Sunday, February 28, 2010
Janardhana Swamy Temple
Name : Janardhana Swamy Temple
The Janardhana Swamy temple in Kerala is situated on a very steep hill on the beach road to Varkala of Thiruvanantpuram district.
Myths and Legends :
It is believed that brahma performed a sacrifice (Yagna) at Varkala. The striate of lignite and mineral waters found in Varkala are attributed to this sacrifice. Tradition also has it that when the west coast was reclaimed from the sea by parasurama, earthquakes were frequent and that land was unfit for human habitation. To remedy this situation, the founder is believed to the performed a sacrifice at Varkala.
In the central shrine there is a huge Dutch bell with an inscription on it is Latin. Centuries ago, a Dutch vessel reached the shore of Varkala and could not proceed further in the sea as there was absolutely no breezed at all. The captain offered the bell from the ship to the temple priest who prayed to the Lord for providing suitable wind to enable the ship to sail on its further voyage. Very soon a good breeze started to enable the ship to move on its voyage. The captain installed this bell at the temple before he set sail from Varkala. It is also says the bell was presented to the temple when the Dutch evacuated Fanjet where they had established a factory.
This famous temple, which is believed to be almost 2,000 years old, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Hanuman. The temple is a very good specimen of traditional South-Indian architecture. The circular building with a red-tiled roof houses the main shrine. Within the temple grounds, an old banyan tree contains within its trunk, images of ancient animistic snake deities.
The circular ‘Sanctum sanctorum” surmounted by a conical dome of copper sheets, the square ‘mandapa' with beautiful wooden carvings of Navagrahas on the ceiling and copper-plated roof over it, the quadrangular enclosures around them, a hall containing a ‘bali peetha' in front of the inner temple are the characteristic features of the Kerala style of architecture. One of the inscriptions indicates that the temple was improved during the reign of Umayamma Rani, who ruled this region during 1677-84 A.D.
Non Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the Janardhana Swamy temple, but are allowed to walk around the sanctum and stroll around the huge banyan tree. There is a belief that the water in the pond of the temple is holy and a bath in the pond will nullify all the sins.
This temple is very closely located to "PAPNASHNAM BEACH". Beach, where according to Hindu rituals, you can wash away or get rid of your sins by taking holy dip in its water and purify yourself. After the death of some near and dear, Hindu's bring there ashes here and after performing a custom famous in south India called 'Vavu Beli', the ashes are dipped permanently into the sea of this Papnashnam beach so that his or her sins should be washed away and he or she shall go to heaven permanently.
The Arattu, celebrated every year in Meenam (March-April), is the main festival at the Janardhana Swamy temple. The temple attracts many devotees.