Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Murals

The world renowned Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple which is situated in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, the Capital City of Kerala is visited by large number of devotees and it is a major tourist attraction also.Entry is permitted to Hindus only and a dress code is also followed strictly.
The ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is more than 4000 years old and reference of this temple is found in very ancient Hindu texts like Maha Bhagavatha Purana,Mahabharatha,Matsya Purana,Brahma Purana,Padma Purana' etc.
The temple has four entrances on East,West,North and South with Gopurams (tower).The main entrance which is known as East Nada has the big Gopuram which is a 100 foot high seven-tier  and this  beautiful tower is  constructed in Dravidian style  fully covered by amazingly carved sculptures.
The temple is an important Vishnu temple and  one among the 108 famous abodes of Lord Vishnu spread all over India and Nepal which are known as 'Divya Desams'.At present out of these, 108 temples  11 temples are in Kerala which are 'Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvanantha Puram,Sree Vallabha Swamy temple at Thiruvalla,Thrikkakara temple at Thrikkakara,Thiruvithamcode temple,Thirumoozhikkulam temple,Thirunavaya Mukunda Temple,and Pancha Pandava Mahavishnu temples which are 'Trichittattu Mahavishnu temple at Chengannur,Thrippuliyoor Mahavishnu Temple at Puliyoor in Chengannur,Thiruvaranmula Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula,Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple at Thiruvanvandoor in Chengannur,Thrikkodithanam Mahavishnu temple at Thrikkodithanam in Changanassery.
The deity's  idol of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple is depicted as in reclining posture and it can be seen fully  through three doors only.The right hand of the deity is depicted as placed over a 'Shiv Linga'.Sreedevi, the Goddess of Prosperity and Bhudevi, the Goddess of Earth,  two consorts of the Lord are by his side.Lord Brahma is shown as seated on a lotus which emanates from his navel.
The idol is made up of special kind of stones known as 'Salagrama' which are collected  from Gandaki river in Nepal, and 12000 of them are used with several other materials known as 'Kadusarkara Yogam' and covered with gold.Unction using any kind of liquid is avoided for the main idol but done for 'Abhisheka Murthis' which are small idols in gold  used for procession etc.
Lord Vishnu, the timeless supreme authority is symbolized as reclining on Serpent Anantha, which represents endless phenomenon of time floating on 'Kheera Sagara' (Ocean of Milk) represents the ever lasting creations.Such a depiction is shown in this temple and he is shown as reclining on serpent 'Anantha' and hence the name of city became 'Thiru Anantha Puram'.






The origin or 'Moolasthanam' of this temple is considered as 'Ananthapuram temple in Kasergod.
There are two other shrines in the compound one dedicated for 'Narasimha Swamy' and the other for 'Sree Krishna'.The Sree Krishna Shrine has separate flagstaff  and the idol is depicted  as 'Parthasarathy' the divine charioteer of Pandava prince Arjuna.The Krishna shrine is known as 'Thrivambady temple'.
When we enter the temple from the main East Nada Gopuram, the majestic 80 foot high golden flagstaff can be seen which adds to the beauty of the temple.
The temple was renovated around AD 1740 during the reign of 'Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma Maharajah' of Travancore.
The temple has 386 pillars in the corridors which are all having fine carved sculptures which are very  spectacular.
The main Sanctum is decorated with beautiful  murals which are very ancient  and they are all revered by the devotees.There are murals on some other parts of the temple also.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

SYRIAN JACOBITE CHURCH, AKAPPARAMBU

Akapaparambu Mor Sabor Mor Aphroth Syrian Jacobite Church  near Angamali is  believed to have been established in AD 825.
It is adjacent to the new International Airport at Nedumbassery.Akaparambu is a village in the south of the town of Angamali.
The Church is known in the names of Saints Mor Sabor Mor Aphroth.
In ancient records the Church is referred as 'Akapparambu Valia Pally'.
The present Church is only a replacement or perhaps enlargement of the ancient structure.
The Church is noted for its Murals which are of great antiquity.On the upper halves of the walls around the Altar are some remarkable beautiful frescoes, surely the best examples of Church murals of Kerala.
Satan temp


ting Eve in the garden of Eden,Mosses on mount Sinal with the tablet of the ten Commandments,Afroth engaged in logical argument with Namboothiri Brahmins,Ascension of Lord,Holy Virgin Mary etc drawn with natural dyes adorn the walls of the main Sanctuary.The paintings on the eastern walls are most ancient.Many paintings have unfortunately eroded over time.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

St.GEORGE SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, CHEPPAD

Cheppad is a beautiful serene village near Haripad in Alapuzha District where the famous ancient holy shrine 'St.George Syrian Orthodox Church' is situated.
It is popular as 'Cheppad Valia Pally' which means big church of Cheppad.
This pilgrim centre of Malankara Orthodox Church is visited by large number of devotees from far and near.Cheppad Philippose Mor Dionysius is laid to rest here.He was the Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church during 1825- 1865.
There is evidence that one of the churches visited by Archbishop Menasis in 1599
was St.George Syrian Orthodox Church, Cheppad.
The Church is well known for its more than  600 years old Mural Paintings.The traditional mural
 paintings which depicts events from the life of Jesus Christ and such themes are drawn as per the traditional rules by using natural pigments only.They are on the walls of the Madbaho (Altar) and provides intense viewing pleasure.
These paintings are the mixing of middle eastern Christian Paintings and Kerala mural art works.
When the Church was rebuilt in 1952, the Altar was kept intact to protect the precious ancient murals which were  drawn seven centuries  ago.
There are 47 murals arranged in three lines on three walls.The Church has depictions such as 'St.Paul with a sword,Angels,Jesus Christ bearing the cross,Jesus beaten by the soldiers,St.Thomas with a mint,Adam and Eve eating the prohibited  fruit,Noah's Ark' etc.
These mural paintings are visited by large number of art lovers and tourists.