Monday, October 27, 2014

Thodeekalam Siva Temple

Thodeekalam Siva temple is located 2 km from Kannayam near Thalassery on the way to Mananthavady in Kannur district.This 2000 years old Siva temple is an important Siva Shrine in  Kerala.Large number of people visit this historically important temple which gave refuge to 'Pazhassi Raja' during his fights with the British.
Large number of art lovers visit this temple which has more than 150 ancient mural paintings drawn on the four walls of the sanctum sanctorum which are worshiped by the devotees.
The mural paintings in this temple which is covered in an area of 700 sq.ft is divided in to 40 panels and drawn on the two storeys  of the sanctum which is made in rectangular shape.The temple has an outer building and an incomplete  Mukhamandapam(portico) in front of the central shrine.

The mural paintings are depictions from Vaishnava and Shaiva themes.
They are taken from famous stories related to Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva.
The mural paintings reflect rural life of 16th to 18th century.
Scenes like Rukmini Swayamvaram and Ravana Vadham can be seen here.
Only natural pigments are used in these illustrations which are manifested with colors such as Saffron-red,green,red,saffron-yellow,blue,white,black,yellow and golden yellow.
There is no flag post in this temple since no long  festival is held here.
Sapthami and Astami of Malayalam month Vrichikam is celebrated as well as Sivarathri.
The temple can be accessed easily by Air,by train and by road.
Kannur International Airport is 34 km away where as Thalassery Railway station is only 2 km.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Thali Mahadeva Temple, Kozhikode

Thali Mahadeva Temple which is situated in the heart of Kozhikode City is a 1500 years old holy shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.This tall Shiva temple is a classical example of temple architecture of Kerala.There one can find abundant beautiful sculptures  and carvings both on wood and stone.The 'Zamorins of Kozhokode' took over the temple administration in 13th century from the Brahmins who owned the temple.It was renovated in 18th century and in the late 20th century.
Revathy Pattathanam, a seven day celebration in which scholars and Philosophers were adorned with scholarships and awards was started here by the Zamorins to propitiate Lord Shiva.This was celebrated with much pomp and glory during Zamorins rule but the tradition is still done.
The temple suffered destruction from Hyderali and Tipu Sultan and the demolished structures were renovated.The current structure dates back to the period of ruler 'Manavikraman'.
The two storied Sanctum has works of art in terms of stone sculptures and mural paintings which are depicted from Puranic themes.
The temple is surrounded by gigantic walls of elephant belly(Aana Palla) type with broad base and narrow neck at the top.There are two temple tanks attached to the temple.There is a separate shrine for Lord  Krishna  here.
Recently a renovation work which was funded by 'the heredity project of Oil and Natural Gas Commission' was done in this temple.
As per  the project, renovating the Sanctum Sanctorum was the most important and precise work.The Sanctum made of granite rocks in two levels and adorned with numerous fine sculptures which are of  much interest to devotees and tourists as well as historians, archaeologists etc should have to be preserved and restored as existed.The ancient mural paintings on the four outer walls of the sanctum had to be restored as existed.
The condition of many of the murals were like as if erased by the passage of time, but four artists from Aranmula Vasthu Vidya Gurukulam took it as a challenge and worked on that project with immense dedication.
They used fibres of arrow grass boiled in cow's milk erected on bamboo sticks used as brushes.41 coats of white washing was done with a mixture of coconut water added to lime.
They used prime five colours which are all made from natural materials.Five colors represent 'five elements' or 'Pancha bhoothas'.In addition ot white,yellow and red,black and green are also used.Black is obtained  from 
lamp soot,green from a plant known as 'Neela Amari'.When indigo is mixed with it a bluish green is obtained.There are such traditional methods to make pigments  as per the requisite mural paintings.The artists refer an old text 'Silparatna' of the 16th century and follows the traditional path strictly.
The main renderings of this temple murals are 'Swayamvara Parvathy,Parthasaradhy,Mahavishnu,Maha Lakshmi,Parashakthi,Ganapathi,Shiva Parvathy,Dakshina Murthy' etc.
The frescoes illustrated the ethereal world of divinities.They are all considered divine since it appears on the walls of the holy Sanctum, the puranic themes and depiction of God's images.Further it is believed that the sacredness of the deity is transposed onto these paintings lending them spiritual power as the main 'murthi' or idol.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014


St.George Orthodox Church, Paliakara,Thiruvalla is the mother of all Churches in and around Thuruvalla and it is the oldest Church in the locality of Thiruvalla and also the oldest Church in Pathanamthitta District.
It is popular that Saint Thomas Apostle came to Kerala and was landed in AD 52 at Mussiris (Present day 'Kodungallur') and he started Churches in Kerala and 'Niranam Church' which is situated at Niranam, 5 km from Thiruvalla was consecrated by Saint Thomas in AD 52 where as Paliakara Church was consecrated by Saint Thomas in AD 54.The exact  date and details are unknown.
The present Church was completed and consecrated on March 28th 1814 by Marthoma VIII.People belonging to all sectors irrespective of religion,caste and creed visit this holy Shrine which is open on all days from morning 5AM to 9 PM.
The architectural style seems to be largely based on the prevailing style of Syrian Christian Churches of that period.The roof is of unique style and the figures carved on the facade are also unique.
The murals painted on the eastern wall of the altar  drawn as per the traditional rules by using natural pigments and other criteria and they  attracts large number of devotees and visitors.The murals are drawn based on the life of Lord Jesus Christ and are all well preserved.There is a huge picture of St.George, the Patron Saint of the church below the murals.
Pictures of the 12 Apostles of Lord Jesus Christ are also depicted here and their names are also given.
Small figures of elephants and tigers are carved on the big wooden gaders which supports the roof.Ancient inscriptions can be seen at different places on the walls of the church.
High rise compound walls, which is similar to temple walls and a pond on the northern side etc shows its historical importance.
Parumala Thirumeni, the first Metropolitan of Niranam  Diocese stayed at Paliakara Church in 1901 April.He celebrated and participated in the 'last passion week' at Paliakara Church.
The main feast of St.George  is held  from May 3 to May 7 every year.The main attraction of the 'Perunnal'(Festival) is the colorful procession from St.Thomas Sehion Chapel to the Church passing through Thirvalla town on 6th evening.Another procession is there on 7th afternoon starting from the Church passing through 'Thekke Puthen Church',  'Kattapuram Church', Kavil market and reaching back to the church followed by a feast to all the devotees.Thousands of devotees belonging to all religion takes part in all these functions.