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Kunnathur Padi is the historic center for the folk Hindu deity Sree Muthappan. The center stands in the Kannur District of the Kerala state of South India, 3,000 feet above sea level, on top of Udumbumala in the Sahyadri mountains.
The Kunnathur Padi festival is conducted here, but no temple exists for Sree Muthappan. The festival takes place in a natural setting, as it is believed that Sree Muthappan said, "Fallen leaves, a spring, a large mountain, a round stone, forest and palm trees are enough for me."
During the festival season, a temporary Madappura is erected, called Sreekovil, in the middle of the forest. There is a glade and a cave in the middle of the forest. On the west side of the Madappura is a stone, a rock stand and a mud platform. On each side of the cave there is a palm tree. On the north side, there is a spring called Thiruvankadavu. Beyond that is Aadipadi.
Thanthries do the purifying rituals (Sudhi, Pasudanam, Punyaham, Ganapati homam and Bhagavathiseva). The Malayirakkal (invoking) of Sri Muthappan is done by Puralimala. In all other madappuras, this is done by Kunnathurpadi.
Sree Muthappan is a Hindu deity worshiped commonly in Kannur district of North Kerala, South India. Muthappan and Thiruvappan are considered to be a manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu and hence, Muthappan wholly represents the idea of Brahman, the unity of God, as expressed in the Vedas.
Worship of Muthappan is unique in that it does not follow the Sattvic (Brahminical) form of worship as in other Hindu temples. The main mode of worship is not by idol worship, but using a ritual enactment of Muthappan. Fish is used as an offering to Muthappan and people of all castes, religions and nationalities are permitted to enter the temple and take part in the worship.
Muthappan is also the principal deity in the worship ritual. The ritual performers of Muthappan Theyyam belong to the tribal community of Kerala. It is unique because in Kerala both the upper-caste Brahmins and the lower-caste tribals have a significant contribution to the major forms of worship.
Kunnathur Padi, the Aroodam of Sri Muthappan is located near Srikandapuram in Payyavur Village of Taliparamba Taluk in Kannur District. Kunnathurpadi festival which starts in Malayalam month of Dhanu and ends in Makaram is conducted in a natural setting because Sree Muthappan said that "Fallen leaves, a spring, a large mountain, a round stone, forest and palm trees are enough for me." There are no temples for Muthappan in Kunnathur Padi. This area is beautiful with its greenery and is 3,000 feet above sea level atop Udumbamala in the Sahyadri Mountains. The divinity and the purity of this place with its breathtaking beauty has been maintained for centuries. Any visitor coming to this area will feel the blessing hand of Sri Muthappan and will be able to cross the thin line that separates the spiritual existence and the miseries of the material world. There is an open place and a cave in the middle of the forest. During the festival season a temporary Madappura is erected here which is called Sreekovil. On the west side of this Madappura, there is a stone, a rock stand and a mud platform. On each side of the cave there is a palm tree. On the north side, there is a spring called Thiruvankadavu. Beyond that is Aadipadi.
Thanthries do the purifying rituals (Sudhi, Pasudanam, Punyaham, Ganapati Homam and Bhagavathiseva). The Malayirakkal (invoking) of Sri Muthappan is done by Puralimala. In all other Madappuras this is done by Kunnathurpadi.
Invoking Sri Muthappan
At Kunnathurpadi, invoking of Sri Muthappan (malayirakkal) is from Puralimala whereas at Puralimala, it is from Kunnathurpadi. In all other madappuras, this is done from Kunnathurpadi. On the first day of the festival four theyyams appear at Padi Puthiya Sri Muthappan, Puramkala Sri Muthappan, Naduvazhissan Daivam and Thiruavappana. The concept of Vannan about Sri Muthappan is that of Eiver Muthappan (five Muthappans) – Puramkala Sri Muthappan, Puralimala Sri Muthappan (Thiruvappana), Nambala Sri Muthappan (Nambala is ant hill) Sri Muthappan (Vellattam), Thoovakkally Sri Muthappan and Andu Muthappan. There are very interesting scenes in the rituals of Padi. Muthppan does Pallivetta and accepts veethu (madhu) One of the acts depicts the Lord’s writing on the granite stone with His arrow. He is writing moola mantras. Perhaps with this act the Lord may be writing the customs and traditions the generations should observe for all time! One special thing at Padi is that Thiruvappana and Vellattam do not appear simultaneously as in many other Sri Muthappan centres. He comes at night and goes at night. After the divine dance is over, He sits on the platform and asks Nayanar also to sit in front. Sri Muthappan recites the pattola. It is the history of the Lord and His relationship with the Vanavar. Bhandaram (coffer) is brought. Devotees do not put anything directly into the coffer. Offerings are given to the Lord in hand, and Bhagvan places it in the coffer. Then begins the most important aspect of the festival, Sri Muthappan starts His arulapadu, the long wait of the devotees is over and He hears their grievances, consoles them and blesses them, then Vellattam appears after that.
- Muthappan temple
- Sree Muthappan
- Rajarajeshwara Temple
- Chettikulangara Temple
- Temples of Kerala