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THE TEMPLES OF KERALA

MALAPPURAM

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Arangottu Sivakshetram

 

Kozhikode–Palghat road Arangot Siva Kshetram, Kuruva, Malappuram Dt,Kerala

The temple, about 2000 years old according to prasna (the oracle), has a round Sreekovil. The centre of the ceiling had damaged and was leaking during the rainy season. A number of carpenters were consulted and all of them expressed their inability to repair the ceiling. They did not know the calculations required to cut pieces of wood and join them at the top of the conical construction.The president of the committee stated that they even consulted Kanipayyur Parameswaran Namboodri (nephew of Kanipayyur Sankaran Namboodri and cousin brother of the now famous Vasthu consultant of Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Kanipayyur Krishnan Namboodiri). Finally they decided to put up a thin concrete layer on top of the ceiling to avoid leakages during rainy season.

The main Deities are Siva, Durga, Thirumandhamkunnil Bhagavathy & Ganesha

The Deity of Krishna was installed by Poonthanam Namboodri, the famous Bhaktha Kavi.  Melpathur Bhattathiripad was his contemporary. Once Melpathur had a dream in which God Krishna told him that he prefers the Bhakthi of Poonthanam better than all the knowledge that Bhattathiri possesses.Poonthanam wrote all his devotional poems in Malayalam whereas Melpathur wrore" Narayaneeyam" in Samscritam.

Poonthanam used to visit Guruvayur once in every month. In those days he had no alternative but to walk all the distance ie from Angadipuram (where his illam is situated) to Guruvayur which by road now is about 60 kms. As he grew old, it became more and more difficult for him to walk the distance. Once when he got very tired he sat down and cried, “Oh Krishna! I cannot walk any further”. Krishna appeared by his side immediately and told him gently, “I am here with you. You need not go to Guruvayur to see me.”

Poonthanam installed the deity there. Since Krishna appeared on the left hand side of Poonthanam, the place was called Idath Puram meaning left side. He started pooja to the deity and soon there came up a small temple.

After Poonthanam passed away, people neglected repair of the temple and even daily poojas were not done at the temple for quite some time. The roof and part of the walls had also collapsed. Recently the temple is getting renovated and is managed by a committee.

The place is about a KM north east of Thirumandhamkunnu temple, Angadipuram and is connected by a motorable road.

Kongad Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy Kshetram

This temple, constructed by Madappilappally Namboodri(as understood from people around)in the year 1570 is an exact replica of the Bhagavathi temple at Angadipuram. The present managing trustee of the temple is Madappilappally Vasudevan Namboodri. The thanthri is also the same person. The poojari is Vengad Namboodri.

The Sreekovil of the temple is like Thirumandhamkunnu temple and the location of the Deity of Siva is also exactly the same. Bhagavathy faces north and Siva faces east. The temple is on a hill and there are steps on the north side of the temple exactly similar to Thirumandhamkunnu. All rituals including the pooram are identical.

The main Deity in the temple is Siva. The Upadevas are Thirumandhamkunnilamma, Sastha, and Ganapathy. Many people from places like Kochi and Travancore visit the temple saying that Kootil Siva is their Bharadevatha.

At the north end of the temple there is a well about which people believe there is a Bhootha (spirit)in it.

Kadannamanna Thekkineadath Temple

This is an ancient temple with a round Sreecovil. The arithmetic of erecting the conical roof made of wood and tiles is very complicated for a round sreecovil and perhaps built by Perumthachan or his desciple.

Many old temples, after they are damaged, convert the roof to concrete. It is said that originally this calculation was known only to Perumthachan (one of the 12 divine sons of Vararuchi (a Namboodri) and a Paraya lady) and many of these temples were actually made under the supervision of Perumthachan. Others have learnt from Perumthachan.

The deity was brought from Panthalur( a temple on the hill nearby) to this temple, which was, according to one school of thought, the original capital of Valluvakonathiri, the king of Valluvanad. No prasna has been conducted to learn the date of installation of the original temple The temple is located at Kadannamanna village and is accessible by a motorable road and is about 1.5 km from Mankada. About 8km from Angadipuram on the Perithalmanna Manjeri road you will reach Kadannamanna. There is a small tarred road on the left side and on this road at about half a km you will reach an ancient Tarwad (Kadannamanna Covilakam ) belonging to the Valluvakonathiri Vamsam. On the left there is a dirt road and about 1/3 km from there you will see the temple.

