Time for a spiritual journey! Most voyages and travelling by masses across the world is doubtlessly undertaken through the medium of literature. I have made my readers traverse around Thrissur district, the cultural hub of Kerala, many a times, specifically to its temples. A peaceful place, where your soul chanting Har Har Mahadev lets you mediate with your rights and wrongs, desires and wants is our destination this time. Brace yourself!
Thiruvanchikulam Uma Maheshwara temple is one among the ancient most, much visited temple which is believed to have been built by the Chera King, Cheraman Perumal in the 9th century. Located at Kottapuram, the temple is also an archeological site. One of the oldest, the temple after its inception is renovated only once, in 1801 AD after being demolished by the Sultan of Mysore, Tipu. According to legends, the Chera Shiva Saint, Sundara Murthy Nayanar set his journey towards Kailash( Lord Shiva’s abode) on a white elephant sent by the Lord himself from here. Cheraman Perumal followed him. The idols of both these personalities are ensconced in the temple along with other deities. The main deity is of Uma Maheshwara, represented by a Shivalingam, in the form of a half circle, said to be brought from Chidambaram Rameshwara temple, Tamil Nadu. The whole family of Lord Shiva, including Goddess Ganga resides here.
The temple is carved in traditional Kerala architecture, strictly according to Vasthu Shastra. The highlighting structure is that of Namaskara Mantapam with sixteen massive pillars. Carvings of elephants, gods and goddesses, murals depicting Hindu mythology, Shilabhallikas, wood and stone carvings attract many lovers of art to see and then muse at these structures. ‘Shankabhishekam’ on the idol(pouring of conch shaped flowers) is said to be Mahadev’s favourite offering. For togetherness among the couple, Dampathi Puja is also performed by the devotees.
Once you get back to the driver seat, after defeating the Pandemic, you can schedule a visit at your own leisure. Hope I could trigger your interest! Believe me, it’s a journey to Kailash indeed!