Monday, December 4, 2017

Puducode Bhagawathy Temple

Puducode Bhagawathy Temple

By Ammu Patti
Puthucode is a picturesque small village lying on the western most border of Palghat District and bordering Thrissur District. It is approximately 40kms away from both Palghat and Thrissur towns. The nearest railway stations are Palghat and Thrissur. The nearest airports are Coimbatore and Kochi. The village is located 6 km west of Vadakkencherry on the Palakkad-Thrissur stretch of the National Highway 47. There are regular bus services from Thrissur and Palghat to Puthucode.
Puthucode agraharam with four streets with row houses was exclusively inhabited by Brahmins until a few decades back. Where the four streets meet is the famous Annapoorneswari temple. It would be apt to say the 4 agraharams are radiating from the central Annapoorneswari temple.
It is said that Sage Parasurama installed 108 Durga temples in many parts of India and this is one of them. Currently this comes under Naduvil Madom Devaswam. The daily poojas are performed by Tamil Brahmins except during the Navarathri festival when they are performed by Thantris affiliated to Naduvil Madom Devaswam.
There is a belief among Brahmins of this village that this idol (4 feet tall) was got made in Truthala near Kuttanad and was brought by Brahmins of the village belonging to three Vedas by head load, with chanting the Vedas all the way without stopping any where on the way. It is believed at some stage in the life of the temple, the Tamil Brahmins gave the temple to the Naduvil Madam. According to a stone inscription, Sri Godavarma Raja gifted lots of rice fields for the maintenance of the temple. Also, several families had bequeathed land to the Devaswom in the olden days for the Annadhanam during Navarathri.These properties however, were abolished due to the Land reform act of Kerala. But the Tamil Brahmins of the village joined together and formed a trust called SAPCO (Sree Annapuneshwari Pooja Coordinators trust ) which is managing the temple at present. Though the Goddess is called Annapurneshwari, she holds in her hands Shanku and Chakra (Not ladle and vessel like the Annapurneshwari of Benares).
The temple occupies a vast area with a large outer Prakaaram and an inner Prakaaram. The main entrance to the temple faces east and as you enter the temple there is a Deepasthambham beyond which is the entrance to the inner Prakaaram of the temple. The inner Prakaaram is also very large with wide corridors known as Vathil maadams along the four sides, where discourses and concerts used to take place. The madapalli or the cook house is also situated here. As one gets inside the Mahaganapathy Sannidhi facing east can be seen. Going around the Mahaganapathy Sannidhi, you reach the main temple of Annapoorneswari. The Deity faces west. The Deity is also known as Santha Durga and is a very powerful Devi bestowing Her benevolent blessings to all Her devotees. The four handed idol of Devi is almost 4 feet tall. She is always dressed in a Pattu Pavadai. To see the Devi in her full Chandana kappu after the Deeparadhana in the evening is at once electrifying. It gives one such a joy and peace and real happiness. One just cannot take the eyes off Devi when She is adorned in full Chandana kappu.
In front of the Garba Griham or Sanctum is the Namaskara Mandapam, where Veda Parayanams and other daily recitals of Devi Mahatmyam and Shyamala Dandakam are done by devotees.
When you come around the Namaskara Mandapam, there is the Prathishta for Naga devata, Dharmasastha and Palliyarkkal Bhagavathy on the north-west corner of the main temple. A unique offering (vazhipadu) of Azhil is conducted in front of this Sannidhi. A new cloth (a set of 4 thorthus) dipped in Gingelly oil is hung on the poll in between two stone pillars. After doing a special pooja the archaka lights the cloth dipped in oil and allows it to burn down to ashes. This ash is used as prasadam and smeared on the forehead. It is believed that this offering will relieve one of all types of obstacles and misfortunes in life.
The other important offerings (vazhipadu) in the temple are Kalabhabhishekam, Niramala, Chuttuvilakku, Archanas, etc.
On the outer prakaaram, is the west nada, which is also known as Aanapandhi which has the gold plated dwajasthambam. This is where the Thayambaka and Keli take place during Navarathri celebrations.
Along the northern compound wall of the temple is the Agrisala, where cooking and dining take place during the Annadhanam of Navarathri.
The Sarat Navarathri during the months of September and October is the biggest festival in Puthucode Bhagavathy temple. All Her subjects who are far from home assemble at Puthucode during these nine days. The Dwajarohanam for the festival is on the Prathama thithi after Mahalaya Amavasya and the Aarattu on Vijayadashami day or the 10th day from the Dwajarohanam. There are daily processions with caparisoned elephants twice a day for the first 4 days inside the temple on the outer Praakaram and on the following 4 days the procession of caparisoned elephants with accompanying Panchavadyam and Chendamelam is taken to the 4 villages on successive days, starting with the South village on the 6th day. The Utsavamoorthy of the deity is taken atop the caparisoned elephant to all the villages for Her to see Her subjects. There is a Pallivetta on the 9th night followed by Aarattu on the 10th day. During Navarathri the Utsavamoorthy is taken atop the elephant to the nearby stream every morning where the deity is given a bath and after due alankarams taken back to the temple.
Measures of paddy and rice and other items like puffed rice, flowers, etc known as Parayeduppu are offered to Bhagavathy during the procession of elephants to the respective villages. The Parayeduppu for the south village is on the Aarattu day when the deity returns to the temple after her holy bath in the stream.
After Aarattu the elephant has to touch the Dwajasthambham which will mark the end of the festival for that year.
In 2003, devotees installed a new Dwajasthambham fully covered with gold.
True to Her name there is Annadhanam on all the 9 days of Navarathri for all devotees. Puthucode Pulinkari which is served with Rice and Olan is unique to this Navarathri Sadhya. The Sadasadaya Payasam (Idichujpizhinja payasam) offered to Bhagavathy during these days is also very famous. There is a saying in tamil Puthucoda vitta gramamum illai, Pulinkariye vitta kootanum illai which can be translated as, Puthucode is the ultimate among agraharams and Pulinkari is the ultimate among curries.
The Devi has blessed all Her children with wealth, health and positions and they in turn pay their respects to Her by donating to the temple funds.
The temple is open from 5.30am to 10.00am and 4.30pm to 9.00pm for worship. The Deeparadhana in the evening is at 6.30pm.
At the end of North Village is a Siva temple. The temple is situated at a lower level than the surrounding village. There is a large tank known as ayyankulam in front of the Siva temple. The presiding deity is facing east. There are also sannidhis for Mahaganapathy and Dharmasastha inside the temple. The annual festival in this Siva temple starts on the Thiruvathira day of the Malayalam month Dhanu and the Arattu is on the 8th day. Mahasivarathri is also celebrated in a grand manner with Maharudram, Abhishekam etc. Annabhishekam on the Pournami day of the Malayalam month Thulam is also very famous.
The temple opens for worship at 5.30am to 10.30 am and again at 4.30pm to 9.00pm.
Just outside the Siva temple there is a newly constructed Sivamahal in the north village, which can be used for functions like Marriage, Upanayanam etc.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sasthakotta Dharma Sastha

