Aranmula Pardhasaradhi Temple
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Aranmula is a temple village in the state of Kerala, India. At a distance of around 116km from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, it is situated on the banks of the holy river Pampa. A centre of pilgrimage from time immemorial and a trade post of eminence, when the river was the chief means of transport, it is near Kozhenchery in Pathanamthitta District. Famous for the famous tourist attraction 'Vallam Kali', boat pageantry, Aranmula is a global heritage site enlisted by the United Nations. It is a sacred site for the Hindus and comprises the central temple of Lord Parthasarathi with a network of temples and sacred groves around. Boat race is part of the temple festival here. Fertile wetlands, locally called Puncha, rich biodiversity and a soothing climate make Aranmula an apex model of the ecofriendly culture of Kerala. The region, as remote sensing maps show, has a rich stock of ground water which feeds the river Pampa and the estuaries like Vembanad. The rice producing belts like Kuttanad downstream benefit from the water cycle. Nearby important towns are Chengannur (10 km), Pathanamthitta (15 km), Pandalam (14 km). The nearest railway station is at Chengannur and airports are in Kochi, India and Thiruvananthapuram. The annual snake boat race on the Pampa river attracts devotees and also national and international tourists. Fifty two Karas, from ancient chieftains, own the snake boats that take part in the boat races and these are considered as the vehicles of the Lord. Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors, known as Aranmula kannadi. The palace at Aranmula ( Aranmula Kottaram) built mostly in wood is an architectural marvel and has a history of around 200 years. It was here that the 'Thiru Abharanam', ornaments of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, were originally kept and it still is a stop over of the annual procession from Pandalam.
Nearest airports are Cochin International Airport and Trivandrum airport. A corporate group called KGS is in its way for an International Airport at Aranmula .As the distance from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram airports are 136 and 117 km respectively, people feared of vested interested are against the proposed airport. The proposed rural Aranmula International Airport would be good for overall development of Aranmula as well as Sabrimala pilgimage. An airport in central Travancore is an aspiration of millions of central Travancorians working all over the world who support the Government exchequer with much needed foreign currency. In central Travancore most of household depending on remittance of their sons and daughters from foreign destinations. Today they had to depend distant Nedumbassery or Triavandrum airports. Vested interested urban lobbies are delaying the airport with help of environmentalist and religious fundamentalists.
Aranmula is located at  It has an average elevation of 7 m (23 ft)..
Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple
The Aranmula Parthasarathi Temple is a major temple in Kerala and has a great antiquity. It is one of the venerated 108 Vaishnava temples in India and finds mention in Tamil classics. Spread over a vast area the temple is on the banks of the river Pampa and the whole temple complex is at a high elevation. Main idol is of Lord Krishna, who is the charioteer of warrior Arjuna in Kurukshetra War. It is believed that this temple was originally built near Sabarimala near Nilackal later shifting here. There is a flight of 18 steps that lead to the Eastern Tower while 57 descending steps from the Northern tower reaches the Pampa River. The temple here has fine murals from the 18th century.
The ancient temple is at the centre of a complex with four hill gods, Idappara Mala to the east, Kanakakunnu Mala to the south, Pulikunnu Mala to the west and Kadapra Mala to the west believed to be the guards. These are within the rice fields and have myriad functions of fertility. The rituals are Sakteya and the traditional priesthood belongs to dalit, Kurava, community. With many temples and places of worship around Aranmula is a major Hindu pilgrimage spot.
The festivals of the temple show case several ritual art forms unique to the region. This includes Padayani, Vela Kali, Mayoora Nritham, Kurathi Attam, Arjuna Nritham etc.and a host of musical instruments. These remain in Aranmula even when it vanished at many other places. The performances are primarily devoted to the Lord.
Pulikkunnumala Mahadeva Temple
Pulikkunnumala Mahadeva Temple is 4 km from Aranmula. The old temple is traditionally said to be the worship place of the pandavas. This temple is donated by Koikkattumalayil the Late Shri Ramakrishna Pillai to the Kshetra Samrakshana Samiti, Kerala.
