Tiruvanchikulam Mahadeva temple
Tiruvanchikulam temple is located 2 km away Kodungallore town in Kerala. This is a very unique Siva temple in Kerala on three counts.
1.It is the only temple in Kerala sung by the Saivaite saints of Tamil Nadu called Nayanmar and is termed as a” Padal PethaShiva sthalam”. The great saivite saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar has sung about this temple.
2.This temple has the largest number of upadevathas among all the temples of Kerala. The upadevathas are Ganapathy , Lord Subramanya , Palliyara Sivan,Dakshinamurthy , SAndhyavelakkal Sivan, Parameshwara , SAkthi Panchakshari Bhagwathi , Goddess Parvathi ,Goddess Durga , Goddess Ganga , Goddess Varahi , Goddess Indrani , God Veerabhadra Pradosha nrithya saptha mathas , Ayyppa, Hanuman , Nagaraja, Nagayakshi ,Sundarmurthy Nayanar, Cheraman Perumal and so on. It is interesting to note that there is no temple for Lord Vishnu in side this great temple.The main lIngam is having a scar mark on its left side. It is supposed to be caused by the arrow of Arjuna when Lord Shiva as a hunter attacked him. Kani KOnna (Indian Labrnum) is the temple tree. This is also one of the four Tali temples of Kodungallore.
3.It is perhaps the only temple in Kerala with two Thidapllies, where Naivedyams are prepared to the God .One Thidapalli is used for Naivedyams of the forenoon worship and the other for the afternoon worships.
It is believed that this temple is located in the old capital city of the Cheras which was called as Mahodhayapuram. Cheran Senguttuvan was the most famous king who ruled from this city .He was also called as Cheraman Perumal . It was his brother Ilango Adigal who wrote the great Tamil epic Silappadikaram. It was he who built the temple for Kannagi , the heroine of Silapadikaram in Kodungallore. This temple was completely destroyed both by the Dutch as well as Tipu Sultan and the present temple is believed to have been reconstructed in 1801 by Paliath Achan of Kochi kingdom . It is believed that both Sundara Murethy Nayanar riding on an elephant and Cheran Senguttuvan riding on a blue horse ascended to the heaven from this temple and on the way to heaven, Sundaramurthy Nayanar sang about this temple and sent the song back to this temple,.It is believed that the Siva Linga which is consecrated in this temple was brought from Chidambaram.
It is believed that A Nambudiri Brahmin took away the serpent Vasuki guarding Mahadeva in his Palm leaf Umbrella. Then onwards , his house became famous as Pambumekkattil Mana, which is about 6 km from this temple and is visited by all people who want to worship the serpent. It is also believed that sage Parasurama did penance at this temple to get rid of the sins associated with following of Marumakka Thayam (the properties go from uncle to nephew) in Kerala
One of the major worship of the temple is Dampathi Pooja where the Lord is worshipped along with Goddess Uma. Sankabishekam , that is anointing the Linga using a conch is also an important form of worship.Daily there are five poojas in the temple .” Five poojas and three shribalis are the routine. The day starts with Palliyunarthal (waking up of the lord) at 3.00 a.m., escorting the lord and his consort from Palliyara to Mukhamandapa, changing of Nirmalyam, Abhishekam (ablutions), and leading them to the Moolasthana, Usha pooja, Dhaara to the accompaniment of Rudram, Pantheeradi pooja, Navakam, Panchagavyam, Uchapooja and closing of temple for noon at 11.30 a.m. The sanctum opens again at 5.00 p.m., changing of Nirmalyam followed by Abhisheka, Deeparaadhana, Athazha pooja, escorting the lord and consort to Palliyara and conducting Palliyara pooja (Dampathi pooja).”
The pooja of Palliyara Sivan is believed to help in early marriage .There is an eight day festival in the temple in the month of Kumbam which is believed to commemorate the ascending of heaven by king Seran Senguttuvan.
The nearest railway station is Irinjalakuda and the nearest air port is Cochin airport(35 km) . There are frequent buses from Trichur to this temple. The temple is open 4.30 Am to 10.30 Am and 3.30 Pm to 8.30 PM.