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Thuravoor Purandareswaram Temple – Festival – History

Thuravoor Purandareswaram temple is located Thuravoor in Alappuzha district, Kerala. The shrine is dedicated to Shiva or Mahadeva and is also known as Purandareswarath Sree Mahadeva temple. The 8-day annual festival in the temple is held in Kumbha Masam. The festival coincides with the Shivratri festival.

The sankalpam of Shiva is the shrine is that of Sharabha Moorthi. The unimaginable ferocious rage of Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu could not be dissipated even after He had slain the Demon King Hiranyakashipu. A more ferocious form taken by Shiva, Sharabha, was able to pacify Narasimha.

This story is behind the annual Kodi Ezhunnallathu of Thuravoor Purandareswaram temple and Thuravoor Narasimhamoorthy temple on Deepavali day.

There is a belief that devotees visiting Thuravoor Narasimha temple should pay obeisance at Thuravoor Purandareswaram temple.

Thuravoor Purandareswaram Temple History

Legend has it that a holy Brahmin bound for Vaikom Mahadeva temple to participate in the Vaikathashtami festival could reach only up to Purandareswaram. Heartbroken at the thought of his inability to reach Vaikom on time and to have Ashtami Darshan, he cried and prayed Shiva in penitence.  Shiva heard his passionate prayer and emerged before him in all his charismatic grace.

Later the presence of Shiva was identified in the spot of present day temple by Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar, the seer and saint of ancient Kerala and he enshrined it in the round-shaped abode of the temple.

The area where the temple is located, in ancient times was believed to be a brahmin village inhabited by brahmin families. Purandareswara was the patron deity worshipped by the prominent brahmin families of the area like Nedumpurath, Thevalapozhil, Kainikkara, Palli Keezhil, Naranath, Vadakke Narayana Mangalam etc..The ownership of the temple was bestowed on the priestly family of Puthenchira Mekkali Mana of Thrissur district. In 1977 April 7th, the owners of the temple entrusted the temple administration with the Valamangalam North NSS Karayogam No.759.

The important festivals and rituals in the temple include Vishu, Pathamudayam with Udayam pooja and pradosha pooja, Prathishta dinam with Kalabhabhishekam, Karkidaka Vavu, Chingam 1 with Ganapathi homam, Vinayaka Chaturthi with Ashta Dravya homam, Navratri with pooja vaippu, navami and Vidyarambham, Sarpa Prathishta day with thalichukoda, Deepavali with Koodi Ezhunnallippu, Thula vavu, Mandala kalam and Ashtami in Vrischika masam.

Thuravoor Purandareswaram Temple – Festival

The main festival of the temple is the 8-day annual Shivaratri festival in Kumbha Masam. The Kodiyettam is conducted eight day before amavasya or karutha vavu. Under the auspicious leadership of Tharananalloor and Tanniyil Mathiyathu Mana Namboothiris Prasada Sudhi , Astra Kalasa pooja, Rakshoghna homam, Vasthu homam, Vastu Kalasa pooja, Vasthubali, Vasthu kalasam, Chathur Sudhi, Dhara, Panchagavya, Panchakam karmas are conducted for the rejuvenation of Lord Mahadeva. The holy “Kodikkayar” is brought ceremonially by the traditional “Muriyamkeril family” authorised for preparing the kodikkayar with all sacredness and vrathams from very ancient times. After the flag hoisting ceremony (Thrikodiyettu) kodiyettu sadya (Annadanam) is conducted every year. "Sreebhoothabali" is conducted on all festival days. Ulsavabali is also conducted during the festival days, as vazhipadu by devotees. During the festival days Seeveli Ezhunnallathu is performed during morning and evening atop an elephant. After athazhapooja vilakkinezhunnallathu is also conducted at night.

Lord Purandareswara visits the ancient Brahmin manas – Thevalapozhil in Valamangalam South, Naranathu and Pallikkeezhil in Thuravoor South and Kainikkara mana of Thuravoor North during the festival days and special Erakkipoojas are conducted in these manas.

Purandareswara on the way to Manakkal Pooja of Kainikkara mana will also visit Lord Vadakkanappan of Thuravoor Mahakshethram.

Kheeradhra’s are conducted on the second day of the festival and on the Mahasivarathri day. The early morning session of Maha Shivaratri begins with Ashta Abhishekam, Deepa Kazhcha and Chuttuvilakku.. The Maha Annadanam for all devotees arriving here is conducted on auspicious day of Mahashivratri. The Maha Naivedyam vazhipadu is also conducted on the day.

Maha Shivaratri pooja conducted during midnight is attended by thousands of devotees participating in Shivaratri Noyambu. This Noyambu is concluded only after accepting the abhisheka theertham during the midnight pooja. The holy deity of Purandareswaram with all floral and ornamental decorations is taken for Mahashivratri Vilakku.

The holy “Aarattu” is held in the temple pond in front of the temple. From the first day of the festival, Nirapara offerings are done in front of the kodimaram. 

The tenth day of Medam known as Pathamudayam is celebrated here with all traditional proceedings. Udayam Pooja – the holy offering of the common man for peace, prosperity and agricultural blessings is done at this holy shrine. The famous ezhunnallathu of Lord Narasimhamoorthy (Vadakkan Appan) of Thuravoor to visit the arrival place of the Lord at Sree Bhootha Nilam is celebrated on this auspicious day. Lord Purandareswarathappan also accompanied Vadakkanappan and Thekkanappan in this Pathamudayam Ezhunnallathu to Sree Bhootha Nilam, but years back this custom was stopped. During the Ashtamangala Prasna this custom was revealed and the astrologers predicted that “Bhagavan” has a “Gamanam” to southern side in pathamudayam day.