Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ethumanur Mahadeva Temple

Ethumanur Mahadeva Temple
By
P.R.Ramachander
This temple is situated in Ethumanur, a small town near Vaikom. It is believed that an
Asura called Khara got three Shivalingas from Lord Shiva himself. He brought them to
Kerala, holding one by his teeth and one each in his left and right hand. While the
Lingam held by his teeth was consecrated in Kaduthurthi, the one held in his right hand
was consecrated in Vaikom and the one held in his left hand was consecrated in
Ethumanur. After consecrating all these three temples in the same day, Khara is believed
to have become a deer and was doing service to the Gods. It is believed that the God in
Ethumanur took the deer in his hand and held it there, Because of that this place was
called Udhruthaina Puram, which translated in to Malayalam became Ethumanur (The
place where the deer was lifted).
The major worship in this temple is lighting of lamp. An ever glowing, very big lamp is
kept as soon as you enter the temple. The devotees pour oil in to this lamp. Recently a
vessel is also kept near by so that, if the lamp is full, devotees can pour the oil they
brought in to this vessel. There is a story behind this. It seems a brass mason once made a
huge lamp and brought it to this temple. He pleaded with the management of the temple
to buy the lamp from him. They simply laughed at him. They told him that the temple
need not buy a lamp paying money. That brass mason pleaded with the God for buying
the lamp and saluted him. Then suddenly a big storm started around the temple. The
temple management realized the God was angry at their behaviour and bought the lamp
and installed it there. From that time the lamp has been constantly burning in front of the
temple.
The uthsava idol of Shiva is an eight handed figure which appears very angry. But the
devotees only see mercy in that form.
The temple is very artistic and has a copper roof. Several wooden sculptures can be
found around the temple. There are also statues of two bulls in this temple. There are also
temples for Dakshinamrthy (very rare in Kerala), Ganapathi and Sastha in this temple.
There is an engraving in the temple which indicates that it was constructed about 400
years back.
The festival in this temple is celebrated in the month of Kumbham (February-March),
which lasts for ten days. The Thiruvadira festival and Shivarathri are also celebrated in
this temple. The eighteen part worship for Shivarathri is famous. People refer the God in
this temple as “Ethumanur Appan”.

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