Vadakkanthara – Sri Thirupurackal Bhagavthy Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thirupurackal Bhagavthy Temple

Period of origin

Before 1000 years

Name of deity

Ambal: Sri Durga

Sthalapuranam:

The universal force responsible for creation, existence and destruction persists in various forms of “Parashakthi”. One among them is “Shree Durga”. “Shree Thriupurackal Bhagavathy” , the presiding deity is same as Shree Durga. In Sanghakal tamil culture, Elankovadickal in “Chilappathikaram” has stated; for the destruction of demon “Darika”, the force originated from Lord Shiva through his third eye, has been named as “Karnaki”. The adharmic Pandya king killed Karnaki’s husband and the furcated Karnaki cursed the king and the whole Madurai city has burnt to ashes.

Goddess Karnaki left Madurai came to Parasurama Kshethra (present Kerala) along with her companions Kannadath and Kannangottu Pullottayyan. She travelled across Parasumaramakshethra and settled down at Melamuri. She gave darshan to King Shekharivarma and he has the one built “Nadappathimannam Kshethram”.

During Tippu’s Malabar invasion, he destroyed many places in Palakkad including this “Nadappathimannam Kshethram”. Devotees recovered the divine “Peetam” and kept it at “Tharavath Tharavadu” in Vadakkanthara. Later, they installed (Ashtabandha Prathishta), the sanctum sanctorum below “Atthy Tree” near to Vadakkanthara Sree Ramapuram Vishnu Temple.

Here, at the bottom of Atthy tree exposed to the natures variables, weather conditions, Goddess Bhagavathy exists pouring blessings to her beloved devotees. In ancient days, devotees conducted “Paana” at Pirayiri, “Koothu” at Melamuri and “ValiyaVilaku Vela” at Vadakkanthara during alternate years. Unfortunately, all these festivals faded out except Vadakkanthara ‘Valiyavilaku Vela” conducting now in a very gracious mode once in three years. The chaithanya swaroopa of Lord Parashakthi, Vadakkanthara Shree Thirupurackal Bhagavthy persists giving blessings and prosperity to all her devotees throughout the year.

At 6.00am and at 6.00 pm everyday, 101 crackers are burst, symbolically driving away all evil spirits.

While there are 44 different Pooja rituals one can perform at the temple, the most important amongst them are the  Rakthapuspanjali, a pooja ritual performed using blood-red coloured kumkum (vermillion). This ritual is performed mainly to ward off attacks by the enemy, which is revealed during the oracle performed by an experienced astrologer and the Vedivazhipadu, a ritual performed by bursting a cracker to drive away ill effects of Drishti-negativities which surface due to ill wishes of some persons who are jealous of another.

Route:

Temple Timings:

5.00 am to 11.30 am and 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm.

Temple Telephone Number:

0491 2500229,2504851

Temple Address:

Sri Thirupurackal Bhagavthy Temple,

Vadakkanthara,

Palakkad,

Kerala – 678012

Manapullikavu – Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple

Period of origin

Before 1000 years

Name of deity

Ambal: Bhadrakali

Sthalapuranam:

The temple mythological legendary says that once, Neelan, an Asura was giving lot of disturbances to the people of this area.  People complained about his miseries and menace  to Parasuraman and he advised to take up the matter with Lord Paramasiva.  Paramasiva by incarnation took  the form of Bhadrakali and killed Neelan.  After this, Bhadrakali became to be worshipped as Manappulli Sree Bhadrakali Amman.  This deity is a very powerful deity believed to shower prosperity, to ward off miseries, fullfil all desires, protect from all evils of her true devotees.

The temple is situated in a calm and serene place, has a beautiful pond on the south side.  Separate sannadhies are there for Lord Ayyappa, Kala Bairavar on the out side of the main shrine.  Inside the shrine there are sannadhies for Lord Ganesha, Lord Muruga etc.

Sthala Puranas says that this was originally belonged to a famous saintly Kerala Brahmin family Mattapalli Bathrakali Mana. The Brahmins live on the banks of rivers and perform Yagas on the river beds and this place was called Yaga-Kara. Thus, this area was known as  Yagakkara and later it took the present name of  Yakkara. The temple is located on the East Yakkara.  It is believed that the deity Bhagavathy Amman was on the West Yakkara and later on shifted to East Yakkara and the Brahmin devotee used to perform his prayers and Pooja to the deity at the kitchen (Madappalli) in his house.  Later on Temple was built there and the temple was known in course of time as Manappallikavu Sree Bhagavathy Amman of Yakkara.

It is believed that the sword used by Mother Bhagavathi to defeat and destroy the demons is still the float tank.  During the Vela festival, an event of Mother Bhagavathi taking out the sword from the Tank called Velichapadu is celebrated.  A devotee possessed with the influence of Mother Bhagavathi dives into the tank, bring the sword and place it in the shrine of Mother for pujas.  Feeding of the devotees also takes place on this day called Vela Oottu.  During this festival, 15 elephants stand in a line with playing of Pancha Vadyam, Pandi and Panjari Melas.  Mother Manapulli Bhavathi with Her dark complexion is facing north.  She is holding trident, skull, sword and armour in Her four hands.  She is in her best attire wearing jewels.  She has the third eye on the forehead as Lord Shiva and four sharp long teeth.  Those subjected to injustice pray to Her for relief.  It is said that Her long teeth represent four Vedas.

Some of the important festivals celebrated in this temple are Vishu, Onam, Navarathri, Diwali and the famous Manapullikavu Vela.  The temple processions are conducted generally with about seventeen elephants and the main deity with full flower decoration and ornaments will be taken.  Manapulli vela festival is famous in this temple during which time firework displays, panchavadya performances, Ootam thullal, Kathakali dances, Discourses and various cultural arts are performed.  Nithya Seva to the deity is performed as per stipulated schedule which is displayed near the temple office counter.  One can contact the office counter and get necessary receipt after paying the requisite amount for the pooja they intend to perform in this temple.

Route:

This temple is at the heart of the palakkad city near to kootamaithanam and 3 km on the Chittoor road from Palakkadu KSRTC bus stand.

