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Old 15th December 2012, 14:52   #181
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

Thevalakkara

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Next we were in search of the family temple of our ancestors, we've just stumbled on that information and went searching for it!

No, not this one
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Wifey finds it out finally

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Seems it is not much visited by people

Another Temple entrance

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Old 15th December 2012, 15:11   #182
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then went to Thekkan Guruvayoor Temple, Thevalakkara
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This famous Sreekrishnaswami temple is popularly known as Thekkan Guruvayoor, facing east. It is Located at Thevalakkara Panchayath near Chavara in Kollam district. The temple is very ancient and the Lord Krishna, the complete reincarnation of Sree Maha Vishnu, resides with all auspiciousness.
Some pictures of the temple
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Thekkan Guruvayoor English Medium School

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They have a facebook page too
https://www.facebook.com/thekan.guruvauor

I just came to understand that the Temple Elephant Nandakumaran passed away last Wednesday.



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Old 15th December 2012, 15:23   #183
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then drove from Thevalakkara to Mynagapalli in search of a land gifted to me by my ancestors. I had only heard about my gift all these days, I wanted to put a dimension to it. We drove through the interior roads and reached Mynagapalli by 11:15AM.

Parked Civvy near the wonder land

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Not Bad, I like it
- A green place
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After some introduction with the neighbours and giving them all a face to put to the owner I moved on from there with a sense of satisfaction that after 36 years I finally visited the place!!!!


We drove to Karunagapalli and took the NH from there to Oachira. By the time we reached Oachira it was 12:00 noon and was blaring hot.

We needed our fill of "Bonchi" - Fresh Lime Soda!
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We then visited Oachira Temple

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Old 15th December 2012, 15:49   #184
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then visited Oachira Temple
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oachira_Temple


Quote:
Oachira Temple


The Oachira Temple is an extremely ancient temple located in Oachira in Kollam district in the South Indian state of Kerala. According to the Puranas, this temple is one of the famous sacred places of[Kerala and India.[1] Oachira is on the border of Kollam and Allappuzha districts, next to the National Highway 47.[2] This very ancient pilgrimage center is centered on the ParaBrahma temple (that is dedicated to the Para Brahman (or Param Brahman) or Ohmkaram, the Universal Consciousness), and covers thirty-six acres of land.

Every year the Oachira Vrischikam Festival is celebrated during December and January. Oachirakkali is a famous ritual performed here during June and it involves mock-fighting in muddy water by traditional martial art experts. And "Erupathattam onam" (28 days after Onam) is also celebrated. It is the festival of cattle. In this festival, huge "Eduppu kala" (gigantic bull shaped structures) are made. They are then pulled on giant wheels to the Oachira Temple from the site where they are made. Normally there are around 50 such structures. It is the biggest festival in "Onattu Kara" which is an area of a few square miles. Oachirakkali was actually a war exercise performed annually by soldiers of Kayamkulam Raja. Nearby, about 108 Kalaries were in 52 karas up to the beginning of 20th century. Soldiers belonging to the above Karas met together at Oachira in the Malayalam month of Mithuna every year and performed war-like exercises. This is what is called Oachirakkali. During the years of the Kayamkulam Rajah, Oachirakkali was started after the blessings of nearby Nambiathiris, high order Nambudiri Brahmins, having the knowledge of Dhanurveda (the science of arms) who were also experts in Smrithy Sasthras.

Ward and Conner, two British officials entrusted to survey Travancore in the beginning of 19th century, made their observations about Oachira in their report. In the report it was made clear that there was a very old and damaged pagoda on the eastern side of the Padanilam. It was also disclosed that there was a large reservoir at the center of the vast ground on which the temple stands, (which was now known as Kallukettuchira), and which is outside the temple compound today.

History of the place name "Oachira"

There are many beliefs as to why this place is called Oachira. Some people believe that the place name came from the word Omkarachira and some others believe that the name is originated from the name Oymanchira. Also there are strong beliefs that the name derived from Uvachanchira as Uvachan means Lord Siva as per belief. All these assumptions are based on myths.

