Monday, December 23, 2013

Attukal Bhagavathi Temple- Trivandrum

Kannagi's wrath made the ancient  city of Madurai go up in flames and after causing destruction  she marched towards Kerala. She is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati and she is the heroine of Silappadikkaram,  an epic  penned by Jain poet Ilango Adigal ; Her destination was Kodungallur ( Yet another seat of Goddess , shall post soon) and  en route she halted for a brief moment in Attukal , thus bringing her divine presence to an obscure place which has become a great pilgrimage centre, especially for women as this is known as Sabarimala of women.

This temple is a just 2-3 Kms  from Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple . The Goddess here is very powerful , affectionate and the steady stream of pilgrims itself is a proof to show that she fulfills  the wishes of her devotees.

She is also known as Attukal Amma ( Mother ) and the the Pongala festival( February-March)is famous here which draws a mammoth crowd from all over India and abroad

Pongala festival is offering the Goddess a soft sweet made of rice, split green gram and  jaggery. This is cooked in earthenware pots outside the temple in traditional way. Make shift stoves made of brick and wood as fuel line the length and breadth of the area around the temple. Millions of women devotees participate in this festival and cook Pongal .  Pongala which was just confined within the four walls of the temple  has grown  over the years and spread to nearby areas and now a days it even stretches to a radius of  4-5 kms. One can view this  sea of pots through a veil of smoke if one wishes to visit the temple on that day. Women fast the whole day till they offer Pongala and worship the Goddess.

There are shrines for Shiva, Ganesha, Nagas and Navagraha around the main temple.

A temple worth visiting if anybody is planning  visit  to Trivandrum.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple - Trivandrum - kerala

Trivandrum, the State capital of Kerala is known as Thiru Anantha puri, it takes its name from Lord Anantha Padmanabha- Lord Vishnu ,the presiding deity of the famous temple there. Vishnu is known as Anantha Padmananbha as he is reclining here on serpent Anantha and there is a lotus emerging from his naabhi( Navel) with Brahma sitting inside. This idol is around 23 feet long and one has to have a darshan of this huge idol through  three dwaras( doors) the head portion , the abdomen and the Legs. The idol is made of a special combination of herbs and is centuries old.

This temple is also one of the 108 divya desams of Vishnu known as Tirupathis

This temple  buzzes with a steady stream of pilgrims. This temple was constructed by the erstwhile rulers of Travancore .  This temple was very much in news recently when treasure worth millions stacked away in the cellars were discovered .   A few cellars remains unopened. Presently  the temple is heavily guarded with a posse of  police personnel round the clock and the security check up has been beefed up. Pilgrims are not allowed to carry mobile phones and cameras. 

The temple has a huge image of Hanuman statue at the entrance.Everything in this temple is divine, be it a blade of grass or a grain of sand.

  A temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha is seen near the sanctum of the main shrine. People first pay obeisance to the Lord Narasimha before worshiping the main deity.

There are also shrines for Kodhanda Rama and Vishwaksenar just outside sanctum of Lord Padmanabha.
The sprawling temple grounds also houses two more shrines one of Lord Krishna and other for Sasthavu.
The temple tower is modelled like we see in Tamil nadu.

There is a  museum outside the temple and an old clock with goats hitting a  demon/butcher every time the clock chimes  is worth watching.

This temple attracts lot of tourists from all over the world.

Dress code- Only Dhoti and Angavastram for men. Pants and Chudidhars are not allowed.
There is a stall outside the temple for lending dhotis.
A temple worth visiting.
How to reach- Being the State capital of Kerala the city is well coneected by road, rail and air.
There are some  more temple in the vicinity which I will be posting shortly.
A few pictures I could gather.