Temple

Kumaranalloor devi temple is one of the most important devi temples among the 108 durgalayas ( devi temples ) in kerala. Having more than 2400 years age, as per historical and mythological evidences as well as other sources of information. This temple attracts devotees from all over the world keeping its sacredness. Moreover, it is a cynosure of worshippers by diffusing its vigor and vital force of devi. The complete architecture of the temple is exemplary in its characteristics. Its unique structure of the nalambalam and sreekovil in ‘sreechakra' style (ring like object with a handle, which placed in the right hand of the devi) is important and found rare in temple architect . The temple is all together a combination of bhakthi and art.

Cheraman perumal was the ruling emperor of kerala at that time, i.e., before 2400 years. He began the construction of a temple at udayanapuram to install the idol of goddess durga; while commenced the construction of another temple at a place (which is later known as kumaranalloor) to install the idol of lord kumara or subramanian. Meanwhile there was an incident at madhurai meenakshi temple at madhurai in tamilnadu. The gem-studded nose ring of devi was stolen or missed. This shocking news came to the palace. 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 lost without his consent & intimation or knowingness. However, the priest was innocent. He was confused and perplexed in this dilemma. He took refuge at the feet of devi.

Days and weeks passed. At last the 40 th night came. The grief-stricken priest was crying and praying. Mentally affective 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 at the 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 aware of where he was going. The thejas led him a long distance and finally reached the place which latter known as kumaranalloor. At kumaranalloor, the temple is under construction to install the idol of lord subramanyan or kumaran.

The thejas entered into the sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple. Moreover, it was at the prathistha time (suitable time of installation) the thejas entered into the sreekovil. Then there was an asareeri (an inerporeal and divine voice), ‘kumaranalla ooril', meaning, ‘this place is not for kumara'. Ie, it is kumari's or devi's place. Hence got the name kumaranalloor. Perumal became disappointed and frustrated. He started from there and moved to udayanapuram to install the idol of kumara, at the temple, which was under construction. On the way, perumal had some obstacles and finally he reached udayanapuram and installed the idol of kumaran in the sreekovil of the temple.

Later perumal returned to kumaranalloor with the devi's idol and began the preparation of installing it there. Yet another thought originated in his mind that the idol has to be changed. There was an idol lying in water at vedagiri a nearby place. Perumal brought the idol from vedagiri. Maharshi parasurama made and worshipped the idol in past. At the time of installation, a brahmin sage with matted hair, came and entered into the sreekovil and installed the idol in a second. Soon he vanished. Still 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 illom. His successors worship the devi even today.


The idol of kumaranalloor devi temple is unique, since it has been carved out of special type of anjanashila (soft black stone) and is considered extremely sacred. Maharshi parasurama worshipped the idol for a long period and diffused it in the mokshasarsu (lake) in vedagiri.

Perumal returned to kumaranalloor from udayanapuram with the devi's idol to install the idol instead of lord subramanian and began the preparation of installing it there. Yet another thought originated in his mind that the idol has to be changed. Then parriath unni had a dream that there was an idol lying in water at vedagiri a nearby place. He had taken it from the water and brought the idol from vedagiri. Maharshi parasurama worshiped the idol installed in kumaranalloor temple. Hence, the idol is of smooth "anjanashila" and sandal cream paisting is not allowed. Instead of sandal cream, termeric cream given as prasadam and turmeric powder abhishekam (showering) considered to be as one among the important offerings.

In kumaranalloor devi temple sanctity of devi was described as parashakthi with vaishnava chaithanyam. When the trimurthys (brahma, vishnu, and maheswaran) all together bowed at the feets of the devi, devi was pleased and given blessings to them and the sacred light of devi is described as vishnu chaithanyam of parashakthi (devi) and is followed as the concept of the idol here.

HYMN

Durgam dhyayathu durgathyprashamanee durvadalashyamalam
Chandrardhowjalashekharam thrinayanamapeethavasovasam
Chakram shankhumishu dhanujha dadhim kodandabanamshayor
Mrudrovabhaya kamade sakadibandha bhishtadam vanayo:


The temple is situated in space of 1.5 hectors of land. Facing the main gopuram (entrance) of the temple towards east direction and high walls surrounding the temple with other three gopurams (entrance) in each direction (south, west & north).

When you are entering the temple from east side facing the pupil tree, the temple space starts and from there you can see the main gopuram. Getting into the temple through the main gopuram you can see the golden dhwajom and the balickal pura in front with carvings of many sculptures including ganapathy and shiva and other saints on the pillars. Inside the nalambalam, sreekovil and the main mandapam infront with surrounding paths in carved stones. The temple of siva on the left side of the main sreekovil. Bhadrakali temple is situated on the south side of the temple along with the full stretched surrounding path on carved stones for the whole temple.