Sasthakotta Dharma Sastha

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  It is  another very famous  ancient Sastha temples of Kerala. The temple is surrounded by fresh water (sasthamkotta lake) lake on all three sides(The biggest fresh water lake of Kerala)   and  hill with dense forest on the other side .A small  town called Sasthamkotta has come up near  these forests.
Shri Dharma Sastha temple is built in Kerala style of architecture  and was built by the  Pandalam family .Sasthamcotta is a well historic place where the Second World Religion Conference was held in 1971, in which the Global Religious Celebrities participated.
Sasthamcotta is well connected with the other parts of Kerala by road and rail. The National Highway (NH 47) passes through Karunagapally and Chavara. Both these towns are just 12 km from Sasthamcotta. Two other important places on MC Road (SH 1) that connect to Sasthamcotta are Adoor and Kottarakara; both approximately 18 km away.  

Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) plies regular bus services to this place from Kollam, Karunagapally, Kottarakara, Adoor and Pathanamthitta. KSRTC also runs regular services to Pampa via Sasthamcotta during the Sabarimala season. 

Sasthamcotta has a small railway station about 4 km from Sasthamcotta town. Karunagappally railway station is about 12 km from Sasthamcotta. Kollam Junction and Kayamkulam Junction are the two major railway stations close to Sasthamcotta.

