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    Moderator Crown R.Varadarajan's Avatar
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    Default KOTTARAKKARA GANAPATHY TEMPLE


    Dear friends,
    Next in the series is some information about the Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple. This is situated one kilometer from Kottarakkara bus stand and 28 Kms from Kollam.
    Now about the temple.

    Varadarajan


    KOTTARAKKARA GANAPATHY TEMPLE
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    The place that we now call Mahaganapathy temple is actually Kizhakkekara Siva Temple. The main deity is none other than Lord Siva himself – Siva facing eastward. In fact Ganapathy is only a minor deity here. But the temple today is famous as a Ganapathy temple rather than a Siva temple.
    The legend behind this is that Kizhakkekara temple was the property of two Nampoothiri houses – Akavoor and Oomanpally. Padinjattinkara Siva temple belonged to the royal house of Elayidathu.
    One day, before sunrise, rituals were taking place for the consecration of Siva at the Pandinjattinkara temple, the work of which was managed by the legendary Uliyannor Perumthachan. Outside the temple , while listening to the manthras , he started chiselling a piece of jackfruit tree. To his surprise, he found that it was the form of ‘Ganapathy’ that was taking shape. Thus he asked the chief priest to enshrine ‘Ganapathy’ also after the consecration of Siva. The chief priest denied. “This is a Siva temple. Ganapathy cannot be consecrated here.”

    Perumthachan, desperate, walked towards the east and thus reached Kizhakkekkara Siva temple. As that priest was preparing offerings for the lord- Unniyappam. Perumthachan asked him “ Can you not sanctify this Ganapathy here ?”. The priest agreed. Perumthachan viewed the place- Siva facing east, in front of that it is Ganga, Parvathy turned towards the west. Southwest there is Sastha and northwest Subrahmanya. If Ganapathy too is installed, Siva family will be complete. The place will be none other that Kailas itself. Thus Ganapathy was installed southeast by Perumthachan.
    Perumthachan then asked the priest “ Unni Ganapathy must be hungry.What is the sacrificial food that you have prepared?”.
    “Unniyappam” was the reply. On a leaf, the priest placed six to seven Unniyappams stringed together. Perumthachan, with all his heart devoted his first offerings-Koottappam. Koottappam is still known to be the most wanted nivedhyam for Kottarakkara Ganapathy.
    After the offering Perumthachan affectionately declared “Though father is the main deity, the son will be much more famous”. His words proved to be true. Kizhakkekkara Siva temple is now known as Kottarakkara Ganapathy temple.



    Who is Ganapathy?
    Ganapathy is the leader of the Ganas ie, the leader of groups, tribes, race, army, escorts, and hence Lord Siva’s first son is described as the supreme leader (Vinayaka). He is also known as Vigneswara – Lord of all obstacles. These names clearly show that He is a master of all Circumstances.
    Ganapathy
    Yellow skinned, short with a big round belly, elephant headed with one trunk, four arms, large ears, bright shining eyes – this is how Ganapathy is represented.
    The origin of Ganapathy
    There are multiple versions about the origin of Lord Vinayaka. According to the Varahapurana , once upon a time the Devas approached Lord Siva and submitted before him the need of a baby who can do away with all obstacles. With the consent of Parvathy devi, Siva agreed to the proposal. Devi become pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful young baby. The ladies of Devalokam gathered around the baby .Keeping in mind the character of the ladies Parvathy blessed her child with these words, “may your beauty change to that of a tusker headed body with a big belly”. Her desire was fulfilled. But Lord Siva, though unhappy, named him Ganesa and he blessed Ganesha saying:”Your position will be above all Ganas. All gods will acknowledge the prominence of Ganesa , and those who are not ready to worship you will fall into deep waters.
    The Skandapurana says that Ganapathy was formed from the dirt collected from the body of Goddess Parvathy. Devi created an extraordinary elephant headed creature with four arms and deputed him to safeguard the entrance towards the Chandraprathishta, which was being performed in heaven.
    As per the Matsyapurana, Parvathy created a figure out of the dirt she had washed away from her body and give breathe to it by sprinkling water from the Ganges. As usual Siva tried to enter the bathing place of Parvathy. The guard didn’t allow him in. Furious, Siva cut the guard’s throat. Fearing Parvathy’s anger, Siva swiftly went out. He saw an elephant there, cut down its head and fixed it to the body of Parvathy’s creation. Thus was born Parvathy’s son, the elephant headed Ganapathy.
    According to the Padmapurana, Parvathy, like all of God’s creations, had the desire to give birth to a son who would be the embodiment of all virtue. For this she prayed to God Vishnu who appeared before her. He granted her wish by taking birth in her womb. The son thus born to Parvathy is Ganapathy.