Sreekovil

Sreekovil is in circular shape and is a two-storied building with carved stones in basement, steps and on floor inside the sreekovil. Upper part is built in fine shaped woods like teak. Every column of wood is shaped and carved into sculptures, the roof is laid by wood panels and covered by brass plates, and the top of the roof is decorated and is in conical shape.


Nalambalam

Inside the gopurams and outer walls the whole temple structure is covered with another two layers of walls and are known as nalambalam. The first layer of the nalambalam is decorated with copper lamps, where illumination (chuttu villaku) offering is conducted by lighting the full lamps. The innerside of the nalambalam is divided into several rooms for storing the materials.


Balickalpura

Balickal pura is at the backside of the flagstaff leading the way inside to the temple. The central part of the balickal pura has a big altara stone(balickal), where special poojas and rituals are offered during the daily poojas. Mandapam The main namaskara mandapam is in the central part of the nalambalam infront of the sreekovil. The mandapam have four main fully wooden carved supports and with a size of 60 cm width and 180 cm height. The carving on this support is fine and unique. The mandapam have other 12 supports with sculptures carved on it as the different styles of devi and other devas. The top plat form of the mandapam is arranged with wooden carved darushilpams and other devi's sculptures.


Gopurams

There are four gopurams in the temple. The main gopuram is facing east direction and other three are facing south,west&north directions. The gopuram is a two-storied structure built on fine carved stone and wood.


Mandapam

The main namaskara mandapam is in the central part of the nalambalam infront of the sreekovil. The mandapam have four main fully wooden carved supports and with a size of 60 cm width and 180 cm height. The carving on this support is fine and unique. The mandapam have other 12 supports with sculptures carved on it as the different styles of devi and other devas. The top plat form of the mandapam is arranged with wooden carved darushilpams and other devi's sculptures.


Murals

Mural paintings in kumaranalloor temple are precious and rare. The outer walls of the sreekovil decorated with paintings describing the different styles of deva, devi's, and incidents from great epics like ramayan and mahabharath. Natural colours and medicinal plants are used to paint the murals.


Sculptures

Sculptures are carved on the main gopuram and mandapam inside the temple. The main gopuram has different types of sculptures carved on stone and wood describing saints and worshippers. Wooden carved sculptures describing the forms of devi and devas, other protectors of the temple like dwarapalaka's, and vyali's found inside the temple on the main mandapam and sreekovil.


Early History

Kumaranalloor is an ancient cultural center. This place was known as ‘thingalkkadu', before the temple. By time the name ‘thingalkkadu' changed and later known as ‘indu kananam'. In some ancient scripts, this temple is described and known as mahishari kovil (temple). Period of perumal

As per the historical evidence, the temple was built by the great kerala king cheraman perumal. During this period, the temple was installed and the assets for this temple were given by the king perumal. He formed the ooranma and other nattukuttams (group of villages) for the day-to-day activities of the temple and for the villages surrounding the temple.

During this period kumaranalloor became one of the malayala gramam(village). King perumal built the necessary activity centers belonging to the temple. This temple was the epic center of social, cultural and potical activities. During his generations in power, kumaranalloor temple and village had all the privileges and his keen interest and faith in kumaranalloor devi made the temple famous.


Period of Chempakasseri

Chempakasseri was one of the great rulers of south kerala. Chempakassery kingdom extents from the far south to the central parts of kerala along the coastal line. This dynasty gave full encouragements for the social and cultural development of these areas during their rule. Ambalapuzha was the capital of chempakassery dynasty.

The great chempakassery king was born in kudamaloor a near place to kumaranalloor and he was a brahmin and started his studying vedas and shastras in kumaranalloor after his upanayanam. He started his life worshipping kumaranalloor devi and later he became the great king and shifted his capital to ambalapuzha.

During this period, the great poets and sculptures visited his court in ambalapuzha and stayed with him. Kudamaloor was the ancestral home of chempakasery and all of these poets and famous people used to come to kumaranalloor devi temple during their visit at kudamalloor. Great poets like kunchan nambiar, melpathoor narayanan namboothiri etc… had visited the temple during the chempakassery era.


Period of Chempakasseri

The great rulers of travancore dynasty are worshipers of kumaranalloor devi. The great king swathy thirunal visited the temple, wrote a hymn on devi. The hymn is famous and used by the karnatik musicians all over the world. The great king and brother of maharaja swathy thirunal, maharaja marthanda varma laid the new three-domed ornamental cap on the top of the sreekovil in malayalam year 1024. The great maharaja of travancore was the friend of mahathma gandhi and gave him the advice to visit the kumaranalloor temple. The great diwan of travancore sir cp ramaswamy iyer came to kumaranalloor after the great temple proclamation and preceded a meeting of villagers in front of the temple.