Thekkineadath Temple,
Kadannamanna, P.O. Mankada,
Malappuram District Kerala-679324

Kottakkal Pooram Venue:   Sree Vishwambara Temple, Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala Complex, Kottakkal, Malappuram district, North Kerala.

Kottakkal Pooram is the annual festival at the Sree Vishwambara Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Dhanvanthari. Dhanvanthari, in Indian mythology, is the patron god of medicine and health. During the festival,  masters of music, art, culture and literature from all over the country participate in the cultural mela organised by the P.S.Warrier Trust.

The Trust is run by the renowned Ayurvedic reasearch, treatment and study centre Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala.  The festival also features Ottanthullal,  Chakyarkoothu, Panchavadyam and night long   Kathakali performances. The music concerts here give equal importance to the Hindusthani as well as Carnatic streams.

Getting there:
There are frequent bus services from nearby towns like Kozhikode, Malappuram (about 11 km), Tirur etc., to Kottakkal.

Nearest railway station: Tirur, about 16 km from Kottakkal.

Nearest airports: Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode, about 36 km from Malappuram town.

Melethrikovil Temple and Kizhethrikovil temple

The Melethrikovil Temple is located on the banks of a river (a tributary of Bharathapuzha) and is about 100 feet above its waterlevel, while the Kizhethrikovil temple is below, very near the water level. Looking from the Melethrikovil temple down to the river and the temple below is an awe-inspiring sight.
There are steps made of granite between the two temples and to the river.

One Vishnu Nambiathiri was a chieftain of Valluvakonathiri and a great devotee. It is said that he was an expert Kalari Abhyasi(Gymnast), that he could jump from one bank of the river to the other bank. He renovated both the temples and these were famous temples in those days.Being a chieftain of Valluvakonathiri (,Samoothiri Raja of Kozhikode)considered him to be a dangerous enemy and wanted to eliminate him by hook or crook. It is said that Samoothiri bribed his wife and got him Poisoned.

 

Deities:
Melethrikovil:-  Siva, Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathi.
Kizhethrikovil:- Siva, Vishnu, Ayyappa

Celebrations:

On Makaram 10 (near 24 January) Kalampaattu starts (Koora i.e. the red pattuCloth, is hoisted by Kurup over the kalam). Depending on the number of Kalampaattu, the date of Chittuthalapoli varies.
On the days of the kalam paattu food is served at the agrasala (a big hall)of the temple. The manager says that all people in the neighbourhood come to eat on these days. However, he says that people seldom come to pray.

Vilakku vechu pooja:
(puja in front of lighted lamps in front of each individual lady)About 100 to 200 ladies assemble for this function.
Niramala (Garlands filling a major portion of the Deity)
Namajapa Prasadam -:(Loud repitition of God's names by a large no of devotees)conducted once in a month.
Mandalavilakku (Festival for Ayyappa)
Chandanam charthal (Vishnu's face fully covered by Sandal paste and and an artistic facial feature created )
Prathishta Dinam – (Day of installation) Itava masam makiryam(June).
Bhajanam –(Devotional songs by a number of devotees in unison) first Monday of every month

Address : Methrikovil Devaswam,
Post Patinhattu muri,
Mankada Pallipuram,
Malappuram District, Kerala

 

Mankada Kootil Sivakshethram

Nobody can make a guess about the age of this kshetram. The Deva prasnam showed it must be at least 1000 years old. It has a round Sreekovil.In the very olden days when the temple was the centre of religion, culture and government, Valluvakonathiri (the King of Valluvanad) entrusted the temple to one of his chieftains, a Nair belonging to Kodakkad Tarwad. Even now the temple belongs to the Swamy and his successors donate an amount regularly towards its upkeep

 

Nilamperoor Padayani

Venue:   The Bhagavathikkavu Temple  , Nilamperoor village, Kuttanad

The Bhagavathikkavu   ( Bhagavathi   Temple) at Nilamperoor village in Kuttanad is famous for the  Padayani   festival held here. One important feature of the Padayani   festival is the ceremonial making of figures representing mythological heroes ( Kolamkettu  ).

