Monday, July 6, 2015

Pandalam Valia Koikkal Dharma Sastha temple

Pandalam Valia Koikkal  Dharma Sastha   temple

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Pandalam  is a small town  about 13 km from Chengannur town of Kerala.  Lord Ayyappa    was  brought up by the king Raja Sekara   who was at that  time ruling over Pandalam. King Raja Sekara wanted to crown Lord Ayyappan is the  junior king of Pandalam but   his queen was reluctant  ,She feigned a head ache and the doctor  was  deputed by a cunning minister  said that she needed Tiger to get cured.Lord Ayyappa went to the forest and brought   a huge flock of she tigers to the Palace. The queen realized   her mistake and requested  Lord Ayyappa to accept the post of Yuva Raja. Then Lord Ayyappa   told his parents but who he is and requested them to build a temple in Sabari Mala . They agreed but were sad. Then Lord Ayyappa told them that  the ornaments that  he was wearing would be kept in Pandalam palace   and every year  before the Sughting  of Makara  Jyothi , the king or his representative should bring them  to Sabari Mala for him to wear. He also told that the next day he would   give a Private Darsan to  the king of Pandalam,.

      After the departure of Lord Ayyappa   to Sabari mala, the pandalam royal family built a  private  hall of worship for the members  of the Pandalam Royal family  .  This  temple located in the big palace (.. Valia Koyikkal)  of Pandalam was later  opened to the public also. This small prayer hall in the compound of the palace faces east and has only two rooms.One of them is where Lord Dharma Sastha is consecrated and the other  is the place   for devotees  to sit..There are no decorations to this very ancient prayer room , except a few paintings  on  its walls..There is no idol of Ayyappa in this temple but   a Salagrama  stone representing Lord Ayyappa.,Whenever any member of the Pandalam royal family dies, since Lord Ayyappan belongs to the family, the temple is closed  for sixteen  daya and there  is no worship here  in this prayer room at that time. Since it is only a prayer room of the palace there   are no festivals associated   with this temple . On the last day of Mandala period,(!1th day of Dhanu month)  there   are some special worship practices in this temple. Durind Mandala Pooja  The Ayyappa  is taken out on a elephant to a Banyan tree  called Manikandanal.. There is a small temple of Lord Ayyappa below that banyan tree ,At that time a cewlebration called” Nayattu vili(hunter’s call)” is celebrated  in that   temple ..Hunter songs , people miming the  animal sounds  etc are a part of this small festival.Another  important day  in the temple is  the twenty eighth day  of the month of Dhanu  when the  huge group  of People go as a profession from this temple to  Sabari mala  carrying Lord yypaan’s ornaments . The king(eldest member of the royal family of Pandalam gives  his sword  to his representative and tells him, “Safely go and see  our son and return.” Lord Ayyappa’s birthday is on Uthram star  of Kumbham  month . That  day the Salagrama  is decorated .. On the Vishu day , the Ornament box is brought out of the temple   for the devotees to see. The temple would be a  sea of devotees during the Mandala kalam of Ayyappa. 

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