Every year the travancore maharajas used to visit the temple and give the valuables as offerings to devi. Still the customs are going on and on the day of karthika the main day of the yearly festival the travancore representatives comes to the temple with offerings.


Gandhi's Visit

After the temple entry proclamation on 27 thulam 1112, by his hines sri. Chitra thirunal maharaja of travancore, kumaranalloor temple was opened before the harijans and allowed them to worship. After this, sir c p ramaswamy iyer the diwan of travancore visited the temple and presided a meeting held here.

Followed by this incident, father of our nation mahatma gandhi came to travancore. As per the suggestions of maharaja sri.chitra thirunal, gandhiji visited the temple and had darshan. He visited kumaranalloor devi temple on 19 th january 1937.

He looked at the idol of devi, without winking his eyes, for about 15 minutes. His eyes were filled with tears. He bowed at the feet of devi on the steps.


Political & Administrative Set-up

Kumaranalloor is one among the 32 villages in malayalakara (kerala). Kumaranalloor devi temple is the village temple of kumaranalloor.

In early days pazhur paduthodu namboothiri and vattappalli & kunnath moosath has some special rights in temple administrations. Ooralans are from 28 illams in and around kumaranalloor. ‘munnussery nattukoottam' (1000 nairs from perumbaikkattussery, malloossery, nattassery karas) also had some rights in temple customs and running.


Shiva

It is said that, at first in kumaranalloor only shiva temple was existed and cherman perumal built the devi temple alongside of the shiva temple. Shiva is also having full poojas daily and it is the custom that before seeing devi everybody has to see shiva in kumaranalloor temple. Dhara(abhishekam) and kuvalam leaf malas are the main offerings.


Manibhooshan

Manibhooshan is lord ayyappa (lord of shabarimala) and is located on the left side of the main mandapam. Lord ayyappa is worshipped by followers all around the world for well wish and happiness. People believe that lord ayyappa rescues them from shani doshas(sins) as per indian astrology. Lighting the lamp inside the broken coconut and archana are the main offerings.


Aalingal Bhavathy

Aalingal bhavathy is devi kaali(another figure of durga).devi kaali is considered as oograrupini means vigorous. Hence, the devi idol is on the bed of the pupil tree the devi's is called as aalingal bhagavathy. People worship devi to protect them self from enemy and other sinful organs. Guruthy and raktha archana(archana with blood colored material) are the main offerings.


Parasurama

The idol of kumaranalloor devi temple is unique, since it is carved out of "anjanashila", and is considered extremely sacred and was once worshipped by maharshi parasuraman. Then parriath unni had a dream that there was an idol lying in water at vedagiri a near by place. He had taken it from the water and brought the idol from vedagiri. The idol was worshipped by maharshi parasurama and installed in kumaranalloor temple . The idol was made already by maharshi parasurama. At the time of installation, a brahmin sage with matted hair, came and entered into the sreekovil and installed the idol in a second. Soon he vanished. Still people believe that the brahmin sage was parasurama. Therefore, kumaranalloor devi temple is one of the 108 durga temples in india and its idol installed and worshipped by maharshi parasurama.


Adi Shankaracharya

Shrimad adi shankaracharya swamy has described kumaranalloor devi temple as one among the panchamahashetram(five main temples) in india where you will feel the full presence of parashakthi (devi). He has given this temple the number one position in devi temples. Still the pooja style prescribed by adi shankaracharya is followed here.


Four Noble Persons

After the installation of devi by maharshi parasurama, four great people got the magnanimity of the temple . Vilwamangalathu swamiyar, adi sankaracharya, thimmala naykar(the king of madurai) and kurooramma, worshippers of lord srikrishna were those four people. All of them came to the temple and visited devi. Kurooramma wrote and composed a hymn on devi.


Mahakavi Kunchan Nambiar & Sree Kumaralaya Stothram

The great malayalam poet kunchan nambiar was one of the great worshippers of kumaranalloor devi. He was living in amabalapuzha as a royal poet & member of the great king chempakassery's kingdom. During his journey to father's house in kidangoor and during his visiting in chempakasseri's ancestral home in kudamaloor he used to visit kumaranalloor and spent days in the temple. During these visits, he wrote and sung a lot of hymns and literatures. Once circumpulating the temple he wrote a hymn on devi known as ‘sreekumaralaya stothram' and the details are available in old malayalam literature collections. This hymn is read and chanted by the worshippers every day.


