is regarded as one of the existing 108 ancient Shiva Temples of Kerala. It also has a prominent place amongst the numerous Shiva temples in South India. It had the tallest shikhara amongst the temples of its time. The Rajarajeshwara temple has a top of about 90 tonnes. If any problem is encountered in the other temples of South India, devotees seek a solution in this temple through a prasna, a traditional method of astrological decision making. The prasna is conducted on a peedha (a raised platform) outside the temple.
This temple was built in the early eleventh century. It was supposedly renovated by Sage Parashurama long before the Kali Yuga commenced. Several centuries ago it was renovated by the Mushika (Kolathiri) dynasty kings. The quadrangular sanctum has a two-tiered pyramidal roof; in front of the sanctum is the namaskara mandapam, but the temple has no kodi maram (flagstaff), unlike others in Kerala.
Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter
Rajarajeswara(Rajarajeswara is one of the names of Shiva) Temple is situated at Taliparamba, 25 km away from Kannur. Taliparamba or Perinchalloor was one among the 64 brahminical settlement. The old name of Taliparamba was 'Lakshmipura' as this place was considered as an abode of prosperity. All the fame and prosperity to Perinchelloor Gramam is because of the presence of Sree Raja Rajeswara temple and the blessings of Perum Thrikkovilappan.Perinchelloor Gramam has been referred in the Tamil book "Pathittupathu",Chelloor Nadhodaym Chambu (Sanskrit), Kerala Pazhama, Kerala Mahatmyam,Jambukolpathi,Kokila Sandesam, Keralolpathi and many more. Between A.D.216 and 333 Perinchelloor was the capital of Perumakkans as referred in "Pathittupath".

This temple has a prominent place amongst the numerous Shiva temples in South India. If any problem is encountered in temples of South India, the final solution is sought in this Temple through a prasna, a traditional method of astrological decision making. The prasna is conducted on a peedha (a raised platform) situated outside the temple. Taliparamba is one among 108 Shiva Temples in Kerala(ancient Kerala from Gokarnam to Kanyakumari) created by Lord Parasurama. Among these temples 12 are considered as most important and called Dwadasa Shivalayas(12 shiva temples). They are Gokarnam Mahabaleswara Temple(now in Karnataka), Taliparamba Rajarajeswara Temple, Kottiyoor Perumal Temple, Thrissur Vadakkunnatha Temple, Peruvanam Mahadeva Temple, Kodungalloor Thiruvanchikkulam Mahadeva Temple, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Mahadeva Temple, Chengannur Mahadeva Temple, Kandiyoor Mahadeva Temple and Suchindram Sthanumalaya Perumal Temple(for more details about these temples visit 108 Shivalya page).

Taliparamba is regarded as one of the ancient Shakti Peethams. Legend has it that the head of Sati fell here after Shiva's tandavam following Sati's self-immolation. So this temple is popularly known as Rajarajeswari Temple. Siro Peetham or Sirassu is the other names given for Rajarajeswari Temple in some ancient documents. Interestingly Taliparamba Rajarajeswari Temple is also included in the list of 108 Durga Temples created by Lord Parasuram. In the list Taliparamba is mentioned as "Sirassilum".



The quadrangular sanctum has a two tiered pyramidal roof. In front of the sanctum is the namaskara mandapam. The temple has no kodi maram (flagstaff) as opposed to other temples in Kerala. The balikkal has no roof but is embellished by a mysterious figure with a peculiar face. In front of the balikkal is a small rectangular building with a pyramidal roof, which is not usually found anywhere else. An inscription on the structure of the temple tank (which is a little away from the temple on the north side) indicates that the temple and the tank were renovated in 1524 A.D.

Sub Deities - Upadevathas
The Shiva linga here is believed to be thousands of years old. Legend has it that Shiva gave three sacred Sihvalingas to Parvathy for worship. Once sage Maandhatha propitiated Lord Shiva with intense prayers. Shiva was so pleased that he presented one of the Shivalingas to him with the injunction that it should be installed only at a place where there was no cremation ground. The sage, after searching all over, found Taliparamba the most sacred spot where he installed the linga.

