Chettikulangara Devi Temple
One of the renowned Devi temples in Kerala is
Chettikulangara temple, Kayamkulam in Alappuzha. Highlights
of Bharani festival, celebrated in February-March, are
Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha. Of these , the former is
performed as an offering to Bhagavathy.
The man who makes the offering teaches an adolescent boy
religious rites for seven days from Sivarathri day (in
February) to Bharani asterism, During the period the boy
will have to observe fast. On Bharani morning, after feast
and other rituals, the boy with his body coiled with silver
wires is taken in procession to the temple with
accompaniment of percussion. On the way to the temple,
tender coconut water will be sprinkled on the boy. Later the
boy dances facing the Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum).
Mannarsala Temple, Harippad
Mannarasala temple at Harippad is the seat of God of
Serpents. Built in a grove, the temple is reputed for having
30,000 images of snake-gods and this is the largest of its
kind in the state.
On the day of Ayilliam asterism in the Malayalam months of
Kanni and Thulam (September and October), all the serpent
idols in the grove and the temple are taken in procession to
illam ( the house connected with the temple) where Nurum
Palum (rice flour and milk), Kuruthi (a red liquid made of
turmeric and lime), offerings are made.
Attukal Bhagavathi Temple
Attukal Bhagavathy temple (Mudippura), knows as the
Sabarimala of women, is in Thiruvananthapuram. Attukal
Ponkala, the annual festival commences on Bharani day in
Kumbhom (February - March) and continues for nine days.
Ponkala is an offering usually made in Bhagavathy temples,
prepared in the form of payasam ( a liquid food in Kerala),
ingredients are rice, jaggery, coconut kernel and plantain
fruits. The festival begins with thottampattu (a song about
Bhagavathy) which is being chanted for nine days
Thrichambaram Sree Krishna Temple
The temple dedicated to Sree Krishna is at Thrichambaram,
Kannur, 14-kms from Pappinisserry railway station. The
fortnight festival begins on 22nd Kumbham (February -
March). Another temple dedicated to Sree Balarama ( believed
to be the brother of Lord Krishna) is at Mazhoor,
Thrichambaram. On the first day, the idol of Balarama is
taken out in procession from Mazhoor temple and brought to
the Thrichambaram temple.
Sree Vallabha Temple, Thiruvalla
The temple, 3-kms away from Thiruvalla Railway Station, have
many deities though it is dedicated Lord Vishnu. The temple
compound houses a tank supposed to be a natural one. The 50-
feet high flag post is granite. An idol of garuda, vehicle
of Lord Vishnu, is fixed atop the flag post.
Subrahmania Swamy Temple, Haripad
One of the oldest, most important temples devoted to Lord
Subramania is on Kollam-Alapuzha highway. The Subrahmania
idol with four arms is the biggest of its kind designed
after the sculptural pattern of the Buddhist period. It is
believed that the idol was worshipped by Lord Parasurama and
was obtained from a river.
Regatta at River Paipad is conducted commemorating the idol
recovery. As many as three festivals are celebrated in this
temple, of which Chithira festival in Medom( April-May) is
the most important. The procession with the golden peacock
throne is quite attractive.
Bhagavathi Temple, Kodungallor
Kodungaloor, the ancient capital of Kerala, is 35 kms
north-west of Ernakulam, has a hoary past. From the days of
recorded history, Kodungalloor, then a trade emporium in
India, had been a maritime port of international repute. The
city had been a beehive of activities and had trade
relations with West as well as Middle-East.
Today, the city is a great pilgrim centre. Bharani festival
held in the Bhagavathi temple here is a big devotee draw.
Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple
A big pilgrim draw, Guruvayoor is known as Kasi of South.
Round the year devotees throng to worship Guruvayoorappan,
little Krishna, the reigning deity.
The 16 th century poet Narayana Bhattathiri, fallen with
rheumatic pain sought relief from Guruvayrappan. He composed
Narayaneeyam. He recovered from disease then after the
temple got an aura as a place with healing powers.
Janardhanaswamy Temple, Varkala
Arattu, the annual festival is celebrated every year in
March-April commencing with Kodiyettu on Karthika day. Tens
of thousands of people attend the festival. Colorful
processions are held on all festival days.
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