    Vazhipadukal

    The major vazhipadu of Kottarakkara temple is the famous Udayasthamaya pooja. There is an interesting legend behind this peculiar vazhipadu. This incident took place at the time of the construction of the temple. Kottarakkara Thampuran was not happy with Perumthachan, because he consecrated the deity of Ganesa at the Kizhakkekkara temple. Actually Thampuran’s plan to build a new temple came from some dislike with the Mana, who owned the Kizhakkekkara temple. One day with much sarcasm,Thampuran asked Perumthachan, “Is your Ganapathy that brilliant?” Thachan asserted, “Yes”. Then Thampuran challenged Perumthachan and asked him to ask Ganapathy to give him a son. Perumthachan accepted the challenge and asked, “What you will you offer as a reward?”. Thampuran declared “I will completely cover the idol with Unniyappam” .Before one year Thampuratty become pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful young boy. At the day of the newly born baby’s Choroonu preparations began to make unniappam. The choroonu ceremony can take place only after covering the idol with unniappam. The thampuran firmly believed that the idol being small would be covered within no time. Though unniappam was made right from morning, even at noon the idol could not be covered upto the waist. An old man was witness to all that was happening there. He came forward and asked the Thampuran,”Have you been testing Ganapathy? You will not be able to keep your word as you are filled with pride. As you have been making unniappams right from dawn to dusk and now that you have realized that you are insignificant before Him, you can stop your offerings.” That was the first Udayasthamanavazhipadu.

    That night, Thampuran had a dream in which the old man appeared before him and said,” I am Ganapathy. You should not test me again. Every month you must do the Udayasthamana pooja.” Thus till his death the Thampuran did the pooja. From then onwards Udayasthamaya pooja become a major vazhipadu for Kottarakkara Ganapathy.

    Like most other Vinayaka temples, here also Ashtadravya Ganapathyhomam acquires a prominent place. Other important offerings includes, breaking of coconuts, thulabharam,chathussatham,thrimadhuram,archana and pushpanjali.Udayasthamaya pooja and Ashtadravya Ganapathyhomam can be performed through advanced booking.

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    Upadevathagal -in this temple are:

    Sree Dharma Shasta Temple

    Sarpa Daivangal

    Subrhmanya Swami
    --------------------------------------------------------


    Major Festivals

    Vinayaka Chathurthy
    Lord Vinayaka’s birthday falls on the chathurthy day of the bright half of chinga masa. This particular day is marked with great Mahaganapathy Homam, using 1008 coconuts.Besides Unniyappam, Modhakam is also offered to Ganapathy.The other major ceremonies includes sarvaiswarya pooja,gajapooja,annadanam etc.

    Ayilyam-Makam
    Special poojas for the Nagadaivanjal. The Nagaprathishta was done by Pambummekkattu Thanthrikal.

    Navarathri
    Every year grand Navarathri celebrations will be held at the Devitemple. Thousands throng to the temple to perform the Vidyarambham of their little one’s.

    Mandalachirappu
    Kottarakkara temple is an edathavalam (resting place) for the sabarimala pilgrims. Special bhajana and poojas are being performed in the Dharmasastha nada.

    Prathishtadinam(Cosecration day)
    This falls on the Uthrittathy nakshatra of Makara masa.Bhagavatha Sapthaham,Devibhaghavatha Navaham,Annadhanam are the major events.

    Thyppoyam
    Kavdiyattam and other rituals are being performed in the Muruga temple.

    Sivarathri
    The festival during the month of Kumbham,is marked by special poojas for Lord Siva.

    Vishu
    For malayalees this is a very special day which marks a prosperous beginning. People from nook and corners of the area come here to seek the blessings of Lord Ganapathy.

    Medathiruvathira
    This is the famous day of Thirvarattu. The large scale festival celebrations of eleven days come to an end on this day. Kettukazhcha is a major attraction of the day.

    =======================================================

    Nearest Airport
    Trivandrum - 70 Km
    Kochi - 191 Km

    Nearest Railway Station
    Kottarakkara - 01 Km
    Kollam - 28 Km
    Trivandrum - 70 Km

    Nearest Bus Station
    Kottarakkara - 01 Km
    Kollam - 28 Km
    Trivandrum - 70 Km
    Kottayam - 81 km


    The administrative officer
    Sree Maha Ganapathy Temple Kottarakara
    Ph : 91 474 2457200

    ...........From the Temple site

    Last edited by R.Varadarajan; 30-05-2015 at 04:24 AM.

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