Temple Timings:

5.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91-491-2539431

Temple Address:

Sri Bhagavathi Amman Temple,

Manapullikavu,

Yakkara,

Palakkadu,

Kerala.

Puthur – Sri Thirpuraikal Bhagavathy temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thirpuraikal Bhagavathy temple

Period of origin

Before 1000 years

Name of deity

Ambal: Bhadrakali or Kannaki

Sthalapuranam:

Puthur shri thirpuraikal temple is one of the ancient and powerful temples of shakthi in the whole of Malabar. Bhadrakali is the main deity worshipped here. Along with her, the sanctum sanctorum also has the divine presence of Lord Vishnu,Durga and Lord Ganesha.

The enthusiasm of the people of this small place called Puthur resulted in the present day shrine built some 75 years back around the old banyan tree where the goddess was believed to be residing earlier

It is believed that the devi fulfills all the wishes of her true devotees. A heartfelt prayer never goes unanswered here. Many true life stories of her divine blessings from times of yore are a proof to it. With every passing year the story of her benevolence crossed the boundaries of the of the dist. of palakkad further and further and today people from far and near throng the shrine for a glimpse of her divinity.

The main festival of this temple called the Puthur Vela commences in mid March and the curtain falls on the month long celebrations in mid April. The main ritual that takes place during this festival is the ‘Thol pavakutha’.it is a form of puppet show wherein the story of Ramayana is depicted .The belief goes that devi enjoys the divine story of Lord Rama every year through this form of recital. Very few temples of Kerala still retain this art form. Apart from this all other temple art forms of Kerala feature during the celebrations. The highlight of this month long festivity is the Music and Dance festival that has grown into one of the prestigious cultural events of the state.

Route:

This temple is located 2 km. away from the town of Palakkad, Coimbatore to Puthur is 61 km, Coimbatore Airport and Coimbatore Railway Station are Nearest to Puthur.

Temple Timings:

4.30 am to 12 noon and 3.30 pm to 7 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

0491 2531712

Temple Address:

Shri Thirpuraikal Bhagavathi Temple
Puthur,

Palakkad.678001

Kerala,

Malappuram – Kadampuzha Sree Bhagwati temple

Name of the Temple

Kadampuzha Sree Bhagwati temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Ambal: Sreeparvathi

Sthala Theertham: Kadampuzha

Sthala Virksham: Thechi

Sthalapuranam:

The Temple for Sreeparvathi at Kadampuzha, dedicated to Goddess Vana Durga, is one of the most prominent Devi temples in Kerala. The term ‘puzha’ which in Malayalam denotes river is a misnomer here since the otherwise sylvan surroundings and verdant greenery around the location has no river skirting it. The idol in the Sanctum Sanctorum is abstract in shape but it is ‘Swayambhoo’ or natural manifestation. The temple is very simple in architecture without any imposing edifices or a gold-plated flag mast. There are no festival processions or drum concerts. But the multitude of birds nestling on the verge of the green belt provide a natural ambience with their non-stop chirping and it is fully in tune with Kerala’s temple culture; Kavu as it was known in ancient times.

Legend about the origin of the temple is associated with the popular episode in the Mahabharatha where Arjuna does penance to appease Lord Siva to obtain the divine weapon Passupathastra. Lord Siva approaches Arjuna as a hunter (Kiratha) with His divine consort Sreeparvathi escorting Him as huntress (Kirathi). Arjuna is challenged by the Lord in disguise to test the skills of the boon-seeker. In the fierce battle between Lord Siva (Kiratha) and Arjuna, the arrows that Arjuna showered on Lord Siva miraculously turned into Thechi flowers. Arjuna then recognises the Lord and prostrates before Him. Having found Arjuna worthy of the deadly weapon, the Lord obliges His devotee very soon, and here He is goaded by Sreeparvathi who hastened the process. Hastening is twaritha in Malayalam and Goddess at Kadampuzha is worshipped as Twaritha or one who is quick in granting blessings and favors. The shower of arrows-turned into flowers is symbolised here by a unique offering to the Goddess, Poomoodal, and the Swayambhoo Sthanam being covered completely by flowers. Petals of Thechi flowers are mandatory since they resemble arrowheads. The quantity required is 12 Kutanna, one Kutanna being the capacity when two cupped palms are held together.

During the divine couple’s wandering in this forest, Sreeparvathi once felt thirsty and the Lord brought forth holy water from river Ganga through a well directed arrow ino the earth. This event is immortalised as KaatanAmbu-eitha-ala where kaatan is hunter, ambu is arrow, eitha is shot and ala is whole. This became Katanambueithaala which was later colloquialised as Kadampuzha. Devotees thus worship the hole through which river Ganga sprouted and this is the idol sankalpa. Shankaracharya during one of his frequent pilgrimages while traversing this forest area was attracted by an all pervading ‘aura’ emanating from the dense undergrowth. Finding it difficult to approach the spot due to the heat generated by the radiation, he meditated upon Lord Vishnu as Narasimha and the Lord appeared. With the help of Sudarshanachakra of Lord Vishnu the great saint moved closer only to found the radiance shrinking and finally vanishing into a hole on the earth’s surface. Through deep meditation using the ‘Divyachakshussu’, the Aacharya discerned the nature of the phenomenon nothing other than the divine presence of Seeparvathi in the forest. The place was consecrated as a temple and in commemoration of ‘showers of flowers’, Poomoodal gained prominence due to the inherent quality and power of flower petals to contain heat. Lord Narasimha and Sudarshanachakra are honored through depictions in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum. There are enclosures for Sree Dharma Sastha and Nagakanyaka as upadevaas or subsidiary deities. Modalities of worship are as prescribed by Shankaracharya.