Folklore has that the idol consecrated at Sasthamcotta temple is none other than the swayambhu idol worshipped by Lord Ram during his trip to Lanka (Sri Lanka) in search of his consort, Sita. It seems   Lord Rama when he was going from Sri Lanka to Ayodhya visited this place , It is  believed that, Lord Rama offered ‘pithru tharpan’ on the banks of the Sasthamcotta Lake and he deputed the chief architect of his vanara (monkey) team, ‘Neelan’ to serve his host. Neelan is believed to be the predecessor of the monkey clan in this temple.It is also believed  that  Lord Hanuman when he was searching for  Sita has visited this place , There is  also a prathishta  of Ganesa  in this temple.

    This temple has very large number   of monkeys roaming all round it. The monkeys that once colonised the surrounding woods were believed to be followers of the prime diety, Dharmasastha, and hence, are revered by devotees. Thousands of devotees visiting the temple feed these monkeys with nuts and fruits.

 A few years ago, the monkeys began to face shortage of food and they began to snatch food from visitors to the temple and children going to nearby schools and colleges. The Courts then ordered the Devaswom (Temple) Board to make arrangements to feed the monkeys of the temple adequately. The Board, being short of funds, sought support from well-wishers of the temple but adequate funds were not forthcoming. Mr Gopala B. Pillai, founder and president of Wild Republic, and a native of Sasthamkotta, heard about this dilemma and offered to set up a Trust Fund jointly with the Devaswom Board to ensure perpetual feeding of the monkeys. This was achieved in 1996 and since then the monkeys of the temple have never been in want of food. On local festival days, when people feast at home, the Trust arranges a similar feast for the monkeys of the temple also.
 The presiding deity of the temple is  , Shri Dharma Sastha who is accompanied by his consort 'Prabha' and son 'Sathyaka'.
The highlight of this temple is the 10 day annual festival the month of Kumbham (February-March). The festival includes the colourful Kettukazhcha procession of various bullocks, horses, decorated chariots, folk art performances etc. Various folk arts such as Mayilattam, Kaala (bull motif), Kuthira (horse motif), Ammankudam are performed. The festival concludes with the Arattu ceremony, five caparisoned elephants take part in a procession held at midnight. Another important festival is Shiva Prathishta Vaarshikom which is held in Atham in the Malayalam month of Edavam (May-June).
Entry is restriceted to Hindus.
Sasthamcotta Neelakandan                                                                                                                                                
Sasthamcotta Neelakandan is the elephant at Sasthamcotta Temple (Sasthamcotta Manikandan was the first elephant at the temple. Sasthamcotta Manikandan passed away in the year 1999). Neelakandan is the vital part of Sasthamcotta temple. He carries the deity of the Lord Dharmasastha during annual festival processions and ceremonial circumambulations in the temple. Nelakandan is donated by Sri. Ajith Kumar, who is a well known business man in the UAE, as his offering.

Sasthamcotta Sree Dharma Sastha Temple is open from 4:30 AM to 11:30 AM and from 5 PM to 7:45 PM

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

THakazhy Dharma Sastha Temple

Temple   where you can get a medicinal  oil called Valiyenna  , which is a medicine  for diseases   affecting manhood.

THakazhy  Dharma Sastha  Temple

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(You can see a  video about this great temple

