Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Aluva Mahadeva Temple

Aluva Town situated 21 km from Ernakulam is well known from very ancient times for the  Sivarathri Festival held here at the Aluva Mahadeva Temple  in a most devout as well as splendid manner in which millions of devotees participates.For the celebration of Sivarathri people gathers on the sand banks of Periyar river in the abode of Lord Shiva existing here.The highly revered Lord Shiva at Aluva is not having a proper temple and it is a unique phenomenon here.Lord Shiva of Aluva temple does not like to have a big temple constructed for him  which is also revealed by Astrological findings (Deva Prasnam).The Mahadeva temple at Aluva is owned and managed by Travancore Devaswom Board and is situated at the sand banks (Aluva Manalpuram) of Periyar River in the heart of Aluva town.
River Periyar is also one of the most sacred Rivers of Kerala like River Pampa and River Bharathapuzha.
River Periyar which is the longest river in Kerala is also known as River 'Poorna'.
On the banks of this river is Kalady, the birth place of 'Jagadguru Aadi Shankaracharya'  where an Ashram and temple is situated and is an International pilgrim center.It is only about 20 km from Aluva.
Malayattoor which is close to Kalady is well known for the 'Malayattoor Church' which is one of the most famous Pilgrim Center in Kerala is also on the banks of Periyar River.
Aluva Advaitashram establsihed by Sri Narayana Guru Swamikal is  also very famous.
River Periyar (Poorna) splits into two at Aluva and one part is known as Mangalapuzha and the other as Periyar itself.The sand bank in between the two rivers is called as Aluva Manalpuram and the Aluva Mahadeva temple is situated here.During monsoons the river gets  flooded and the temple will be submerged in the water.There is only one time Pooja rituals held here and 'Naivedyam' is offered to the deity in 'Kavungin Paala'(areca sheath) as per the tradition.
The legend is that the idol which is the 'Shiva Linga' is Swayambhoo (self manifested) and was installed by Lord Parasurama.Later the idol was detected by Vilwamangalam Swamiyar who assembled some dignified local people and performed initial Pooja ritual.Since no vessel was in handy to provide 'naivedyam' he offered it in  a 'Kavungin Paala' which is followed as a practice till today.'Athazha Pooja (night time ) is held here for three months  from Malayalam month Makaram 1 to Medam 1.
Aluva Mahadeva temple is famous for the 'Bali Tharpanam' performed for the departed souls of the family by the relatives.People perform 'Bali' here on Sivarathri,Thulam Vavu, and Karkidaka Vavu days.It is believed that Lord Shri Rama performed 'Bali' for 'Jatayu' here.
Sivarathri is a mega event in this temple for which people throngs from far and near. On  the 'Manalpuram' from many days prior to Sivarathri sheds will be erected for merchandisers who displays all kinds of materials for sale.Different types of amusement and entertainment activities will be available and staged.On the Sivarathri day there will be huge congregation of devotees and many of them stays on the 'manalpuram' during the night some chanting prayers, reciting puranas etc while some will be engaged in the entertainment activities available there to keep themselves awake.
From the early morning they take a dip in the river and pay homage to their ancestors by performing 'Bali Tharpanam' on the banks for which large number of 'Bali thara' will be arranged by the Travancore Devaswom Board for the convenience of the pilgrims.
Large number of people gather here for Bali Tharpanam for the 'Thulam Vavu' (Oct-Nov) and Karkidaka Vavu (July-Aug) every year which are also auspicious days to perform this ritual.
Dhara and Abhishekam are the main offerings of this temple.

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