Goddess here is worshipped in three forms viz., Vidya Durga (Saraswathi), Vanadurga (Durga) and Aadi Durga (MooladurgaLakshmi). As Durga, She blesses the devotees with health, early marriage and domestic harmony. Saraswathi is invoked for education and career. Lakshrni is of course Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Another unique offering here is Muttarukkal where coconuts brought by devotees are broken by the Poojari in front of Devi’s idol in the presence of the devotees themselves and this is to ward off hostile influences plaguing them. One coconut for every obstacle is the system followed. The popularity of this ritual can be gauged from the figure of more than thirty lakhs of coconuts that are brought to the temple every year by the stream of devotees. The other important sevas are Katinapayasam, Rekthapushpanjali, Choroon (Anaprasam), Dehapushpanjali, Thrimadhuram, Thrikalapooja, Kettunira,Vilakkumala,Malapooja, Neyvilakku, Ganapathi Homam, Niramala etc..

Route:

This temple is just about two kilometres east of Vettichira between Valanchery and Kottakkal on N .H.17. Those who prefer train journey can alight at Kuttipuram or Tirur Railway Station from where there are buses to the temple (Distance 19 kms).

Temple Timings:

4.00 Am to 12.00 Am and 3.00 Pm to 7.00 Pm.

Temple Telephone Number:

04942615790, 2618000.

Temple Address:

Kadampuzha Sree Bagavathy Temple,

Kadampuzha P.o,

Malappuram – 676553

Guruvayur – Sri Guruvayurappan temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Guruvayurappan temple

Period of origin

Before 3000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Guruvayurappan

Pushkarani: Rudratheertha

Vriksham:  Manjula aal

Sthalapuranam:

After the destruction of Yadava clan, Krishna too left the earth. Very soon the whole of Dwarka was submerged under water. Everything was destroyed except the idol of the Lord. Krishna himself had installed that idol in the temple built by him at Dwaraka. Udhava, Krishna’s closest disciple retrieved it from sea and approached Guru (the teacher of Devas) and Vayu (God of Winds) to find an idol spot to install the idol.

Guru and Vayu went around the world in search of an ideal place. They met Parasurama who led them to a lush green spot with a beautiful lotus tank where they felt the presence of Lord Siva and Parvathy. The idol was installed there. Siva with Parvathy left to the opposite bank, at Mammiyur. Siva permitted Guru and Vayu to perform the consecration rites and blessed them that henceforth this place would be known as GURUVAYUR (since the installation was done by Guru and Vayu)

Vishwakarma, the divine architect was requested to built a Temple , which he made in such a way that on the day of Vishu (Summer equinox), the sun himself makes his obeisance . His first rays on that day fall straight on the Lord’s feet. The idol was installed in the solar month of Kumbha. (February – March).

Guruvayur also known as the Dwaraka of the South is the one of the most importnat sites in the South for the Hindus. The idol of Guruvayur temple is unique, since it is carved out of “Pathalanjana Sila”, and is considered extremely sacred. This idol was once worshipped by Mahavishnu himself in Vaikunta, so Guruvayur is considered to be ” Bhooloka Vaikunta ” – the heaven on earth.

On the final day of the temple festival there is a custom to pour tender coconut water on the deity. The coconuts for this purpose from a family called Thampuran Patikal. There is a legend behind this. Thampuran patikal is a family belongs to Ezhava community which was banned from entering the temple on the days when the discrimination in the name of cast was prevailing. There was one Kittai, as the head of the family then. Sometime back on the Arattu day (Final day of temple festival) Kittai was busy in collecting coconuts in his farm. At that time one of the assistant priests from the Guruvayur Temple came there and asked for some tender coconut water. As busy with his work, Kittai did not heed to his plea and the priest went back. Suddenly coconuts start falling from the trees. Surprised with this Kittai got scared and he remembered about the plea of the priest. Fearing further curses, he came to the temple with almost 25 coconuts and explained everything to the temple authorities. To the surprise of Kittai, the authorities told him that none of the priests went outside the temple on that day. Then everybody realized that it was lord himself who went to Kittai’s house in disguise of a priest because he wants to enjoy the tender coconut water. Then it made a custom to have coconut water abhisheka every year on that day.

The temple celebrates many Vaishnava festivals among which the Vrichika Ekadasi is very important.  The festival begins 18 days earlier.  The temple has 52 elephants. They only open temple doors.  As an elephant carries Lord during festivals, a running race is conducted among them and the winner elephant would thus become eligible to carry the Lord during festivals.  The temple will be opened at 3.00 a.m. and the first puja is offered to Lord Krishna without removing the garlands etc. used in the previous day.  This is known as Nirmalya Puja.  Abishek follows then.  Many visit the temple on Chithirai 1st – April 14 for the darshan when the Melshanthi (chief priest) offers Kai Neettam – offering a coin to the devotees considered a gift direct from Lord.  Handful of coins is offered to Kerala politicians that day.  This means that with the blessings of Lord Guruvayurappan, there won’t be money shortage for the devotee throughout the year. Parents do the first rice feeding (Choru Oottal in Tamil and Malayalam) to their children, a ritual called Anna prasanam in this temple on April 14 each year being the Chithirai Vishu-Tamil New year day.  It is their staunch faith that Lord would take care of the child with nutritious food for ever.

The famous work Naaraayaneeyam – authored in the 16th century was composed in the presence of the presiding deity here, and its author is believed to have been cured of an incurable bout of arthritis. At the time of the political turmoil that prevailed during the period of Tippu Sultan, the image of Krishna was taken to Ambalapuzha for safety and worshipped there for a period of 2 years. It was then brought back in 1789. The temple faces east. Crowds throng the entrance, and are let in through a queue system. The sanctum can be viewed from the temple entrance. There are also shrines to Durga (Edathidettukkaavu Bhagawati), and Sastha here.

It is believed that Aadi Sankaracharya set up the worship protocol here. The Nirmalya Darisanam is celebrated in the pre-dawn hours (3 am). The sanctum closes at 9 pm, and it stays open throughout the day except for a break between 1pm and 4 pm. A series of worship services are conducted throughout the day. A festival image of the deity is carried in procession around the temple during various rituals. Worship at Guruvayur is considered complete after visiting the Mammiyur Mahadevar temple nearby. The mandala ulsavam is celebrated for a period of 41 days towards the end of each calendar year. The annual ulsavam or festival is celebrated in the month of Kumbha, and this festival concludes with an elephant race.

