Monday, 16 July 2012


                                                         PANACHIKKADU TEMPLE
Between Kottayam and Chenganachery, there was a place named Chingavanam. 4Kms from Chingavanam, is this place called Panachikkadu. This place is referred as Dakshina Mookambika. This is basically a Vishnu temple, which is more than 1000 years old. The ancient Vishanva Alvar – Namaalvaar has also sung hymns in praise of this lord. 3 Nampoothiri families were doing pujas in this Vishnu temple. (Keezhapuram Illam, Karunadu illam , Kaimukku Illam were the 3 Illams).
Of the 3 Illams, the Nampoothiri of Keezhapuram Illam didn’t have kids. He was worried. He decided to go to Kasi and worship Lord Shiva for the same. On the way he halted at Kollur Mookambika temple. He stayed there for many days. One day, the Devi appeared in his dream and told the following -  ‘ In this birth, you don’t have kids. You adapt a child. When you go back home, you  approach Karunadu Illam. The lady will get pregnant and will give birth to twins. You ask 1 child.They will give 1 child to you You take the child after the lactation period is over.At the right time, you do upanayanam and marriage to the boy. He will give birth to 10 kids. By this, your family lineage will continue and no one will have the Issueless Issue’.
The Nampoothiri reaches Panachikkadu and tells the entire dream to his family and Karunadu Illam family. They also assured that, if they get a twin baby, they will give 1 to him. The Nampoothiri was happy and went to the temple pond to take bath. After taking bath, he tried to take his Olakuda (umbrella made of dried palm leave). He couldn’t lift it, A sage appears before him and says ‘While coming back from Kolur, Mookambika has come along with you and  she is residing in this Umbrella. In this dense forest area, earlier, a few Rishis were doing yagna and pujas to an Idol. The idol wont be identified by you easily. There is an Yakshi which is safeguarding this idol. You have to offer her  Podiari ( ground rice), Vellam (Jagery), Tender coconut as daily oblation and cool her and takecare of her. After she is cooled down, you will be able to identify that Idol. Once you find it, you have to do avahanam of the Mokambika in the umbrella into this Idol and should start doing pujas. Since the sages who did puja to this idol earlier were very powerful, and since, no one doesnt have the power to do the pooja now, you install a prathibimbam (identical idol) and do puja to the prathibimbam “
                                          Saraswathy (Mookambika),Nampoothiri,Olakuda - carvings
Based on the instruction of the sage, he identified the idol  and installed it facing east, and did a prathibimbam, an identical idol facing west. The daily puja is being done even today for the Idol facing west. The idol facing eastside has roopam but no nitya puja. The idol facing the Westside has no roopam, but has nitya puja.
                                         SRI VISHNU TEMPLE - on the left side of the Saraswathy temple.

                                                    Entrance to Saraswathy deity 

Night view. (Vidya mandapam seen at the far end)

Devotees at the east side of the pond. Devi deity inside the pond. Nampoothiri standing inside

The Olakuda @ the east facing deity. (Water constantly trickling from the Vishnu Temple into the Devi temple)

SIDEVIEW - from Northside of the temple. Green Climbers (Valli) as a canopy)

The Devi deity is inside a pond, whichlooks, as if its carved out from a rock.  Devotees have to worship the Devi standing from above from  the pond’s hindside / west side . The eastside view is not generally seen , as its considered privy to the Nampoothiri  family. There is a spring at the Vishnu temple situated a few meters on the North of this temple. Water oozes and flows continuosly as a slender stream, all round the year, even during the dry days. This deity is always wet. I was puzzled to note that, there was a turtle which was there for more than 20 minutes near the southeast corner of the pond deity, on the south of Devi. ( Turtle – Koormavatharam of Vishnu). 
                           Koormam - Turtle was staying there on the South east corner of the deity.
There is a kalvilakku ( lamb made of stone), which is always light. People go around the pond, from above and write “ Harisree Maha Ganapathiyae Namaha” on the coarse sand nearby . This is done, under the belief that kids will get more sharper in studies.
The Devi facing east is fully covered by  big  evergreen  climbers. Its very very difficult to see her under any circumstances, as its fully covered by the climbers. This climber has never gone dry / died for centuries together.

Above the Saraswathy pond, we have the pradhishta of the Yakshiamma, Rakshas & Nagarajavu. Before   doing any  special pujas to Saeaswathy, permission is sought from Yakshiamma.  Kaimukku Manai family does puja here.

                                                 Yakshi pradhista at an elevated level.

                                            Rakshas, Yakshiamma,Nagarajavu
After Morning abhishegam, Thirumathuram is offered to devi.  Afternoon oblation is Paal payasam. For all Dvadasis, 12.5 Naali Nel ( paddy ) is offered to devi and annadhanam is offered with that rice to Bhramins.
The Travancore Raja has offered a Gold chain with 5 rekha (lines) to Devi and a gold chain to Vishnu. He has given standing instructions / grant to do Daily nivedyam for both the shrines and for Bhramin feeding.  A.R.Rajaraja Varma was not able to speak in his childhood. He visited this temple for every Navarthri and after a few years, he was able to speak.
Even today, lots of devotees come during Navarathri. They are offered Ghee from Saraswathy temple, which is belived to improve the studiousness of kids. Vidyarambam (Initiation to kids for studies) is also done here during Navarathri. Guru initiates Vidyarambam @ Vidyamandapam. Followed by that, Parents make the kid write "Harisree" in the coarse sand on the sidewall (groove) of the deity.
A huge jack fruit tree was cut and some beautiful images of Vishnu ( west facing), Saraswathy & the Nampoothiri and the Olakuda ( facing south), Ganapathy, Nagaraja, Sastha, Yakshiamma ( facing North) are carved beautifully.
The Carving - front view. 
MahaVishnu - front side of the carving.
                                      Northside - Nagarajavu, Sastha,Ganapathy,Yakshi - on the top.
The 51 Akshara devatas picture, with Mookambika in the centre is very beautiful to see, meditate upon. Vidyamandapam has different pictures of Saraswathy.The most captivating is the 51 akshara devatas with Mookambika in the centre.
People in art and music come atleast once in a year and perform in this Kalamandapam. Navarathri will be a fully occupied stage, all time across.
                  The stage - ( poor light - as this picture was taken after 8pm.Temple closes at 7.30PM)
Worshiping Saraswathy and Vishnu at Panachikadu will bring in both Knowledge enhancement and prosperity to the devotees.
                                                The westfacing deity - Pradhibimbam                                         

                                                       "Amala kamaladhi vaasini, manaso,
                                                        Vaimaya dhayini, manogne,
                                                        Sundara gathri, susheele,
                                                        Thava charanamboruhayo namami sadaa..."
                                                                                       - Vaageswari Stavam (By Adi Sankarachaya)

                                                                         Meaning :
                                                       " I always worship your lotus feet,
                                                        Oh Goddess, who lives in pure white lotus flower,
                                                        Oh Goddess, who grants purity of mind,
                                                       And Oh Goddess who is pretty and good natured..."
   Temple Timings

Morning Visiting Hours - 05.30 AM - 11.00 AM
Evening Darshan Timings - 05.00 PM - 07.30 PM

Contact Address

Panachikkadu Saraswati Temple
Kuzhimattom P O
Kerala – 686533
Phone Number – 0481 - 2330670

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