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    Dear readers,
    The Mahadeva temple in Chengannoor between Thiruvalla and Pandhalam is
    another famous Temple in Kerala.
    Some information on this Temple is given below.

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Chengannur Mahadevar Temple is one of the oldest and famous temple, situated in Allappuzha dist. (Kerala). It is a sprawling temple complex with a circular Sanctum. Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi are the main investitures of this temple. Differing from other temples, there are two main Shrines in this temple. Lord Shiva facing East and Devi facing West. The main shrine is a conical copper plated one. Devi’s main Idol is made with an alloy of five metals (PANCHALOHAM). The Shivalingam, is covered with a gold plate bearing an image of Ardhanareeswara - or the Shiva-Shakti manifestation of Shiva.
    The other sub-investitures of the temple are Ganapathi, Shasta (Lord Ayyappan), Chandikeswaran, Neelagrivan, Ganga, and Naagar. There is also a shrine of SreeKrishna nearby.

    The temple was constructed centuries back in accordance with an architectural design evolved by the famous Perunthachan. In the 18th Century the temple complex was damaged by fire and renovated later by Vanghipuzha Thampuran except the KUTHAMBALAM (Performance Hall). This could not be restored to its original position as it had been designed and constructed by Perunthachan. The structure of the Kuthambalam originally constructed by Perunthachan was in such a manner that the shadow of the performer would not fall on the stage if all the lamps were lit on each of the post of the Kuthambalam. The mukhamandapam in front of the temple and other mandapams in this temple are full of exquisite woodwork.

    Compared to other temples, this temple has a peculiarity of its own, quiet distinct from other temples. The interesting belief and festival of this Temple is TRIPUTHARATTU which is considered as a symbol of fertility. This festival is connected with a menstruation ceremony, which is observed periodically in the temple. That is why this temple is also considered as Shakthi Peedam.


    The place where the Chengannur temple is situated was said to be under the control of Vanghipuzha Thampuran.

    This place was leased to one Nayanaru Pillai. One day while the maid servant (Kurathi) of Nayanaru Pillai,was working in this place, she saw blood coming from a stone on which she was sharpening her weapon. This fact was reported to Nayanaru Pillai and Vanghipuzha Thampuran.

    Vanghipuzha Thampuran on the advice of Thazhaman Potty showered 36 para (measurement in Malayalam) of Neyy (Ghee) on that stone in order to stop the blood.

    The Thampuran in consultation with Thazhaman Potty and other veteran Brahmins decided to construct a temple there. Based on the plan of Perunthachan, a famous and respected Thachan (carpenter), the temple except the kuthambalam was constructed. Though the temple was constructed in accordance with the plan of Perunthachan, the kuthambalam could not be constructed by any of them. The whole kuthambalam was constructed under the guidance of Perunthachan. The structure of the Kuthambalam originally constructed by Perunthachan was in such a manner that the shadow of the performer would not fall on the stage if all the lamps were lit on each of the post of the kuthambalam.

    On completion of the construction of temple and kuthambalam the Thampuran requested Perunthachan to make an idol of Devi. He pointed out a place and asked the workers to dig that place. On digging an idol of Parvathi Devi was found and this idol has investiture at the nearest auspicious occasion.

    After some years Perunthachan Visited the place again and informed Thazhaman Potty that the temple would be destroyed in fire in due course and Idol of Devi would be destroyed. He also gave an Idol of Devi made up of an alloy of five metals ( Panchaloham ) and asked him to keep a record of what he said. The Potty did accordingly. After some years the prediction of Perunthachan become true.

    The temple was renovated after the fire and Devi's Idol had been taken from the river with the help of some fishermen (Arayas) of Karunagappalli, as recorded in the Grandha written by Thazhaman Potty. As a mark of joy thampuran gave fruits and tender coconuts to those arayas at the temple. This happened on a Shivarathri and now also this day is celebrated with the same tradition.

    Tiruchenkunroor is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur region of Kerala, connected with Mahabharat. Nammalwar describes Chenkunrur as a town where the smoke emanating from the vedic ritual yagnas fills the sky and as a place surrounded by rich lush vegetation. (of bananas and coconuts). Legend has it that Yuddhishtra offered prayers to Vishnu, seeking pardon for his act on the battlefield, where he uttered the words `Ashwattaama hatah kunjaraha` in an attempt to deceive Drona and lead him into a defenceless state where Arjuna brought Drona`s life to an end.

    How to Reach..

    Chengannur situates at the extreme east part of Alappuzha district. It lies between Thiruvalla and Pandalam in MC Road and between Thiruvalla and Mavelikkara in Railway line.
    It is 117kms north of state capital Thiruvananthapuram on the Main Central Road (MC Road).
    Chengannur Mahadeva Temple is only 1 km away from both Railway Station and KSRTC Bus Stand.
    Last edited by R.Varadarajan; 07-12-13, 08:29.