  THakazhy the native place of the famous Malayalam writer  THakazhy Siva Sankara  Pillai also houses  a famous  Dharma Sastha temple. Thakazhi is a Village in Champakulam Taluk in Alappuzha District of Kerala State, India. It belongs to South Kerala Division . It is located 19 KM towards South from District head quarters Alappuzha. 7 KM from Champakkulam. 134 KM from State capital Thiruvananthapuram, The temple is only 6 km from Ambalapuzha temple and is managed by  Travancore  DEvaswaon board,  This is one of the 108 temples   consecrated  by Lord Parasurama,.
     This temple   was originally on a hill called Otharmala . It seems there was a huge rain   and the Idol of Dharma Sastha  got removed floated  in rain water and reached  THakazhy, Once the famous Vilwamangalam SWamiyar was  passing this way and saw a huge divine light and he found out the  idol of Dharma Sastha  in a pit (Called POthakuzhy in Malayalam)  with the help of a local magician called  Odiyan   and consecrated it there itself  . Initially the temple was called Pothakuzhiyil Dharma  Sasthavu  or otharodiyan Dharma Sasthvu. Due to the brilliant  luster  of the idol it was  also called  Udayarkkan (Sun of dawn) SAsthavu, and over time its name changed  in To Thakazhy  Dharma Sasthavu, Later the king of CHampakaserry  built a  temple there.
Later the area was captured by Travancore King and Champakasseri Raja left the place. As a result, functioning of the temple deteriorated. During that period, a native Nair used to teach young children alphabets in Kudippallikoodam. He, who was called as "Asan", was a strong devotee of Sastha and the always prayed to Lord Ayyappa of renovating the temple. But he was financially very weak.
Once in his dream, Lord Ayyappa appeared and instructed him to prepare a medicinal oil out of medicinal herbs and various other oils and to sell it at a low rate and use the money gained through this for temple renovation and for performing daily rites.Asan followed the Lord's instructions and Valyaenna became quite famous. Thus the temple was renovated and Asan was referred to as "Enna Valyachan". After the death of Enna Valyachan, his idol was made and was also installed in the temple. In 1979, Ashtabandhakalasam and Sathakodiyarchana were conducted in the temple.Previously this was done 40 years before.
 'Valiyenna'(a special type of medicinal oil meaning great oil) became a  speciality of this temple. Its believed that this oil has magical powers in taking away all the diseases from manhood. But there are some rules and regulations for feeding the medicine. These medicines are collected from 'Othar' hill. This oil is prepared only by members of the 'Aasan family  ', who belongs to a Nair family.

 Important Festivals Important Festivals

The main festival is in the month 'Kumbham'. Its an eight-day festival which ends with 'Arattu'. Also 'Kalamezhuthupattu' is celebrated in 41 days. 'Kalabhabhishekam' is celebrated from 1st Dhanu and ends after 11 days

The main festival is in the month 'Kumbham'. Its an eight-day festival which ends with 'Arattu'. Also 'Kalamezhuthupattu' is celebrated in 41 days. 'Kalabhabhishekam' is celebrated from 1st Dhanu and ends after 11 days

    The God there  faces the east and is with his wife and son.  There are five poojas  in the temple following the Manayathattu thantric rites.. The temple does not have   any other deities.

Important Festivals
The main festival is in the month 'Kumbham'. Its an eight-day festival which ends with 'Arattu'. Also 'Kalamezhuthupattu' is celebrated in 41 days. 'Kalabhabhishekam' is celebrated from 1st Dhanu and ends after 11 days

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Temple for Duryodhana in malanada , Kerala