The legends of Guruvayur Temple will not be complete without mentioning certain incidents and about certain persons. Poonthanam and Melppattur Bhattathir were two such persons. Although both were devotees of Lord Guruvayurappan, he is believed to have a soft corner towards Poonthanam who was quite innocent and not a Vedic scholar like Melpattoor. Poonthanam has written “Jnanappana” or the “Verses of Knowledge “in Malayalam and gave it to Melpattoor for proof reading. Melpattoor was an eminent scholar in Sanskrit and he had a sort of disrespect towards Malayalam. Hence he refused to correct the book and told Poonthanam to learn “vibhakthi” (a part of Sanskrit grammar) first. Melapattur was writing his famous “Narayaneeyam” on those days and it was a practice for him to recite the verses he had completed each day in front of the deity. On that day when he went to recite the verses, to his utter shock he found that he cannot even open his mouth. At the same time a small boy appeared there and started reciting the verses which he had completed on that day and started finding out many mistakes in those verses and started kidding Melpattur. After finishing it he disappeared suddenly. At the same time there was a voice from nowhere saying “I love Poonthanam’s bhakthi (devotion) more than Melpattur’s Vibhakthi (Grammar). Suddenly, Melpattur recognized his mistake and he went to Poonthanam and consoled him with so many words and took the hand written copy of ‘Jnanappana’ from him and returned it after making necessary corrections. There are many stories related to these two devotees which will be told in later posts. Now it will be better to go with the legends of some special places in Guruvayur and special occasions and practices in Guruvayur temple.

Almost half a kilometer away from the east entrance of the temple you will see a huge banyan tree. It is called as the Manjula aal. Aal in Malayalam means banyan tree and Manjula is a common name given to girls in Kerala. The legend is that there was a girl called Manjula and she was an ardent devotee of lord Krishna at Guruvayur temple. She used to present floral garlands to lord every day. Once she came late and the temple was almost getting closed then. The priests refused to accept her garland as they did not want to waste their time in closing the temple. She got hurt on the behavior of temple priests and sat in front of the east entrance weeping. Seeing this Poonthanam came near to her and asked the reason for her agony. She explained everything. Touched by her innocence and devotion towards lord Krishna, Poonathanam advised her to put the garland at the feet of a banyan trees approximately half a kilometer away from there. He promised her that the lord will wait there to accept her garland. She did so with full confidence and went back home.

The next day when the priests opened the temple to their surprise they saw a different garland on the deity which they have not kept on the previous day. Seeing the garland Poonthanam recognized it as the one Manjual brought on the previous day. He explained the incident to all and the devotees rushed to have a piece of flower from that garland. Since then the banyan tree, beneath which Manjula put the garland came to known as Manjula aal.

Route:

Guruvayoor is 20 km far from Trissur in Kerala and is linked by convenient transport facility from all corners of the country

Temple Timings:

Time Pooja
3.00am to 3.20am Nirmalyam
3.20am to 3.30am Thailabhishekam, Vakacharthu, Sankhabhishekam
3.30am to 4.15am Malar Nivedyam, Alankaram
4.15am to 4.30am Usha Nivedyam
4.30am to 6.15am Ethirettu pooja followed by Usha pooja
7.15am to 9.00am Seeveli,Palabhishekam,Navakabhishekam, Pantheeradi Nivedyam, and Pooja
11.30am to 12.30pm Ucha pooja (The Noon Pooja)
4.30pm to 5.00pm Seeveli
6.00pm to 6.45pm Deeparadhana
7.30pm to 7.45pm Athazha pooja Nivedyam
7.45pm to 8.15pm Athazha pooja
8.45pm to 9.00pm Athazha seeveli
9.00pm to 9.15pm Thrippuka, Olavayana
9.15pm The Sreekovil will be closed.
The timings given are approximate. It may vary if there is Udayasthamana pooja or on certain special occasions.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91-487-255 6335, 255 6799, 255 6347, 255 6365

Temple Address:

Sri Guruvayurappan Temple,

Guruvayoor,

Trissur district,

Kerala.

Chottanikkara – Sri Bhagavathi Amman temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Bhagavathi Amman temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Bhagavathi Amman

Sthala Theertham: pond at Onakkoor

Sthala Virksham: paala tree

Sthalapuranam:

In days of yore, Chottanikarai region was a dark dense forest.  One Kannappan was the head of the Adivasis here very cruel in nature.  He used to steal cows, slaughter and eat the meat with his friends.  This wicked and cruel Kannappan had a daughter.  When he tried to kill a cow one day, it escaped and fled into the forest.  When returned home furious due to disappointment, he saw the cow with his daughter.  When he raised his sickle to kill, the daughter refused to part with it saying that it belonged to her and that he had no right over the cow.  As he loved his daughter, he gave in to her and stopped killing cows then.  Though reformed, his sin followed him.  His daughter died.  He lived frustrated.  The cow saved by his daughter appeared in his dream and told him that She was Ambica and that She would in the form of an idol in a place and Lord Maha Vishnu would be by Her side.  Next day he saw the cow in the shed.  He made it a Kavu – place God exists in the midst of cows.
After the death of Kannappan, the Adivasis migrated to another place.  The place became a forest again with bushes.  While a woman was cutting the grass, her sickle slipped and fell on the idol which began to bleed.  Shocked, the woman informed the matter to a popular man in the place Edattu Peria Namboodri.  He came to the place, studied the incidents present and past and understood that the idol was of Mother Bhagavathi, lighted a lamp and performed pujas.  People understood the power of the idol and began to worship Her daily.  That Devi is but Mother Chottanikara Bhagavathi gracing Her devotees now.