Aranmula is known for the Vaasthu Vidya Gurukulam, the traditional way of constructing buildings. Aranmula is located on the banks of the river Pamba, which hosts another important annual event called the Maramon Convention.
The famous Aranmula Mirror, locally known as Aranmula kannadi, kannadi meaning mirror, is made here. This mirror is made out of high tin bronze. This is a geographically exclusive product in Aranmula with only one family of artisans knowing the traditional technology.
The place is of historical importance, the Thiruaranmula Parthasarathi temple. It is believed that the main idol was originally the "Thevaara vigraha"(one which was used for daily personal worship) of Arjuna the third Paandava. It is also believed that the thevara vigrahas of the four other Paandavas are placed in the nearest four villages namely Thrichittaat, Thrippuliyoor, Thiruvanvandoor near Chengannur, Thrikkodithaanam near Changanassery.
The Aranmula Vallamkali, the world famous water festival is the main important event related to this place. It started in relation with the Thiruvonathoni which starts on Uthraadam (day before Onam)evening from Kaattoor Mahavishnu temple with provisions for the 'Nivedyam' and 'samoohasadya' (mass feast)on Thiruvonam at the temple. The provisions are offered by the Mangattu Bhattathiri, the karanavar (the eldest member) of Mangattu Illom. (There is also a legend behind this.) Previously, the Mangattu Illom was situated near Kattoor temple and now it is at Kumaranalloor near Kottayam. There will be a representative from the family on the thoni (canoe), as part of the tradition. It is a nice sight to see the thoni moving down the river Pampa without rowing. The thoni is symbolic of Garuda the vehicle of Lord vishnu
Fasting on thiruvonam related to aranmula temple The heads of three Brahmin households in Aranmula and nearby Nedumprayar follow a tradition of fasting on Thiruvonam as atonement for a ‘sin.’ The tradition reportedly dates back to more than two centuries.
Parameswaran Namboodiri of Cherukara Illom at Nedumprayar,Kunjunni Moosad of Aranmula Puthezhathu Illom and Subrahmaniyan Moosad of Aranmula Thekkedathu Illom have been observing the tradition for the past three decades.
Cherukara Illom is said to be the owner (‘ooralars’) of the Sree Parthasarathy Temple.Puthezhathu and Thekkedathu are said to be the 'karanmas' of the temple. These Brahmin households owned vast tracts of land that spread across many surrounding villages. The myth is that a poor, low caste woman approached the landlords of Aranmula, seeking alms, during a harvest period when the paddy was being measured. She waited for a long while, but the landlords ignored her. The woman starved through the day and was found dead in the field the next morning. Thereafter, misfortunes befell Aranmula and the landlords. An astrological consultation revealed that a divine curse was put on the landlords. It suggested that the eldest member of the Brahmin households should not consume food or water on Thiruvonam. A feast should be given to the public every year for expiation of the sin.
Aranmula is also in the news of late due to a private airport construction project threatening the heritage temple village.
Palace (Aranmula Kottaram)
Aranmula palace is a traditional Keralite palace which has a history of over 200 years. Aranmula palace (Also known as Aranmula Vadake kottaram or Aranmula Kottaram) is the halt place of the holy journey 'Thiruvabharana ghoshayatra' at Aranmula. Built mainly of wood and with the traditional Kerala architecture this Palace is on the banks of the river Pampa. It has cool interiors with three sides wooden.The nilavara, ara, etc. in this building are unique and was originally meant for weapons storage and grains.
Apart from the above specialties, Aranmula is famous for many other things like - Valla Sadhya, an elaborate vegetarian meal with as many as many as forty two dishes. This is a highly scientific course with each item required to be taken in a sequence. The rich biodiversity of the region reflects on the food regime and the placing of the items in continuation has inbuilt wisdom of native Ayurveda in it. The Kampam festival in the Malayalam month of Dhanu where children and youth go to each house and collect the arecanut palm leaf thanungu perukku, later burning it tied to a palm tree. This is in remembrance of Khandava Dahanam as believed. The Aranmula temple of Lord Tiruvaranmulayappan, is ancient and was once the centre of religious and cultural life of the area. It is very famous and one of the biggest temples in Kerala.