Temple for Duryodhana in malanada , Kerala

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The temple of Duryodhana(  the only temple in South india)   is located  in Peruviruthy Malanada or Malanada This place The is located equidistant from Adoor(M C Road) on the Northeast and Sasthamcottah on the Southeast. It is also reachable from Kayamkulam and Karunagappally on the N H 47 and Kottarakkara (via Puthoor or Enathu) on the M C road (approximately 25 KMs. From each centre)
    Duryodhana is not represented by an idol here, It is a mandapam(stage below an Althara(the  bottom of a banyan tree)  and devotees  mentally worship the  spiritual power   which is located there .People believe  that the power there is the power of Duryodhana(the eldest of the Kauravas)   who was killed by Bhima in  Mahabharatha   war. It seems when Pandavas were  in Ajatha Vasa  Duryodhana came to this place in search of them.(  a temple for him  is there  in OSla   in Garhwal, where  again he reached  searching for Pandavas)   By the time he reached Malanada  he was greatly tired  .” and went to a nearby house on the north west of Malanada and asked for drinking water. It was Kaduthamsserry Kottaram, where Malanada Appoppan, the priest and ruler of the land was staying. An elderly woman gave him toddy which was customary at that time as a mark of respect. The king enjoyed the drink, but realized after seeing the ‘Kurathali’ worn by the woman that she belonged to an untouchable lower cast by name ‘Kurava’. The king consoled himself and appreciated the divinity of the place and its people who possessed supernatural powers (Siddha). Thereafter, in furtherance of his ‘Rajadharma’, the king sat on the hill and worshipped Lord Siva, praying for the welfare of his people (the prajas). As an act of charity he gave away 100s of acres of agricultural land and paddy fields as freehold to the ‘Devasthanam’. Even now the land tax of the above property is being levied in the name of ‘Duryodhanan’.
The king also ensured that Gandhari, the Royal Mother, Dussala,his sister, Karnan, his close associate and ‘Angarajan’, Dronar, his ‘Guru’ and the other members of his family were properly and adequately aboded and worshipped in the nearby places and members of the ‘Kurava’ caste are poojaris in all such places.
The temple administration at Malanada is vested in a committee elected by members of 7 ‘Karas’, supposed having Malanada Appoopan’s territorial jurisdiction. Kunnathoor Taluk N S S Union and S N D P Union have their representatives in the committee by having 2 members each. ‘Kaduthamsserry Kudumbayogam among Kurava caste and ‘Kettungal Kudumabayogam’ among Ezhava caste enjoying special status in the administration of the temple.”
     IN this there is an important festival called  Malakkuda.meaning umbrella  of the mountains.   It is celebrated every year in the   second half of the   month of march. The arrival of the festival is proclaimed by "Kodiyettu" (the temple flag hoisting ceremony by Oorali after due observance) on the first Friday of Meenam. Presently, although there is festivity for 8 days from Kodiyettu to Malakkuda, there is no change in the rituals connected therewith.
On the festival day afternoon Oorali accompanied by his aids visits "Gurukkalssery Bhagavathy Temple" and invites Devi to Malanada. Bhagavathy arrives Malanada in a procession and occupies her reserved seat (Mandapam in front of Malanada Temple). Thereafter Oorali goes to his abode at Kaduthamsserry Kottaram and gets ready with "Kachakettu" (wearing his priestly attire) with the help of his aidis, viz. "Thalikkaran" & Kalassakkaran" and "Naluveedar". The team led by Oorali first worships at Malanada and thereafter proceed to "Muravukandam" via "Adaipad" to witness and bless the most spectacular and colourful event of the day known as the "Kettukazhcha".
Kettukazhcha is a pageantry. It is the most splendid part of the Maha Malakkuda Maholsavam. It involves a spectacular display of craftsmanship in the form of "Edupu kala" and "Edupu kuthira". The orderly display of hundreds of such pieces, big and small, either as offering by believers for favours received or to be received or as customary by the 7 Karakal (7 divisions of Malanada Appooppan's territorial jurisdiction) in the vast stretch of the dry paddy fields surrounded by thousands of spectators viewing from far and near in the descending sun, renders a panoramic view. This is the essence of the festival. Oorali after having an overall view of the scene from his designated spot, visits and blesses each and every such display item. By around sunset the "Kettukazhcha" one by one moves up the Malanada hill, rounds the temple 3 times and thereafter returns or parks on the hill for the night. There will be cultural programmes during night. Kathakali based on the story "Nizhalkuthu" is customary. Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Devaswom very proudly keeps under lock & key a Gold Flag(Swarnakkodi). It is the status symbol of Malanada Appooppan, the symbol of power and authority. It is the privilege of the Mannan – The Ruler, The King to own such a flag! Made in pure gold, it is a precious show piece of excellent workmanship.
Public ‘Darshan’ of Swarnakkodi is permitted only on auspicious days like ‘Kodiyettu Day’, ‘Malakkuda Maholsavam Day’, etc. It is believed that the ‘Darshan’ of the Swarnakkodi brings home goodness and prosperity.
Then a ritual called  Pallipana  is performed once in 12 years.  There is a story behind this . It is believed that Lord Mahavishnu with the help of Lord Subramanian found that he was afflicted by ‘Asura Dosha’. People belonging to ‘Velan’ community are the right ones to perform the corrective rituals to get rid of the ‘Dosha’ which was inflicted by practicing witchcraft against the Lord. ‘Velan’ community could not be found anywhere in the three worlds. At last Shri Parameswaran, who knows everything, appeared as ‘Velan’, Shri Parvathy as ‘Velathy’, Shri Mahaganapathy and Shri Subramanian as ‘Bhoothaganangal’. They came over to Palazhy and performed the ‘Mahakarma’ which is known as ‘Pallippana’ and relieved Bhagavan of his evil afflictions. It was the first ‘Pallippana’ ever heard in the history of mankind.
‘Pallippana’ is thus believed as a ritual capable of eliminating the evil spirits afflicting a deity and its land and people. At Malanada this ritual is performed without fail once in 12 years. It is believed that this observance elates the divine power of ‘Malanada Appooppan’ and makes the people of the seven ‘Karas’ rich and prosperous.
About 50 members of the ‘Velan’ Community as performers and an equal number of “Purangadi’ community members as antiperformers take part in this function. It lasts for 11 days to complete 18 ‘Mahathkarmangal’. The conduct of the function is very costly. The main ‘Karmas’ performed are Kappukettu, Idupanabali, Kuzhibali, Pattadabali, Ninabali, Panchabhoothabali, Aazhibali, Kidangubali, Marukubali, Peed’abali, Dikbali, and Koombubali.
   There are several small temples   attached to this temple
1.Kadujthamassery  Kottaram-  Valiya appoppan is the  spiritual force here
2.Kizhakke Bagathu  Appoppan kshetram.  .This Appoppan is the nephew of Malanada Appoppan
3.Menaka ssery kottaram  .Is the place of Menakassery Appoppan    who first ruled over Malanada ,It is believed 101   Swaroopangal(forms)    are living there
4.THekke purathu kshethram .It seems one Pandi Nattan THampuran lived here  and jhewas an expert in treating   stomach disorders.Devotees with this problems come here.
5,Vadakkepurathu Kshethram .Here it seems one Thampuran specialised in treating eye problems used to live. People with eye  problems come here.
6.Chempitta kottaram(Palace with copper roof) . The moorthy is a Sidha specialised  in treating mental disorders
7.Guru kalaserriyil kottaram  - Martial arts    used  to be taught here.
8.Vallyathu  kottaram the administrator of the temple  is the sankalpa moorthy here
9.Puliserriyil kottaram  . Pooliseriyil Ammomma   used to live here .It is considered as a  prayer home for fertility
10, Manankaravila  kshethram  . Here  the SAnkalpa murthy is a tamilian Sidh doing meditation
11.Muthuruthy Kavu  .Two days in a year   the murthy is worshipped
12. Kettungal devi temple   This is a temple  of Gddess  Durga
13.Ummasery Kavu . Ummaserry Kavilamma is the sankalpa murthy
14.Deva Kunnu mala .Here pooja is done by Pulaya community. It is believed that  Duryodhana   came here  first.From there he saw light in Malanada hill and went there