There is also another story about Mother Chottanikara Bhavathi Amman.  Acharya Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya who established the Advaitha philosophy with the blessings of Mother Maha Saraswathi, wished to bring Mother Chamundeeswari to Kerala and began a penance to realize his mission.  When Mother Vani appeared before the Acharya, he begged Her to come to Kerala.  Mother Vani conceded to his request but on a condition. That Acharya Sankara should proceed to his destination and that Mother Vani would follow him.  But he should never turn back.  If he did so, Vani also would stop at the spot and would not come with him further. Acharya accepted the condition and began to walk.  Mother Vani followed him making melodious sound of Her anklets.  They walked days and nights.  One fine morning, the sound of anklets stopped.  Shocked Acharya simply turned back.  The spot was Kollur.  Mother Ambica smiled at the Acharya and asked how he could forget the condition.  Acharya Sankara said that as the sound of the anklet stopped, he was upset and turned back and begged Her pardon. Mother smilingly said, “Sankara, This is also the Kerala Bhoomi.  I have come to  the land of your wish.”  Yet, Sankara begged Her to come to Vendha Nadu near Alappuzha and that his penance should not go waste.  Granting his wish in a different way, Devi said that she would grant Her darshan from 3.00 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. (Brahmma Muhurtham time) at Chottanikara and consoled Sankara. He reached Chottanikara.  His joy knew no bounds at the darshan of Mother who merged in a jyoti in the temple.  As Mother Vani merged in Jyothi, the place came to be praised Jyothiana Karai now standing changed as Chottanikara.  She graces the devotees as Mother Maha Saraswathi (Vani) till 7.00 a.m. each day in the temple.

The idol of Mother Bhagavathi is said to have been made with Rudrakshas.  After the Nirmalya Darshan, Devi is dressed with Gold Angi and jewels.  As Lord Maha Vishnu is on the right side of Devi, people praise Her saying Amme Narayana, Devi Narayana, Lakshmi Narayana, Badri Narayana and other names.  Masi Magam is a very important festival.  When doors open after the Uchikala Puja-Midday Puja, Mother Bhagavathi appears gracefully with gold ornaments – Sarvalankara Vibushini.  This darshan is considered very lucky to the devotees present on the occasion.  Married women seeing this darshan will have long happy married life, those awaiting marriage shall have a suitable match and a good child seeking this boon.  The darshan offers total peace to those suffering from various mental agony and a relief and total cure to the mentally ill.  There is a jack tree in the temple.  Those seeking relief from mental agony use to fix nails on the stem of the tree.

The mandap in the east is the main entrance to the temple with a tall Deepasthamaba – Light Post.  The Prasad counter is at northwest side in the prakara with Kakkacheri Smarga Sannidhi nearby.  The devotee can have the darshan of Kodimaram-flag post and the Kalasa above the sanctum sanctorum from this point.  There are many lamps fixed around the temple lighted on the festival days.  Devotees can also light the lamps paying a fee.  The exit entrance after darshan of Mother Bhagavathi is on the southern side.  Next is a mandap where Theertha and sandal Prasad are given to the devotees.  The spacious Navarathri Mandap comes next.

There is a big garden is on the south side of the prakara.  There is a Maha Mandap nearby from where the devotee can easily have the darshan of Amman and the flag post.  Those beginning the education of children perform pujas in the Saraswathi mandap.  The sthala Vruksha-sacred tree and shrines of Yakshi, Jeshta Bhagavathi and Nagar are in the centre of the prakara.  In the shrine next to these, Lord Shiva graces devotees facing east.  Keel Kavu Bhagavathi Amman is praised as the Sister of Chottanikarai Bhagavathi Amman.  Those praying to Chottanikar Bhavathi Amman should pray to this Amman also according to faith and practice.  A big and vast tank is opposite the Keelkavu Bhagavathi with a Nagar shrine on the left.  There is a mandap here for firing crackers.  There are shrines for Lord Dharma Sastha, Lord Ganapathi and Sri Anjaneya on the right of this mandap.  South of these shrines is the elephant shed.

Though there are entrances in the north and south side of the temple, majority of the devotees use only the western entrance only.  The history of the temple and the puja details are written at the entrance of the temple.  There is also a vast Pandal-tent for the convenience of the devotees to relax.  The office of the temple administration and stall selling puja materials are on the north of this mandap.  There is also a safety room.  There are paintings showing the upper look of the temple.  Performing Pushpanjali with 12,000 flowers and offering Red Silk vastra is one of the prayer commitments followed in the temple.  Animal sacrifice was followed in earlier days but now totally stopped and replaced by blood offer in accordance with Saivite philosophy.

Mother Bhagavathi graces the devotees in Her white robe as Maha Saraswathi in the morning, in red robe as Mahalakshmi in midday and in blue as Maha Durga Matha in the evening in this famous temple in Chottanikara. Traditionally, Gods and Goddesses in the temples appear with their left hand showing the feet and blessing the devotees by the right hand – Abhayahastha. In the Chottanikara temple, Mother Bhagavathi as the destroyer of sins, appears with Her right hand showing the feet and bless by Her left hand.

The annual festival here is celebrated in the month of Kumbha or Aquarius (Feb – Mar). Maasi Makam, coinciding with the full moon, during this festival attracts vast crowds. Legend has it that the deity appeared in front of Vilvamangalam Swamigal a saint associated with this shrine and   with Guruvayur. Vilvamangalam Swamy is said to have discovered Bhadrakali enshrined in Keezhkaavu.

Route:

Chottanikara is 20 km far from Ernakulam. Bus facility is available.

Temple Timings:

The temple is open from 4.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. On Fridays, the temple is open from 3.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. in the first half.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91 484 – 2711 032

Temple Address:

Sri Bhagavathi Amman Temple,

Chottanikara – 682 312,

Ernakulam district,

Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram – Sri Anantha Padmanabha Perumal Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 3000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Anantha Padmanabhan

Thayar: Sri Hari Lakshmi

Pushkarani: Mathsya Theertham, Padma Theertham, Varaha Theertham.

