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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kerala has much to offer in terms of temple tradition and architecture . A journey through some of the famous Temples of Kerala..........

Muthappan Temple, Parasinikadavu
Parasinikadavu Muthappan temple is two kilometers north of valapattanam, Sivan is the diety in "kattalavesham", ulsavam being thevellattamconducted every vrichikom first to sixteenth. Fish and toddy are offered in the temple too.

Parassinikadavu Sree Muthappan Temple The Parassini Muthappan temple is a prime pilgrimage center in North Kerala, situated in the district of Kannur, 20 kms awayfrom Kannur town, is a quiet retreat. To have the darshan of the powerful deity incarnate here, devotees throng from different regions of India and world. Such is the fame and magnetism this place has been attached to. The place is a well-known pilgrimage centre offering solace to the needy, surrounded by green hills and is stationed on the banks of a beautiful river away from the hustles and bustles of ordinary life. It is a popillar belief that the God Sree Muthappan will not let down those who take refuge in him and cannot stand betrayal. People from all walks of life come here and get his blessings before venturing into any enterprise. Lord Muthappan protects his devotees and come to their help whenever the faithful are in danger. The prayers of devotees would be heard and answered and there are thousands of people who testify this. The Lord has a hunter's attire and carries with him a bow and arrow and has canines as companions. There are devotees to Sree Muthappan from all religious beliefs and backgrounds and the God is equally compassionate. Many rituals are associated with the Temple and the Theyyam dance is one in which, the Theyyam or dancer impersonates the God and speaks in his language. It is believed this God-impersonate has the powers to offer solutions to the problems faced by devotees and this is done by verbally pronounced cures. The performances begin early in the morning and devotees come this time and unburden their hearts and tell their problems to the God. In the morning there are two Theyyams or Thiru Roopams (sacred appearance), one representing Thiruvappan and the other Vel/attom. The Madayan or chief priest designate receives Roopam or images with Kalasam and music. After a courtesy talk with the priest the Theyyam begins Thiru Nrithham or sacred dance performance by observing all traditions. At the end of this the Theyyam becomes fully possessed and transforms itself to the deity impersonating. Later, the devotees are called one by one, listened to and predictive cures are offered to their grievances.
A Story of Muthappan Relating to the Temple
As a boy, Muthappan was rebellious. He was a great hunter and would skin the animals that he killed and wear their skins as clothes. One day, He came across a coconut tree that was being tapped for
toddy. He climbed the tree and emptied the jar that was holding the toddy. When the toddy tapper returned and saw Muthappan, he immediately challenged his behavior. Muthappan turned the man to stone for daring to address such a powerful deity in that manner. During performances of the Muthappan theyyam, the performer consumes the toddy liquor and passes it around to the spectators. Hence, Muthappan "breaks" the rules by allowing alcohol onto temple grounds. The rituals of the temple are done by the priests from the Thiyya community of malabar.
The Story of Sree Muthappan Madappura Nileshwar
Several Muthappan Temples may be found in Kannur and Kasaragod districts, indicating how popular the deity is in this area. Each madappura has its own tradition. There is an interesting story of how Sree Muthappan Temple came to be built. An elder member of the Koroth family (a famous scholar who was known as "Ezhuthachan" for his commendable achievement as a teacher) regularly visited the place now known as the Muthappan temple and drank madhu, a type of liquor. As he was a devotee, before drinking the madhu he would pour some drops of it on the nearby jackfruit tree for an offering. He regularly repeated the practice. Several years after his death, the villagers began having serious problems[specify], so they tried to determine the cause of their woes with the assistance of an astrologer. He determined that, as a result of the old man's offerings, the deity had taken up residence there. After the man's death, Muthappan didn't get any more madhu. His anger was creating the disturbances. To appease him, the villagers erected a temple in his honor. The Koroth family got the right of Koymma (patronage) for the temple.

In modern times, a committee was formed to promote the temple. As a result, it is now visited daily by hundreds of people. They believe that the deity can cure all diseases and bring prosperity to his devotees.
Main Festivals of Parassinikkadavu Madappura
Thiruvappana and Vellattam are performed daily in the early morning and in the evening.
Puthari Thiruvappana, (puthari means the ceremonial feast) the first Thiruvappana of the year from the new crop is on Vrichikam 16th. The last Thiruvappana is on Kanni 30th every year.
Thiruvappana is not performed on the following days.
Thulam 1st to Vrischikam 15th every year.
2. Amaavasi (new moon) day of
Karkkitakam and Thulam.
3. "
Nira" day of the temple.
4. When there is a death in the
Madappura family.
Popular Offerings
The offerings made to Sree Muthappan by devotees are Paimkutty,
Vellattam and Thiruvappana. The offerings by the Matayan are Vecheringat (a boiled mixture of banana, pepper, turmeric powder and salt.), Neerkari (a mixture of raw rice powder, salt, turmeric powder and pepper), boiled gram, or coconut slices. Toddy and burnt dry fish are also used as offerings.
Nearest railway station :
Kannur, about 16 km
Nearest airport :
Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode, about 110 km from Kannur.

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