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TEMPLES OF IDUKKI

 

Religious History Antiquity and deities Administration
Mangaladevi Temple Annamala Nathar Temple,Thodupuzha
Subramanyau Temple, Munnar Bhagavathy Temple, Karikkode

Religious History

In the ancient days, the people followed an independent religious philosophy related with Dravidian practices. Around 3rd Century B.C., Jainism and Buddhism came into the district. It was the Jainism that set foot in the region. Both Jainism and Buddhism declined consequent on the insurgence of Aryans and by the revival of Hinduism. Efforts of Srimad Sankaracharya and Bhakthi movement donated much for the promotion of Hinduism. Contributions of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, Melpathur Narayana Bhattathirippad and Poonthanam Namboodiri accelerated the Bhakthi movement initially in the central region of Kerala and later to the whole state. Idukki region played a significant role in the spiritual development of the country, especially the south. The Ramayana gives a graphic description of the flora of the Pamba Valley.          It is believed that the name Sabarimala derived from Sabari Ashram which was located at Sabari Peedom near Sabari Mala, one of the famous Pilgrim centres. The Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala is believed to be a Buddhist shrine in the ancient period. (Sabarimala is now in Pathanamthitta district). The Mangaladevi Temple in the dense forest of the district bespeaks of an equally shrouded antiquity. With its undulating hills and valleys and the perennial rivers the district formed a recluse for the spiritual seekers of ancient India.

 
But the present history of the district is a history of colonization of migrants from the plains of erstwhile Travancore region.  According to the census, Hindus and Christians constitute majority of the population.  About 50 per cent of the population is Hindus (including various tribal groups) and 42 per cent belong to Christianity. Muslim constitutes 7 percent and others one percent. There are different groups of tribals in the district. Christians settled in the High Ranges in the course of their search for pastures anew.  Muslims are confined to certain pockets of the district. The municipality of Thodupuzha has a large Muslim population. Large number of Muslim families is there in Peerumedu. The name Peerumadu derived from the name of a Muslim Saint Peer Mohammed.

Antiquity and deities

The antiquity of each temple may have to be decided based on legend or history. The deities of the district are mainly Goddess Bhadrakali or Bhagavathy, Lord Vishnu, Lord Siva, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Subramanya, Lord Sastha etc based on various kalpa or sankalpa (concept). We could not collect the total number of temples in the district. However, according to the available data, 41 per cent of the temples in the district are Durga (Goddess Bhadrakali / Bhagavathy / Durga) temples. 20 per cent of the temples are dedicated to Lord Siva. Vishnu temples constitute 18 per cent and 21 per cent of temples are of Lord Sastha, Lord Subramanya, Lord Ganapathy etc.

Administration

In ancient periods, King or local chieftains are owned and administered temples. Some of the temples were owned by madams, tharawads or individuals. Some of the temples in the district are owned by the Poonjar Royal dynasty. The Thodupuzha region was governed by Vadakkumkur Rajas before it was annexed to the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. The temples which were under the control of Vadakkumkur Rajas were also transferred to Travancore. The area spreading from Kanyakumari at south to Angamali at north was under the regency of Maharaja of Travancore. During the regime of Regent Rani Gouri Lekshmi Bai (1810-1815), foreign supremacy was at its peak and Col. Munro, the British Resident brought all the 1471 temples of Travancore under the control of Government. In 1904, Travancore Religious & Endowment Regulation established control over the temples. In 1922 a separate department was formed exclusively to look after the matters of temples. After independence the Government of Travancore–Cochin formed Travancore Devaswom Board and Cochin Devaswom Board and administrative control of all temples have been transferred to the Devaswom Boards. Travancore Devaswom Board controls 24 temples in the district. Majority of temples are governed by Trusts, committees of local people, spiritual organizations, individuals etc.

 

