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Thiruvairanikulam temple is the most popular temple in South India which is located at Vellarappaly nearby Kalady, in the district of Ernakulam in Kerala. Kalady is actually famous because of Hindu philosopher Adi Sankara who was born there. Thiruvairanikulam Temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy. This temple is not one but two. That is the reason Siva and Parvathy were facing opposite directions in this temple. Lord Siva is the main idol in this temple, facing towards east and goddess Parvathy to the west. The most important factor is that goddess Parvathy sanctum will be opened to the public only for 12 days in a Year. These 12 days when the goddess Parvathy’s sanctum is opened to devotees, it will be hugely crowded.

Thiruvairanikulam temple is famous among the youngsters and parents of eligible bachelors and spinsters. For those who find it difficult in getting suitable marriage proposals, if they pray here to goddess Parvathy, they will soon get married. Prayer and offerings at this temple will fix their marriages. The temple is famous because of this boon of marriage to the eligible devotees.

The Mythical Story

Periyar photoPhoto by karmadude

Thiruvairanikulam temple is located on the banks of river Periyar. Alwaye is the nearest town to this place. There is a myth regarding how the temple was formed. It is believed that earlier Lord Siva was not worshipped in this temple. Akavur Mana and the creation of this temple have very close relationship. Akavur mana is located at Airanikulam village. The Brahmins of that Mana used to be treated as the rulers of this village. These Brahmins were very religious and used to go to Mahadeva temple every day. It was known as Ainakullathapan and Parvathy temple. But later in Akavur mana, there was some family issue and some of them left the place to Vellarappaly village.

shiva photoOne of the Brahmins used to visit the temple regularly. He used to cross the river and walk to the temple. Later, the Mana had a dependent called Akavoor Chathan. He was actually one of the sons of ‘Vararuchi’ of “Parayi Petta Panthirukulam” or the 12 sons of Parayi. He thought of helping the Brahmins by making a granite boat to cross the river so that he can go to worship Lord Siva without any hassles. These things happened for years and the Brahmins became very old. Once when the Brahmin visited the temple, before he left, he cried to Lord Siva saying that this could be his last visit. He was getting old and because of his age, he couldn’t travel anymore. Then he left the place with Akavur Chathan. When the Brahmins took his Olakkuda while returning, it was heavier than earlier and he said this to Akavur Chathan. But he didn’t reply to the Brahmins. On the way back, the Brahmins had nature’s call and the Chathan took his boat to the near forest. Once they landed in the forest, the Olakuda suddenly became very light. When they reached back their Mana, the Chathan told them that Lord Siva was with them in that Olakuda and he took space in that forest.

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Every day, one lower caste lady used to go the forest for work. When she went to the forest the next day of this incident and started cutting the grass, the knife touched one stone which then started bleeding. She got startled and ran away. She was shocked and was not able to understand the reason why the stone bled. Apparently, Lord Siva was placed in that stone the previous day when the Brahmins got down there. This place came to be known as Thiruvairanikulam and the entire area of around 3-km radius come under the temple. The land owners handed over this property to the temple authorities. This space was actually called Varanattu madom. The Irakki pooja used to be performed only at this place. It is believed that Lord Siva was impressed by Varanattu madom that he chose to get down and rest there.

The Festival

kerala festival photoPhoto by ReflectedSerendipity

During the 12-day festival, Goddess Parvathy will be bathed in turmeric powder and decorated with oriental silks and thali at Thiruvairanikulam temple. Swayamvara Archana is the main pooja here to clear the obstacle in marriage if any. Oil, lamp, Nelpara, Malarpara, Aripara, and Sarkarapara are the main offerings for Goddess Parvathy. According to Malayalam calendar, the Thiruvairanikulam temple festival starts from Thiruvathira star of Danu month which usually come in the month of Dec or Jan month of every year.

Featured Photo by VinothChandar

Thiruvairanikulam Temple

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