divyadEsams in kEraLa
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For the people who visit Kerala temples, It is a must that, for men they should wear dhothis, in thriuvananthapuram they don't even permit, an additional bag with you. Men has to remove the shirt completely, before entering into the temple. Ladies,  some temples like Guruvayoor, Thiruvananthapuram etc, don't permit Churidar at all. Saree will be the best
> choice, no one will complain (it is a pain, becoz, some times the temple guards behave in a bad way in case of "improper dressing" and if you try to enter without knowledge of dress code). There are other magnificiant Vishnu temples also in kerala. One another example is Thrippunithura. It is a family temple of Kochi Royal family, Hosting ParamapadaNathan or Poornathrayeesan. I request the bhagavathas who visit thrikkakkara, also visit, this place, it is in 10 KM distance from trikkakkara and it is as old as trikkakkara. The deity is in Adisesha Simhasanam, with an exquisite sitting posture. There are very special temple timings. Most of the temples now follow the Tanthra Samuchayam Kriya bhagam an old collection of temple rituals, and are non agamic. The temple has a
> thirumanjanam early in the morning, followed by the first, prasanna pooja know as Usha: pooja., the second pooja, is at the time of the rising Sun, around 7.00 AM, this is associated with a small procession of Perumal, to over see the Sri Bali being done for the
> Dwarapalakas, Dikpalakars, and other buutha ganas and vishwasksena. The fourth pooja is called PanthIradi, which is done when the Nizhal gets 12 feets of length. It is around 8.30 PM. Ucha PUja is the most important pooja conducted, is similar to Ijya aradhanam. Many important temples has a special thirumanjanam Called Navakam, assosicated with this pooja. In big temples,
> it is Panchapakshaparamanandam that is the food for perumal is associated with special Curry called Kalan, OLan, Erisseri, and Mezhukku puratty, Asthram, and Paysam. After that there is a second Sri Bali, overseen by perumal procession. During Special days,
> this Sri bali is replaced by Sri bhUtha Bali, which is a slightly more elaborate version of it. During Annual Festival Days, a much more elaborate version of it which takes 7 hours to finish (in the case of Perumal time varies, for other demigods) is done called  Uthsava Bali. After ucha pooja around 12 pm, the temple closes and reopens around 5 pm. Which is associated with a deepa arathi. The night pooja, called Aththazha pooja, starts around 8 pm, which is followed by a third Sri Bali, again over seen by  perumal.

there are 13 divyadESams based on malai Nadu, out of  them, there are 11 divyadESams in Kerala. (other two are in the boundaries i guss, thiruvattaru for sure, it is in the Tamilnadu-kerala border near to Thiruvanantha puram, other one is thiruvanparisaram) the Sangameswara temple at irinjalakuda, is not among the mangalasasanam divya dESam. besides its associated temple  Thirumoozhikkalam, which is near to Mala, in thrissUr district is the divyadeSam. thirikkakkarai, also is not near to irinjalakkuda, it is in Cochin, these are the 11 temples inside kerala
 1. Thiru naavaay
 2. Thiru viththuvakkOdu
 3. Thiruk kaatkarai
 4. Thiru mUzhikkaLam
 5. Thiru vallavaazh
 6. Thiruk kadiththaanam
 7. Thiruch chengkunRanUr
 8. Thiruppuliyur
 9. ThiruvaaRan viLai
 10. Thiru vaN vaNdUr
 11. Thiru anandha puram

 1. Thiru naavaay

 MOOLAVAR : Tirunavai Mukundan
 Thayar: Malarmangai Naachiyaar
 Vimanam: Veda Vimanam
 TEHARTAM: Senkamala Saras

 OTHER SANNIDHIES : There are subshrines to Ganapati  on the south west corner and Bhagavati on the north east corner.
This is the only divyadEsam, in Kerala which has a separate sannidhi for thayar. The image of Navamukundan is portrayed only from above the knee, the rest of the image being concealed within the ground. There are interesting legends associated with this state of the image. There is believed to be a bottomless unexplored pit behind the image in the sanctum. The Maasi makam festival used to be
> celebrated at this temple in great splendour on the Bharatapuzha river bank for a 30 day period commencing with Thaippoosam, once in 12 years (corresponding to the Maha makam festival at Kumbhakonam). This celebration stopped after control of the region
> passed on to Hyder Ali in the 18th century. It is indeed the cradle of culture in northern Kerala.


HOW TO REACH: best travel base is Shornanur, from where one can easily get into Malapuram Dist near Ponnani and situated on the banks of the river Bharathapuzha. The ten-day annual festival at the Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple, dedicated to  Navamukunda (Lord Vishnu), begins with Kodiyettam and concludes with  Arattu (theertha vari). The last three days are the most auspicious.