The figures are then taken on a dance procession ( Kolamthullal)  . The central characters of the  ‘kolams’   are of Siva, Bhima, Ravana etc. The festival begins at the Pooram asterism according to the Malayalam calendar and lasts for seventeen days. The last day, which falls on the Pooram day according to the calendar is the most auspicious and glorious. During the Ezhunnellippu   (procession) the  kolams   are towed on carts while smaller kolams are carried by people. These kolams are taken on procession with great rejoicing and music. Fireworks are the grand finale to the occasion. Later, the kolams are brought before the temple and after traditional rites they are placed at a designated spot in the temple. 

 

Narasimhamoorthy Temple at Ramapuram

 (Narasimha is Vishnu in the form with face and limbs like Lion and the rest human taken to kill Hiranya Kasipu, a Rakshasa autocrat king,who was prepared to kill even his one and only son who was a devotee and refused to recite his name instead of God's names). This temple is in the same compound as the Sree Rama temple, but managed by a separate trustee, a Nayar Tarawad nearby.

The temple has a round Sreekovil. It is very old (about 1000 years). The round Sreekovil’s walls are built of laterite stones, which is very rare in India. The stones are cut into shape and put in position without any binding material and it has withstood the rainy weather of Kerala well.The temple had some landed properties and after the land legislation the temple became poor. The annuity the temple gets from the government is also inadequate.Added to this there were rumours that the trustee had mismanaged the properties. Some people in the neighbourhood complained about the trustee and the Devaswam board took preliminary action to take over the temple or hand it over to an elected body. (It is not known who will elect the committee).

For further information please write to the Manager, Narasimhamoorthy temple, Ramapuram, Malappuram District, Kerala.

Palakkod Sivakshetram

 This is also a very old temple lying in ruins. Recently people in the neighbourhood renovated the temple.

The history of the temple is as follows. Valluvakkonathiri had a chieftain named Eranthodath Panicker, perhaps one who was a Chaver (soldier in a suicide squad) in his small army. The management of the temple was entrusted to him. The temple was also under the overall supervision of the Thirumandhamkunnu Temple.

The speciality of the temple is that its round Sreekovil is made of huge laterite stones (30”, 15”, 8”) which shows the temple is more than 1500 years old.Laterite stones of this size are very rare.When taken for renovation, the Sivalinga was intact, the walls around were slightly broken and the roof was fully damaged. The walls and ceiling are now completed with concrete and the shape is restored.

One Mr Sukumaran Nair, who lives nearby, takes an active interest in the temple. He says he never had any illness after he started taking interest in the temple (not even an ordinary cold)

One Muslim neighbour found a Sivalingam in his compound and reported the same to Sukumaran Nair. He consulted the Thanthri of Thirumandhamkunnu Temple (Panthalakodath Namboothiri whose illam is about 1 km from this temple) and as per his direction this new Sivalinga was installed by the side of the old sanctum sanctorum and a new Sreekovil was built around the deity. He says one pooja is conducted daily at the temple.

However, the annual pooram is conducted elaborately

Ramapuram Sreerama Kshetram

For details of the temple, please write to: Manager, Ramapuram  Sreerama Temple, Ramapuram, Malappuram Dt, Kerala.

A temple for Sree Rama is very rare in these parts. One other temple nearest is at Thriprayar, about 30 km from Guruvayur.

The legend about this temple is as follows:-
A north Indian Brahmin was carrying this idol along with him (Ishta devatha) while  on a Thirtha yathra (pilgrimage). The idol was a special one that he had collected from Nepal. On the way, he passed Vadakkedath Illam at Ramapuram in the present Malappuram District. When he reached the illam (a Namboothiri house), there were no male members at the illam. All had gone to a nearby temple for Varam. (Feast at the temple for Bhramins). He told the inmates that he was going to leave the idol at the illam and go and meet the male members of the illam at the temple. He also instructed the lady members that under no circumstance should they give any Naivedyam(food) to the Deity. He then left for the nearby temple.

