Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Mahishasura Mardhini Temple, Valvachagostam, Kanyakumari

Mahishasura Mardhini Temple, Valvachagostam, Kanyakumari

Mahishasura Mardhini Temple is a Hindu Temple located at Valvachagostam near Palliyadi in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. The temple is situated amidst Rubber estates, coconut groves and ponds creating a serene atmosphere.

For brief details, please refer below link;
Travancore king Anizham Thirunaal Marthanda Varma had it a practice to place his sword in front of the Devi here, seek her blessings, before proceeding to any war. Also, the next heir to the throne comes to this temple, seek her blessings and then only gets into the coronation ceremony. There is a tunnel that was connecting this temple to Padmanabhapuram palace. It is not operational now. Even today, pooja materials and offerings come from the Travancore Palace every month and also for festivals.

The Temple
Presiding Deity is called as Mahishasura Mardhini. Devi is in a standing posture. This is a 7 feet tall stone statue. She looks so gracious, beautiful and benevolent. She holds a Shanku and Chakra in her upper hands. The lower hands are a right abhaya mudra hastham and her left hand resting on her left thigh – a posture named as Kati-bandha. She is said to be the only of her kind in Tamilnadu.

Unlike other temples, here only the presiding Devi deity is established. Other deities are not around, except two small Ganapathy deities with Nagas in the North-west side. The Mel Shanti and the Tantri roles are done together by one single Mel Shanti, without any support priest. Shilpa mandapam is of great sculptural beauty in this temple. The Rathi and Manmathan statue in the entrance looks beautiful. There are 6 huge pillars (3 per side) in this mandapam, having Nataraja, Kali, Arjuna, Karna, Indrajit and Lakshmana. 

There are quite a few inscriptions in this temple, inscribed in Tamil, Grantha, Sanskrit, Vattezhuthu language forms. The inscription on the south side wall of the Srikoil says that this temple was constructed in the year AD 1234 by Aranga Nayagar from a place named Mel-Maruvathur (a place on the NH47 between Nagercoil and Thuckalay) with the assistance of the Venadu King – Veera Ravi Kerala Varman. The Mukhamandapam in front of the sanctum sanctorum (Srikoil) was built by Thirivikraman Nampoothiri of Mullamangalam in the year AD 1620.
Temple Opening Time
The Temple remains open from 5.30 am to10 am and 5 pm to 8 pm.
Annual festival is a 10-day festival in the month of Medam (April /May). Vaikasi Visakam is also an important celebration here. On the 9th day of Vaikasi Visakam festival, Devi is decorated by all Aparana (jewels). She goes around the temple for Palli Vetta (hunting). The idol is taken 7 times around the temple. The bow and arrow after the ritual is gifted to some devotee. There is no Devi Aaraattu. 5 days prior to Tirukarthika day in the Vrischikam month (Nov/Dec), Thiruvonam, Navarathri, Pongala during Pongal (Jan) are the other main festivals here. Kalabha chaarthu is done on all days in Karthikai month is famous here.
The Temple is located at about 2.5 Kms from Samiyar Madam, 2.5 Kms from Samiyarmadam Bus Stop, 3 Kms from Palliyadi, 7 Kms from Marthandam, 8 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 14 Kms from Kulasekharam, 9.5 Kms from Thuckalay, 12 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 12 Kms from Kuzhithurai, 15 Kms from Colachel, 24 Kms from Nagercoil, 44 Kms from Kanyakumari and 53 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram.
Valvachagostam is situated in the Nagercoil – Trivandrum National Highway (NH47). If coming from Nagercoil towards Marthandam on NH-47, at Eravipudhurkadai take a left into Palliyadi road. Travel for 3 km and take a left just before the railway bridge and the temple is situated at about 1 Km from this place. Nearest Railway Stations are located at Palliyadi (5 Kms) and Kuzhithurai (7 Kms). Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram (52 Kms).