Vimanam: Hema Kooda Vimaanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Nammalwar

Sthalapuranam:

The Moolavar, Anantha Padmanabhar who is found in Kidantha (Palli Kondulla) kolam is said to be one of the speciality of this sthalam. A Shiva Lingam is found close to the Thirumugham of the Moolavar, which explains to the world that both Hari and Haran are not two different and separate Gods, but they are a Single and should be worshipped as one. The Moolavar of this Thiruvanandhapura Kshetram is Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy. Moolavar is found in Kidantha (sleeping) kolam in Bhujangha Sayanam and facing his thirumugham along the Eastern direction. He gave his Prathyaksham for Indiran, Chandiran (the moon god) and Ekadesai Ruthraas.

In this sthalam, the Perumal, Sri Padmanabha Swamy, who is also called as “Thamarai Manaalan”, is found in Kidantha thirukkolam in Sayana position, sleeping on top of Aadhiseshan, who is also referred to as “Ananthan”. Since the Perumal is found in Sayana postion on Ananthan, the Perumal is called as “Anantha Padmanabha Swamy” and the Kshtram is referred to as “Thiru Ananthapuram”.

The Anantha Padmanabha Perumal is found in Sayana Kolam and since the Perumal is too big is structure, we can get the Dharshan of the Perumal in a single way. We can onl ysee him in 3 Vaayils (entrance).

Through the First Vaasal, we can see the Thirumugham (Face) of the Perumal.

Through the First Vaasal, the Thiru Unndhi (stomach part) can be seen and

Through the Final, Third Vaasal, we can see the Thiruvadi (feet) of the Perumal found in the Garbhagraham.

The entire world is Governed and Protected by Emperumaan, Sriman Narayanan. The Indira Lokam (or) otherwise called as “Swargham” is ruled by Indiran and Varunan, the rain god is one of the important person who belong to the Indra Lokam. The rain God, Varunan is necessary for giving the rain to this entire world and thereby making the land fertile and rich in its wealth. Similarly, Indiran is necessary for making all the Grahans (the planets) to revolve and as a result of its revolvement, he should calculate the days count and thereby making the people live and make them happy. Likewise, Ekadasa Rudrars, who are the hamsam of Lord Shivan, the Rudran. All these 3 persons (ie) Indiran, Varunan and Ekadasa Rudrars are given the sabham of doing some wrong things at certain stages.

All these 3 persons are given the Sabha Vimocchanam (getting out from the sabham) by the Anantha Padmanabha Perumal of this sthalam who can be seen through 3 vaasals and each vaasal explaining the 3 stages (ie) the birth, the leading of life and the final stage, the death. We know that the Dharshan of the Perumal can be seen separately in 3 different Vaasals. Let us now get into details why the Perumal is giving his seva in this kind. The lifetime of a Person is segregatted into 3 different stages (ie) First is the birth; Second is the time where the life progresses and Final third stage is the death.

Through the First vaasal, we can get the Dharshan of the Perumal’s Thirumugham. The Perumal, through his divine eyes, which is referred to as the “Thaamarai Kangal” (eyes that is referred to Lotus Flower) is seeing all the lifes of the Jeevathmaas and thereby making them to survive and lead their lifetime. Through the Second vaasal, we can see the “Thiru Unndhi” which is otherwise called as the lowerpart of the stomach. This place is said to be originated place of Lord Brahma devan, who is responsible for giving birth to the Jeevathmaas.

In the Third vaasal, we can see the Thiruvadi (feet) of the Perumal, which is the final place where all of the Jeevathmaas merge towards Paramathma. The Thiruvadi of the Perumal is said to be the safest and the pure place, where all the pure rivers originates. How, all the small rivers join (or) merge towards the ocean, all the Jeevaraasi merge towards Thiruvadi (or) Thirupaadham of the Emperumaan, Sriman Narayanan. Periya pirattiyaar, with the name of Kadal Magal Naachiyaar who is found in Thiruppaarkadal in Veetrirundha thriukkolam along with Anantha Padmanabha Perumal is found in this sthalam.

Once, there was a saint by named “Divakara yogi”, who wanted to get the Mukthi (the ultimate destiny, the moksha) and to attain it, he did the pooja to Saligramam (a precious and Valuable spritiual stone) in this sthalam. At that time, the Perumal came there like a two years old child and took the Saligramam along with him and ran away from that place. On seeing this action of the child, the saint got angry and chased him to get the Saligramam. And finally, the small child went into the big hole of a tree and after going inside the tree, the tree fell down and the Perumal gave his sayana seva as Anantha Padmanabha Swamy. He gave the seva for which the saint, Divakara yogi was doing the daily pooja. This is one of the historic story said about this sthalam. This story which is said about this sthalam has a closer resemblance with the Perumal, who is found in Thirukkannankudi in Chozha Naadu. Likewise in this sthalam, the Perumal who came like a small child who took the Saligramam resembled like a small kid and ate the Perumal who is made of the white butter which doesnt melt. The Perumal who is made of butter, is the Perumal who is done with daily poojas by Vashistar. Finally along with other Maharishis, they caught the small kid, who then gave his seva as “Damodharan” and that Perumal is also named as “Siyamala Meni Perumal”, in Nindra Thirukkolam.

To explain more on this, a Hanuman Sannadhi is found in front of Yoga Narasimhar sannadhi in this temple. Here, the Special kolam, the Vennai Kaappu kolam for Hanumar is done and it is said that this butter doesnt melt even in hot days. Separate sannadhis for Yoga Narasimhar, Hanuman, Lakshmi Varaghar, Sri Krishnar and Sri Srinivasar are found and are said to be most powerful gods with lots of powers.

Route:

This Temple is found 3/4 miles away from the Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station. Lots of bus and train facilities are available

Temple Timings:

4.15 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91-471-245 0233

Temple Address:

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Perumal Temple,

Thiruvananthapuram-695 001,

Kerala state.