Other small temples in Aranmula are:Pallimukkom, Ganapathi Temple, Kadakal, Punnamthottam, Kuruvilakkavu, Kaippuzha etc. Edayaranmula, where deity is believed to have come first in the legend 2 km from Aranmula temple on the Chengannur road. Very beautiful and natural place on the banks of the Pampa River the Vilakkumdaom temple is located in Edayaranmula were Krishna arrived while travelling through the Pampa River by a small boat made by six bamboos (aaru mula) and hence the name Aranmula. From there he went to the current temple location at Aranmula. Aranmula "Kodiyettu" and "Pushpabhishekam" which constitute the holy procession of the idol of Krishna starts from the Vilakkumadom during festivals and ends at the "Aarattukadavu" located on the banks of Pampa River near the temple.
Aranmula Grama Panchayat
Aranmula Grama Panchayat is the local governing body of Aranmula. The office is in between Kottakkakom and Kalarikkodu. The current president is Thankachan Kakkanadan.
Chengannur Mahadeva/Devi Temple
Chengannur Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest and famous temples in Alappuzha district (Kerala). It is a sprawling temple complex with a circular Sanctum Sanctorum. Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi are the main investitures of this temple. Differing from other temples, there are two main Shrines in this temple. Lord Shiva facing East and Devi facing West.
Chettikulangara Devi Temple
Many followers of the theory of Kerala’s genesis by Parasurama firmly believe that he had established 108 Durga temples, 108 Siva temples, numerous Sastha temples, besides 108 Kalaris (place to learn traditional martial arts in front of the deity), Sakthi Kendras etc. Besides he had established five Ambalayas. Jagadambika of Chettikulangara, the Goddess of Oodanadu (Onattukara), is among the five Ambalayams. Though enough historical evidence and authentic study materials are not available to support, it is believed that this temple dates back to more than 1,200 years.
Chettikulangara Kettukazhcha, conducted every year on the Bharani Nakshathram of Malayalam month Kumbham. It is probably the most amazing cultural visual spectacle in Kerala, similar to the Thrissur Pooram. The temple is in Mavelikkara taluk and about 3 km from Mavelikkara town.
Arattupuzha is located between 4 km away from Chengannur, and 5 km away from Aranmula, by River Pampa. Neighbouring villages are Nellikkal, Koipuram,Malakkara, Puthencavu and Neervilakom.
Neervilakom (also spelt Neervilakam, Neervilakem, Nirvilakam, Nirvilakom, Nirvilakem) is one of the villages situated between Aranmula and Chengannur, 5 km away from Chengannur and 7 km away from Aranmula. Neervilakom belongs to Aranmula panchayat situated in the extreme west part of Pathanamthitta district. It is the geographical border of Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts. It shares its border with Malakkara, Arattupuzha, Puthancavu, Kurichumuttam and Piralasherry villages.
The main access to Neervilakom village is Chengannur- Pandalam parallel road. Other accesses are Arattupuzha - Neervilakom road, Malakkara- Neervilakom road, Chakkittappadi-Neervilakom road and Aranmula- Chengannur parallel road. Limited bus services are available. Auto rickshaws and taxies are available for convenient travel. Chengannur railway station is just 5 km away from this place and so is the main bus station.
Places of Pilgrimage
- Anikkattilamma Kshethram
- Chirakkirottu Nagaraja Kavu
- Kuttamthu Murthi Temple
- Muttettu Murthi Temple
- Nilakkal Mahadeva Kudumba Temple
- Pampu Mana Nagaraja Kavu
- Peringattukavu Devi Temple
- Sree Dharmashastha Temple
- St Gregorious Orthodox Church
- Thelliyoorkavu Bhagavthy Kshetram
- Thompilethu Nagaraja Kavu
- Thekkedethu Nagaraja Kavu
- Vadakkedathu Nagaraja Kavu
- Aranmula Boat Race
- Aranmula Kannadi
- Aranmula kottaram
- Snake boat
- Valla Sadhya
- "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Aranmula". Fallingrain.com. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- Chengannur Mahadeva - Devi Temple
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies". Kerala. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
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- aranmula.net aranmula.co.in
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- Controversy surrounding the private airport project in Aranmula