Saturday, July 4, 2015

Poonjar Dharma Sastha temple or Kattunel Kavu

Poonjar Dharma Sastha temple  or Kattunel Kavu

Compiled by
P.R.Ramachander

Poonjar ia slightly big village  in the Meechil Taluq  of Kottayam district of Kerala. It seems this was being troubled greatly by a dacoit called  Udayanan.   Ayyappan  was the prince of Pandalam at that time  .At that time a pandya  king called Mana Vikrama Raja   arrived there   from Madurai.He decided to put down Udayanan. AT that time an old divine man  met Mana Vikraman and gave him  an elephant a goad   and  a hook to control the  elephants and also tols him how  to suppress  Udayana.A per the instruction Mana Vikrama Raja fought with Udhayana    and  suppressed him.Later that Pandya king opurchaesed that area  and wanted to build a temple to ayyappan as he could easily understand that  the old man who helped him was  lord Ayyappan himself. One day when the king went to take   bath in the river  , he kept his umbrella made of palm leaf    and went to take bath, Butwhen he came back he was not able to move that  umbrella at all. Understanding that the God wanted to  have temple there itself he started building the temple(History says that  the temple was built in  1165 ad).  Employing architects  and arists from Madurai and Kerala. The temple thiough small is very artistic, The entire Kirtharjuneeyam   story  has been sculpted  on the  outer walls of the temple. This temple is also known as “ Kattunel Kavu”
     The  Saastha statue of the temple is  made  of black stne.Lord Ayyappa is  is   made in such a way   that it  appears   to be teaching the third Pada  of  Gayathri Manthra with open book of Veda in his hand , which is resting on his knee.

     In the month of Makaram there  is a Kodiyettu festival   for eight   days.. The procession of the God on the elephant daily goes out at night with lots of burning light .On the first six days the goes round five times . Before the God takes bath  on the eighth day  , the God visits the Poonjar palace.There  takes rest in the Lord Krishna temple  in the palace  and later he would go round the Madhuai Meenakshi  which is on the way to the river and he goes take a dip in Meenachil  river and goes back to his temple , On the Mahanavami day there is a festival called Varam when all visitors are   fed by the  palace .During the Mandala time in Sabari Malai ,  very large number  of pilgrims going to Sabari Malai  c visit this temple on their way.On those days daily there  is a function called Kalamezhuthu and Pattu . It is intereting to know that the priests of this temple from   Thazhaman family which also   does worship in Sabari Mala temple..This temple is still the control of POonjar royal family,The temple can be reached   from Kottayam via Pala  , Erattupetta    and Panachipara , 

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