Sl.No

Name of Temple

Location

Taluk

Concept

1

Annamala Nathar

Karikkode

Thodupuzha

Siva

2

Annapurneswari Temple

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha

Durga

3

Ayyappa Temple

Vazhathope

Thodupuzha

Sastha

4

Ayyappa Temple

Rajakkad

Udumbanchola

Sastha

5

Ayyappa Temple

Pallivasal

Devikulam

Sastha

6

Bhadrakali Temple

Purappuzha

Thodupuzha

Durga

7

Bhadrakali Temple

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha

Durga

8

Bhagavathy Temple

Karikkode

Thodupuzha

Durga

9

Bhagavathy Temple

Valliyanikkadu

Thodupuzha

Durga

10

Bhagavathy Temple

Manakkadu

Thodupuzha

Durga

11

Bhagavathy Temple

Arikuzha

Thodupuzha

Durga

12

Bhagavathy Temple

Vengallur

Thodupuzha

Durga

13

Bhagavathy Temple

Arakuzha

Thodupuzha

Durga

14

Bhagavathy Temple

Muttom

Thodupuzha

Durga

15

Bhagavathy Temple

Peruvanthanam

Peerumedu

Durga

16

Devi Temple

Kattappana

Udumbanchola

Durga

17

Devi Temple

 Kudayathur

Thodupuzha

Durga

18

Devi Temple

West Kodikulam

Thodupuzha

Durga

19

Devi Temple

Kolany

Thodupuzha

Durga

20

Devi Temple

Kodikulam

Udumbanchola

Durga

21

Durga Temple

Periyambra

Thodupuzha

Durga

22

Durga Temple

Rajakkad

Udumbanchola

Durga

23

Ganapathy Temple

Santhanpara

Udumbanchola

Ganapathy

24

Ganapathy Temple

Udumbanchola

Udumbanchola

Ganapathy

25

Gowriamman Kovil

Vandiperiyar

Peerumedu

Durga

26

Karthyani Temple

Karimannur

Thodupuzha

Durga

27

Lekshmi Narayana Temple

Kattappana

Udumbanchola

Durga

28

Maha Vishnu Temple

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

29

Maha Vishnu Temple

Rajakumari

Udumbanchola

Vishnu

30

Maha Vishnu Temple

Vannappuram

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

31

Mahadeva Temple

Kanjiramattom

Thodupuzha

Siva

32

Mahadeva Temple

Vazhithala

Thodupuzha

Siva

33

Mahadeva Temple

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha

Siva

34

Mahadeva Temple

Areekuzha

Thodupuzha

Siva

35

Mahadeva Temple

Alpara

Thodupuzha

Siva

36

Mahadeva Temple

Muthalakodam

Thodupuzha

Siva

37

Mahadeva Temple

Kudayathur

Thodupuzha

Siva

38

Mahadeva Temple

Nedumkandom

Udumbanchola

Siva

39

Mahadeva Temple

Kattappana

Udumbanchola

Siva

40

Malayala Bhagavathy Temple

Kanthallur

Devikulam

Durga

41

Mangaladevi temple

Kumily

Peerumedu

Durga

42

Muthaliyar Madam Temple

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha

Siva

43

Nagaraja Temple

Manakkadu

Thodupuzha

others

44

Narasimha Temple

Manakkadu

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

45

Saramkuthy Kavu

Kudayathur

Thodupuzha

Sastha

46

Sastha Temple

Arakkulam

Thodupuzha

Sastha

47

Sastha Temple

Vandiperiyar

Peerumedu

Sastha

48

Sastha Temple

Munnar

Devikulam

Sastha

49

Sastha Temple

Ezhumattom

Thodupuzha

Sastha

50

Sastha Temple

Kattappana

Udumbanchola

Sastha

51

Sastha Temple

Anachal

Devikulam

Sastha

52

Sastha Temple

Devikulam

Devikulam

Sastha

53

Sidhi Vinayakar Temple

Vandiperiyar

Peerumedu

Ganapathy

54

Siva Temple

Pooppara

Udumbanchola

Siva

55

Siva Temple

Kovilkadavu

Devikulam

Siva

56

Siva-Parvathy Temple

Anakkara

Udumbanchola

Combined

57

Sri Krishna Temple

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

58

Sri Krishna Temple

Srikrishnapuram

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

59

Sri Krishna Temple

Kolani

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

60

Sri Krishna Temple

Peerumedu

Peerumedu

Vishnu

61

Sri Krishna Temple

Nedumkandom

Udumbanchola

Vishnu

62

Sri Krishna Temple

Elappara

Peerumedu

Vishnu

63

Subramanya Temple

Uravappara

Thodupuzha

Subramanya

64

Subramanya Temple

Munnar

Devikulam

Subramanya

65

Subramanya Temple,

Vengallur

Thodupuzha

Subramanya

66

Uma Maheswari Temple

Allapra

Thodupuzha

Durga

67

Uma Maheswari Temple

Nedumkandom

Udumbanchola

Durga

68

Varahaswamy Temple

Udumbannur

Thodupuzha

Vishnu

SRI KRISHNA TEMPLE, THODUPUZHA

Location: The temple is located right on the heart of Thodupuzha town.
Municipality: Thodupuzha
Village: Thodupuzha
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (47km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (43 km)

Legend/History: Legend says that the idol of the temple was one worshipped by a Brahmin who migrated from Northern Kerala to Thodupuzha while Tipu Sultan invaded Malabar  region. Another story tells that the idol was the one worshipped by Yudhistira (the eldest of Pandava prince) while their exile period Yet another story tells that a Sanyasi (saint) who was on pilgrimage to holy  places reached the place where the temple exists now and he was worshipping Lord Sri Krishna and the Lord Himself gave appeared before the saint. Consequentially he decided to stay there and worship the Lord. Having heard this incident, the Raja of Keezhmalanadu constructed a temple there and the idol of Lord Sri Krishna consecrated. The temple is owned by the famous Nedumbilly Tharananallur Mana (Brahmin family) of Irinjalakuda and is now administered by a Board of Trustees.

