Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Panachikadu Saraswathi temple - Kottayam, Kerala


There are  only a few temples in India dedicated to Goddess of learning- Saraswathi. One such temple is situated in Kottayam, just 5-6 Kms from the main town. The presiding deity is Maha Vishnu, enshrined in a small sanctum and  Goddess Saraswathi  is the sub deity enshrined in a well like structure without a roof. The temple is popular in Her name. 

One has to climb down a few steep steps to get to Maha Vishnu's temple and a few more to get to the divine seat of Goddess Saraswati. This place is a beehive of activity as parents and students wait to seek blessing of the Mother.  The seat of Goddess appears like a  well and the priests get into the well to perform poojas. Devotees view and worship from top. The parapet wall of  this well has sand spread all over and children write in front of the Goddess. This is also a temple where Vidyarambam is conducted throughout the year. There is always some elderly, learned  person  available near the deity to initiate little ones into the world of letters and learning. I could also see elderly priests even listening and giving suggestions to students having study related  problems. 

There is thick growth of greenery  inside the well and  a spring at the foot of the  deity. An Olakkuda ( an umbrella made of palm leaf) is kept in front  the Goddess. 

The legend  of the temple, origin and and why the  Olakuda is worshipped here is in this link.

There are also sub shrines for  Ganpathy, Shiva and Yakshi ans Sasthavu.

A temple worth visiting especially for children  to  seek Mother's blessings which would instill lot of confidence.

* Vidyarambham is inititating small children into the world of learning. An elder member in the family performs this ceremony by writing first on the tongue of the child. Then the child is made to write  his first letters in rice which considered to be auspicious. This is usually performed on Vijayadashami (Last day of  Navarathri )but in the above temple it is a daily ritual.

In olden days  young children were sent to teachers house( Guru kulam)  for learning. Here the children learnt by writing in sand with their fingers. Little sand would be spread in front and disciples would write on it with their fingers.

Check this link you tube link to have a glimpse of the deity with Olakuda in front .






35 comments:

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice temple. Have heard a lot about it, yet to visit though.

http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

chitra said...

thanks Niranjan. happy New Year!!

bettyl said...

May the new year bring you many wonderful surprises and lots of joy!

SG said...

Thanks for the informative post. I appreciate it. With my limited knowledge, I always thought the temple in Koothanur is the only Saraswathy Temple.

chitra said...

Bettyl,
thanks a lot. Wish you the same..

chitra said...

SG,
While living in Kerala, I could not visit this temple. This was from my December 2012 trip.

Bikramjit said...

That is a beautiful temple .. thank you for sharing Now I also got Darshan of Deity .. internet is good :)

Bikram's

chitra said...

thanks a lot Bikram.

....Petty Witter said...

As always a fascinating post, my thanks once again for sharing all of these wonderful places.

R. Ramesh said...

super as ever ji..how r u chitra? best wishes

chitra said...

PW, I think all your logging in roblems got resolved..Nice to see ur name..

chitra said...

Ramehsji- thanks..Me fine..

Martina said...

Dear Chitra, Happy New Year to you, best wishes for a lovely new time and cheers to more blogland fub - and travel to beautiful temples in India!

Chitra said...

Thank you Martina..You too have a lovely Year ahead..

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Excellent pics & good information. Not visited this temple before and is in my to see list.Happy New Year 2013.

Sridharan said...

Colorful roof looks beautiful.. Wonderful pictures Chitra..!

chitra said...

Ramakrishnan,
Thanks a lot.

chitra said...

Sridharan
thanks ad a Happy Pongal.

ashok said...

nice one..so typical of Kerala

Arti said...

Beautiful as always, thank you for all the wonderful virtual pilgrimages and wish you many more in the year 2013 :)

R. Ramesh said...

Hi:)

Krishna said...

Hi Chithra

Well described about temple. Photos also nice

thanks for sharing

Martina said...

Such an enchanting place to worship Saraswati! Happy sunday to you, dear Chitra, hope you are fine!

R. Ramesh said...

hi chitraji:) wishes

chitra said...

Thanks for all the comments dear friends. I was no keeping well hence was unable to visit you or have a look here itself.Shall be active soon.

R. Ramesh said...

hi chitraji..posting a test comment here to check whether registers..best wishes tc cya

P.N. Subramanian said...

Wonderful post. I never knew that. In fact we are blind to what rests in Travancore. I too was indisposed. Right now I am at Chennai and likely to be here for quite some time. If you too are here you may ring me up at 08989685112

chitra said...

Shall contact you. PNS I am on a pilgrimage

chitra said...

Will contact next week@ PNS

Shri said...

Beautiful Chitra! I never knew about this temple in Kottayam. There is one more in our nook in Pkd.

Abhilash Pillai said...

Hi Chitra,
Nice to read the history of a temple so nearby, yet unexplored. "Amme Devi"

Regards,
Abhilash

chitra said...

thanks Shri, If I visit PKD shall try to visit the same.

chitra said...

Abhi, thanks for the comment.

Shri said...

Chitra this would be about 30-32 kms away from Pkd town.
It is in Peringode towards the Pkd route and is known as the Parasseri Kavu. The original idol was stolen a few years ago. This is right on the edge of the road abutting the fields.

chitra said...

Thanks for the information Shri, Will visit if I make a trip that side.