After his death the linga however disappeared into the earth. Then his son Muchukunda offered similar prayers to Shiva and got a second linga, which too disappeared in course of time. Centuries passed. The third Shivalinga was handed down to Satasoman, a king of Mushaka (Kolathunad) dynasty who then ruled the region. He was an ardent devotee of Shiva. On the advice of sage Agastya he prayed to Lord Shiva who granted him the Shivalinga. Parasurama installed the Lingam in the present temple built by Satasoma.

Glory of Namaskaramandapa
The Namaskara Mandapa (mukha mandapa) infront of the Sreekovil(sanctum sanctorum) is the place where Lord Sree Rama (on his way back to Ayodhya from Lanka after defeating Ravana) prostrated before Raja Rajeswara. As a respect to Sree Rama no one is allowed into this namaskara mandapa and offer prayers, which is permitted in other temples for Brahmins.

Pooja Timing
The temple opens at 4.00 am in the morning and after Uchha pooja the temple will be closed at 12 am. The temple opens again at 5 pm. The Deepaaraadhana is performed at 6.30 pm and the last pooja, the Athazha pooja takes place at 8 pm.

While men are allowed to enter the Nalambalam always, woman are allowed only after the Athazha pooja in the night. At this time the Lord is supposed to be happy in the company of his consort, Parvathi, and pleased to grant the desires of His devotees whom pray to Him with humility and sincerity and this is considered to be the most auspicious time for women to enter the Naalambalam as they get the occasion to worship the divine couple.

Thanthri - Chief Priest
There are four Thanthris belonging to four Illams such as Poonthottathil Pudayoor Mana, Eruvesi Pudayoor Mana Edavalath Pudayoor Mana and Naduvath Pudayoor Mana. The present Thatris are Brahmasri P.P.Vasudevan Namboodiri, Brahmasri P.P.Pandurangan Namboodiri, Brahmasri E.P.Harijayandan Namboodiri , Brahmasri E.P.Kuberan Namboodiripad and Brahmasri N.P.Narayanan Namboodiri.

Traditional way of visiting the temple- Darsana Krama
According to the traditional system of visiting this temple the devotee first worship Lord Krishna at the shrine of Vasudevapuram located at the southern bank of the vast temple tank known as Aashraamath-chira, where there is a beautiful idol of Krishna playing the flute. Then, proceeding towards Sree Rajarajeswara temple one worship at the shrine of Sree Bhoothanatha (Kumbhodhara), who is the chief lieutenant of lord Shiva. The main entrance is on the east and before entering the nalambalam one turns eastwards and offers prayers to lord Vaidyanatha(kanhirangaatt-appan), an aspect of lord Shiva worshipped as the lord of physicians, enshrined in temple about 6 km from Rajarajeswara temple.

On entering the eastern gate the devotee makes a circumambulation of the whole central shrine before stepping inside the shrine. Towards the northern side there is a small shrine of a guardian deity called Yakshi. Usually a Yakshi is considered to be a female spirit with malevolent propensities, but the Yakshi installed here represents a prosperity-giving and benevolent spiritual power. The figure is a life size wooden sculpture of unique charm. The Yakshi is represented as one who is intently into a mirror.

After worshipping this guardian deity the devotee, proceeds towards the front of the central shrine and worships the Rishabha, the bull – mount of lord Shiva out side the central shrine facing the lord. Near Rishabha is the Balikkallu of huge proportions, made of granite with many figurines and intricate carvings. Because of its great antiquity it calls for replacing it with a new one, maintaining its exact proportions and carving.

While circumambulating the Naalambalam (the outer structure around Sree Kovil, the sanctum sanctorum), one walk towards the left side and from the Nirarithikonam (south-west corner) worships Goddess Annapoorneshwari of the famous shrine in Cherukunnu, a few kilometer away, and standing on the west one worships Goddess Bhadrakaali enshrined in another renowned shrine of divine mother in Maadaayikkavu. Originally, it is said, that goddess Bhadrakaali was worshipped in the western Gopuram of Sri Rajarajeswara temple and later the idol was taken and installed in the shrine at Maadaayikkavu.

After making the circumambulation outside the Nalambalam the devotee enters the inner space around the sanctum sanctorum to worship lord Rajarajeswara’s Jyothirlingam. As usual in the temples of lord Shiva, the circumambulation is performed only up to the theertha-channel and it is completed with a reverse circumambulation up to the channel.