Kodungallur- Sri Kodungallur Bhagavathy Amman Temple

 Name of the Temple

Sri Kodungallur bhagavathy amman temple

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Kurumba Bhagavathi

Sthala Virksham: Jack fruit

Sthalapuranam:

During the reign of Kulasekhara dynasty, Kodungallur was the capital of Kerala and one of the most important parts of the region. It is said that sixth avatar of Vishnu, Sage Parasurama has built this temple for the prosperity of the people. According to the old chronicles, this was the Bhagavathi temple created in the heart of the towe many centuries ago to serve a special purpose

Legend says that after the creation of Kerala by Parasurama, he was harassed by a demon called Daruka. In order to kill this evil demon, Parasurama prayed to Lord Shiva for help. As advised by Shiva, Parasurama constructed the shrine and installed the Shakti Devi as Bhagavathi. The deity in the temple, it is believed, is Parashakthi herself. According to legends, it was Bhadrakali who killed the evil demon Daruka. According to popular beliefs, the temple in the olden days was a Buddhist monastery. But according to Kerala historians, Kodunganallore, Trikkanamthikam and the neighboring areas were Buddhist and Jain centres during the Chera period. Legends say that Palliband Perumal, a ruler from that area embraced Buddhism and as a result of which, he had to abandon the Perumalship owing to severe opposition from the Hindu community.

According to another belief, the temple was built by Charan Chenguttavan. Elango Adigal, younger brother of Chenguttavan, wrote his monumental work ‘Shilappadikaram’ residing at Kodungallur. He later embraced Buddhism and spent the rest of his life in the Buddhist monastery at Trikkanamthikam. From time immemorial, persons wishing to earn merit have been offering animal sacrifice. Countless fowls and goats were also sacrificed to the deity as vowed gifts for the protection and fulfillment of desires. At the intervention of many social reformers, the Government of Kerala has banned animal sacrifice in any form at this place. At present, only red-dyed dhoties are offered to the deity. Many devotees offer rich presents and gold ornaments.

The people of Kodungallur believe that this temple was, in the olden days, a Shiva Shrine and it was Parasurama who installed Sri Kurumba Bhagavathi in close proximity to the idol of Shiva. Although this is a small town and has several temples, most of them are Shiva Shrines. The poojas are conducted under direct instructions from Sri Bhagavathi Herself. Five ‘Sri Chakras’ installed by Adi Shankaracharya, are believed to be the main source of the powers of this deity. The priests are Namboodiris and Adikas (Madhu Brahmins) who have a right to perform ‘Pushpanjalis’ to the Goddess.

Bhagavathi being the patron of the Royal family of Cranganore, the Raja plays an active part in the celebrations of the festival. Standing upon a rostrum built around a banyan tree, the Raja spreads out a silken umbrella soon after the door of the Devi shrine is opened. The peculiarity of the event is that it denotes the giving permission for all castes to enter the precincts of the temple for worship. This is known as ‘Kavu Theendal’. Devotees run round the temple thrice with sticks in hand before they enter the shrine. The legend goes to prove that the killing of the Demon has taken place and the sticks are substitutes for the arms and swords used in olden days.

The temple is situated in the middle of a plot of land about ten acres, surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. The magnificent idol of Bhagavathi, facing north is 6 ft tall and carved out of a single jackfruit tree.The srikovil is facing north. The western chamber of the inner temple is the seat of Sapthamatrukas (Seven Mothers) who also face north. The idols of Ganapathi and Veerabhadra are found in the chamber, one facing east and the other facing west, respectively. The idol of bhagawati is about six feet high and made of wood, carved from a jackfruit tree. The idol has eight arms that carry weapons and symbols. The idol of Shiva faces east and that of Kali north. The practice in the temple is to offer pooja and naivedyam first to Lord Shiva and then to the Devi. To the left of the temple is the walled enclosure which has a peculiar ‘Samadhi of Vysoori’, perhaps a medieval shrine deity for small pox, chicken pox, mumps and other contagious diseases. Devotees offer auspicious turmeric powder which gives credence to the influence of the Goddess and the legend. Its widespread fame is evident through its clean and well-kept sanctuaries. About fifty meters away to the left is a sacred pond (Pushkarini), where devotees bathe before entering the main shrine. It is believed that this pond was created by the goodness by striking the ground with her sword.

Bharani festival:- The Bharani festival is a month of festivities from the Bharani asterism in the month of Aquarius to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Pisces. The festival usually starts with the ritual called ‘Kozhikkallu moodal’ which involves the sacrifice of cocks and shedding of their blood, which forms an important feature of this temple. The members of the Kodungallur Bhagavathy temple are allowed to participate in this ritual. It is to appease the goddess Kali and her demons who take delight in blood offerings. Traditionally the temple (especially during the Bharani festival) has been associated with a lot of animal sacrifices. These customs have been done away within the 20th century. The blood of the sacrificed used to be spilled over two stones in the prakaram, and as mentioned above, this practice is now stopped. ‘Kavu Theendal’, another important event of the festival, overseen by the King of Kodungallur where a horde of Vellichapads (oracles) make a madrush around the temple waving their sabres in the air while the members of their retinue throw objects (including cocks) over the inner quadrangle . Thalappoli festival:- is in the month of Makaram (January–February). The four day Thalappoli commences from the evening of Makara Sankranthi with religious rituals.Makara Sankaranti coinciding with Pongal in Tamilnadu. Makara Sankranti brings with it 4 days of colorful fanfare, with processions twice a day on elephants to the accompaniment of music, fireworks. The final day’s procession is marked by the accompaniment of several women carrying plates of rice and coconut. In fact, the centermost entity in the procession is a plate containing these offerings, on an elephant. A grand reception is offered to this procession when it reaches the temple. The procession leaves from the original location of the Bhagawati temple, (the Kurumbayamma shrine in Kodungallur). Big procession headed by richly caparisoned elephants are taken out to the accompaniment of Pancha Vadyam, Paancari, Paandi, etc.

 Route:

Temple is easily accessible from the nearby towns, cities and districts of Kerala. Nedumbassery International Airport in Cochin.There are frequent buses from Thrissur along NH47 to different destinations.The nearest railway station is at Irinjalakuda 20 km from Thrissur

Temple Timings:

4 am and remains open till 12 pm. The temple reopens in the evening at 4 pm to 8 pm.

Temple Telephone Number:

0480 2803061

Temple Address:

Sree Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple,

Kodungallur

Trissur dts

Kerala

Thiruvanparisaram – Sri Kuralappa Perumal Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kuralappa Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Thirukkuralappan, Thiruvazhmarban.