The real reason for arriving at the name of Oachira is possibly different. For that, we should understand the observations made by the two British officials, Ward and Conner, who conducted a survey in the erstwhile Travancore during the beginning of the 19th century. In their survey report, it was mentioned that there was a large reservoir at the center of the large ground called Padanilam. This reservoir (tank/pond/chira) was at the center of the Padanilam. This chira was used by the soldiers in olden days for bathing and for supplying water to the horses used in the war exercises. This chira might have been known in olden days as Onattuchira, as the place belonged to the Kayamkulam Raja who was also called the Odanattu Raja or simply Onattu Rajah. The Headquarters of Kayamkulam Raja was at that time at Krishnapuram, very near to the Padanilam (which is hardly 1 km away from Oachira). So it is believed that the word Onattuchira was gradually accepted as the place name and as time passed by further, that word was corrupted into Oachira. This is quite a plausible explanation as there are so many examples in known history about the transformation of place names.

The Oachira Temple is unique in the sense that it does not have covered structures for temples. People worship the Para Brahma (the original formless power who manifests as the three supreme forms of God, namely Brahma/Vishnu/Siva) under neatly preserved trees.
A few pictures from Oachira Temple
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Last edited by laluks : 15th December 2012 at 15:50.
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Old 15th December 2012, 16:01   #185
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We were hungry. We stopped by at Kayamkulam KTDC Motel Aaram
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We got Kappa (Tapioca)
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Wow
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By the time we finished lunch and reached Krishnapuram Palace, it was 13:00 hours and they had closed for lunch.
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so we drove on towards Harippad


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Old 15th December 2012, 16:13   #186
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then visited Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple at Haripad
http://www.haripadsubrahmanyaswamytemple.com/
Quote:
The Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple at Haripad is one among the three oldest temples of Kerala. Daily a number of devotees come to this holy shrine. It is believed that the temple was established even before the advert of ‘Kaliyuga'. It is one of the most prestigious centres of pilgrimage in South India, and is an excellent example of Southern architecture. The image of the deity with four arms is also the biggest of the kind. It is believed to have been originally worshipped by Parashurama. The temple was destroyed by fire in 1921. It was rebuilt with the anakottil (elephant's head), kuttambalam, and a big tank. There are two legends connected with the origin of this temple. One is based on the story mentioned in the ‘Skandapurana' and the other is related to the payippad Snake-boat race.

Several annual festivals are celebrated in this temple the Avani Utsavam in Chingom (August- September), Markazhi Utsavam in Dhanu (November- December), Chitra Utsavam in Medom (April–May), Kartika in Vrischikam (November- December) and Taipuyam (January- February). Kavadiyattam dance with Kavadi is the most important offering here. Kavadi is a bow-shaped wooden structure decorated with tapestry and peacock feathers carried on the shoulders of pilgrims as an offering to God Subrahmanya.

The Subrahmanya Temple in Haripad is built in the ancient Kerala style of architecture. It is believed that when the new temple was nearing completion, one of the trustees had a dream about finding the idol of Subrahmanya. Following his directions the four-armed idol was found in the river near Pathiramanal island and brought to Haripad. In commemoration of this event a snake boat regatta is held on the Payippad River every Chingom (August–September) during the three-day Payippad Jalotsavam festival. The Chithira festival takes place at the temple in Medom (April–May) and includes a procession with a golden peacock throne. Haripad Temple renovated by Ambakkattu Kottaram of Karichal. Ezhikkakathu Jn also very popular. In addition to three " kodiyetams" " thrikkarthika" in vrichikam also celebrated. In this festival all devotees surround the temple will light karthika deepam (lighting lamp) and giving "karppora azhi" (fire by karpooram, a sacred chemical) by government agencies, say excise department and fire works by police authorities. The name haripad is a later addition. The original name was Aripad, which means the place of rice (ari).
Some pictures from Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple
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Our next stop will be Mannarshala temple

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Old 15th December 2012, 16:34   #187
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We visited Mannarasala Temple

http://www.mannarasala.org/

Quote:
Mannarasala Temple


Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple(Malayalam: മണണാറശ്ശാല ശ്രീ നാഗരാജാക്ഷേത്രം) is a very ancient and internationally-known centre of pilgrimage for the devotees of serpent gods (Nagaraja). The famous Nagaraja temple "Mannarasala" is nestled in a forest glade, like most snake temples. The Mannarasala Temple has over 30,000 images of snakes along the paths and among the trees, and is the largest such temple in Kerala. Women seeking fertility come to worship here, and upon the birth of their child come to hold thanksgiving ceremonies here, often bringing new snake images as offerings.A special turmeric paste which is available at the temple is credited with curative powers.