On the west of the sanctum sanctorum is the seat of divine mother Pravathi, the consort of lord Shiva. The door here is permanently closed. There is a symbolic legend regarding the permanent closure of this door. This legend is related to the active presence of both Shiva and Vishnu aspects of reality in this shrine.

Like many a temple legend this aspect is also symbolized by a very personalized legend relating to lord Shiva and lord Vishnu through an interesting story. According to it, once Goddess Mahalakshmi, consort of lord Vishnu, came to the shrine to pay obeisance to lord Rajarajeshwara. On seeing the arrival of Mahalakshmi, the lord decided that there should be her prosperity-bestowing presence also in the shrine. Therefore, the lord immediately assumed the form of Mahavishnu and goddess Mahalakshmi entered the sanctum sanctorum presuming that it was her lord and seated beside him. And only when lord Shiva assumed his original form did Mahalakshmi realize the mistake. After paying her respects to the lord, she was about to make a hurried exit through the back door when lord Shiva ordered his attendants, the Bhoothaganas, to permanentely close the door on western side at the seat of goddess Parvathi so that the aspect of material prosperity which goddess Mahalakshmi represented should also be vibrant in the shrine for the benefit of the worshippers.

Later, when lord Vishnu arrived at the temple in search of his consort, lord Shiva’s attendants prayed to him to allow the presence of goddess Lakshmi also in the temple for the benefit of the devotees, which lord Vishnu gladly conceded to before taking his consort along with him.

The legend thus signifies in a way interesting to the common people the special message that the spiritual presence in the shrine benefits the devotees for their material and spiritual well being. Signifying this combination of the Shaiva and Vaishnava aspects in the shrine, twice a year, during Shivaratri and Vishu, the Uthsavamoorthi of the nearby renowned Srikrishna temple of Trichambaram is ceremoniously brought to Sri Rajarajeshwara temple and both are worshipped on the same peetha. This is a unique custom in Taliparamba temple and thousands of devotees gather here on these days to have the darsan of Umamaheswara and Lakshminarayana. The Vishukkani darsanam in this temple is thus auspicious. This also signifies the fact that Shiva and Vishnu are the same. There is no Shaiva Vaishnava difference exists in Kerala.

The place Taliparamba is also known as Lakshmipuram and it is believed that the name is related to this legend. In some hymns to lord Rajarajeshwara the lord is also addressed as the Aishwarya prabhu, the lord of prosperity and Lakshmi Puraadheeshwaran the lord of Lakshmipuram.

Taliparamba Temple is also connected with two more temples - Thrichambaram Sree Krishna Temple and Cherukunnu Annapoorneswari Temple. Taliparamba, Thrichambaram and Cherukunnu temples are collectively called Moonnambalams (three temples). Those who visit Taliparamba temple should also visit Thrichambaram and Cherukunnu temples. Visit to these three temples is called Moonnambalam Thozhal. Though it is not practised as widely as it was in the earlier days, it is still a religious custom among many local Hindu women to visit four prominent temples in Taliparamba when they are pregnant. For getting good children and for normal delivary pregnant women (before 5 months) usually visit these three temples along with Kanjirangad Sree Vaidyanatha Temple. It is believed that Shiva at Rajarajeshwara temple assures the child a high status, Sri Krishna of Trichambaram bestows with good nature and mental qualities, Goddess Annapoorneswari at Cherukunnam with wealth and the deity at Kanjiragat temple with long life. Now these four temples are well connected with roads. It is very easy now to visit these temples in a single day. Many pilgrims from different parts of the State visits these temples every day. These temples also attract devotees from neighbouring States especially from Karnataka.

Offerings - Vazhipadu
Ghee in small pots are offered to the presiding deity Shiva and are placed on steps leading to the sanctum. Its called Neyyamrithu in Malayalam language. The custom is that just as kings and emperors are seen only by offering some gifts-kazhchha-the Lord of Taliparamba, who is King of Kings, can be seen only by placing naiamrithu on the sopanam (steps leading to the sanctum). The ghee offered is used for abhisheka and for lighting the lamps in the central shrine. On auspicious days like Mondays, pradosham etc., hundreds of such small naiamrithu pots can be seen placed before the deity.

Festivals - Utsavams
Mahasivratri and Vishu are the two main annual festivals here. The 21 days annual festivals start in first week of March every year.