Thayar:  Kamalavalli Nachiyaar

Pushkarani: Lakshmi Theertham

Vimanam: Indra Kalyana Vimanam

Mangalaashaasanam: Nammazhwar

Sthalapuranam:

The Moolavar of this sthalam is Thirukkuralappan. He is also named as “Thiruvaazh maarbhan”. Moolavar in Veetrirundha (sitting) thirukkolam facing his thirumugham towards East direction. Prathyaksham for Vindhai, Kaari, Udaya Nangai and Garudan. The Kshetra is the birthplace of Udaya Nangai (mother of Nammazhwar).

During the 18 day Kurukshetra Bharata battle, the wheel of Karna’s chariot was stuck in the ground.  While Karna was engaged to lift the wheel leaving his weapons in the chariot, Arjuna took the opportunity and killed him.  Though Arjuna acted successfully, the guilt of killing one when unarmed troubled his mind and he could not excuse himself.  What more troubled him was the thought that he, noted for his law abiding nature should not have committed a disgraceful sin.

Every Pandava established a temple during their journey in Kerala.  Arjuna established this temple, performed penance on Perumal and was rewarded with the Darshan of Lord in the form of Parthasarathy.  It is here he hid his weapons in the Vanni tree, according to scriptures.  Arjuna thus got himself cleansed of his sins with the grace of Lord Perumal. Lord Tirukuralappan graces in a standing form facing east.  The vimana-tower above the sanctum sanctorum- is called Vamana Vimanam.  Sage Veda Vyasa and Lord Brahmma had the darshan of the Lord.  Once, two demons Madhu and Kaidaba snatched the Vedas from Brahmma who sought the grace of Lord Perumal to recover them.  Perumal destroyed the demons and recovered the Vedas.  Brahmma performed penance here on Perumal as a token of his gratitude to Lord.

It is here Arjuna hid his weapons in the Vanni tree during Pandava’s life incognito. The nuts falling from this Vanni tree is heaped around the flag post of the temple and sold to devotees. Aaraattu Vizha is celebrated grandly on the Tiruvonam star day in Thai month (January-February) in the temple.

Route:

Buses from Chenganur to Pathanamthitta running via Aramula stop at Vanjipadi. The devotee can reach the temple from Vanjipadi. Chenganur is connected by bus with all districts of Kerala.

Temple Timings:

4.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91- 468 – 221 2170.

Temple Address:

Sri Kuralappa Perumal Temple

Aramula

Pathanamthitta,

Kerala.

ThiruVithuvakodu – Uyavantha Perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Uyavantha Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 Years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Uyavantha Perumal

Thayar: Vithuvakottu Valli, Padmaasini Thaayar

Pushkarani: Chakra Pushkarani

Vimanam:  Thatvakanchana

Mangalaashaasanam:  Kulasekara Azhvaar

Sthalapuranam:

Pandavas in their exile are said to have stayed here and undertake penance. Arjuna, Dharmaputra, Bheemasena, Nakula and Sahadeva created an archa Vigraham each for their daily poojas at this temple. The main Moolavar deity was installed by Arjuna.
Dharma Raja installed the the vigraham to the right of the main deity as did Nakula and Sahadeva. Bheema installed the archa moorty of Vishnu to the left of Uyyavantha Perumal.

Once, Ambhareeshan did fasting towards Srimannarayanan on all Ekadasi. He gave 60 cows and after Ekaadasi, he finishes the fasting by doing Paarayanam on Dvadasi.  Once he did this fasting and was waiting for some Narayana Bhaktas, so that he can give them the food and after that he can consume. Waiting for several hours, he found Duruvaasa passing, he invited sage Duruvaasa fell on his feet and asked to accept the food from him sage said he will take it after bath. So, he went to Kalathi river. Duruvaasa muni went to the river for bathing but didn’t come up till the end of Dvadasi. But, Ambhareeshan had to finish the fasting by taking some food (or) water. At the end time of Dvadesi, Ambhareeshan could not wait for Duruvaasa Muni and took some water and finished the Viradham. At the same time the sage arrived,On seeing this, Duruvaasa muni got angry on him and sent an demon to kill. But, Lord came for help with Vishnu chakkaram and killed the Demon. Duruvaasa muni felt bad for his act and plead before the lord. After getting dharsan of Lord Ambhareesanal asked perumalthat he should get the dharshan of the perumal in Viyugha Avathaar (perumal should be seen in all the directions), Uyyavantha perumal gives his seva in all the 4 directions. The perumal in the center is worshipped by Dharma, the west directional perumal is worshipped by Arjuna, the left side perumal is worshipped by Bheema and the perumal in the right side is worshipped by Nakula and Sahadeva. So, this perumal is worshipped by all the Panja Pandavas and it is one of the historical issues that are explained. And this sthalam is said to be the Mukthisthalam of Ambhareesh.

Once, a brahmin who was a staunch Saivite stayed at Kasi and offered worship to Lord Visweswara. He was forced to leave Kashi and come to his native place as he heard that his mother was in her last stages and as he was reluctant to leave his Ishtadevata, he prayed to Lord Shiva for help. Lord Shiva entered into the Olakkuda (umbrella) which the brahmin used to have with him always. When the brahmin reached this place, it was evening. As he had to perform his evening rites, he left the umbrella in the temple premises and went to have bath. When he returned, he found that he could not lift the umbrella and when he exerted force, the umbrella broke and a Shiva ling emerged out of it. Lord Shiva told the brahmin that henceforth He would stay there and all the devotees could worship Him in that place. Hence, we can find a Siva Linga in the temple premises which is a Swayambhu.It is believed that the temple has the presence of Holy Ganga.

Route:

Pattambi Railway Station to this Divya Desam (about 7kms)

Temple Timings:

5 am-1030am and 5pm-8pm

Temple Telephone Number:

98954 03524

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Uyya Vandha Perumal Thirukkoil,
ThiruVithuvakodu – 679303,
Palakkad District,
Kerala State.