Interesting facts
1.There is a temple built  in Puliyur by BHeema  and so the people of that village are banned   from visiting this temple.
2.Two   groups of people from Sakuni temple at Pavithreswaram   called OOralis and  Piniyalis hava a special role in the Malakkuda festival here. It is believed that before Mahabharatha war the Kauravas  came here   and divided their weapons.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Madapalli Kavu Bhagwathi

Madapalli Kavu Bhagwathi


(Please   see  the temple
         Madapalli kavu (also called as Manapalli kavu)  is a famous Bhagavathy temple   situated very near Palakkad town. Though the temple was owned by a private family   now  it is managed by the  devaswom board.
   The presiding Goddess  is   supposed to fulfil all    the wishes of her   true devotees.   It is believed   that there was a village on the shores of the Soka nasini river (BHaratha puzha)  where  several  fire sacrifices were held .It was in ancient times  called Yagakkara  and now it is called Yakkara ,It seems the original founder of the temple used   to  worship this BHagwathi in the kitchen(Madapalli) and originally  the temple was in  west Yakkara.(Moola sthanam still exists there) Later the temple was built in east Yakkara   and it was called  Madapalli(Kitchen) temple .Over time this name    got changed in to Manapalli or Manapulli.
    There is an  interesting story about this temple. It seems there  was a Rakshasa  called Neelan  who was troubling people who   were settled her,  .When approached by the people, it seems  Lord Parasurama approached Lord Shiva   and he sent  Bhadrakali  to kill  that asura ,She was black in colour with three  eyes armed with Soolam (trident) , Gadkam(sword)  and kedakam(the protective shield)   and in her fourth hand she   was holding  a skull,. She had two protruding teeth called Dhamshtram   and was dressed in silk, After she defeated and killed  Neela  , she preferred   to stay here.” It is believed that the sword used by Mother Bhagavathi to defeat and destroy the demons is still the float tank..
  And as such  Mother Manapulli Bhagavathi is  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. 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.
   There   is another story.  It seems  BHadra Kali was born out of the matted hair(Jada)  of  the angry Lord Shiva   during the daksha   yaga and because of this she is very fierce more so when “Chandattam”  is done in the temple   but once the Very sweet Nei Payasam(Kadu madhura payasam)  is offered to her   she becomes very peaceful.
  All the farmers around the temple believe   that  Goddess  protects their paddy crop . In the third Friday  of the Malayalam month  Vruschigam  , the farmers carrying their freshly harvested produce reach the Muniyappan temple   which is situated  in the southern side of the temple. From there a big procession is taken out  to the temple. This procession is called  the Kathir festival as they carry Paddy bunches made in to a ball. After this the important festival call  Manapalli Kavu Vela starts,.