The temple is located about three kilometers to the north-east of the bus station in N.H.47 at Haripad, in Alappuzha district of Kerala.

History

Though the legends related to the origin of a place cannot be deemed as its history, the story on the evolution of Mannarasala as one of the foremost places of worship of the Serpent Gods is associated with Lord Parashurama who is widely believed to be the creator of Kerala. This history of Mannarasala has been mentioned in the 'Mandara Salodyam', a Sanskrit poem written by Mannarasala M.G. Narayanan Namboodiri of the sacred family based on the accounts and legends handed down and old scriptures and books available with the temple.


Legends

The Reclamation of Kerala

Lord Parashurama in order to release himself from the sin of killing Kshatriyas approached the holy Rishis. They suggested that he should make a gift of a land of his own to the Brahmins. Parashurama, the son of Bhrigu, propitiated Varuna to get some land for himself. He threw into sea the Axe which Lord Shiva had given him with his blessings. Thus he reclaimed the land from the sea and gave it as a gift to the Brahmins according to the rites. This land came to be known as Kerala. This piece of land, however was not habitable because of the salinity of the soil and as a result people began to leave the place. Bharghavarama was pained at this. He undertook a penance to please Lord Shiva, who advised him that the objective could be realized only if the flaming poison of the serpents was spread into the soil and that the only means of doing that was the worship of Nagaraja. Parashurama set out with his disciples in search of a deserted jungle in order to please Nagaraja. He found a suitable place near the seashore in the southern part of Kerala. Satisfied with having found a proper place for the realization of his cherished dream, the great Rishi constructed a Thirthasthala for the performance of the penance.


Nagaraja makes his appearance

A pleased Nagaraja, appeared before Parashurama, willing to grant him his desire. According to the poem by Mannarasala M.G.Narayanan Namboodiri, the Nagaraja made his appearance as if : " The unspeakable splendor of millions of moons! The bright magnificence of emeralds stuck to the hoods. Golden jewels made attractive by miraculous embroidery! Lotus feet worshipped by crowds of Gods! Brilliant beauty of form, full of youthfulness!".

Parasurama prostrated at the lotus feet of Nagaraja and prayed to realize his objective. Nagaraja granted his request with great pleasure. Ferocious serpents arrived at the spot at once to spread the flaming Kalakuda poison. Because of the percolation of poison, the land of Kerala was desalinated, to become habitable with envious greenery. Parasurama then requested the Lord to bless the land forever with his eternal presence which was also accepted by the kindly-disposed Nagaraja.

Installation

Parashurama installed, according to Vedic rites, Nagaraja, who is Brahma, Vishnu and Siva in one in the 'Thirthasthala' (Hall of pilgrimage) filled with Mandara trees, the place now known as Mannarasala. (The installed deity here represents Anantha (Vishnuswaroopa) and Vasuki (Siva in spirit). The installations of Sarpayakshi, Nagayakshi and Nagachamundi, the Naga deities, as well as of their associates were conducted in the proper places with the proper rituals. Parashurama performed to the accompaniment of Vedic recitation and singing of Sama, Abhishekam, Alankaram, Neivedyasamarpanam, Neeranjanam, Sarpabali and other rites pleasing to the serpents and thereby made all the serpents happy. Parasurama brought learned people from other religions; installed Durga and other deities in different places; appointed Brahmins who were Tantric experts for performing poojas; nominated Kshathriyas, peasants and the Ashtavaidyas who were supreme among the physicians; thus he brought Kerala, filled with beautiful vegetation and to prosperity.

After giving important instructions to be followed to preserve the sanctity of the place, Parashurama proceeded to the Mahendra Mountains to continue his austerities.


