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Archive for July, 2011

An ancient temple dedicated to Nava Mukunda, a form of Lord Vishnu is located at Thirunavaya, on the shores of Bharathapuzha. It is believed that the idol installed in this temple is the ninth idol installed by famous saints known as Navayogis. Legends tell that first eight idols disappeared as soon as they are placed and the ninth one sunk up to knee by which time it was forcibly stopped.

This place in Thirunavaya is full of soft sands and was the location for the great festival known as “Mamankam”, the warrior fights held once in 12 years. Mamankam was the assembly of royal family members and was for 28 days.

Devotees come to this pristine sandy beach to offer last rites to the loved ones. There are other temples with deities as Shiva and Brahma in Thirunavaya.

In pasurams of Tirumangaialwar and Nammalwar, Thirunavaya is refered as Thirunavai, Lord Vishnu as Sree Nava Mukunda Perumal and Thayar (Mahalakshmi) as Malar Mangai Naachiyaar or Sirudevi.


Thiruvanaya Navamukunda Temple, near Ponnani in Malappuram district is situated on the banks of the river Bharathapuzha. Thirunavaya was once the capital of Perumpadapu Swaroopam. It is indeed the cradle of culture in northern Kerala. Holding immense historical importance, this is the place where ‘Mamangam’, a grand assembly of the rulers of Kerala was held once every 12 years, in olden times. This extravagant festival was held for the last time in 1755 AD. The famous and ancient Thirunavaya Temple, known throughout the country as an ancient teaching-centre of the Vedas, was once plundered and destroyed by Tipu Sultan’s army. It was the Zamorin who repaired the temple later.





This is the place were Nava yogis (Sathuvanathar, Saaloga nathar, Aadhinathar, Arulithanathar, Madhanga Nathar, Macchendira Nathar, Kadayanthira Nathar, Korakkanathar and Kukkudanathar) worshipped Vishnu. Vishnu gave darsan for Nava yogi. Hence this place is called Thirunavayogi and later changed in to Thirunaavaya. In due course, 8 yogis attained moksha and the vigrahams worshipped by them also disappeared and as a result of this, the ninth yogi got dejected and stopped offering worship to Vishnu. When questioned by Perumal, he said that he was missing his companions and Perumal with his maya showed the 8 yogis. The 8 yogis agreed to stay there but said that they would be invisible to human eyes and the 9th yogi could feel their presence. In due course, the 9th yogi requested Perumal to make him also invisible. But Perumal insisted that the vigraham worshipped by the 9 th yogi must be kept there itself and Perumal blessed the 9 yogis saying that they could offer worship to Him at that place forever. Hence, what we see now is the vigraham worshipped by the 9th yogi.


Goddess Mahalakshmi and Gajendra (Indradyumna) used to offer lotus flowers for worshipping Perumal. As Lakshmi Devi would pluck the flowers for aaradhana daily before Gajendran, the elephant got dejected and approached Perumal and told that henceforth it had to go elsewhere to get lotuses for Perumal. As Perumal did not want his devotee to get dejected, He appeared before Goddess Mahalakshmi and Gajendran and said that Thayar could be with Him and accept the offerings made by Gajendran. Hence, this is the only divya desam, in Kerala which has a separate Sreekovil for Maha Lakshmi (Thayar).


It is a usual practice in Kerala temples that after installing an idol, the Sreekovil would remain closed for 7 days with the belief that the devas would offer pooja to the idol. In this temple, first a vigraham was installed and the Sreekovil was kept closed for 7 days. But when the doors opened, they were shocked to see the idol missing. They again brought another idol and the idol disappeared. This went on for 8 times and on the 9th time, out of curiosity, when they opened the temple doors before the scheduled time, they were shocked to see that the idol had descended into the earth upto the knee. To prevent further descent of the idol, They immediately chanted various mantras and saw to it that the idol did not descend further. It is believed that when the idol would descend into the earth, Kaliyuga will come to an end.


Thirunavaya is considered equivalent to Varanasi because of the presence of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma temples. It is a well known story that Markandeya was destined to die at th age of 16. When Lord Yama came to take his life, the little boy ran into this temple and prayed to Perumal to save him. Perumal appeared before the boy and gave him a Shiva linga for worship and advised the boy to escape from the backside entrance. He assured that Lord Shiva would take care of him. As soon as Markandeya escaped from the backside, Perumal placed a big stone and closed the way permanently and ensured that Yama could not enter the way. To this day, the door behind Perumal remains closed. Markandeya worshiped Shiva near to this temple and the place where Lord Shiva gave darsan to Markandeya and killed Yama, is now famous as the Truppangottu Shiva Temple – one among  108 Shivalayams.


