Koodalmanikyam Temple   Leave a comment

Koodalmanikyam Temple or Kudal Manikkam Temple[1] is an ancient Hindu temple in Irinjalakuda, a small town in Trissur district, Kerala, India. Koodalmanikyam Temple has two unique features: the temple holds the deity of Bharata represented as a sage than Bharata as the prince; and it is also the only temple in India dedicated to the worship of Bharata (Lord Sangameshwara), the brother of Lord Rama. The temple is one of four in Kerala that form a set called Nalambalam[2], with each temple dedicated to one of the four brothers in the Ramayana epic: Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna.

History

The earliest historical reference to Koodalmanikyam Temple is found in a stone inscription attributed to the Chera king Stanu Ravi Varman dated 854 A.D, donating vast extents of land for the Temple. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that the Temple must have been in existence for quite some time before this date and that even then Koodalmanickyam was occupying a place of importance among the temples of Kerala.

Koodalmanikyam temple plays a key role in the history of Irinjalakuda as most land in and around Irinjalakuda belonged to the Koodalmanikyam Temple. Temple has allotted Devaswam land to accommodate Governmental institutions, Christ College and for public use to facilitate development activities around the region. Much land that belonged to Koodalmanikyam was subjected to encroachment.[3]The government appointed a special tahsildar under the Kerala Land Conservancy Act to recover encroached land for the Kochi Devaswom Board and a tahsildar and a surveyor for the Koodalmanikyam Devaswom. The temple also attract devotees and tourists which is a source of revenue for the town.

Rituals & Annual festival

The custom in most of the Temples in Kerala is to have five Poojas and three Sivelis a day. But in Koodalmanikyam there are only three Poojas and no Siveli. There is no Usha Puja and Pantheeradi Puja at this shrine. The deity is taken out for ceremonial procession only during the Annual Festival. There is no Deeparadhana. This is the worst problem of this temple and there are plans to start deeparadhana here. This is the only temple without this. Sticks and camphor are not used for the pooja. The floral offerings to the deity consist of Lotus, Tulasi(ocimum sanctum) and Chethi(ixora). But they are not grown in the temple compound. No other flower is taken for Pooja or for making garlands. Lotus garland is an important offering to the deity. A garland will be offered to the deity which does have not less than 101 lotus flowers.

The temple holds its chief annual festival for ten days each year in the month of Medam (April/May). The first day of the festival is calculated by the appearance of the Uthram asterism, and signified by hoisting a ceremonial flag. (The start day falls one day after the famous Thrissur Pooram festival in nearby Thrissur.)

Each day of the festival, a seeveli (procession of caparisoned temple elephants) is held twice, one in the morning and once at night, to the accompaniment of Panchari melam (sacred music). Seventeen elephants take part. Two features of the seeveli are unique to the Koodalmanikyam Temple: first that two baby elephants are included in the procession, one standing on each side of the elephant carrying the deity. Second, while the headdresses (‘Netti pattam’ in Malayalam) of seven elephants are made of pure gold, the rest are made of pure silver. The last two days of the festival feature Panchavadyam (sacred music from an orchestra of five instruments), and the festival ends at the Thiruvonam asterism.

Ponds

There are four ponds that are located in and around the temple. The largest of the four are Kuttan Kulam, located outside the compound on the eastern side, and Kulipini Theertham, located inside the compound. Kulipini Theertham is believed to be sanctified by the sage Kulipini Maharshi, who held a great ritual sacrifice, a yajna, at the spot. Water from this source is used for rituals and ceremonies within the temple.

Priests are allowed to take part in the ceremonies after clensing themselves at the “Kuttan Kulam” outside the temple and then have to take a dip in “Kulipini Theertham” before entering Sanctum Sanctorum. The pond outside the compound located at the western side is called “Padinjare Kulam” and the pond outside the compound located at the southern side is called “Thekke Kulam”. These three water bodies constitute a significant area as much as the size of the temple itself. Except “Kulipini Theertham” the other three water bodies are open to the public.