Vasudeva and Sreedevi

Many generations passed by. The family fell into the grief of childlessness. Vasudeva and Sreedevi were the sad couple who had to bear that heavy load of sorrow, who resolutely worshipped Nagaraja to allay their grief. It was about this time that unexpectedly fire broke out in the jungle around the dwelling place of Nagaraja and burnt down the jungle. The serpents were tortured by the flames, forcing them to hide in their pits with great difficulty. Vasudeva and Sreedevi looked after the serpents, who had their hoods charred, bodies half-burnt, and fainting from time to time, falling down and crawling along. They gently fanned them with fans made of sweet-scented grass and poured ghee mixed with honey and oil on the wounds; cooled their melted bodies with sandalwood ointment; and comforted them. They put them at the foot of banyan trees. They performed purification ceremonies and consecrated the pits; and were put up in special places under the shade of deodar trees and in Chitrakudas. The couple performed abhisheka with thirtha like Panchagavya (a holy mixture of five items from the cow's milk, curd, butter, urine and dung); observed elaborate poojas according to rules with areca nut flower bunches, fragrant flowers and water, incense etc., Nivedyam with melted butter (ghee), milk, payasam with molasses, rice powder, turmeric powder, coconut juice, Kadali fruit, cow's milk, all mixed together in the proper form as Nurum Palum, equivalent to the elixir of life. They offered serpent deities with great devotion, appam, aval (beaten rice or rice wafers), tender coconut etc. They chanted vedic mantras, performed circumambulation and performed all kinds of poojas to restore those crowds of serpents to full health.

The omnipresent and omnipotent Nagaraja was greatly pleased with their continuous penance and the love shown to his associates; Nagaraja made himself visible to the couple and blessed them that he would incarnate on the earth as their beloved son. He said " I shall assume the form of a serpent and stay here (in Mannarasala) permanently, as long as the sun and the moon are there, showering prosperity on your family and granting protection to all the devotees who come here …". Thus Mandarasala, the place filled with Mandara trees, the holy spot where the serpents got shelter, where the earth was fully cooled, became Mandarasala. The boon came true. The Brahmin lady became pregnant and gave birth to five-hooded serpent-child as well as a human child. The two brothers grew up together. Initiation ceremonies and Vedic education were carried out at the proper time in the traditional style. Nagaraja instructed the younger brother to enter into matrimony for the perpetual reservation of the holy family and he obeyed it. When the five-hooded Nagaraja realized that the objectives of his incarnation were realized, he informed the Holy Mother that henceforth he would live at this Illam by entering into Samadhi to bless the devotees. Then he suggested certain inviolable rituals and rules for offering worship and then went into the immaculate cellar and vanished. (It is believed that even today that five-hooded Nagaraja stays in the cellar doing Tapas for the abound prosperity of his dependents. The members of the household always refer to him with great respect and devotion as "Muthassan' and "Appoppan" (Grand father). The jungle close by is the exclusive preserve for his unobstructed peregrinations (Appoppan Kavu - Grandfathers' Grove).
Some pictures from Mannarsala Temple
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Jr. PPG was checking us out through her binoculars !
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Old 15th December 2012, 16:55   #188
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then went to Edathua


Quote:
Edathua is a place in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district, Kerala

Situated 12 km from Thiruvalla Town, Edathua is famous for the St. George Catholic Church known as 'Edathua Palli' situated here. The Church celebrates its major feast during the month of May. It is an important destination for the Christian and non Christian Pilgrims. People from throughout the state as well as from the neighboring states visit the town and the church. St. Aloysius college which is under Mahatma Gandhi University built and managed by the Church parish is located here.

This town is in the beautiful Kuttanad region. It lies below the sea level. Agricultural land [rice farms] in this region are separated from big and small rivers, that run like the highways, streets and avenues of New York around the blocks of farms, by high mud levees [bunds called 'Puravaramp']. Farmers and agricultural workers built and build their habitat and houses on reclaimed land by expanding upon these levees around these paddy fields known as 'Padam'. These levees are also often planted with coconut trees which is a major commercial crop in the region. The area attracts a lot of international tourists. Houseboat trips through the backwaters and river systems of this spectacular evergreen region is available from near Edathua.