Rajarajeswara Stotras
The most distinguished of the royal poets of the Zamorin of Calicut, Uddanda Sastri, being a Nirgunopasaka was never given to worshipping of deities. Whenever he visited any temple he simply stood before the deity folding his hands. But when he stood before Rajarajeswara, the Kings, at Taliparamba he was so overwhelmed by the magnificence of the deity that he unconsciously uttered the words, 'Hara Hara Mahadeva', and prostrated himself before the Lord. Then and there he composed a verse to the effect that when he saw the splendorous crescent adorning the idol his hands automatically joined together in prayer. "Moon on your head is like an actual moon which makes the devotees fold their hand as if a water lilly does in the moonlight".

Kings and Rajarajeswara
In the past Kerala was divided into many small kingdoms and there were many kings/rulers. They all considered Lord Rajarajeswara as their Chakaravarthy (Rajarajeswara or King of Kings). The region was ruled by Zamorins(Samoothiri) of Kozhikkod and they were devotees of Lord Rajarajeswara. One of the Zamorins was an ardent devotee of the Lord of Taliparamba. After years of intense worship he is said to have entered the sanctum sanctorum and merged with the God. Even today when the elder Zamorin dies the information should be given to the temple authorities and the Lord is supposed to observe mourning. Even the distant Travancore kings paid obeisance to the deity by offering an elephant whenever a ruler is crowned or visited the temple.

J.Jayalalitha, the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu visited Sri Rajarajeshwara Temple at Taliparamba in 2001. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa offered worship at Rajarajeswara Temple many times and in November 2008, he had offered an elephant. He worshipped Lord Rajarajeswara amid the political crisis faced by his government following the decision by 19 MLAs to withdraw support to the BJP government and he survived from the crisis. But even today none of the ministers of Kerala have the courage to enter before Lord Rajarajeswara.
The Taliparamba temple also was subject to attack by Tipu Sultan. One finds relics of the old gigantic gopuram at the entrance, which was demolished by Tipu's army. The story goes that when the temple was under siege, the head priest was inside the sanctum sanctorum and prayed ceaselessly day and night. it is further said that a black snake bit the commander of the army and a hooded serpent appeared before every soldier thus immobilizing the army and saving the temple from total destruction.

The place is considered as most sacred for performing Koodiyattam and Chakyar Koothu. Whenever a new Koodiyattam is being directed, first it is usually performed at this temple. However only the 'Maani' family of Chakyars solely posses the right of performing Koodiyattam here. Legendary Koodiyattam and Chakyar koothu maestro, Natyaachaarya Vidushakaratnam Padma Shri Maani Madhava Chakyaar had performed here for many decades. The title 'Vidushakaratnam' was awarded to him from this temple. One of the greatest appreciation or award that an artist/scholar can get, is the 'Veerashringhala'- Golden Bracelet, from the temple, given by the unanimous approval of the scholar body of the temple. Guru Mani Madhava Chakyaar is the youngest and last person to get the Veerashringhala from here

How to Reach

Taliparamba is a Muncipality in Kannur district and is the headquarters of Taliparamba Taluk. Taliparamba is on the National Highway–17 and the Rajarajeswara temple is situated 23 Kms north-east of Kannur city. From Kasargod 83 Kms towards south. The devotees coming from Mangalore have to travel about 135 Kms south on Kasargode – Kannur route via Manjeswaram, Kanhangad, Nileswaram, Payyanur, Pilathara, Pariyaram to reach Thaliparamba. The nearest Railway stations are Kannur and Payyanur. Plenty of buses are running to Taliparamba from all the above places. There are boarding and lodging facilities in Taliparama city comparatively on cheap rate.


Sree Ramaswami Temple, Kerala

Sree Ramaswami temple (Malayalam: ശ്രീ രാമസ്വാമി ക്ഷേത്രം) or commonly known as Thiruvangad temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Sree Rama, is an important temple located in the east part of Thalassery. The temple is generally known as the Brass Pagoda from the copper sheeting of its roof. A part of the temple was damaged by Tipu Sultan's troops in the 18th century, but the temple itself is believed to have been saved from destruction. It was one of the outposts of the Thalassery fort in the eighteenth century. In its precincts were held many conferences between the officials of the East India Company and local leaders, at which political treaties and agreements were signed. The temple contains some interesting sculptures and lithic records. The annual festival of temple commences on Vishu day in Medam (April–May) and lasts for seven days.
It is one of the four Shrines dedicated to Lord Sree Rama in Kerala. The other three are at Triprayar, Thiruvilluamala and Kadalur. It is Located on an elevated plot of 2.75 hectares with an adjoining temple tank known as Chira which extends over an area of one hectare, This well maintained temple has excellent wood carvings, terracota art work, mural paintings carved on wooden planks in the ceilings are a repository of art treasure. the big temple tank is a rare one and useful to the devotees. sathram, guesthouses for stay and kalyana mandapam are also well maintained.

