Kumaranalloor is a
panchayatin Kottayam taluka, Kerala, Indiaand near KottayamTown. Kottayam townis 5 km from Kumaranalloor.Kumaranalloor is a village situated in Kottayam District. The villageis famous for Kumaranalloor Devi(Goddess) Temple and the annual Trikarthika festivalof the temple.
Kumaranalloor is an ancient cultural center. This place was known as ‘thingalkkadu', before the temple came into existence. Later the name ‘thingalkkadu' changed and later came to be known as ‘indu kananam'. In some ancient scripts, the temple is described and known as mahishari kovil (temple).
Kumaranalloor devi temple is considered as one of the most important devi temples among the 108 durgalayas (devi temples) in Kerala. It is said to be more than 2400 years old, as per historical and mythological evidences as well as other sources of information. The architecture of the temple is notable for the unique structure of the
nalambalamand sreekovilboth of which have been built in the "sreechakra" style (ring like object with a handle, which is placed in the right hand of the devi). This kind of architecture is rarely found in temple architecture.
Cheraman perumal was the ruling emperor of Kerala when the construction of a temple at Udayanapuram to install the idol of goddess durga began; while he commenced the construction of another temple at a place (which is later known as kumaranalloor) to install the idol of lord kumara or
Subramanian. Mean while a disturbing incident took place at Meenakshitemple, Maduraiin Tamilnadu. The gem-studded nose ring of devi was stolen or was missing. The King ordered an enquiry. At the same time, he ordered to kill the priest of the temple unless he could solve this problem with in 41 days. Because, the nose ring would not be misplaced without his knowledge. However, the priest was innocent. He was confused and perplexed in this dilemma. He took refuge at the feet of devi.
As days and weeks progressed, the grief-stricken priest spent his days and nights crying and praying. On the night of the 40th day, he slept at the doorsteps of temple, meditating and contemplating his fate that his life would reach an end on the next day. However, he had a dream that night. Devi appeared before him and ordered him to quit the place at once. The perplexed and bewildered priest winked his eyes. He had seen a thejas (divine light) moving forward. He followed it without being aware of where he was going. The thejas(divine light) led him a long distance and finally reached the place which latter became known as Kumaranalloor. At Kumaranalloor, the temple was under construction to install the idol of lord Subramanian or kumaran.
The thejas entered into the sreekovil(sanctum sanctorum) of the temple. Moreover, it was at the prathista time (suitable time of installation) that the thejas entered the sreekovil. Then there was an asareeri (an inerporeal and divine voice), ‘kumaranalla ooril', meaning, ‘this place is not for kumara'. This is, kumari's or devi's place. Hence got the name Kumaranalloor. Perumal was disappointed and frustrated. He travelled to Udayanapuram to install the idol of Kumara, at the temple, which was under construction. On the way, Perumal encountered some obstacles but finally managed to reach Udayanapuram and install the idol of Subramanian at the sreekovil of the temple.
Later, Perumal returned to Kumaranalloor with the devi's idol and began the preparation for installing it there. Yet another thought striked him that the idol has to be changed. There was an idol lying in water at vedagiri a near by place. Perumal brought the idol from vedagiri. Maharshi
Parasuramahad supposedly made and worshipped the idol in past. At the time of installation, a brahmin sage with matted hair, came and entered the sreekovil and installed the idol in a second. As soon as the installation of idol was done he vanished. To this date people believe that the brahmin sage was Maharshi Parasurama. The brahmin priest, who followed the thejas from madurai, became the priest of the temple. His residence is known as Madurai illam. His successors worship the devi even today.
The temple is situated in area of 15,000 square metres. The main gopuram (entrance) of the temple faces towards the east direction, and high walls surrounding the temple with other three gopurams (entrance) in each direction (south, west & north).
While entering the temple, the temple view presents a divine picture. Getting into the temple through the main gopuram one can see the golden dhwajom (flag staff) and the balickal pura with carvings of many sculptures including those of
Ganapathyand Shivaand other saints on pillars. Inside the nalambalam, sreekovil and the main mandapam are surrounded by paths made of carved stones. The temple of Shiva is on the right side of the main sreekovil. Bhadrakalitemple is situated on the south of the temple along with the full stretched surrounding path on carved stones for the whole temple.
Muralsin Kumaranalloor temple are precious and rare. The outer walls of the sanctum sanctorium (sreekovil) are decorated with wall paintingof hindugods, goddesses, and incidents from great epics Ramayanaand Mahabharata. Natural colours and medicinal plants were used to colour these frescos.
KUMARANALLOOR THRIKKARTHIKA UTSAVAM
The important festival of the temple is Thrikkarthika celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (November-December). On the Karthika day it is usual to make a nivedyam (offering) in the precincts of the Udayanapuram and
ThrissurVadakkunnatha temples. The story goes that the Gods in these two temples, greatly charmed by the beauty of the Devi returning after her Karthika bath. They came out of the temples, got over the compound walls, and stood there looking amorously at the seductive figure of the passing Devi, and the temple priest who ran helterskelter in search of the Gods, finally met them on the walls at the southern end of the temples. Thenceforth, during Karthika, puja is performed over the walls of these temples. The display of lights in the evening, called Karthika Vilakku, is the highlight of this celebration.