 2. Thiru viththuvakkOdu

 MOOLAVAR : Uyyavanda Perumaal.  (Thiruvithuvakkottamman as KulaSekhara perumaL referes  him) Padmapani Naachiyaar
 TEHARTAM: Chakra Theertham

 The same travel base as that of thirunavaya, it is  also in malappuram dist. But if you ask, somebody on  the road about thiruvithuvakkode, nobody will be able  to answer. It is popularly known as thirumittakkode, or anchumurthy kovil, the temple has connections to > mahabharatha, and said to be installed by the  pandavas. The annual festival is celebrated in the  month of Chittirai.

 3. Thiruk kaatkarai

 MOOLAVAR : Trikkakkarai Appan. Perunchelva Naayaki thayar
 TEHARTAM: kapila theertham

 OTHER SANNIDHIES : sridevi, Ayyappan, Gopalakrishnan (inside the main shrine) there is an associated siva temple, just on the doorstep, which is believed to be worshiped by Mahabali himself. The local practice is first to go to siva temple, and then to go to katkarai appan sannidhi. I lived in this place for last 5 years, had a daily darshan of katkarai appan.  Besides this there is a shrine of a Brahma Rakshas, also, out side the temple., the shrine has  associations with the temple


 HOW TO REACH: it is situated, close to the Cochin  University of Science and Technology. So on the route to Eranakulam from Thrissur at NH 47, one has to deviate from South Kalamassery (this is 5 km after Alwyae junction which has a big Railway stn).
> In the month of Sravanam starting from the star  Hastham till Thiruvonam is the annual Festival, which is also the festivals for keralites, Onam.

 4. Thiru mUzhikkaLam

 MOOLAVAR : Moozhikkalattappan (Lakshmana  Perumaal)
 TEHARTAM: Shankha Theertham

 This shrine is associated with legends from the Ramayanam. Legend has it that while Bharata the brother of Rama and Lakshmana, came to invite Rama, then in exile, to take over the reins of the kingdom, an angry Lakshmana suspecting Bharata's intentions  intended to kill him; however, Bharata's innocence was very soon revealed, and then the two of them offered worship together at Tirumoozhikkalam. Worship is offered to Rama, Sita and Hanuman at this spot acknowledging their presence. No music is played during worship services here, unlike other temples. The annual festival which falls in the malayalam month of Makaram used to be an occasion of great festivity,  with performances of koothu and Koodiyaattam for a 41 day period (in the temple Koothambalam).

Associated closely with this temple are temples dedicated to Bharata at Irinjalakuda Rama at Triprayar and to Satrugna at Payammel.
The temple was Sacked by during Tippus invation, like the temple at Thiruvanjikkalam. The image of the presiding deity is in a damage . A silver kavacam or armour was made as a covering for the image; however soon after installation of the kavacam an attempt was made to steal it. Afterwards a Devapransam was conducted, which insisted that the perumal wanted to be in that state only, he didn't want to hide the damage or replace the moolavar. Since then it stays like that. For the people who travel from GuruvayUr, towards, trikkakkara, the best is to cover thiruMUZhikkalam  first. Infact, it is a practice in Kerala, during the Ramayana month (Adi month) to visit the four temples Thriprayar, irinjalakkudai, moozhikkalam, and payummal on the same day it self. One can infact finish this on  the same day, if you are in a vehicle, and this is en  route to cochin from guruvayUr, if you adopt the route through the NH 17 and then switch to NH 47. (if you stick on to NH 17 alone, it is not possible to reach  moozhikkalam directly.)

 5. Thiru vallavaazh

 MOOLAVAR : Sri Vallabhan. There is a subshrine to Vishwaksena, in the north east > corner of the inner prakaram, facing south. Vallabha  is portrayed as bearing a conch, a discus and a lotus. Chakraththazhvar is seen through the west cardinal  door of the sanctum is held in worship and is believed  to have been installed in the 13th century. Much of  the present form of the temple dates back to the 14th  century. Festivals: A one day festival is conducted in  the month of May when images of deities (Bhagawati)  from the Kavil, Padappaad and Alamthurathu temples are  brought in decorated palanquins to this temple and brought in through the  northern entrance of the temple in great splendor and are given offerings of new clothes and the likes prior to their return to their  respective temples. It is only on this day that the northern entrance is opened.  HOW TO REACH: the comfortable staying place, is Kottaym, from which thiruvalla town is in 1hour distance. But thiruvalla is also a developing town.The following five temples, Thiruvalla,  Trikkodithanam, thirichittar (don't ask thiruchengannur), thirupuliYUr, Aranmulai and  thiruvanvandoor are also considered to be consecrated  by the pandavas (except thiruvalla). And it is also a  practice of the south keralaites, to go to all these
> five temples (except thiruvalla other five are together called Anchambalam) in one day. That means they are situated in and around thriruvalla, chengannoor and aranmula. This place is one of the base camp of Sabarimala temple so, if you want to have a better calmly darsan avoid sabarimala Season.

