Monday, September 29, 2014

ANANTHA PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE MURALS

Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple is situated at Ananthapuram, near Kumbala in Kasegod District This temple is considered as the 'Moola Sthanam'(Original Source) of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Thiruvananthapuram.In this temple God Mahavishnu is depicted as sitting on the coils of Serpent Anantha whereas at Thiruvanathapuram Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the idol of Sri Padmanabha Swamy(Lord Maha Vishnu) is depicted as reclining  on the serpent.Hanuman Swamy and Garuda Bird are shown as standing with folded hands in front of him.On both sides of the Lord Vishnu's deity are depicted idols of 'Bhoodevi' and 'Sree Devi'(Lakshmi Devi).Like at Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, the seven idols found in this temple are also made up of 'Kadu Sarkara Yogam'  a process by which they are made from 108 type of materials from Nepal to Kanyakumari.Like in humans all the replica of  inner parts, lungs,heart etc   also would be made and coconut fibre will be used for nerves.Such idols are not used for 'Abhishekam' (sacred bath) and small 'Ulsava Idols'(idols used for procession etc) are used for that pooja rites at the 'Mukha Mandapa'. 
Crocodile in the Pond
 The Sreekovil (Sanctum) is surrounded by a large pond and from the entrance gate to the Sreekovil there is a bridge.On the  walls of the Sreekovil there are exquisite depiction of Murals of 'Puranic Themes'.
                   Once Vilwamangalam Swamiyar was doing penance at this site beside the pond and Lord Krishna used to visit him disguised as a small boy and performed all kinds of mischief.Swamiyar reciprocated to the pranks of the mischievous boy with patience but one day in anger he admonished the child and pushed him with his backhand.The Lord transformed into a ball of divine aura and hastened through a cave near the pond.A divine voice echoed that if Swamiyar wanted to see him again he had to come to 'Ananthan Kadu'.Vilwamangalam Swamiyar then only realized that the boy was none other than Lord Krishna and he went inside the cave  after him  and reached on the sea shore.He was not knowing the place 'Ananthan Kadu' but  with the advice he got from others he traveled in  south  direction and reached the spot  'Ananthan Kadu' at Thiruvananthapuram where he found Lord Vishnu.The temples were established on those sacred spots.
There is a cave which opens out to the pond still today near Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Kumbala, and the water level remains steady regardless of climatic changes.
In the temple pond there is a Crocodile living which is vegetarian and do not harm to large number of fishes and other water creatures living in the pond.
The cave entrance
It is fed with the 'Prasadam' (Rice and sweetened rice) from the temple and come for to eat its lunch to the temple at noon everyday.At night it may take rest on the temple floor and do not harm the temple employees even if  they step on it in the darkness  of the early mornings.The crocodile is named as 'Babia' The present crocodile 'Babia' is 65 years old and there used to be a single crocodile



Beautiful Murals



in the pond always is a mystery.The previous one was shot dead by an Englishman but he died immediately when a tree trunk fell on him at that moment  then and there.Within days the present crocodile appeared in the pond.
The temple timings are from 5.30 AM to 1 PM and again from 5.30 PM to 7.30PM.
It is situated at Kumbala which is 40 km from Mangalore and 15 km from Kaseragod.Kumbala is on the Kaseragod-Mangalore High way and from Kumbala Ananthapura is only 4 km.
Temple address is Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple,Ananthapura(P.O),Kumbala,Kaseragod (Dt),Kerala- 671321, India.

To protect the age old  Murals, an outer wall is constructed in recent years at the temple.












Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ST.MARY'S CHURCH , ANGAMALY

The age old mural Paintings of St.Mary's Church Angamaly delights devotees and visitors since they are unique in artistic excellence and skill of execution and these frescoes drawn with natural pigments could withstand the weather all these years since they dates back to 16th century.
The first church is believed to have consecrated in AD 409 where as the present church was built in 16th century.
The murals found here are a mix of West Asian and of local traditions and are supposed to be as old as the church itself.
The main murals found here are of Hell and heaven, on either side of the walls,The last judgement, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden,Sacrifice of Abraham,Resurrection of Jesus Christ etc.
The two  Altars show the paintings of Gee Varghese Sahida and Bahanan Sahida.The fight between David Goliath and Arc of Noah are also depicted here.
Heaven is drawn using bright colors and Hell is depicted in dull dark blue colors.The frescoes Hell and Heaven and Last Judgement are excellent works of art and  a great contribution of Kerala to this art form.





Monday, September 15, 2014

ST.MARY'S ORTHODOX SYRIAN CHURCH (KOTTAYAM CHERIYA PALLY)

St.Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, commonly known as Kottayam Cheriya Pally
is one of the oldest Churches in Kerala.It was built in 1579 A.D. which contains mural paintings which are of the age of the Church itself.The church and the murals are well preserved.The land for constructing the Church was provided by 'Thekkumkur Raja'.
The Church is known for its peculiar architecture, a combination of traditional temple architecture of Kerala and the Portuguese style of architecture.The large brick walls of the church, The long granite pillars and the beautiful murals which depict both biblical and non-biblical themes reflect Hindu influence.The murals are drawn as per the style and tradition of murals found in Hindu temples.
This Church ('Cheriya Pally') have European style of galleries,cornices and pediments.
The murals found in this Church are mainly that of 'the last supper,Judas accepting the silver coins for his betrayal,The disciples of Jesus waiting for him in the garden,Jesus being whipped and dragged,Pilate washing his hands,
crucifixion,the Virgin Mother Mary with the body of Jesus Christ on her lap,and Christ's ascension are all depicted beautifully and majestically on the walls.





