Holy Experiences at Udayanapuram

Posted On May 7, 2012 

Udayanapuram situated in the Vaikom district of Kerala has Lord Subrahmanya as the presiding deity. It is very closely linked to the Vaikom Mahadeva temple and also the Kumaranallur Bhagawati temple. It is said that if one worships in the Vaikom Mahadevar temple, then the worship is complete only after a visit to the Udayanapuram temple is completed. This temple is closed linked to the celebrations held for Grand Ashtami in the Vaikom temple.

This temple at Udayanapuram is considered to be equal to the temple of Pazhani in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. People in Kerala call Lord Subramanya as karthikeya or Subramanya.

Udayanapuram Temple


Legend says that the temple of Goddess Bhagawati in the Kumaranallur region was actually initially meant for Lord Subramanya and the Udayanapuram temple was meant for Bhagawati and was called as Udayanyakeepuram. Then it is believed that Goddess Bhagawati occupied the temple that was meant for Lord Subramanya or Kumaran, and so her temple got the name Kumaran-alla-ooru meaning not for Kumaran in Tamil. So the Bhagawati Seva or the ritual for Goddess Bhagawati conducted in the Subramanya temple at Udayanapuram even today.

There is another legend that says that once when the Pandiyan king here went to Madurai to the Meenakshi temple he found the nose ring of the Goddess missing. He proclaimed that the culprit be found, and if not found in the next 41 days then the head priest would be beheaded. On the fortieth day the head priest got a dream where a beautiful lady asked to be followed and led him to the Kumarnallur temple region and vanished. Thus a temple was built there for the goddess as it was believed that the beautiful lady was the goddess herself who wanted to save her devotee the head priest.

Meenakshi temple

The temple

Architecturally the temple does not have any resemblance with the Vaikom Mahadevar temple. It has many carvings and paintings and celebrates the month of Thai Poosam very grandly. There are many Kaavadis that line up here as they make their way first to Vaikom and then to Udayanapuram.

The sanctum in the temple is a square structure with two storeys. It has a four feet high statue of Lord Subramanya facing eastwards. Elephant sculptures made out wood and yaalis surround the idol. The entire mandapa is made out stone, carvings and stone pillars of the life of Sri Krishna. Ramayana, the Indian Epic is also depicted by way of these carvings.

The main festival

Vaikkattu Ashtami is another important festival here at Udayanapuram. This is the 12th day of the yearly festival and falls in the months of Vrishchikam. This day there is a process of the Lord taken out from Udayanapuram to Vaikom thus signifying the victory that Lord Subramanya or karthikeya had over the demons. It is said that Lord Subramanya goes to meet his father Lord Shiva during this time. The sheer grandeur of the procession is something to be seen to be believed. The moment when the father and son meet is rendered with silence, and all the devotees remain inside the temple praying at this moment. Then there is a grand farewell given to Lord Subramanya and the way all this is done and depicted by way of the processions is spectacular. An imaginary farewell is then depicted and then the Lord brought back to Udayanapuram. It is believed that Lord Shiva oversees the farewell and goes back to his abode at Vaikom only after he is assured Lord Subramanya has reached Udayanapuram safely.

There are no offerings of food made here at the temple at Vaikom. This is because of the belief that Shiva himself fasts during the time his son Lord Subramanya fights the demons in the battle. But thousands are fed in the temple premises.

The Udayanapuram temple is very important due to the meeting that is depicted between Lord Subramanya and Lord Shiva and is thus popular among the devotees.

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