 6. Thiruk kadiththaanam

MOOLAVAR : Amrita Narayanan  Tirukkodittanam is one of the five ancient shrines in  the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the  Mahabharatam. (thiruchittar - Yuddhishtra,  Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Tiruvamundur  - Nakula and  Tirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It is  located near the town of Changanacheri near Kottayam. There are subshrines to Narasimha and Dakshinamurthy  here. The Narasimha image is said to date back to the Vijayanagara period. Deepa Mahotsavam is celebrated
> in the month of Vrischikam (Nov 15 - Dec 15). This  festival is said to commemorate the self immolation of  Madri the mother of Sahadevan. In this unique festival, plantain leaves are arranged in the form of  a pyre, and torches are inserted and lighted to the accompaniment of unique percussion instruments.

 7. Thiruch chengkunRanUr  The better used name is thrichittaru, becoz, there is  a huge siva temple at chengannur. So if you ask chengannur, people will simply direct you there. 

 MOOLAVAR : Imaiavarappan,

 In its good days, this temple's annual festival in the  malayalam month of Meenam (this is that particular  month, I don't know tamil name) witnessed elaborate  celebrationss with performances of Chakkiyar koothy,  Koodiyattam etc.

 8. Thiruppuliyur

 MOOLAVAR : Maayappiraan (Kuttanattu > thiruppuliyoor as inscribed by Nammazhvar). Local  legends associated with feudal warfare amongst the local rulers and the priests are also associated with  this temple. It is believed that this temple lay  without  worship for a 200 year period after which it was consecrated and reopened.

 9. ThiruvaaRan viLai

 MOOLAVAR : Parthasarathy (Tirukkuralappan)  Aranmula is a beautiful village located further inland from Chengannur, (9 km west) on the left bank of the Pampa river. The temple has four towers over  its entrances on its outer wall. The eastern tower is
> accessed through a flight of 18 steps. Descending 57 steps through the northern tower, one can reach the Pampa river.Aranmula Boat Race is done on the Uthrashada star after the thiruvonam star, in the month of Avani. On thiruvonam day there are special
> rituals and thadiyaradhanam, is done for thousands of people, and the person who leads the festival, takes fasting on Onam day (which is very unusual). The temple was consecrated by Arjuna. And there is no other shirine other than parthasarathy, and Balarama.
> The annual festival is again falling in this month (I am not sure, it is over or not), and the last days are very special becoz, one day perumal comes out in Garuda vahanam, I think this is the only temple in Kerala has a Garuda Sevai.

 10. Thiru vaN vaNdUr

 MOOLAVAR : Kamalanathan
 The deity Kamalanathan is portrayed in a standing posture; the name Pambaniyappan which also refers to Kamalanathan arises from the fact the river Pampa cicrles the town (Pampa nadi appan). There is also a  shrine to Gopalakrishnan here.

 11. Thiru anandha puram

 MOOLAVAR : Anantha padmanabhan  I have no words to describe this temple. It is the sriramgam of Kerala. Hosting one of the largest Sayana  Perumals. There is also a narasimham and a Krishna  sannidhi. The place, which the temple hosted is in the  heart of the city of Thiruvanantha puram. The  theertham is known as padma theertham. Huge temple  structure was said to be renovated, including the moolavar, by Marthanda Varma the great who is a late successr of Kulashekara perumal Azhavar. In 1750 he  took over the charge of the kingdom as padmanabha  Dasan. The official title of the kings of Travancore is Still Kulasekhara perumal. Among them the first being the azhwar, the second one being a Nayanar, third one a Muslim, since then the royal family stayed belonging to Sankaracharyas tradition. Martanda Varma of the Travancore Kingdom, in a spectacular ceremony in 1750 surrendered the kingdom to the presiding deity of the temple, and received it back as a fiefdom and ruled Travancore as a servant of Padmanabhan; all of
> his successors adopted this custom. Much of the present structure dates back to the period of Martanda Varma, who made several renovations and built the eastern gopuram, which got completed by 1798. The flagstaff is enclosed in a casing of gold. The Kulasekhara mandapam near the flagstaff has fine sculptures dating back to the 17th century. The long prakaram, with a terraced roof with 324 columns, mesaures 540 feet by 325 feet, and is about 24 feet wide. It has two rows of granite pillars, and every pillar bears an image of a Deepalakshmi. Also here are images of yalis (mythological animal), with non removable stone balls in their mouths. (thanks to templenet.com)

 There are two annual festivals here - one in the month of Pankuni (Pisces-Meenam) March 15-April14, and the other in Aippasi (Tulaa-Libra) (Oct-Nov). one of which has a theertha vary in the Samkhum mukham beach. Which is associated by the great royal procession. King of travencore, still Guards the procession, followed by the special Police squads, of Kerala police. The procession is a feat to eyes.


HOW TO REACH: five minutes distance from Thiruvanathapuram Railway station. The place is known as Kizhakke Kotta (or East Fort).

athAto "brahma" zignAsA - Then thereafter be inquisitive to enquire about "the Absolute"