Monday, October 3, 2011

Panachikkadu Saraswathidevi Temple

 The  most important Saraswathi Temple in India will be 'Mookambika Devi Temple' at Kollur near Uduppi in Karnataka State.The most important Saraswathi Temple in Kerala will be  Panachikkadu  Saraswathi Temple  near Chingavanam in Kottayam District.
The Deity Saraswathi Devi who is the Goddess of Arts and learning is blessing large number of devotees that visits  this temple everyday for more than  one thousand years.
Panachikkadu Saraswathi temple is 4 km from Chingavanam and 11 km from Kottayam town.
There is a story regarding the origin of this Saraswathi temple.1000 years ago a Nampoothiri Brahmin who hailed from a respected  Illam (House) which was known as 'Kizhupurathillam' was sad that he was not having a child.He wanted to go to Gaya(Kasi) to pray for this intention but on the way halted at Mookambika Temple for one year attending all the rituals there.All the time he was chanting prayers of Saraswathy Devi.One year passed and one day in his dream Goddess  Saraswathi Devi appeared and told him that he would not get a son of his own even if he go to Kasi and so adviced him to go back.
He was told that a pregnant woman at his native place hailing from the house  'Karunattillam' would give birth to twins and if he    requested she would   give him one baby.

So Nampoothiri returned back and visited that 'Karunattillam' and told them about the dream.They promised to give the Brahmin one child after  the woman's delivery .While going back happily  to his house he thought of visiting the Vishnu temple on the way.Old Brabmin  kept his palm leaf umbrella on the bank of the temple pond and took bath in the pond.After taking bath when he tried to take back his umbrella he found that it got fixed to the ground.He was not able to move it or take it up from there.Mean while a Sanyasi Saint came that way.He revealed the fact that Goddess Saraswathy's presence was  on the Umbrella which could be transferred to an idol which would bring prosperity to all.The saint himself  found   an old idol from  the nearby hillock.

The Devi's power on the umbrella was transferred to the idol.The Saint instructed not to do  pooja rituals on that idol but suggested to do those rituals on an  idol that he  kept opposite to it .This practice was followed in the temple which is continuing even now. 
Soon the original idol was covered with  peculiar creeper plants and for centuries it is remaining in that state.The original idol can not be seen.The leaves of the creeper plants cover it.Natural spring water flows from there and will not dries up even in summer.The water required for the temple purposes  is collected from there.
The main Deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu and other sub deities are also in the temple. Much importance is given to 'Yakshi Amma' here.Those who come to the temple for worship should visit her shrine also.

If a devotee  could participate in all the pooja rituals held in this temple continuously   for 12 days and repeat this process   for another two more years Devi would grant them blessings  to the fullest and make all  their desires fulfilled is a belief.
But only very few can complete  this process for three consecutive  years because of unforeseen obstacles
Navaratri festival is celebrated with much importance in this temple during which thousands of devotees will be arriving.Exponents as well as  students of various art forms come to perform their art forms in front of  Saraswathi Devi to get her blessings for more perfection.
'Vidyarambham' (Initiation of studies of small children) for very large number of children are carried out on Vijaya Dasami Day.Since this is a powerful Saraswathi Temple every day "Vidyarambham' can be done here except two days 'Durgashtami' and 'Mahanavami'  in an year.
'Saaraswatha Ghritham' which is ghee processed with several Ayurvedic herbs is
kept for pooja at the feet of Goddess Saraswathi Devi and distributed to the devotees for a small price.It nourishes the brain of children and  boost their intelligence and memory power.

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