The subdieties in this temple are Ganapathy and Lakshmi Bhagavathy. Thousands flock here on Karkkidaka vavu day to perform the pithrukriya rites for the departed souls. The Navamukunda temple is said to be the sacred spot blessed with the presence of Saraswathi, Gayathri, Lakshmi, Parvathy, Shani, Markandeya, Ganga, and Yamuna


Tirunavaya

The land of ancient Mamankam, Tirunnavya is South of Tirur. Situated on the banks of Bharathapuzha; it is a place of historical importance. In olden days, Mamankam was a grand assembly of the rulers held once in 12 years, in which, one among them was selected as the emperor of Kerala. It was an enormous trade fair also. The Mamankam festival was celebrated for 28 days with great pomp and pageantry where traders from outside came in ships and barges to Tirunnavaya through Ponnani Port. Thus the economical importance of Mamankam was high and hence the right to conduct and control it was important. At the end of the rule of Perumals, the right of mamankam was with Vellattiri, the ruler of Valluvanad. Later the Zamorn of Kozhikode, took this right by force and this resulted in dispute and bloodshed between these two Rajas. Valluvanad Raja used to sent Chaver warriors to fight until death, to recapture the right from the Zamorin, who would stand Nilapadu at Nilapadu thara in Tirunnavaya, Surrounded by a large contingent of soldiers, in every 12th year. The last of such Mamankam, was believed to be held in 1755, when Zamorin had an hair breath escape from a 16 year old Chaver. The Nilapadu thara, now in the premises of Kottakkal Tile factory, is protected by the Archaeological department. A deep well called Manikkinar believed to be dumped with bodies of the Chavers is also protected. Tirunnavaya is a converging place of the Trimurtis, – (Brahma, Vishnu, Siva). Three temples, Consecrated to these deities, are on either bank of Bharathapuzha. The famous vedic Vidyalaya Othanmar Madhom of ancient times, is on of the left bank of Bharathapuzha, near the Siva temple. This madhom was a center of aryanisation through Sanskrit and Vedic education as Tirunnavaya as believed to be the main center, where Parusurama brought and settled Brahmins. The place (Mana) of Puranic fame Azhavancherry Thamprakkal is 2 Kms north of Tirunnavya. Nava mukunda Temple beloved to be constructed by Nava yogis on the right bank of Bharathapuzha, is an important Vishnu temple of Kerala. Pithru Tharpanam is a ritual, held here on the day of Amavasi of Karkitaka (July). Bali Karma is offered by people in their wet clothes, after dip in the river, for the salvation of sins and appease the dead souls

A martial art festival of Kalarippayattu is conducted during summer on the sands of Bharathapuzha. The famous Changampalli Kalari is near Tirunnavaya. During the second week of February, A Sarvodya Mela is conducted in Tirunnavaya where the Gandhians of Kerala, use to assemble. The Santhikudeeram established by the national leader K. Kelappan, is the center place of this mela.

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This is a Vishnu Temple In Trivandrum. The Lord is Padmanabha He sleeps on the couch Of Serpent, Adishesha. O Lord Hari! I bow before Thee I will sing Thy name In holy company. I shall do Thy will. Cut off my mortal bonds. Open the way to Thy feet. Thou art my life-breath. Thou art my soul. Thou art vigilant, While I sleep.

Om Namo Narayanaya
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most famous Lord Vishnu Temples in Kerala, South India. Also known as Sree Ananda Padmanabhaswamy Temple, this Mahavishnu Temple is located inside East Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram – the capital city of Kerala, India. Lord Vishnu is enshrined here in the Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yognidra), lying on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake. According to traditions, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram is believed to have been worshipped by Chandra (Moon God) and Lord Indra (the head of the Devas).
 
Importance of the Idol 
 
The idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is made up of 12008 salagramams that compose the reclining lord. They are special because they are from Nepal, from the banks of river Gandhaki and they were brought to the temple with all pomp and gaiety on elephant top. On top of them “Katusarkara Yogam”, Navaratnams, a special Ayurvedic mix, was used to give a plaster. Followers believe that the Lord has personally come in disguise and had saved many times the Travancore Kingdom from the clutches of enemies.

 

Gopuram

 

The foundation of the present gopuram was laid in 1566. The temple has a 100-foot, seven-tier gopuram. The temple stands by the side of a tank, named Padma Theertham (meaning the lotus spring). The temple has a corridor with 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars with elaborate carvings. This corridor extends from the eastern side into the sanctum sanctorum. An eighty-foot flag-staff stands in front of the main entry from the ‘prakaram’ (corridor). The ground floor under the gopuram (main entrance in the eastern side) is known as the ‘Nataka Sala’ where the famous temple art Kathakali was staged in the night during the ten-day uthsavam (festival) conducted twice a year, during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam.


