Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple

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Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple is a Hindu temple in Kaviyoor, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India. It is commonly called Thrikkaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. The main deities are Lord Mahadeva (Shiva with Parvathi) and Lord Hanuman. Kaviyoor Temple is one of the important Siva Temples in Kerala. This is also one of the Important temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board.


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History[edit]

Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple has a unique style of architecture and is one of the oldest temples in Kerala. It is believed to have been constructed in the early years of the 10th century. According to the main legend, this temple belongs to (Treta Yuga). But the actual time of construction is not known.

Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is also known as Hanuman Temple . As per legends the main Idol was installed by Lord Sri Rama in the presence of Sita, Hanuman, sugreeva and vibheeshana on his return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. Lord Sri Rama initiated Hanuman to bring a divine Sivalimga from Himalayas. Hanuman went to Himalayas and searched everywhere for a unique Sivalimga, and took some time for that purpose. As the auspicious time for prathishta neared, Lord Rama decided to do the Prathishta at once and using the earth form that place, he molded a Sivalimga and consecrated it. When he returned Hanuman became very sad seeng the prathishta was already done. So Lord Rama told Hanuman to remove the prathishta and install the Divyalimga he brought in its place. Hanuman tried his maximum, but the newly molded earthern Limga remained as such. Instead, the land surrounding it moved up to form a small hillock. So Hanuman prayed pardon, and sought Lord Rama for permission to stay near the Divya Prathishta done by him for ever. Thus Kaviyoor become Hanuman's place. It is traditionally known as the most prominent Hanuman temple in South India.

There are two inscriptions on the basement of the main sanctum dated 950-951 AD. The Sasanaas are surely an addition, since they were written after the temple was constructed. See 'Kaviyoor' Kaviyoor#History

The temple was administered by Ten Brahmin families known as Pathillathil potties and was took over by the Travancore State Government in the year 1899. As per records The Kaviyoor Temple takeover had added a huge wealth to the Travancore treasury since the take-over of more than 2500 temples in the ME 976 (about 100 ago before the kaviyoor temple accession), by Col. Monroe. The Take over/ accession of ME 976 has yielded more than 1,600,000 paras of paddy and almost 50,000 rupees money to the Travancore Treasury (at that time the Travancore King has accessed several major temples of Travancore state including the famous Temples of Kanyakumari, Sucheendram, Thiruvattar, Varkala, Harippad, Ampalappuzha, Thiruvalla, Chengannur, Aranmula, Ettumanoor & Vaikom) while Kaviyoor Temple alone yielded 9201 para paddy and 3333 rupees. In fact, The Kaviyoor Temple was accessed to the Travancore State as the 12th First class Major Temple with its enormous wealth, including tens of thousands of acres of fertile lands, tens of thousands of rupees and the huge collection of worthy treasures.

Architecture[edit]

Kaviyoor Temple, Main Entrance Gate

It stands on a small hillock and is built in the gable style architecture peculiar to Kerala. It is one of the earliest structural temples of Kerala.

Several historians, like Stella Kramrich has this opinion. The perfect round Sreekovil with Sandhara style and its peculiar basement clarifies this opinion.

The temple with its copper-covered roof, golden flag mast and the eighteen steps at the eastern entrance, is one of the most beautiful temples in Kerala. The balickalpura, vaathilmaadam, namaskara mandapam and sreekoivil( sanctum) of this temple are decorated with wood carvings. These sculptures belongs to late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. These carvings are based on puranic texts like Mahabharata and Ramayana. The wood work of this temple was done by local sculptors, belonging to Thekkethil family. Each and every part of this temple radiates architectural splendor. All the 44 Rafter shoes of the main prakara( Sreekoil) is covered with beautifully crafted rafter shoes. The 36 rafters of the Namaskara Mandapam were also covered with rafter shoes, but these pieces are now missing. The Temple has a huge collection of precious ornaments which also shows the artistic excellence of the sculptors of Kaviyoor. These include Swarna prabhamandalam, Golden Nettippattams and ezhunnallippu chatams, Golden pots, Golden Reliefs of Deities, Golden Umbrellas, Golden Chains and Several materials with precious gems. There are subshrines dedicated to Lord Ganapathy, Lord Dakshinamurthy, Lord Mahavishnu and Naga raja.

Gajendramoksha- A wood carving at Kaviyoor Mahadaevar Temple.JPG
Ugra Narasimha, A wood carving at Kaviyoor Mahadaevar Temple.JPG

Festivals[edit]

The temple festival is held in December–January of every year. Hanuman Jayanthi, the birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman is also celebrated along with the temple festival.

Offering[edit]

The main offering to Hanuman at this temple include Aval Nivedyam and Vadamala. One have to make take a recipt from the receipt counter before making the offering. Aval Nadyam is given on demand while Vadamala is given after a month or so due to the large number of offerings per day.

Other common offerings like Ganapati Homan and other Hindu rituals are also offered in this Temple.

See also[edit]