“The Vela is celebrated between last week of February and first week of March based on the Malayalam Calendar year. ‘Kanyar’ is conducted on the Ist Friday of the Malayalam month ‘Kumbam’ and the Vela is invariably conducted on the 14th day after ‘Kanyar’ (Kodiyettam). A Vela Committee is constituted for the proper conduct of the Vela Festival. The entire expenditure for the festival is met from donations received from the devotees. After the Kodiyettam, many cultural events are organised in the evenings for 14 days culminating on the day of Vela, by renowned folk/cultural artists of the state which attract huge crowds. Lot of devotees from various places come and worship Bhagavathy on Vela day. The Vela day starts early with special poojas and in the afternoon, Bhagavathy starts her vela procession. It is considered that on the invitation extended by the ‘Desakkar’ (locals) with ‘Upacharam Chollal’, Bhagavathy comes out of the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ for the ‘Vela Procession’, mixing up with her devotees for uniting her ‘Thattakam’ and eliminating all the evils. It is noted that on Vela day, neither the usual ‘Deeparadhana’ nor the ‘Athazhapuja’ is performed, as Bhagavathy is celebrating Vela with the ‘Desakkar’. The ‘Deeparadhana and ‘Athazhapuja’ of Vela day will be performed on the next day after ‘Sudhi’ (cleansing ceremony). The ‘Chaandh Abishekam’, one of the important pooja during the Vela day, attracts flocks of devotees. ‘Vedikettu’ (Fireworks) is also an important attractive element of the festival which takes place in the late evening when the Vela procession reaches back to the temple from Fort Maidan and also in the early morning. Bhagavathy is very fond of fire works as she is considered to be born from the Jada of Paramasiva with fire and thunder. On the Vela day the ‘nada’ is opened only after Karimarunnu (fireworks) is lit in front of Bhagavathy’. Annadanam’ (offering of food) is conducted in which thousands of devotees take part. The day of Vela is declared as a local holiday by the government which shows the importance of the festival.
Other significant features of the Vela is the other Velas from other desams (areas) such as West Yakkara, Vadakkanthara, Vennakkara, and Koppam which also congregate at the Fort Maidan. While the East Yakkara Manappullikavu Vela remains separate at the fort entrance gate when the ‘Panchavadyam’ is in full swing. The East Yakkara Manappulli Bhaghavathy Vela consisting of the famous caparisoned Elephants, folk arts, Panchavadyam etc., reach back to the temple. Plenty of chariots (Bullock carts and other motorised vehicles) also form part of the Vela procession. When the Vela return to the temple, the ‘Panchavadyam’ reaches its mesmerising peak making the people literally dance and jump. After this, the spectacular fireworks starts, leaving the huge crowd spellbound. A vast sea of humanity assembles at the temple premises to witness this spectacular show.
      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
After the Fireworks, the renowned ‘Pandimelam’ performed by hundreds of eminent artists begins. At midnight stage programmes will be performed. Early morning, the ‘Raavela’ starts. The highlight of ‘Raavela’ is lighting of ‘Kambam’. ‘Kambam’ is considered as ‘Paramasivas’ Jada and lighting it with ‘Karimarunnu’ makes symbolic representation of Bhadrakalis’ ulpathi. After this, Bhagavathy enters the Temple. The ‘Kanyar’ pole is plucked by Elephant to mark the end of the festival. Sudhi is performed as Bhagavathy was outside the shrine with the devotees to celebrate her Vela. ‘Eeduvedi’ announces the conclusion of Vela.
It is believed that after the evening Aarthi Bhagawathy goes to the Moolasthanam which is behind the present main temple (2 km) and returns to the Main Temple in the Morning.”(From Wiki pedia)
              Manappalli Bhagawathy is the family deity  of very many families and  all her  followers perform the Pooja and do an offering before starting any function  in their homesa such as marriage; after the marriage the newlyweds go to the temple and take the blessings of the Goddess  without fail 

The telephone  number of the temple   is  o491-678013

Manapullikavu Temple Morning Pooja Timings
5:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Manappully Bhagavathy Temple Evening Darshan Timings
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Deeparadhana will be between 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Why Guruvayur is not a divya desam?