Significance 

Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu. Divya Desams are the holiest abodes of the Lord Mahavishnu that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars (saints). 

History


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It is believed that Sri Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram & its properties were controlled by Ettuveeil Pillamar under the guidance of Ettara Yogam in older times. But these Ettuveetil Pillamars & their cousins were defeated by King Marthanda Varma, who was the Maharaja of Travancore state. After that King Marthanda Varma made the last renovation of the temple & he took a pledge that he & his descendants would serve as the Padmanabha Dasa (servants of the Lord Padmanabha). Before the re-organisation of the states, the state emblem of Travancore was dextral conch-shell or valampiri Shanku, which was the royal insignia of Lord Vishnu. The present gopuram of this temple was laid foundation in the year 1566. Most people who have visited this temple are familiar with the fact that this temple stands by the side of Padma Theertham. There is a corridor in this temple which consists of 365 & at the same time one quarter sculptures granite stone pillars. During meenam & thulam, a ten day festival is conducted twice a year, in which Kathakali is staged during the night time in Nataka Sala. An important feature which is unique to Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is that it has the idols of Lord Vishnu in all three different postures namely standing, sitting or reclining. That means the idols in the standing door is in the standing posture, the idols for festival processions are in the sitting posture & the idols inside the sanctum sanctorum are in the reclined position. The nivedyams or offerings of this temple include retna payasam, meni thula payasam, otta thula payasam, rice & jaggery pudding in ghee, paal payasam, pal manga, uppu manga(unripe mango soaked in brine water) etc. 

Rules & Timings

It should be noted that only Hindus are allowed to enter the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple located in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. Dress code is very important for this temple. Lockers are available here. No men as well as women are allowed to wear dresses that display both legs separately. Also note that men are not allowed to wear the clothes above the waist. Devotees are permitted to take the hand bags inside the temple but camers or cell phones are not permitted.

Darshan times

Before noon: 3:30- 4.45, 6:30- 7:00, 8:30- 10:00, 10:30- 11:00, 11:45-12:00
Afternoon: 5:00- 6:15, 6:45-7:20

Festivals

756455Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, the popular temple is associated with certain festivals like Alpashy festival, Painkuni festival, Navaratri festival, Laksha deepam etc. Among these festivals, the Navaratri festival is an annual festival associated with Sri Padmanabhaswami temple. During this festival, every year the famous swathi music festival is held & usually this festival lasts for about 9 days. The Kuthira Malika Palace located in front of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple is having major importance during this festival. This is because the idols of Durga, Murugan & Saraswati are brought to this palace as a procession during the Navarathri festival. Laksha Deepam (hundred thousand lamps) is considered as the biggest festival of Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple. It should be noted that this festival commences once in 6 years & chanting of prayers as well as recitation of three vedas is done for about 56 days prior to this Laksha Deepam. As the name indicates hundred thousand oil lamps are lit in during these festivals. The Painkuni Festival as well as the Alpashy Festival lasts for ten days each. It is important to note that among the Alpashy Festival & the Painkuni Festival, the former is in October/November & the latter is in March/April.
 

Treasure worth Rs 1 lakh crore

A week after the stock-taking process began at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, two more vaults will be opened on Monday. The estimated value of the treasure found at the temple is estimated to be over Rs 1 lakh crore. 

Now there are apprehensions about the safety of the priceless wealth found inside the temple chambers. The Centre is expected to provide security forces to guard the temple premises following the discovery. The temple, one of the oldest in Kerala, may soon turn out to be one of the India’s richest.A seven-member Supreme Court-appointed team is taking stock at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.The chambers are believed to contain priceless gold and silver ornaments. The chambers had been kept shut for the last 130 years but were finally opened on June 27 following a Supreme Court order.One of the chambers believed to have remained shut for nearly a century revealed precious jewels, stones, ornaments and metal lamps of rare heritage and antique values when it was opened and examined on Thursday.
The inner recess of this chamber was believed to have previously been opened during the reign of Travancore ruler Sree Visakham Tirunal about 130 years back The opening of the first four chambers showed that three of them housed gold ornaments, vessels, jewels and precious stones worth hundreds of crores of rupees. It also had gold chains, diamond-studded bracelets, a crown and a golden bow. The temple, built in 18th century by King Marthanda Varma of the Travancore royal lineage, is run by a trust under control of the royal house and Lord Padmanabha is the family deity of Travancore Royal house.
The Supreme Court appointed committee consists of two former Kerala High Court judges. The actual worth of the treasure will only be revealed in a report to the Supreme Court.The apex court had issued orders on a private petition, which sought measures for greater transparency and accountability in management of the temple.

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