Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DISTRICT- Part 3


Attingal is an important place which is a business center and a Municipality of Trivandrum district.Avanavancherry
Sri Indalayappan temple which is in the town area is very famous.Kollampuzha Thiruvarattu kavu Temple
which is 3km from the town is another famous temple which is the family goddess of the Travancore Maharajas.
The annual festival at this temple is held in the presence of members from the Royal family.
There is a monument at 'Thonnackal' which is 5km from Attingal alongside National Highway 47 for the great
poet 'Mahakavi Kumaran Asan'.
Mahakavi Kumaran Asan
Kumaran Asan was a very respected personality who was a poet, philosopher and social reformer.He was an
ezhava by caste, and he worked hard for the welfare of the low class people and to eradicate the caste system with Sree Narayana Guru.One religion,one caste and one God was his motto like his Guru.SNDP yogam was
started during that time and Kumaran Asan was in the administrative position also.He wrote books like 'Chandala Bikshuki' 'Duravastha' etc to gain attention against the caste system prevailed in Kerala during those days.He was a fantastic poet who wrote several books like 'Chindavishtayaya Seetha,Karuna,Prarodanam,Veena Poovu' etc.Without writing a long poetry book he was awarded 'Mahakavi' title.Kumaran Asan while returning from
Alapuzha to Kollam died in  a boat  accident  which took place at 'Pallana' and the death happened at the age of 51.
Another great personality of Thiruvanathapuram was sage 'Chattambi Swamikal'.
Chattambi swamikal is famous as'Parama Bhattara Vidyadhiraja Chattambi swami Thiruvadikal'.His birth place is Kollur in  Thiruvananthapuram and original name was 'Kunjan Pillai'.During his studies he was the school leader which was known as  'Chattambi' during those days.When he became a sage he was lovingly called 'Chattambi swamikal' since he was the leader of all spirutual personalities at that time.Chattambi swamikal was born in 1853 and by the year 1881 at the age of 28 he attained  the
highest state as the supreme' Rishi'of Kerala.Swamiji was very interested in travelling and after attaining self realization also he travelled widely in several parts of India and  learned several other languages other than Sanskrit and Malayalam.He became an expert in 'Yoga' also.Even though a 'Sanyasi' he used white colour
dress only instead of Saffron colour.He was not an organizer or a propagandist but  was an ideal sage who practiced Ahimsa(Non violence and not killing any living beings),Truthfulness,celibacy etc.He was a genius
and a scholar who studied Vedas,Upanishads,Puranas etc deeply.He wrote several books also.He learned about Christianity and Islam from Christian and Muslim Scholars.Swamiji was against the Christian missionaries who were converting Hindus to Christianity.
Chattambi Swamikal wrote a book 'Christumatha Chedanam' concerning this matter.Several devotional songs were also written by swamiji.Swamiji's 'samadhi' took place in 1924 at 'Panmana' in Kollam district where there is an 'Ashram' functioning at present.
'Thiruvallam' temple in Thiruvananthapuram city is very famous for the rituals performed for the departed souls.Only two temples are in Kerala where such observances for the dead are allowed inside the temple.It is 'Illam.'Nelli' and 'Vallam. where such rituals are allowed.'Illam' is our house itself,'Nelli' is 'Thirunelli' Temple, and 'Vallam' is Thiruvallam' temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
Everyday such performances can be done there for giving 'Moksha' to the departed souls.On  'Karkadakavavu' day  for offering 'Bali' millions of people gather at Thiruvallam
temple and premises remembering their ancestors and other dead relatives.
One of the most important tourist attraction is 'Veli Tourist  Village' which is situated 8km from the city.It is situated near to Sanghum Mugham beach.There is Veli Lake and Arabian sea as boundary to this village which has serene greenish beauty.There are facilities for swimming,boating and water sports here.Different types of boats;manual and motorized are available for rent.There is floating restaurant here which is also attractive.Akkulam tourist village is also worth visit which has also these kind of facilities like boating and water sports.There are children's park at Akkulam and at Veli.
Our journey through Kerala state ends at Kaliakkavila in Neyyattinkara Taluk which is the southernmost Taluk of Kerala.After that Kanyakumari district which is in Tamil Nadu state begins.Kanyakumari district which was in Travancore was cut off when Kerala State was formed  on November 1 1956 after nine years of Indian Independence.
At Thackala in Kanyakumari district is 'Padmanabhapuram Palace' which was the Royal palace of Travancore till they shifted the capital to Thiruvananthapuram.The name Padmanabhapuram was given to
the area of the palace because of the love and respect of Travancore Kings towards 'Lord Padmanabhaswamy' of Padmanabhaswamy temple in  Thiruvananthapuram.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is the property of Kerala Government still now and all tourists visiting Kerala
visit this Palace which is a masterpiece of craftsmanship.There are beautiful sculptures,wooden carvings and murals filled in this enormous palace.It was built in the year 1609 by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal.The great Marthanda Varma Maharaja renovated it and made some additions also.The shining granite black floor  is appreciated widely.The ingredients used for the flooring is not clearly known but assumed as coconut shell charcoal,river sand,granite tubs,buttermilk,curd etc.There are different sections in the palace complex  such as Uppirackka Malika,Thai Kottaram,Thekke kottaram,Nadaka sala,Navarathri Mandapam,Saraswathi temple etc.The dining hall can accommodate 1000 people at a time.There are brass hanging lanterns, Large earthen urns,King's bed which is made up of 64 herbs,stunning murals,Pooja rooms with beautiful columns,Heavy teakwood beams and ceiling with fine rosewood carvings,Belgium mirrors,cyclopean stonewalls without mortar etc which are all pleasing to the eyes.
King's cot made of 64 herbs

