A Temple Dedicated to Duryodhana in Kerala

Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas and the main villain in the Mahabharata, is worshipped in certain temples in India. Temples exclusively dedicated to Duryodhan are very rare, the reason being his evil deeds against the Pandavas. One such rare temple dedicated to Duryodhana in South India is the Malanada Temple in Kollam District in Kerala.

Legend has it that Duryodhana who was searching for the Pandavas during their exile got lost in the dense jungle here. A weary and tired Duryodhana was picked up by people of the Kurava community and they provided him food and shelter. In return, Duryodhana is believed to have helped the community.

Duryodhana is worshipped as ‘Malayappooppan’ and there is no idol for the deity. Rituals and customs followed here are Dravidian in nature and the chief priest of the temple is from the Kurava community.

The temple also has small shrines dedicated to other important characters in the Mahabharata who were allies of Duryodhan during the 18-day war. The subsidiary shrines are dedicated to Bheeshma, Drona, Karna, Shakuni and Dushala.

One of the most important offering to the deity is toddy – local liquor. Other offerings include betel nut, rooster, arrack and red cloth.

The Malakkuda festival held in March is the main festival at the temple. It is one of the famous festivals in Kollam District and is noted for its Kettukazhcha procession.

Two of the most famous temples dedicated to Duryodhana are located in Uttarakhand.