Situated on the banks of a branch of the Pamba river, the massive shrine at Edathua - 23 km South-East of Alappuzha, and 12 km South West of Thiruvalla Town, built more than 200 years ago resembles the churches of medieval Europe. The very ancient Niranam Orthodox Church believed to be originally established by St Thomas himself, the disciple of Jesus Christ, in the 1st century AD, is just a few km south east of Edathua. There are a number of ancient Hindu temples with interesting legends and history in the surrounding villages of Edathua such as Changankary, Pandankary, Mithrakkary, Kozhimukk, Anapparampal and Veeyapuram. Veeyapuram also has a Muslem mosque. The Chakkulathukavu temple which has become very famous for the ponkala celebration in recent decades is less than 5 km east of Edathua. The Mannarsala Snake Temple believed to be more than 3000 years old is just a few km south of Edathua. It is said that Edathua got its name because in ancient times it was a 'resting spot' ('edathavalam'), for the king's men and traders traveling by the river. Edathua was derived from 'edathavalam'.

The annual feast of the above mentioned massive catholic church, starts on the 27th of April with the hoisting of the flag and concludes on the 7th of May. During the feast, the statue of St. George, decked in gold regalia, is carried out and placed on the dais at the center of the basilica. St George is known as Geevarghese Punyavalan among Nasrani, St Thomas Christians of Kerela [also known as Syrian Christians because they used a Syrian dielect of Hebrew, instead of the Latin used by some western Christians, in special church prayers] How St George came to be known as Geevarghese and became one of the most popular saints among the Syrian Christians of Kerala is still a topic of interest for researchers to investigate adequatly.

Devotees from other States are the main contributors to this Church feast and they spread themselves in vast area around, even staying in the private properties of the local residents. In fact, the feast, known as "Edathua Perunnal" helped Edathua to develop as one of the most important commercial centers for the rice farmers and agricultural workers in Kuttanad region. During the feast most relatives and family members from outside Edathua come and visit their houses and thus it is an occasion for family get together for the people of Edathua like the Thanksgiving Day and Christmas in the US and Europe. Participating in the feast is a very important pilgrimage for the people especially those from the southern Kollum, Trivandrum side of Kerala and Kanyakumari District of Tamilnad. During the 10 day feast, many of these devotees stay and cook food in the church premises and take part in a kind of ritual bathing in the river in front of the church. The colorful illumination of the church and traditional fireworks during the feast indeed attract huge crowd of devotees and non devotees.
We visited Edathua Church http://edathuapalli.org/
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By 15:00 hours we drove on towards Chakkulathukkavu

continued...
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Old 15th December 2012, 17:22   #189
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then visited Chakkulathukavu Templehttp://www.chakkulathukavu.com/
Quote:
Chakkulathukavu Temple

Chakkulathu Kavu is dedicated to goddess Durga. The temple is located in Neerattupuram, Thalavady panchayat, Alappuzha District, Kerala and is one of the most popular temples in the state.

Bhagawathi is one of the most popular deities in the area. Pilgrims from all over South India visit and worship the Devi.The temple was less known even to the local residents and lay as a family temple of a local resident. This remained until it was renovated a few decades before.

Located on the banks of the holy Pampa River, this temple has attracted pilgrims all over Kerala and became one of the most popular pilgrim centre of the state, thanks to the excellent promotional strategy of the temple management.

The major festival is Pongala which takes place in the temple during the month of Vrischikam (November/December).This is the time when the glory of the Goddess is at its peak. Lakhs of women devotees gather around the temple as early as even one week before the function. The temple premises will be overcrowded and the devotees arrange places for offering the pongala on both sides of the main streets. The queue usually extends to a surprising length of 20 km. Rice, coconut and jaggery are brought by women devotees along with round earthen pots for cooking. The Chief Priest lights the main hearth from the divine fire inside the sanctum sanctorum. This fIre is exchanged from one oven to another.

Panthrandu Noyampu is another festival celebrated at the temple. This is the type of fasting and prayer which qualifies the devotee for eternal blessings of Chakkulathamma. This fasting starts every year from the first day of the Malayalam month of Dhanu till the twelfth.