The temple also manages some Educational Institutions which are:
1. Devi Vilasam LP School2. Devi Vilasam UP School3. Devi Vilasam High School4. Devi Vilasam Vocational HS School (Specialisation in Medical Laboratory Technology and Computer Application) 5. Devi Vilasam Public School (English Medium up to 7th standard)
A Century old History of the School
In the year ME 1081 (AD 1905), the School Inspector (Northern Range) Sri M Raja Raja Verma visited the temple and was honoured. He saw many young
Namboothiriboys who were not educated and offered to establish a special school for them. Sri CN Thuppan Namboothiri, the then Administrator of the temple were entrusted with the task. As per his instructions and supervision, with 12 students, on the Vidya Arambham day, the school was established. Sri Kumanam K Govinda Pillai, who was present on the occasion, served in the school for 6 months. Sri Kakkanattu Padmanabha Pillai, Thiruvatta Govinda Warrior and such eminent personalities also served in the school. Within 6 months, Rs 19 was allocated as grant and the balance had to be collected from various sources.
The first Anniversary Meeting was held in the month of Kumbham in ME 1083. School Inspector Sri R Eswara Pillai presided over the meeting and suggested many ideas for the development of the school. But, the school could not function for a long time. Later when Sri CN Thuppan Namboothiri became the Member of Legislative Council (MLC), based on the memorandum submitted, the school was again reopened with up to 7th Standard. Since the school did not have its own building, after collecting donations from Namboothiri's the present big building was established.
The new school building was inaugurated by the then Diwan of Sri Travancore Mannath Krishnan Nair. Dr. Gill, was a special invitee to the meeting and made a felicitation on the occasion.There was a boarding facility also for Namboothiri boys from other places. A Government Grant was sanctioned (Rs. 500) for the boarding facilities. The extra money required for the building, was collected through donations.
This school functioned for 4 years. Afterwards, Diwan Raghavaiya visited the school and as per his directions, converted the school into an English medium school. Due to financial difficulties, the school had to close down again for some time. Later, as per the directions of Maharaja of Travancore, the school was converted into a Sanskrit school for the development of which people and devaswom started supporting. Later the school had been open to all as an academic school. Sri CN Thuppan Namboothiri was appointed as the Manager (for lifetime) of the school, but later resigned from the post. The children of this locality started to get the benefit of this school. Moreover, donations were received from many sources, and among them NSS College requires special mentioning. The (Kumaranalloor Uranma) Devaswom had to spend more than it could actually afford for the noble cause of this school.
Some of the facilities provided in the Schools are:
* Arts and cultural training
* Sports and Games
Bharat Scouts and Guides
The temple management also runs a home care for the physically and mentally challenged
Sneha bhavan is a center for the physically and mentally challenged. Its meaning and inspiration are derived from the late Fr. Joseph Kannampuzha S.J.
Late Fr. Joseph Kannampuzha. S.J. was the founder director of Snehabhavan Charitable Society. He was a
Jesuitpriest belonging to Kerala Jesuit province. Moved and sensitized by the physical and mental sufferings of people he opted for a life closer to the poor, the differently abled and weaker sections of society. After his retirement from the prestigious Jesuit institutions, he came to Kottayamto join the Jesuit community of Santhinilayam, Kumaranalloor in 1989. During that time the district collector drew his attention to a group, absolutely neglected by all, waiting for the care of generous volunteers. The neglected group referred to were the disabled persons.
A rapid survey and his own personal visits convinced him of the tragic situation of these persons. There were polio victims at the mercy of poor families. There were victims struck down by muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy victims become prey to the dreaded malady while they are very young. The muscles become weak as a result of dystrophy prone genes, until the children fall paralyzed, unable to walk and losing mobility. He has seen children with multiple disorders. A child of eight, running about till the age of four, suddenly fell down with epileptic fits and gradually became speechless and paralyzed in course of time. He could see so many paraplegics who are in despair. Struck by these tragic situations, he called around him some like-minded persons and constituted a registered body known as Snehabhavan Society, to rehabilitate the disadvantaged persons, Snehabhavan Special School was started in
1992. It has 54 students, 90% of these students are from financially poor families. There are 5 trained staff and three assistants to train them. The school is a resource centre of School of Behavioral Science, M.G.University, Kottayam.
"Aims of the Special School"The the Special school aims to give effective and scientific special education to the mentally challenged and the multiple disabled children to rehabilitate them as far as possible, to correct the behavioral patterns of the mentally challenged children, to co-ordinate linkages with therapeutic services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for the rehabilitation of such children, to help the mentally challenged to develop their inherent abilities and to become as self reliant as possible by early stimulation and by developing self-help skills, to provide maximum school bus facility to the students, to assist the physically and mentally challenged persons to find fruitful employment for their economic and social developments, to hold parents meeting regularly with the purpose of educating the parents as to how to deal with Mentally challenged children and to conduct awareness programmes for the public to prevent mental retardation.
Community Based Rehabilitation Programme
Till 2000, Snehabhavan was engaged in institutionalized and home based care for person with disabilities. So having realized the need for the involvement of the society in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. Snehabhavan has now ventured into Community Based Rehabilitation Programme (CBR) for the persons with disabilities.The project focuses on the empowerment of the community and the integration of the persons with disabilities into the community, by involving local Govt.institutions, local medical services, NGOs, Clubs, local people.
The Snehabhavan Project aims to prevent the segregation of persons with disabilities from his /her community, strengthen and facilitate the process of natural integration, improve the quality of the life of persons with disabilities through various interventions which are appropriate and acceptable to persons with disabilities in the community. to make persons with disabilities accept and overcome his/her disability, make the parents and other family members accept their disabled child, provide awareness about disabilities and make the disabled persons aware of the existing rehabilitation facilities
* [http://www.kumaranallooramma.com/introduction.htm Official website]
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