Deity: Lord Krishna in the concept of Navaneetha Krishna (Lord with butter in one hand) is the presiding deity. Goddess Bhagavathy, Lord Siva, Lord Sastha, Lord Ganapathy, Nagaraja are the other deities.

Time of worship: Five poojas poojas – Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are held daily.

Festival: Annual festival for 10 days is celebrated in the month of Meenom (March-April).

MANGALADEVI TEMPLE

Location: Mangaladevi Temple is situated 15 km from Kumily at the top of a mountain of 5000 feet above sea level.
Panchayat: Kumily
Village: Kumily
Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam (125 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (210 km)

Legend/History: This is an important ancient temple that believed to have been constructed in 11th century.  Some believe that the temple is datable to 8th or 9th century A.D.  Built in the Pandya style of architecture, the temple remains closed for the entire year except for the annual Chithra Pournami festival, celebrated in the month of April- May. Visitors are allowed only on the festival day in the month of Medam (April-May), for which permission has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden of the Forest Department. In olden days, the temple was also known as Mangaladevikottam, Pathinikottam etc. The temple complex consisted of four shrines of different sizes with Gopura, Garbha Griha, Ardhamandapa, sub-shrines open courtyard etc. Now only remnants of the temple complex are there. Considering the historic and architectural value, the Department of Archaeology declared it as a protected monument in 1983.

Deity: Mangaladevi or Kannaki is the presiding deity. Lord Siva, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Subramanya are the other deities.

Time of worship: The temple opens only on the day of Chithra Pournami festival in the month of Medam (April-May) from 06.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs.

Festival: Chithra Pournami in Medam (April-May). Thousands of devotees participate in the festival.

ANNAMALA NATHAR TEMPLE, THODUPUZHA

Location: The temple is located in the heart of Thodupuzha town.
Municipality: Thodupuzha
Village: Thodupuzha
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (47km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (43 km)


Legend/History: It is believed that the temple was constructed during 2nd century A.D. The temple is constructed following Chola style of architecture. A window with nine lattices representing Navagrahas (nine planets), and another widow with five lattices representing Pancha Bhoothas (five elements-earth, water, fire, ether and space) is a peculiarity of this temple. The temple once managed by a private trust. Considering its historic importance the temple is now under the control of Archaeological Survey of India.  

Deity: Lord Siva is the deity.

SUBRAMANYA TEMPLE, MUNNAR

Location: The temple is located on the top of a hill in the Munnar town.
Panchayat: Munnar
Village: Kannan Devan Hills
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (114 Km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (112 Km)

Legend/History: The temple was the one worshipped by the Muthuvan tribal group. Later the temple was closed down for a long period. When the members of the royal family of Travancore visited Munnar during summer vacation, they noticed the pitiable condition of the temple and renovated it.  Namboodiris were the priests of this temple in earlier period. Now the priest belongs to the Tamil Brahmin community. A committee of local Hindus is managing the temple affairs.

Deity: Lord Subramanya

Time of worship: Three poojas – Usha Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are held daily.

Festival: Thrikarthika in Vrichikam (November-December) and Uthram asterism day in Meenom (March-April) are celebrated as festivals.

BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE, KARIKKODE

Location: The temple is located in the Thodupuzha town.
Municipality: Thodupuzha
Village: Thodupuzha
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (47km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (43 km)

Legend/History: Legend says that the Vadakkumkoor Raja, who ruled over Thodupuzha region in the past, had done long penance before the Goddess Bhadrakali of Kodungallur. Once he was returning from Kodungallur, the Goddess appeared Herself before him near a paddy field of his palace. He at once constructed a temporary shed in the paddy field and started worship. Another story is that the Vadakkumkoor Rajah invoked the powers of the Goddess Bhadrakali in an idol of Goddess and consecrated at the Karikkode temple. The temple was owned by Vadakkumkoor Raja till the region was annexed to Travancore. Now the temple is under the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Deity:  Goddess Bhagavathy (in the concept of Bhadrakali) is the presiding deity. Lord Shiva and Lord Ganapathi are the minor deities.

Time of worship: Three poojas – Usha Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are held daily.
Festival: Annual festival is celebrated in the month of Kumbha (February-March).