Zamorin & Tippu sultan's ring

The historical figure tippu sultan the tiger of mysore came to the kingdom of king zamorins of kerala( kozhikode ). He sent a messenger to king zamorin to have a meeting. King zamorin agreed and informed that he would meet tippu at the latters camp. King zamorin had full-fledged faith in kumaranalloor devi as the goddess had helped him to overcome many crises. In a moon lit night, king zamorin had started to meet tipu sultan, intended to submit, whatever he would get from tippu, to kumaranalloor devi. When he reached, tipus camp sultan was in an intoxicated condition. Yet he agreed to meet zamorin. They both agreed each other and had their discussions. The delighted sultan gave three layed golden ring to zamorin. Tipu sultan's name was inscribed on the ring. Ater zamorin offered the said ring at the holy feet of kumaranalloor devi. Still the ring is stored in the temple treasury .


His Highness Swathy Thirunal

Swathy thirunal was the famous king of travancore, who had given all the possible help for art and culture in kerala. He was a great scholar and a famous musician. He was regarded as, one among the famous scholar in karnatic music. He had written a number of songs for karnatic music and are considered as ever shining gems in the world of karnatic music. He has written a song on kumaranalloor devi, and the song starts as ‘sree kumara nagaraleye karunaleye kamalaleye'.


Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri (1559-1632)

He was one of the most famous guruvayoor saints. He was born in melpathur illam near tirunavaya, famed as the theatre of the mamankam festival. He wrote the famous hyme called ‘narayaneeyam' on lord guruvayoorappan. After writing the ‘narayaneeyam', he visited the kingdom of king chempakassery and stayed with him for a long period. During this period, he visited the kumaranalloor temple and wrote a hymn's on devi.


The perumal became agitated a little by anger to devi when he heard ‘kumaranalla ooril'. Yet he stated to udayanapuram to install the idol of kumaran. On the way, when their country boat (kettuvallam) reached a void field, the atmosphere was so misty that nobody could Move further. Perumal prayed devi. He realized the cause of mist was the divine power of the thejas he had seen earlier inside the kumaranalloor temple. He contemplated and requested the thejas to remove the mist. He offered devi, the land within the reach of his sight, also offered to install an idol of devi there also. He scooped a handful of water. At that time, a hand appeared on the surface of water before him, received the perumals offerings as water, and disappeared. Soon the mist was removed. Perumal continued his journey and reached udayanapuram. He installed the idol of kumara there. The place where mist appeared and removed, later known as ‘manjoor' meaning place of mist. The field where the hands appeared to perumal., later known as ‘thrikkaikandam' meaning ‘field of holy palm'. Perumal built a temple there as he offered. The important festival at the manjoor temple is ‘pattu utsavam', celebrates in the malayalam month ‘thulam' every year.

Chengalam Devi Temple

Chengalam is 5 km away from kottayam on the kumarakom route. This temple is part of the kumaranalloor ooranma devaswom. Festival incorporating the prathishta dinam on atham star in kumbham for three days is the major festival.


Perumthuruthu Sreekrishna Swamy Temple

This temple is in perumthuruth village near kallara. Lord krishna is the main idol and the temple has a rich history. Ashtamirohini, rohini in medam malayala month are the major festival days. Pasting of sandal wood paste and palpayasam are main offerings.


Perumthuruth Chennoth Sri Dharma Sastha Temple

This temple has a long history and was renovated last year. Lord ayyappa is the main idol. Mandala time and all saturdays are important days.


Arthyakulam Bhagavathy Temple

Bhagavathy is the idol in this temple and is in parampuzha near to kumaranalloor. Pooja's conducted in every month.


Sankranthy Vilakkambalam

An old woman got the darshan of devi from madhurai over here. A small temple is over here. Bhajans and other devotional functions conducted here every year during mandal pooja.


Kumaranalloor is a village situated between kottayam town in the south and medical college in the north. The meenachil river flows by the eastern and northern sides. Thus, the area is beautiful and calm and is the most preferable atmosphere for educational institutions. The nearness of temple gives the school a special spiritual atmosphere.=

Chengalam Devi Temple

Chengalam is 5 km away from kottayam on the kumarakom route. This temple is part of the kumaranalloor ooranma devaswom. Festival incorporating the prathishta dinam on atham star in kumbham for three days is the major festival.


Perumthuruthu Sreekrishna Swamy Temple

This temple is in perumthuruth village near kallara. Lord krishna is the main idol and the temple has a rich history. Ashtamirohini, rohini in medam malayala month are the major festival days. Pasting of sandal wood paste and palpayasam are main offerings.


Perumthuruth Chennoth Sri Dharma Sastha Temple

This temple has a long history and was renovated last year. Lord ayyappa is the main idol. Mandala time and all saturdays are important days.


Arthyakulam Bhagavathy Temple

Bhagavathy is the idol in this temple and is in parampuzha near to kumaranalloor. Pooja's conducted in every month.


Sankranthy Vilakkambalam

An old woman got the darshan of devi from madhurai over here. A small temple is over here. Bhajans and other devotional functions conducted here every year during mandal pooja.