Legends and History

The origin of this Temple is steeped in mystery. There are no records available to fix the age of this temple except for a few references in Keralolpathi and Malabar Manual. According to Kerala Mahatmyam, this temple was consecrated by Lord Parashurama - one of the incarnations of Vishnu. Yet hearsay evidences point out that this temple is about 2000 years old. According to a legend this temple was consecrated by a sage named Swetharshi. The legend says Agasthya Muni on his way to River for offering his customary ablution was confronted by two demons named Neela and Swetha. Agasthya Muni cursed them. On their request for penance, Agasthya Muni advised them to perform Tapas at two Shiva Temples. The place where Neela performed Tapas came to be known as Neeleswaram. Swetha performed his Tapas at Thiruvangad (Tiru-van-kad, meaning the sacred dense forest). They were later known as Neelarshi and Swetharshi. It is said that Swetharshi consecrated a Shiva temple & Vishnu temple at the place where he performed his Tapas. It is believed that the Shiva installed by Swetharshi was very fierce, hence to calm its fury another Shiva temple was consecrated just opposite. Now the temple complex consists of two Shiva temples facing each other on the north side and the Big Sri Rama temple on the South. There is also a slightly different version of the legend, Which says that Shiva Temple was consecrated by Neelarshi - a Shiva Bhakta and Sree Rama temple was consecrated by Swetharshi - a Vishnu Bhakta.
There are several authoritative references and records to suggest that the temple and its premises have witnessed the executions of several historical treaties and invasions. The earliest reference is possibly the inscription on the huge ‘Balikkallu’ in front of the temple denoting the year of reconstruction of the temple as AD 826. The book "Kerala Charithram" refers to the occupation of Thalassery and Thiruvangad by the troops of Kolathu Nadu, Kadathanadu and Kottayam Raja in protest against the British Chief Dorin in 1750. When Hyder Ali of Mysore invaded the Chirakkal Palace of Kolathiri Raja in 1766, Kolathiri Royal family took refuge in this temple. The Seven storeyed ‘Gopuram’ in the front entrance is said to have been destroyed during the invasion of Tipu Sultan. The plinth of these walls and gopuram are still visible today. East India Company and the British were keen to protect the interest of this temple as evidenced in the references in the Logan's Malabar Manual. The "Brass pagoda" referred by William Logan is this temple. The inscription on the compound wall on the eastern side reads "the wall around this pagoda was constructed under the supervision of T.H. Baber Esq. in 1815". Baber, the then Sub Collector of Malabar was an ardent devotee and daily visitor to the temple premises who evinced immense interest in the affairs of the temple

Main Shrine

The Main deity of Sree Rama having four arms is carved out in Krishna Shila. Three arms hold Shankha, Chakra, and Mace and the fourth is in the abhaya mudra (sign of blessing and Moksha). The Mace is, however, held upside down, which is a peculiarity. It is believed that the deity depicted here is the ‘Poorna Roopa’ (full form) assumed by Sree Rama after annihilating the Khara, Thrisiras and Dooshana along with their fourteen thousand soldiers. The Idol of Sree Hanuman is consecrated in front, slightly towards the left of Sree Rama; the pilgrims give equal importance to Sree Hanuman. The idol of Hanuman is made of Metal.
The other sub deities are Sree Porkali Devi in the ‘Namaskara Mandapam’, Sree Subramanyan near Thidappally facing West, Sree Ganapathy and Sree Dakshinamoorty in the South Nada, Sree Vana Sastavu in the ‘Pichakathara’, Sree Guruvayurappan on the north side facing East and various Thevara Moorthies (condemned idols) on the north side facing West. It is said that the idols of some of these minor deities might have been transferred from the neighbouring temples for safe custody during Tipu Sultan’s invasion. The same may be the case of recent additions of Vana Sastavu, Maha Vishnu and Thevara Moorthi. The temple has some unique characteristics of architecture and is a treasure house of sculpture and paintings. The srikoil is rectangular in shape with two storeys, which are coppered roofed. The front portion is vertical and the rear and sides are sloped. There are three gold-plated stupis on the top ridge in the longitudinal direction at the entrance. The walls around the srikoil are embellished with images of Gods and Puranic figures.