Friday, July 8, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DISTRICT- Part 2

Chirayinkeezhu is the birth place of Prem Nazir who acted in  hero roles of Malayalam films for a span of forty years
His name is entered in the  Guinness Book of World records.He earned the title 'Evergreen Hero' of Malayalam Cinema.Chirayinkeezh is the birth place of another well known actor of Malayalam films who got Best Actor
National Award in 1977.It was none other than 'Bharat Gopi'.
Sarkara Bhagawathi temple which is very famous is in Chirayin Keezhu.
Aruvippuram is a place near Neyyattinkara where Sree Narayana Guru established a Siva temple.
Neyyattinkara is the southern taluk where a Sree Krishna temple is very famous.Neyyattinkara has earned fame
in history because of 'Ammachi Plavu' which was a Jack fruit tree which helped as an aid to protect the life of
Marthanda Varma Maharajah from his enemies.When the enemies chased him he climbed on the jack fruit
tree and sat inside a big cavity of that  tree.The enemies could not find the hiding Maharajah and he escaped
afterwards.There is still a jack fruit tree on that spot.
Pulayanar Kotta is where the famous T.B. Hospital is functioning.It was established during the Maharajah
rule.
Palode is famous for the Botanical Garden existing there.It is a boon to researchers and students.Plants and
herbs of all varieties and many kinds of trees are grown and protected there.
Agasthyakoodam is a small mountain situated at an altitude of 6132 feet.It is believed that it is the abode of Saint 'Agasthya' who lived there for many years.
Anchuthengu is famous for a fort which was  a British colony.The fort was built in the year 1690.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is situated on Kanyakumari route.This was the palace of 'Venad' Kings.When
Marthanda Varma Maharajah defeated the nearby states and annexed to Venad to form 'Travancore State'
he shifted the capital to 'Thiruvananthapuram'  and  made 'Kowdiar Palace' as the Royal Residence..
Kilimanoor is famous as the birth place of world famous artist 'Raja Ravi Varma'.Kilimanoor was also a princely state which joined with Travancore.The palace is still existing there.
Thumba is where Vikram Sarabhai Space Center is situated.
Kazhakkoottam which is 15km from the city is where the 'Techno Park' is situated.So many I.T. companies
are functioning there.
Thiruvallom is famous for the 'Parasurama' temple where the rituals for the souls of departed relatives are done.There are only few places in Kerala where such rituals can be performed.
Varkala is an important place in Thiruvananthapuram District.Sree Narayana Guru's samadhi place is
'Sivagiri' which is in Varkala.Devotees in large numbers visit 'Sivagiri' every day.'Papanasam' beach in
Varkala has also earned International fame.There is a cliff just near the beach which is also attractive.
Varkala Janardhana Swamy Temple is a very famous shrine.
Thozhuvancodu Temple,Karikkakam temple,Sasthamangalam Mahadeva Temple,Ambalamukku Sreekrishna
temple,Ulloor Bala Subramanya Swamy temple,Kowdiar Bala Subramanya temple,Pachalloor Bhadrakali
temple,Pazhanchira Devi Temple,Shanghum Mugham Devi Temple,Sree Kandeswaram Temple etc are
 important and famous temples in Thiruvananthapuram.
Sanghummugham beach is visited by all tourists which is also very attractive.Eminent personalities of this District includes Chattampi Swamikal,Sree Narayana Guru,Ayyan Kali,Kumaran Asan,Raja Raja Varma,Raja Ravi Varma,Ulloor S.Parameswara Iyer,E.V.Krishna Pillai,O.N.V.Kurup,Singer Hariharan,M.G.Radhakrishnan,M.G.Sreekumar,K.S.Chithra,etc