See also

Koodalmanikyam Temple or Koodal Manikyam Bharatha Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in Irinjalakuda, a small town in Thrissur District of Kerala. Kudal Manikkam Temple is the only temple in India dedicated to Lord Bharata, the brother of Lord Rama. He is worshiped here as Lord Sangameshwara. Sangameswara is a Sanskrit word which in Malayalam translation means Koodalmanickyam. Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple is also one of the four temples in Kerala which form a set known as Nalambalam (Four Temples), of which each temple dedicated to the 4 brothers Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna of the

The Koodalmanikyam Temple sanctum sanctorum is round shaped and is covered with copper plates. There is a six-foot Thaazhikakudam at the pinnacle which adds beauty to the temple structure. The lord here is Chathurbahu Vishnu with Conch, Chakra, Gada and Japamaala. However, it is believed that the Lord is Bharatha, the brother of Lord Rama. According to myths, Bharatha was anxiously waiting for the return of Rama from exile for fourteen years. He heard from Hanuman that Rama has reached Ayodhya and was much relieved and happy. Bharatha is worshipped in his happiest mood here. Lord Hanuman is seen at Thidappilly (the holy kitchen).

The annual 11 days Koodalmanikyam Temple festival 2011 is from 13th May 2011 to 23rd May 2011.
Temple Structure

Koodalmanikyam Temple is a 9th century temple with splendid architectural beauty. Built in traditional Kerala style of architecture, the temple spreads over a wide area and is surrounded by massive wall with gorgeous gateways on the East, South and West. The temple’s Western and Eastern approach ways to the inner temple features huge porches which can accommodate even 21 elephants. The eastern gateway (Gopuram) is a remarkable structure with numerous carvings embedded into its front wall. One can enter the outer quadrangle from the Gopuram. Located on the southern courtyard is the Koothambalam, the temple hall for performing Koothu and Koodiyattam. There are murals on the walls on either side of the eastern entry to Chuttambalam.

Koodalmanikyam Temple is surrounded by four vast ponds. Of which the Kuttan Kulam, located outside the compound on the eastern side, and Kulipini Theertham, located inside the compound are the two largest. Legend has it that Kulipini Maharshi performed a great ritual sacrifice, at the spot of Kulipini Theertham. Kudal Manikkam Temple is also a centre of temple arts like Kathakali, Koothu, Koodiyattom and Thullal.

Temple Poojas

Most of the temples in Kerala conduct five poojas and 3 seevelis a day. While Koodalmanikyam Temple conducts only three Poojas per daily and seevelis are performed only during the annual arattu festival. Floral offerings include Lotus, Tulasi and Chethi. No other flower is taken for Pooja.

Offerings

Thamaramala (Lotus garland) is an important offering to the deity. It is believed that if a lotus garland is offered before starting any new project or before the commencement of any important function, the deity bestows success.
Temple Festivals

Koodalmanikyam Temple is renowned for the annual Kudalmanikyam Arattu Festival held for 11 days in the Malayalam month of Edavam (April – May). This famous event starts one day after the Thrissur Pooram and ends on the next Thiruvonam day. The festival attracts a number of devotees to watch the color, music, Orchestra and Fine Arts which cannot be seen anywhere in Kerala.
Another major festival celebrated is the Thriputhari on the Thiruvonam nakshatram in the Malayalam month of Thulam (October-November). The newly harvested rice is first cooked and offered to deity and then distributed to devotees. Next day is a special offering called Mukkudi, an Ayurvedic mixture, a divine medicine for all diseases.
Nalambalam Yatra

Nalambalam Yatra, also spelled Nalanbala Yathra, is a unique pilgrimage conducted during the Malayalam month of Karkitakam, the last month of Malayalam Calendar. The pilgrims visit four temples in Kerala – Sri Rama Temple at Triprayar (22 Km North west of Irinjalakuda), Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple at Irinjalakuda, Lakshmana temple at Moozhikkulam (30 km south-west of Irinjalakuda) in Ernakulam District and Satrugna Temple at Payammal (5 km south of Irinjalakuda). It is believed that worship at these four temples on the same day is exceptionally worthy.
Temple Timings

The temple is opened from 03:00 am to 11.30 am and from 05:00 pm to 8.15pm.

How to reach Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple

Irinjalakuda is located 20 km south of Thrissur and 16 km north of Kodungallur (Cranganore) famous for the Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple.

Irinjalakuda Railway Station, managed by the Southern Railways, is just 9 km from the Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple. Guruvayoor – Chennai Egmore Express, Venad Express, Kanyakumari – Bangalore Express, Parasuram Express, Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Express and Chennai-Alappuzha Express passes through Irinjalakuda Railway Station.

Thrissur Railway Station or Thrissivaperur Railway Station is another major railhead around 20 km from Irinjalakuda.

Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple is about 45 km from International Airport at Kochi.

Advertisements

Posted May 27, 2011 by davis in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: