Friday, July 24, 2015

Aruvippuram and Aruvikkara


Aruvippuram is a beautiful place in Thiruvananthapuram District which is well known for the Lord Shiva Temple established by Sree Narayana Guru.One of the most prominent religious reformer,social activist and a Saint, Sree Narayana Guru consecrated the 'Shivling' of Aruvippuram Temple on a Shivarathri day in the year 1886.He announced about the installation of the Shivling at the proposed place to his devotees and followers and they were worried since no idol was made arranged by the Guru.At the proposed time of installation Sree Narayana Guru who was in deep meditation, opened his eyes, went to the river nearby made a dip in the water and came up with the idol which he consecrated at the site.In  those days only Brahmins were allowed to do such Hindu religious rites.

It was at this place that the initiation of the 'Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam'

' took place under the patronage of the Guru.
The Siva temple here is a pilgrimage center at present and the annual festival on Shivarathri day is attended by large number of devotees every year.There is a beautiful waterfall near the temple and at this picturesque place there is a hill by name 'Kodithooki Mala' and atop the hill there is a cave in which Sree Narayana Guru used to meditate which is a tourist attraction at present.
The temple premises and river banks  will be gathered with large number of people on Karkadaka Vavu to perform 'Bali Tharpanam'.Neyyattinkara is the nearest Railway Station.


Aruvikkara is a beautiful picnic spot which is situated 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram City.There is a beautiful dam there across Karamana river built for the drinking water supply to Thiruvananthapuram City and nearby areas.The garden in the premises of the dam,the reservoir etc attracts tourists.
There is an ancient Bhagavathy temple situated on the rocks on the banks of the river at Aruvikkara which attracts devotees and tourists.There is a small waterfall nearby the temple.In the river in front of the temple, large fishes fearlessly approaches near the bank and devotees feed them with rice and coconut.No One dare to do any harm to those fishes and the belief is that by feeding the fishes certain skin diseases will be cured. There is shrine of Lord Sastha also in this temple and the belief is that he cures and removes the skin diseases like 'warts'.
This  temple  premises and river banks are popular site for 'Bali Tharpanam' on 'Karkadaka Vavu' day

Thursday, July 16, 2015

'Bali Tharpanam' at Pamba

The plain land of Pamba river basin at the basement of Neelimala Hill of Sabarimala Temple is known as 'Pamba' itself.There is a KSRTC Bus Stand operating at 'Pamba' and the pilgrims to Sabarimala temple who usually prefer to climb only one hill goes to 'Pamba' while those who want to go by the traditional route by trekking two hills  goes to Erumeli, trek 'Karimala' and cross it by climbing down and reaches 'Pamba basin' at 'Pamba'.Then they also have to trek Neelimala to reach 'Sabarimala Temple Sannidhanam'.
It is believed that Lord Sri Rama and his brother Lakshman met an old lady Saint named 'Sabari' at her ashram (Sabari Ashram) on Neelimala Hill which was existed at 'Sabari Peetham' where pilgrims performs homage for her today.Lord Sri Ram and  Prince Lakshman were welcomed by the old Saint who was anxious to meet them before going to the eternal abode.She knew that Sri Rama would be coming to meet her and also knew  that he was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu.She worshiped them  at her Ashram and offered the sweetest of fruits she plucked from the forest trees.Sabari who was performing penance for a long period was given blessing by Lord Sri Rama and she happily left this world  to the eternal abode and Lord Sri Ram obviously granted  her salvation.Lord Sri Ram and Lakshman performed ,Bali Tharpan' at Pamba.
The devotees of Sabarimala Ayyappa Swamy while on pilgrimage to Sabarimala Temple performs 'Bali Tharpanam' at Pamba as part of the pilgrimage itself.While at many other centres the 'Bali Tharpanam' ritual is performed on 'Karkidaka Vavu' and 'Thulam Vavu' days only, at Pamba, the pilgrims to Sabarimala temple can do it on any day of the Mandala-Makara Vilakku season. Before trekking the Neelimala, pilgrims take a dip in the holy river Pamba and perform 'Bali Tharpanam' on the banks of the river.
 During the Mandala-Makara Vilakku season Travancore Devaswom Board arranges 'Bali Thara' for performing 'Bali' and employ large number of  priests and experts who could guide the devotees to perform this ritual.Several 'Bali Thara' and priests will be arranged for the convenience of the pilgrims.Not only people from Kerala but also pilgrims from Tamil Nadu,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh perform Bali before trekking Neelimala Hill.
By performing this ritual, the forefathers  gets satisfied and bless the devotees.The bath in the cool river water and the confidence that the blessings of the forefathers are with them, makes the pilgrims fill with the positive  energy to trek the hill easily.
There are temples of 'Lord Ganapathy,Lord Sri Ram and Hanuman Swamy' at an elevated place at Pamba and after worshiping them at these shrines only the pilgrims start climbing the hill.The pilgrims expect Lord Ganesha known as 'Pamba Ganapathy' makes their trekking easy by removing every kind of obstacles and danger.The blessings of Hanuman Swamy will also provide the strength and confidence to them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

' Vavu Bali ' at Thirumullavaram Beach and Shanghumugham Beach

Thirumullavaram at Kollam which is situated 5 km from the City is a beautiful serene place and very famous for the ancient Mahavishnu  Swamy Temple situated there as well as the spectacular  Thirumullavaram Beach.

Thirumullavaram beach close to the Mahavishnu Swamy  temple is a  major spot for 'Karkidaka Vavu Bali Tharpanam', the ritual performed by the Hindus on the no moon day on Karkidaka month (July -Aug) every year.For performing the oblations to the manes; people used to arrive  here from the previous  day dusk and the authorities takes all measures for their security and other conveniences.The ritual usually starts from the early mornings in which thousands of men,women and children takes part.People offer the 'Bali tharpanam' and pray to the Lord Maha Vishnu of Thirumullavaram Temple to safeguard the souls of their departed relatives.The belief is that the departed souls would become happy and satisfied with the offerings  and they will bless the performer and their family members.
The Thirumullavaram Maha Vishnu temple is having the 10 day annual festival in the month of Meenam (March=April) starting from Atham Star day and Arattu on 'Thiruvonam' star day.
There will be a colorful procession on the 'Aratt

u' day in which several caparisoned elephants are also participated.

Shanghumugham Beach in Thiruvananthapuram is a popular tourist spot and also a refreshing and  relaxation place for the city dwellers.To unwind from the tensions of the hectic city life people gather here in the evenings where there are recreation facilities  available.For enjoying the cool breeze and Sunset, large groups of people arrive here on holidays.
Shanghumugham beach has a gigantic 'Mermaid sculpture' which attracts the tourists.There is a 'star fish' shaped restaurant also on the beach.
The Shanghumugham beach is well famous for the 'Arattu Ceremony' of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.An Arattu Mandapam is existed here which was built long ago by the Travancore Kings for this function.The deities of the temple are brought here on the 'Arattu' day in a colorful procession and the rituals are performed here.
On the 'Karkidaka Vavu'  day this beach turns to  be  a major venue for the 'Bali Tharpanam' ritual in which thousands of men,women and children  participates every year.All facilities will be arranged for the conveniences of the people participating in the ritual.
Shanghumugham is also well known for the 'Devi Temple' situated here which is near to the beach.The devotees consider the deity of this temple as the sister of Sree Padmanabha Swamy.