The other festivals are Naree pooja, Thrikkarthika.
Some pictures from Chakkulathukkavu Temple
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Old 15th December 2012, 17:30   #190
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012



Some more pictures from Chakkulathukkavu Temple
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Old 15th December 2012, 17:48   #191
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then visited Niranam Church (Niranam Valiya palli)
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http://niranamchurch.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niranam_Church

Quote:
Niranam church is the oldest church in Kerala. It is believed that the church was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, in AD 54
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Some pictures of Niranam Church
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Quote:
There are 5 altars at Niranam church. The main altar, the central one, is in the name of Saint Mary. This is used for regular services of the church. There are 2 altars on the north and south of the main one. The altar on the northern side is consecrated to Saint George and the altar on the southern side is consecrated in the name of Saint Behnam.
There are two smaller altars, to the front of the main altar. The north among these is in the name of Saint Thomas. It is also the shrine of Mar Thoma II.
The southern among the small altars is consecrated to Saint Stephen. This is also the shrine of Mar Thoma V.
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The tall granite Cross at the right side of the entrance is a relic of the past, probably AD 1259, the time at which the third renovation of the church building took place. The base of the Cross has carvings resembling to Hindu Temples.
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continued...

Last edited by laluks : 15th December 2012 at 17:51.
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Old 15th December 2012, 18:07   #192
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012


We visited the museum which displayed the antiques at the church and ancient documents

Holy Relics of St. Thomas
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The story of the stolen golden Cross of Niranam has become almost like a legend. The holy cross of the church, made of pure gold and set with precious stones, was unrivalled in craftsmanship and cost. A thief called 'Kolappan' stole the same in 1915 and broke it into pieces. Now, a new cross has been made in gold, which is being used during special evens at the church.
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Ancient Vessels
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Ancient documents
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Old 15th December 2012, 18:14   #193
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We moved on from Niranam
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We then visited Parumala Church and took part in the festivities
http://www.parumalachurch.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parumala_Church

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We drove back to Kayamkulam via Thattarambalam




Thattarambalam Saraswathi Temple


http://www.vaikhari.org/thattarambalam.html
Quote:

Thattarambalam Saraswathi Temple


Om Sam Saraswathyai Nama



Thattarambalam Saraswathi Temple is situated at Thattarambalam junction near Mavelikkara (2 Km west of Mavelikkara) in Alappuzha district. This temple is managed by Travancore Devaswom Board. Thattarambalam temple is more than 1000 years old and the Unnuneeli Sandesam of 14th century mentions about this temple. History says that the King of “Odandu” built this temple in his capitol place and is made especially for the Goldsmiths he brought from Tamil Nadu. Later on, administration of this temple is handed over to Travancore Dewaswam Department as the kingdom Odanadu is merged to Travencore.

The main festival of the temple is “Navarathry”. Thiruvonam of Chingam, Vishu, Makarasamkramam, Vinayaka Chathurthy, Sivarathri and Mandalakalam are the other important festivals of the temple. This is the only Saraswathi Temple in Kerala having Navagraha Prathishta. Shiva, Ganapathy and Sastha are the upadevathas. The famous Kandiyoor Mahadeva Temple and Chettikulangara Devi Temple are near to this temple.
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Old 15th December 2012, 18:37   #194
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We then visited Chettikulangara Devi Temple

http://www.chettikulangara.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chettik...ra_Devi_Temple

Quote:
There are many popular beliefs related to the origin of Chettikulangara temple. The most popular one is as follows. Many centuries ago, some local chieftains went to witness the annual festivities at the Koypallikarazhma Bhagavathi temple situated a few kilometers from Chettikulangara. The visitors were humiliated and ridiculed by the Koypallikarazhma temple authorities and the village chieftains there. Perturbed by the humiliation, and out of retribution, they decided to construct a Bhagavathi temple at Chettikulangara. People of Chettikulangara united for this cause, and headed by the Karanavars (Family Heads) of the four to five then leading families of the region decided to seek the blessings of Kodungallur Bhagavathi in this mission. They embarked on a pilgrimage visiting various temples en route and reached Kodungallur, and performed 12 days long Bhajanam to please the Goddeess. It is said that the Devi came in their dreams to say that she would soon come to Chettikulangara. Next day, they happily returned to Chettikulangara with a sacred sword given by the Velichappadu of Kodungallur temple, and started civil works of the temple.
A few days later, while the kadathukaran (local boatman) of the nearby Karippuzha rivulet was winding up his work on a late evening, he heard an old woman requesting his help to ferry her to the other shore. He felt it was his duty to help this lonely lady, and decided to accompany her to Chettikulangara, the destination she was said to be heading for. On the way, they took rest beneath a wayside tree (the place now houses the Puthusseriambalam temple), and the Kadathukaran brought food for them from a nearby[ mannan /washer man] house. Soon he fell asleep, and when he woke up by early daybreak, the lady had vanished. (It is said that this boatman was a Christian, and for helping Devi to ferry across the Karippuzha thodu, the descendents of his family were entrusted with the job of Vedi(ritual fireworks at the temple). He elaborated about this mysterious incident to the people of Chettikulangara, and they felt the Devi has reached Chettikulangara.




