Sunday, September 27, 2009

Temple History

Lokanarkavu temple of godess Durga stands 4 kilometers from vatakara,near calicut a noted town in kerala,india.The temple is a complex of three temples of godess Durga,Shiva and Vishnu. The temple is frequently referred in the ballads of north kerala as the legendery hero Thacholi Othenan was a devotee of this godess. Apart from these due to the uniqueness about its origin, its being listed as a must view site in the incredible india campaign by Government of India
The Durga temple was built by Aryans who migrated to this place some 1500 years back. They were Brahmins who took up trade as their main occupation. The Aryan successors of these temple still are of prime importance in the temple. They gradually began to accept some of the traditions of local Nairs and made martial relationship with them. But on close examination their customs and beliefs are evidently different from local Nair community. It is believed that the godess travelled with them to Lokanarkavu in the form of a lady who followed the five hundred Aryans. The successors still see this godess as their mother and not as godess. Often the name of Thacholi Othenan is misquoted with the origin of temple. Othenan was a great devotee,but never had any holding rights or anything to do with the establishment of Durga temple. It is evident from the fact that the godess is Durga at Lokanarkavu and not the Kali form. The heroes of Vadakkan Pattukal had their ancestral godesses as Kali form and not Durga form. The same applies to the local rulers who later claimed Lokanarkavu as their family godess. All the rulers of Kerala had Godesses with Thamasa pooja or shakteya pooja; ie poojas in which either man or animal was sacrificed. It was a more local tradition and most family temples of Kerala kings and locals had followed such tradition untill it was modified. Later due to Aryanisation of temples, modifications were made by replacing human sacrifice with cutting plantain or performing poojas with tender coconut and cereals meant to replace liquor and meat. Unlike this local tradition Lokanarkavu durga temple do not have any such traditions and never had such practises as it was established by Aryans itself. It is said that most other godess temples in kerala are in Madhyama and rarely in Uthama state. But this temple is said to be in Athyuthama state. The Aryans though manifested as locals they strongly upheld their ehical roots through a complex of differences from rest of the people. The race spirit was so high at older times that it is said that they refused to pay taxes to the local kings of kerala,as none of them was an Aryan. But at the same time or say at a later period they began to ignore the cast restrictions and even seemed to threaten the cast equations. But slowly they became adjusted and more reclusive and settles around the temple areas and withdrew from all other matters of Local people. Among the mandala vilakku festival, the successors of these Aryan Vaishya Brahmins migrants conduct the 16th vilakku, thats on 16th day and is of prime importance. As we enter the temple we must pray to the stage kept in memory of these Aryan Brahmin Ancestors who built the temple. The stage is at right side to the main entrance and all devottees must seek their permission and pray to them to see the godess inside. This is to show that the Lokanarkavu Durga holds these people to the highest esteem and she had followed them whereever they went and their happiness is her prime importance. It is said that the prayers done without praying to these ancestors goes much unheard. In short it is a place of a never experienced tradition in Kerala.
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