The coastal state of Kerala lies in the
southern part of the Indian subcontinent known for its beaches, wildlife,
hill stations, backwaters, Ayurveda and of course for its temples that are
dispersed all over its landscape. Temple and festivities associated with
them have been a crucial part of the lives of Keralites for ages. A number
of the temples had their genesis far back in time. The present structures
that stand to tell the history have stood the taste of time because of
renovations and refurbishments done from time to time.
Spirituality is a crucial part of everyone's life in India. Perhaps every
region and state has its own religious festivals, rites and rituals.
Temples, particularly in southern India, have also been an epicenter of
promoting art and dance forms. The state of Kerala alone boasts legions of
ancient temples. And a visit to this temples of yore is a prerequisite to
gain an insight into the cultural and religious aspect of the state as well
as the country.
Some of the temples that dot the landscape of Kerala include :
Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most famous and grandest temples
in Kerala. The temple enshrines a stately image of Lord Vishnu in the
Anantasayanam posture. The temple architecture is a mix of Dravidian and
Keralan styles of srchitecture. Steeped in legends, the temple has long
maintained its association with festivals, art forms and music. The temple
finds its mention in the Tamil hymns of the Alwar saint Nammalwar.
Sri Krishna Temple, Guruvayur
Sri Krishna Temple of Guruvayur holds sacred the youthful form of Lord
Krishna. Guruvayur is an important pilgrimage for the Hindus from all across
the country. The Mandala Utsavam and the Annual Utsavam are popular
festivals linked up with the temple. It is believed that praying here frees
one of all bodily ailments.
Lakshmana Perumal Temple, Tirumoozhikkalam
The presiding deity here is Vishnu. What sets apart this temple from others
is the fact that no music is played here. Tamil hymns exalt this ancient
temple. The annual festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Makaram.
Subramaniya Temple, Haripad
It is only due to renovations in the 20th century that the Subramaniya
Temple of Haripad stands today. The temple enshrines the image of
Subramaniya. Kaartikai Deepam and Thai Poosam are celebrated here.
Bhagwati Temple, Kodungallur
Originally a Shiva temple, the Bhagwati Temple at Kodungallur enshrines the
image of Bhagwati. The image is believed to be carved out of a jack fruit
tree. Prayers are offers first to Shive and then to Bhagwati who is believed
to be a manifestation of Kali.
Rajarajeswara Temple, Taliparamba
The Rajarajeswara Temple is situated at Taliparamba in the northern part of
Kerala. Taliparamba is also one of the ancient Shaktipeethams (Religious
sites of special significance). Malayalam new year Vishu and Shivaratri are
The list of temples is simply endless. There are too many to present. So,
this time when you are on a trip to Kerala, don't miss out the temple trove
that the state sets forth. Visit the shrines and get to know a culture like