Monday, April 7, 2014

Athingal Bhairavi temple

Athingal Bhairavi temple
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Athingal is a small town about 34 km  away from Trivandrum.  This was earlier a small independent  principality .   A lady called Avani amma thamburatti  who was the last member of the  royal family there. She adopted the king of Tranvancore at the time  and requested him to take over the rule of this kingdom  and also adopt a  girl child who would look after the kingdom under his direction. After her death, the themn king adopted two girls belonging to the Chirakkal Royal family of Northern Malabar and made them in charge of   the principality. He also made them independent and gave lot of land to them . These princesses brought with them an idol of Goddess from their native place . There is a story about this Goddess. It seems in the THaliparambu Rajarajeswara temple there was a fierce goddess. One day the Velichapadu  (oracle)   said that he  would throw a burning  fire wood. The temple of the Goddess  was to be built in that  place where the fire wood falls. . The fire wood fell in a forest little away from there  and a part of  forest was burnt.   The temple of Goddess was built there.  . This new temple was called THiru virago Kattiya Kavu or Madayi Bhagwathi temple .  The princesses  along with them  the  Uthsava idol    of this temple and c also large number of people including priests to worship this goddess  .
   Initially the  idol was  worshipped   in the palace itself and so it  was called as “Palliyara Bhagawathi.” And later it was consecrated in a new temple built near the Palace  on the top of a small hill.   This new temple was called as “Thiru virago kattiya Kavu” as well as :Puthan Kavu.”.You have to climb several steps to reach the temple..It was initially maintained by the king of Travancore and later on handed over to the Travancore Devaswam board. On the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum there are two lady gurards called   Sumukhi and Sundari.  To the south of the  sanctum , Vera Bhadra , Ganesa and the Saptha mathas have been consecrated. People believe that the Goddess is in the sanctum is powerful and is in an angry mood.. The statue has been made  using the alloy of five metals(Pancha loha) . There are also small temples for KIratha, Sastha and Ganesa  in this temple. There is also a temple for Naga Yakshi and a Shiva Linga with reddish tinge., On the northern side there is a temple for Brahma Raksas.

         The worship is done by the priests who have been brought from Malabar. The annual festival is in the month of Vruschigam..There are festivals in thew month of Makara as well as  anine day festival  in the month of Meenam . Ariyittu Vazcha which is very peculiar ritual which was brought from the original Malabar is observed  on the 9th day Makaram month. It  is normally attended by the royal family members of the Travancore family. If the king is not able to attend for some reason, he is supposed to give the temple an elephant as fine. The Sword of the temple is worshipped using red rice before the king .Later this rice is taken inside the temple  and used to anoint the Bhagawathy idol, by taking the rice with a conch. The goddess is referred to as Bhairavi and keepos on blessing the people all around Athingal.


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