Main festivals

The most important festival is the Vishu Mahotsavam which commences on Vishu with the hoisting of the ceremonial flag on Dhwaja Stambha. It lasts for seven days with the daily elephant processions, special poojas and various programs culminating on arattu or bathing the deity, on the last day in the temple tank.Kathakali, Chakyar Koothu, are performed on all days in addition to the temple rituals.
Chakyar Koothu is performed in this temple as a part of rituals. Mani Chakyar family traditionally holds the right to perform here. The greatest Chakyar Koothu, Kutiyattam exponent Legendary Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar used to perform Chakyar Koothu here for decades Pattathanam is another important function celebrated on the Thiruvonam day in the Malayalam calendar month of Makaram.
Main and popular vazhipadu is kalabham charthal. Valiavattala payasam, avil nivedyam are also important.

Valluvan Kadav Sree Muthapan, Kerala

The Valluvan Kadav Sree Muthappan temple is situated in Kerala. In the Kannur district there are muthappan temples in every village. The most famous parassini kadav sree muthappan temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every day. The Valluvan Kadav Sree Muthappan Temple is a 400-year-old temple that was recently renovated completely, drawing large numbers of devotees to this temple situated in Kannadiparamba in Kannur district.

Story of Muthappan

In Payyavoor village there was a Brahmin family known as Ayyankara. The lady of the Ayyankara royal family went for her usual bath in the nearby Payyvur river. As she was bathing, she heard a ringing sound, similar to the sound made by anklets. To her surprise she spotted a baby floating in a basket of flowers in the river water. Anxious for a child, she immediately took the boy home. Her husband considered the baby to be a blessing from their god Shiva. The child grew up. In his youth, he was fond of hunting and he would often kill birds and animals and would consume their roasted flesh. This practice was highly unacceptable in the eyes of his parents, for which the boy would often receive scolding. Unable to bear this, one day the boy decided to leave home. On seeing that his mother was reluctant to let him leave, he looked at her in fury with fiery eyes. On seeing this terrible expression of her son, she bowed to him and understood that her son was no ordinary boy. Thus, his divinity was revealed and he was thus understood to be Muthappan.
He obeyed that he would wear the "Poikannu" to conceal the original as that eye may make fire in order to create "Santi and Samabavana" Muthappan at his childhood was always for the benefit of downtrodden and poor people. The mother knew that he is godly gift and leave Ayyankara. He left Ayyankara and reached Kunnathurpadi, Puralimala, Thillenkeri, Kannapuram, Parassinikadavu and Valluvankadav. In Kunnathurpadi, Chantan a tribalman was his friend. He wanter always with his dog., He saw Chantan was tapping from Palm tree. The boy requested to give him toddy. But Chantan ignored it. All of sudden he transformed into a stone. His wife prayed that she would offer the boy "oottu" and "Tiruvappana" and amruthakalasam" in the month of Dhanu. Suddenly Chantan appeared. Therefore, the Chantan family started to do the pooja for the boy and started to call "Muthappan". In the Kunnathurpadi royal family called karakatttidam nayanar came to know this and invited Muthappan. Henceforth Muthappan pooja started. The god started his travel once again.
Every year in the month of Dhanu the festival in Kunnathur starts with Muthappan performance dressed by "Anhuttan" famil member. The vellattam komaram also accompany them.
The Muthappan form in different way. The first tone in the form of boy, youg boy. Purankala Muthappan and finally Thiryvapan, which is now seen at Prassinikadav and Valluvankadavu.
The Muthappankavu and muthappan Madapuras are plenty in North Malabar. The Madppuras areas are blessed with rich growth of vegetation which provides setting for cool and calm atmosphere. All the Madappura are nearby rivers or hill top surrounded by different communities associated with Muthappan. The Vannan and anthuttan community is the most powerful theyyam artists. They are the traditional Muthappan Artists. In theyyam, Thira season they are all busy with the Madapura festival



Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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