The color of Christ's robe is shown  not in white but a shade which is used to indicate spirituality and mysticism in Hindu concepts.
The Church is a well known Pilgrim Centre which attracts large number of devotees and tourists.It is in the heart of Kottayam town.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Panayannarkavu Devi Temple

Valia Panayannarkavu Bhadrakali Devi Temple situated at Parumala of  Pathanamthitta District is well famed as 'Panayannarkavu Devi Temple'.
This Perennial  Bhadrakali Temple is considered as one of the three most important and sacred Bhadrakali Temples of Kerala, the other two  being 'Kodungalloor Sri Bhadrakali  Temple and Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy Temple.'
Parumala Valia Panayannarkavu Bhadrakali Temple is situated on Thrivalla-Mavelikkara Road on the banks of River Pamba and 1 km from Parumala Junction.It is only 1.5 Km from Mannar, a beautiful town situated in Chengannur Taluk of Alapuzha District well known for Brass and Bronze metal works.(making articles used in temples,temple and church Bells,household vessels,utensils etc.)
Access to this temple is very 
easy from Chengannur,Thiruvalla
or Mavelikkara.
                                   At the Panayannarkavu  Devi Temple, Lord Shiva which was consecrated in the 'Thretha Yuga'(more than 5000 years ago) is facing west and the 'Sreekovil'(Sacred Sanctum) of the 'Devi' is facing eastwards.The Bhagawati(Goddess-Devi) is more famous than Lord Shiva in this temple  and hence the temple is known as a Devi Temple.The Devi of this temple is fondly called as 'Panayannar Kavil Amma'.
The 'Sapta Matas'(Seven  Forms of Goddess Durga Devi) is consecrated in this
Temple.There is also Ferocious form of 'Kali Devi' known as  'Karimkali' which is believed to be propitiated by animal sacrifices like goats and hen is worshiped here.Animal sacrifices are abandoned and not done in any temples for the past so many years.Other 'Kali' forms like 'Kodum Kali' and 'Bhoota Kali' are also worshiped here.
The Major deities of this temple are Lord Shiva,Sree Bhadrakali Devi,Devi Durga,Maha Ganapathi,Sapta Matas,Yakshi Amma etc.
This temple has also  earned popularity about the story of the 'Yakshi Amma' worshiped here.It is believed that this 'Yakshi Amma' who was a 'Vampire' causing problems in that  area was caught by a famous Magician and Christian Priest 'Kadamattathu Kathanar' and consecrated here with the wrath that she would grace the devotees.There are several incredible stories about 'Kadamattathu Kathanar'.
In the ancient texts like 'Aithihyamala'  and  'Unnuneli Sandesam' there it is mentioned about the 'Elephant Sacrifices' held in this temple in ancient times to appease the Goddess.Such stories sprang and gained credence that the devotees might feel  a sense of fear when entering the temple but the sight of the murals itself brings calmness and  in their mind.The combined grace of the deities makes them cheerful,happy and peaceful.
The temple walls are adorned with exquisite Murals which are very old but  preserved in a splendid form  and all  of them creating a cheerful mood in the visitor's minds.
The paintings of Sapta Matas are also seen here as fresco.All of them can be identified easily because their celestial vehicles are also depicted as they  rides  them.'Brahmi is seen on a Swan,Vaishnavi on the Garuda Bird,Varahi on the Lion,Maheswari on a Bull,Kaumari on a Peacock,Indrani on the Elephant, and Devi Chamundi on 'Vetalam'(A mythical form).
The other Paintings are depiction of  stories from Devi Bhagawatham,Mahabharatham,Ramayana, Srimadh Bhagawatham' etc .But some are rare like the 'Soorya Narayana' Painting.The 'Sun God' is shown as sitting cross-legged on a lotus flower in a chariot pulled by seven white horses.
On the eastern  walls murals from Ramayana are drawn which are definitely the finest frescoes here.
Battle between Rama and Ravana are shown in a splendid manner and the fall of the King Ravana is also shown in a dramatic style  majestically.Mandodari's grief on the death of Ravana,Return of Rama and Sita,Coronation of Rama at Ayodhya etc are shown as  here.
In a painting Lord Mahavishnu is depicted with Mahalakshmi and Bhoomi Devi.
Durga Devi as 'Mahishasura Mardini', Pranks of Young Krishna as 'Krishna Leela', Ganesha Pooja,Parvati Devi in Bridal Costumes,Shiva as 'Nataraja',
Dakshina Murthy etc.
There are other fantastic murals such as 'Lord Shiva as Kiratha Murthy fighting with Arjuna; defeats and removes his pride, bless him with boons and presenting 'Pasupatastra' for him.
Goddess 'Tripura Sundari' with five heads and ten hands is also seen,Shiva as 'Aghora moorthy and 'Nataraja' are fascinating.Sastha as 'Vettakkorumakan' and Devi Parvathy as 'Aswarooda Parvathy'- riding a horse are also depicted.
                   Shivarathri,Vishu Mahotsavam,Mandala Pooja,Thulam Ayilyam etc are celebrated in a grand manner in this temple.