Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

At Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple  the annual festival will be  ecstatic, gorgeous, majestic. In this temple the ten day annual festival starts on 'Chanthayam star' day and finishes on 'Thiruvathira star' day in the month of 'Kumbham' (Feb-Mar) every year.
Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple is one of the most important and sacred Shiva temples of Kerala which is situated near Main Central road of Ettumanoor in Kottayam District.
The deity God Shiva is lovingly called as 'Ettumanoorappan' by the devotees.It is fervently believed that he will
grant all the noble and rightful needs of the people who approaches him in full devotion.It is also famous that
he is a curer of any type of diseases also.One who surrenders to him with extreme devotion can get cure any ailments by his blessings is the belief.There is an ever glowing oil lamp in the temple in the entrance room 'Balickal pura' and the soot which deposits on its lid  if applied in the eyes will cure eye diseases of many types.The oil in that lamp is used as medicine to cure certain diseases also.
Ettumanoorappan is also believed to exorcise evil spirits from devotees for which they have to perform 'bhajanamirikkal' which is attending all the pooja rituals in the temple for two  or three weeks and they will take
a pledge touching the ever glowing lamp by which  the evil spirits depart the body of the devotee.
The deity in this temple was consecrated by a Saint known as 'Khara Maharshi' and it is believed that with
special powers he performed the consecration of three idols in three places at the same time.These temples
are Ettumanoor,Vaikom and Kaduthuruthi which are all in Kottayam District situated at equal distances and
sacred temples of Lord Shiva.
The temple deity of Ettumanoor is facing toward west while in most Shiva temples it will be towards east.
The ever glowing  oil lamp (Keda Vilakku) was established here in 1544 A.D. and till now it was  not put out.
There is a story regarding this lamp.A man brought that lamp and inquired whether it was needed at the temple for a price.The people present at the 'Balickal pura' told him that  people were offering lamps etc free to God and not
for a price.The seller pleaded to take that lamp and give him a nominal sum.The people there at the temple did
'Ezhara ponnana Darshanam'
not bother to buy that lamp.Suddenly a stranger from inside the temple came out dancing,  took hold of the
heavy lamp with one hand and hanged it on  a hook on the ceiling.Suddenly there was a thunderstorm and the people fledged in fear.When they came back after a few moments the lamp was there glowing with five wicks  in it and the seller and the dancer were not there.Devotees believes that the dancer was Lord Shiva itself.
On the 'Namaskara Mandapam' two statues of 'Nandi' the bull can be seen.One is stone made and other
is bronze made.Inside of the  'bronze bull'  paddy is filled which can be taken out  one each at a time if tried with a small stick through  a small hole on its side which will  help  cure ailments of the stomach.(Now a days taking paddy from it is not allowed).That bull
was  the  offering of an 'Ambalapuzha Maha Rajah' for curing his chronic stomach ache by Ettumanoorappan.
Karthika Thirunal Maharajah of Travancore submitted 'Ezhara Ponnana' in this temple which is displayed
Ezhara Ponnana
during the annual festival.Ezhara Ponnana are 7 golden elephant models of same size and a small one.There are several beliefs regarding this.Some historians say that Marthanda Varma Maharajah was  to offer them
in the temple for taking over those provinces and attached to Travancore as a Penalty.But he died before fulfilling that offering and so the next Maharajah performed it..Some says that during
the reign of Karthika Thirunal Maha Rajah Tipu Sultan was proceeding to Travancore and had reached near
the boundary of his Kingdom.Karthika Thirunal Maharajah  prayed to Ettumanoorappan for help.There started heavy floods in Periyar
river and several calamities happened to Tipu Sultan's  soldiers.Crossing the river and proceeding further was not practical for several days.At that stage war was  started by the British in Mysore and
Tipu Sultan had to retreat without attacking Travancore..The joyous ' Maharajah Karthika Thirunal'  submitted Ezhara Ponnana in the temple as a token of  gratitude towards the Lord.
These are elephant models carved out of wood and covered with thick gold plates.On the eighth day of
annual festival during the night rituals 'Ezhara Ponnana Darsanam' is performed.(Display)
Ettumanoorappan is revered in three forms daily.In the morning time he is considered as 'Ardhanareeswaran'
during noon time he is considered as 'Kiratha Moorthy' and in the evening he is revered as 'Samhara Rudran.Ganapathy,Sastha,Dakshina Moorthy,Bhagavathy etc are sub deities here.Near the 'Asthana Mandapam'  'Narasimha Moorthy' in his calm state is situated.
'Sivarathri' is also celebrated in a grand manner in this temple.The main offerings to the Deity includes
Ksheeradhara,Jaladhara,Rudrabhishekam,Sankabhishekam,Sahasra kalsam (These are unction with different materials such as water,milk,tender coconut etc),Pushabhishekam(Floral worship),Kadum Payasam,
Koottu payasam,Palpayasam etc(All are sweetened rice) and other sweet items like appam,aravana etc.Other offerings such as Adima,Thulabharam etc are also done.
The temple opens at 4A.M and closes at 11.30 A.M.In the evening opens at 5P.M and closes around 8P.M.

Ettumanoor is situated near to Kottayam  town and  the temple is on the side of M.C. Road.The distance
from Ettumanoor to Eranakulam is only 46 km.

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