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Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple Story

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy temple is located at East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram city and is near to the world famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple. There is an interesting story about the origin of the seated Maha Ganapathi, with his right leg folded, worshipped in the temple.

Around 1750 CE the present day Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari District was the capital of Travancore kingdom. The kingdom was at war with the Dutch during the period. The palace and fort had to be guarded at all times. At one side of the fort was the shrine of Melankottu Yakshi – a fierce deity who drank the blood of men entering her domain. Soldiers who were posted on this side of the fort were found unconscious on the next day morning as the Yakshi attacked them at night.

A soldier who was to take up the duty of guarding this part of the fort went to nearby Valliyoor River to take bath. While taking bath, his legs got stuck and when he attempted to pull out his leg, he got a curious looking small stone. When he pulled out the stone from the river it was a Ganesha murti.

The soldier was an ardent devotee of Ganapathi and he carried the murti along with him while guarding the fort at night.

Melankottu Yakshi was unable to get near the soldier and scare him as the soldier was protected by Ganapathi.

Next day the other soldiers were surprised to see that their companion was not harmed by the Yakshi. They learnt from the soldier that he was protected by Maha Ganapathi. From that day onwards the entire company of soldiers known as the Nair Brigade began to worship the Ganpati murti.

When the capital was relocated to Thiruvananthapuram, the murti was brought by the soldiers and placed under a peepal tree at the Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple.

A temple was constructed during the reign of Sri Karthika Thirunal Maharaja (Dharma Raja) in 1765 CE.

The temple is even today administered by the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army.