Why  Guruvayur  is not a  divya  desam?

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Divya desams    are those temples  where  Azhvars  have done  Mangala Sasanam (In simple words, have sung about the temple)  . Kerala.
   There  are  13  Divya desams  in Kerala. Out of the 12 Azhvars   only two azhvars   have visted   these  temples,One of them is  Nammazhvar   whose  mother  came from Kerala and the  other  is Thirumangai Azhvar who has  sung in eighty  of the  108  Divya desams.
  In one  of the  notes  published  in  Oppiliappan  web site  it is mentioned that  Azhvars    did not  sing about  any temple where  God is there  without the Goddess .Guruvayur being  a temple  where  God  is there  without the  Goddess , they did not visit that  temple. I checked up and found  that  in all the  13 Divya desams  of Kerala , goddess  is also consecrated  in those  temples.

   I thought     this  information would be interesting to my friends.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Vellore Manakkapady Nagaraja temple

Vellore Manakkapady  Nagaraja   temple

Aswathy Girijan

Sree Nagaraja Temple Velloor Manakkapdy (Kottayam district, Kerala) is famous for its disease curing effects and it can also be described as a land of miracles. The mighty lord NAGARAJA and the omnipotent NAGAYAKSHIYAMMA are the principal deites of this temple along with Sarpayakshiyamma, Ashtanagas, Bhadrakali....

Sree Nagaraja Temple
Velloor, Manakkapady
Karicode P.O, Kottayam
Contact: 9495960702
email :

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Vellamaserry Garudan kavu. Alathiyur

Vellamaserry   Garudan kavu. Alathiyur

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      This is perhaps the only temple    for Garuda in Kerala and is situated   near Alathiyur of Malappuram district .This is again one of those temples  where people with Sarpa dosha worship in Kerala. It has got a very interesting   story behind it.
 It seems a great sage did Thapas  addressed to Lord Vishnu in this spot and when Lord Vishnu came, he wanted to know the ways and means of getting   salvation from human birth. Lord Garuda   flew to  this spot and sat there   to hear the elucidation given by Lord Vishnu. Later temples were built for Lord Vishnu and Lord Garuda   at this spot.
There is also another interesting story abut its origin. It seems once the famous Perum thachan made an idol of Garuda which was almost throbbing with life.The B Vettathu Nadu king very much desired to see it alive.Perumthachan it seems replied that , the Garuda   would become alive   if a very virtuous wife touches it,When Raja doubted it Perum Thachan’s wife came and touched  the statue and it came to life.It flew and landed near the Lord Krishna  temple at this spot Which had Lord Vishnu in Koormavathara. There the temple was built to Lord Garuda facing  the west .The name of the place  became Vella Aama Sery (The place of white Tortoise) ,
“The temple complex grew later substantially. Sankara Narayana and Shiva prathisthas facing the east came up. On the left of Lord Garuda, one can worship today Veettekkaran and Kartha Veeryarjunan. Vishnu and Sankara Narayanan have Namaskara Mandapa. Vishnu has a balippura on the south as well. At west one can pray Sastha, Bhagavathy, Ganapthy and Bhadra Kali. There is a gopuram at the west and a deepasthambham inside. The large and serene temple pond on the south adds to the pride of this temple. There is also daily pooja in the temple.”
   Special offerings at this temple are made   for getting rid of skin diseases, Breathing difficulties , Leucoderma besides snake bite . Farmers also pray Lord Garuda to prevent  damage to their crops due to birds.Normally friuits with tender coconuts  are offered to Lord Garuda. A special offering is the Manja Payasam All Sundays are important at the temple   especially the Mandala Kalam  of Lord ayyappa.
The address and phone number of the temple is given below :-
Vellamassery Devaswom - Shri Garudan Kavu Kshethram,
P.O Allathiyur, Pin - 676 102
Call Us
Phone: 0494 - 2426181 (Office)
Mob: +91 - 9388818948 (Trustee Chairman), +91 9496129246 (Manager)