The next day, annual maintenance works on thatched roof was going on at the Illam(the traditional house where a community of Brahmins in central Kerala reside) adjacent to the present temple. While the Antharjanam of the house was serving the dishe of Kanji (Rice porridge) Muthirapuzhukku (a local special dish with ingredients of baked Horse Gram cereal and kneaded coconut) and Asthram (another side dish, a paste of different locally procured vegetables) for the workers, a strange old woman joined them for lunch. Soon after the food, the old lady moved to the western side of the house, and vanished in thin air with a bright glow. Antharjanam witnessed this, and she fell unconscious. Later she elaborated her experience to the people.




The same day, Devi showed her presence to the village chieftains. They approached famous astrologers, it was confirmed that the Bhagavathi had reached Chettikulangara.


According to one version, this temple was consecrated by Padmapadacharyar (a leading disciple of Adi Shankara) on the Uthrittathi(Uttara Bhadrapada) day of Makara month in A.D. 823. There is a firm argument that the goddess here was a family deity, and later emerged as the village and regional deity. Local historians oppose the argument that the temple is not as ancient as the nearby Kandiyoor Mahadeva temple or Mavelikara Krishna Swamy temple as it had not been mentioned in Unnuneeli Sandesam written in the 14th century. According to late Kandiyoor Mahadeva Shasthri, Samudra Bandhan–a leading courtier of Ravi Varman, an ancient King of Venad had visited this temple and wrote poems on Bhagavathi.Similarly Aadithya Kulasekharan, the King of Venad (1374 A.D. to 1389 A.D.) also had visited the Chettkulangara temple, argues them. There is also an argument favoring that this Devi temple was an oldkavu where Kadmattathachan Nambuthiri on his way to nearby panayanarkavu at parumala from Thevalakara tried to control a Yakshi (demon) and found no place to give her a stay. He came and prayed to the God and was able to control her. ( she's still there in the temple compound). However, it is to be said that the present Sreekovil of the temple is only 450–480 years old, and the Chuttambalam is not more than two centuries old. Local historians say that the temple infrastructure and the surroundings were developed by various local chieftains from time to time. The present Sreekoil was revamped during A.D.1540. Because of a small fire at this temple, the Chuttambalam was slightly modified during the Malayalam year 1002.


It is also believed that Chettikulangara Amma (the main deity) is the daughter of Kodungallur Amma, brought to that place for the well being of all people at Onattukara(Mavelikara).And it also says that some Chettyar families from Tamil Nadu was related to the name Chettikulangara.
Pictures from Chettikulangara Devi Temple
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continued....
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Old 15th December 2012, 18:55   #195
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Default Re: Civved : Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam - A Journey Back to Our Roots

Day 06
02nd November 2012

We visited Amrutapuri too
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http://www.amritapuri.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amritapuri

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Amritapuri (originally Parayakadavu) is the main Ashram of Mata Amritanandamayi.It is also the International Headquarters of Mata Amritanandamayi Math. It is located 29 km away from Kollam City, and about 110 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 120 km south of Kochi. Amritapuri is also the name by which the location of the ashram is now known.
Ashram is behind this building
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We crossed the bridge and went to the Ashram
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Had to leave Civvy on the other bank :(

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Setting sun made the place look very beautiful
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The bridge was inaugurated by APJ

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We spent some time at the Ashram and came back before it was too dark.
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We then drove back to NH, had dinner at KTDC Motel and went back to the resort.

A swan was waiting for us on the bed
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Went to the activity centre, browsed some internet, updated some info and took to reading for some time.

By 22:00 hours I called it a day and crashed.
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