The young Antharjanams (Namboodri girls) were very mischievous. They prepared palpayasam (milk porridge) and offered it to the Deity. When the Brahmin pilgrim returned, he found that the idol had stuck to the floor there, and could not be moved. He had no alternative but to leave the Deity there and proceed on his pilgrimage. He felt so upset at having to proceed without his Ishtadevatha, , that he fell from a stone bridge and died there.( According to legent)

The people built a Sree Rama temple near the spot. The area was an injakad (forest of thick shrubs whose bark is used for cleaning the body). A mirror was also installed in a corner of the temple to honour the memory of the Brahmin who died on that spot.( Since it is a Brahmin who died under an accident, it is called a deity of the Brahma Rakshas).

 

The temple for Sree Rama became very famous and temples came up in the neighbourhood within a kilometre or two for his brothers Bharatha, Laxmana and Shatrughna. A temple also came up for Seetha Devi. All the structures of these temples are still in existance. It is said that in all Hindu houses(Non Muslim,non Christian ) in that village and neighbourhood, at least one child is named Rama. Valluvakonathiri (the king at that time) asked 12 Namboodri families to come and settle at Ramapuram giving them land for their upkeep.

The trustees of these temples are Vadakkedath Bhattathiri and Thekkedath Bhattathiri. The trusteeship rotates every six months.

There is Sastha as Upadevatha at this temple. However it is not the Deity of Ayyappaswamy. This Deity is that of a married god with two wives.

Thirunavaya    Navamukunda Temple, Thiroor                                          

 ‘Thunchan Parambu’, the birth place of Thunchath Ezhuthachan is in Tirur. Tirunavai, 8 km south of Tirur, is a place of historical and religious significance. The Sarvodayamela is held here every year in January at the Navamukunda Temple. This temple, which is called the Benares of the South, is believed to have been founded by nine great saints. The popular Mamamkam festival used to be held here every 12 years. In the olden days there was a grand assembly for rulers of Kerala. This festival is said to have been started by Cheraman Perumal and the last performance was in 1755 Venue:  Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple, near Ponnani, Malappuram district, North Kerala.

The ten-day annual festival at the Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple, dedicated to Navamukunda   (Lord Vishnu), begins with Kodiyettam   and concludes with Arattu. The last three days are the most auspicious. Classical art forms like Krishnanattom, Kathakali, Bharathanatyam   etc., are performed during the festival nights. The shrine situated on the banks of the river Bharathappuzha   was the venue of the ' Mamankam'  , a grand assembly of rulers of of Kerala, held once in 12 years.

Getting there    
Nearest railway station: Tirur, about 8 km from Thirunavaya.

Nearest airport: Karipur International Airport in Kozhikode, about 32 km from Malappuram town.


Trikandiyur Siva Temple

According to the legends the idol of this temple dedicated to Lord Siva has been installed by Parasurama the legendary creator of Kerala. It is located near Tirur.

Sri Rudhra Mahakali Temple
This temple is situated on the beautiful hills at Parthipara (Kavu-Vadakkanchery).The annual Pooram festival is a marvellous pomp and show here in April and May. Sparkling fireworks add to the colour.
 

Vadakkiniedam Temple

This is a temple under the control of Thirumandhamkunnu Devaswam

This temple has a round Sreekovil and is more than 1000 years old. The Valia Varikallu at the entrance to the temple is showing cracks  due to rain and sun, not having a cover over it.

The temple has certain specialities
1. For pujas to Durga the drumbeat is to be at a low level.
2. The public say that any house built in line and in front of Durga won't last. ‘

The location of this temple is near Thekkiniedath Temple and touches Kadannamanna Covilakam on the right side

There is a Temple on the plains of the hillock Thirumandamkunnu at Angadipuram about 200 yards from the Thirumandhamkunnu temple. This temple was renovated due to the untiring efforts of a Gandhi Sishya who organised Sathyagraha for a number of days to overcome objections to the renovation.

The Temple, which is considered to be an ancient one and a part of the 18 Tali temples (Shiva temples) built by Parasurama. Only the big Shivalinga and the plinth of the temple were intact, although covered by shrubs.

A local spotted the Shivalinga and the Hindus there joined together and planned to start puja there. However, there was a small structure nearby (about 100 yards) from there, used for Namaz by local Muslims, who objected to it

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