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The legendary, tranquil Thiruvairanikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple, Aluva, Kerala

Updated on January 11, 2017
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Radhika is highly passionate of traveling and keen in observing things for penning them into a travel article.

Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva | Source

Located in a tranquil countryside of Aluva in Ernakulam District of the state of Kerala, this temple of Lord Shiva and Parvati attracts numerous devotees each year. Though Lord Shiva and Parvati are placed in the same Mandapa (sanctum) facing opposite sides, Parvati’s sanctum is open for worship only during 12 days in a year starting from the day of Thiruvathira that is Siva’s birthday. This festive period is termed as ‘Nadathurapu Mahotsavam’ in the regional language, Malayalam. The Nada (sanctum) is closed afterwards throughout the year due to a belief based on a legend.

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The Brahmin cried to Lord Mahadeva that he had grown too old to come and see him after his prayers at the temple. As he started his way back home, he lifted his Olakuda (an umbrella made of palm leaf), and found it extraordinarily heavier. He told Akavoor Chathan about this incident, but Akavoor did not utter a word. Akavoor knew that it was Lord Mahadeva who got inside the umberella to give 'darshan' to the Brahmin always.

The legend behind Thiruvairanikulam temple

The temple’s existence is based on a popular legend shared by the nearby Akavoor Mana. Akavoor Manaparambu (the land of Akavur Mana) is situated in the Airanikulam village. Brahmins of the Mana were the rulers during that period. Years later, a conflict erupted in the family enforced a section of them to move to Vellarapilly village. But the Brahmins kept on visiting Sree Mahadeva, called as Airanikulathappan. During this period, Akavoor Chathan, one among the twelve sons of 'Parayi', often heard in the ancestral folklore, came to the Mana as a dependent.

Seeing one of the Brahmins visiting Sree Mahadeva's Temple, Akavoor Chathan built a boat of granite to transport him through the river to the temple. The Brahmin grew old as years passed by. One day, he cried to Lord Mahadeva that he had grown too old to come and see him after his prayers at the temple. As he started his way back home, he lifted his Olakuda (an umbrella made of palm leaf), and found it extraordinarily heavier. He told Akavoor Chathan about this incident, but Akavoor did not utter a word. While travelling on the boat, the Brahmin had an intuitive call of nature and Akavoor Chathan rowed the boat to a nearby land soon.

Then he took his umbrella that had become very light to his surprise. Akavoor asked the Brahmin not to worry about it. Upon reaching the Manakkal land, the Brahmin alighted the boat and Akavoor Chathan overturned the boat that rested in the mud. The granite stone can be seen even today in that side of the river popularly known as Chathan Stone. Akavoor believed that it was Lord Mahadeva itself who had got inside the umberella to give 'darshan' to the Brahmin always. This legend is behind the Thiruvairanikulam temple situated in this place.


Parvati devi in Ellora caves
Parvati devi in Ellora caves | Source

Legend behind Parvati's sanctum

There is another legend surrounding the shutting of Goddess Parvati’s Sreekovil(sanctum). The priest of this temple used to make the Prasad (sacrament) for the devotees himself in the temple kitchen. One day someone peeped inside the kitchen to see how he was making that. Instead of the priest, he saw Parvati devi herself preparing it to his surprise. She became angry after this incident and declared that she would appear on Thiruvathira day and would be present just for 12 days. Rest of the days, her Nada would remain closed.

Women flock here to get a ‘darshan’ of Parvati devi during these days starting from the day of Thiruvathira. It is said that she may pour blessings upon unmarried women to become married soon. Married women pray to her for the well-being of their husbands.

The tranquil location of Thiruvairanikulam temple gifts a blissful sensation to all the devotees who reach here. The road to reach here, especially the legendary Vallom road gives the touch of God’s presence.

Women worshipping Paravati Devi

Thiruvairanikkulam temple
Thiruvairanikkulam temple | Source

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© 2014 Radhika Sreekanth

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      Suresh Marar 3 months ago

      Dear Mrs Radhika Sreekanth,

      Its very pleasure read your article about Thiruvairanikkulam temple. But the image you have given under the head "Women worshipping Paravati Devi" is a wrong one. Pls remove that.

      Thanks

    • radhikasree profile image
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      Radhika Sreekanth 7 months ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Venkat for coming up always, reading my hubs and for commenting too. Visit this temple when you get time as you would be blessed abundantly by the deities here.

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      Venkataraman 7 months ago

      Thanks a ton for your post! My visit to this temple is long overdue. Good to know the details of when the temple will be open during the year!

      Simple and elegant write-up!

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi lex123,

      This temple is visited by many devotees during this month Dhanu. Thank you for commenting.

    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 2 years ago

      I have heard about this temple, but never knew the legend. Thanks for writing about this ancient temple.

    • radhikasree profile image
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      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Ruby,

      It's always a pleasure to see you in the mornings with a comment. You're most welcome...

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I find your hubs on your part of the world interesting and educational. Well done...Thank you for sharing.