Panniyur Sri Varahamurthy Temple
|Panniyur Sri Varahamurthy Temple|
|Elevation:||10 m (33 ft)|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Sri Varahamurthy (Third Avathar of Lord Vishnu)|
|Important festivals:||Varaha Jayanthi|
|Architectural styles:||Traditional Kerala style|
|Number of temples:||12|
|Number of monuments:||2|
|Records indicate the temple is the first temple built in Kerala by Parasurama nearly 4000 years ago.|
|Governing body:||Panniyur Devaswom under Raja Zamorin of Calicut|
The Panniyur Sri Varahamurthy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex situated at Kumbidi, Palakkad district of Kerala, India. This Temple is believed to be the first temple in Kerala consecrated by Parasurama nearly 4000 years ago.
The temple of Sri Varaha Murthy was built by Parashurama about 4000 years into the past. For around 3000 years since its inception this temple was considered as the prime temple of Kerala.
It is also said that for an approximate period of 1300 years ranging from 800BC (when the Brahmanas ruled Kerala) to 600 AD (around the end of Peranakans rule), Sri Varaha Murthy, the reigning God of Kerala’s renowned village Panniyur, was worshipped as the supreme god of Kerala. Some recently found stone engravings at Panniyur reveal that 1200 years ago there was an active organisation by the name ‘Panniyuraayiram’, which as its name suggests had 1000 members who were devoted towards carrying out the various cultural and religious activities of the temple. This again stands to emphasise the prominence that this temple enjoyed in those days.
History of the temple
Creation of Kerala
Following his victory over the Kshatriyas, Parashuram had donated all that he had won to Kashyap. He had then sought a piece of land to carry out his meditation, and so he had pulled out a small fragment of land from the sea for the purpose. History claims that this small fragment of land is what exists now as Kerala. Eventually Parashuram’s piece of land had begun rising and expanding. Disturbed, Parashuram had sought Narada’s help. Narada had advised him to pray to Lord Vishnu. And so Parashuram had begun his meditation in order to propitiate Lord Vishnu. Finally Vishnu had appeared before him and had said, "Once I had assumed the form of Varahamurthy to save the world. Worship that form of mine and this place will have the blessings of ‘Thri Murthy’."
Story of Perunthachan
Heeding Vishnu’s advice, Parashuram had established Shri Varahamurthy at the centre of his land fragment and had built a temple to house it. He had also duly initiated all worship activities there. It is that divine temple which is the Panniyur Mahakshetram of today.
Following the demise of his beloved son, for which he held himself responsible, a mentally disturbed Perunthachan, the great carpenter, through the course of his wanderings had reached Panniyur. Weighed down by fatigue, hunger and thirst he had sought relief from the carpenters who had been then carrying out rejuvenation work at the Mahakshetram. Having had failed to identify the ‘Master’ of their profession the workers had quite conspicuously neglected him and afterwards had broken for having lunch without having had uttered even a single word to him. Quite shocked and angry by such behaviour from their side, the ‘Master’ had decided to teach them a lesson. He had moved inside the sanctum sanctorum where the carpenters had kept blocks of wood ready to be converted into columns. The ‘Master’ had made some marks on those wood blocks before resuming with his journey. When the workers had returned, they had quite unwarily sawn along the marks made by the ‘Master’; just imagine their embarrassment and frustration when they had discovered that all the columns just fell short of their appropriate lengths. Their careers and professions at stake, they had suddenly realised that the ill-dressed man they had so criminally neglected at lunchtime had been the master carpenter Perunthachchan himself, and that it had been him who had caused all this turmoil. Having had repented for their behaviour, they had decided to seek him the following day and beg for his forgiveness; and so decided they had settled down for the night. They had been woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of hammering and chiselling from inside the Sree Kovil. They had rushed inside to find that the old man had come back and that he had just finished adding the final touches to their pending work. Amazed and thrilled, they had sought his forgiveness. They had said, "Oh Master! So many of us have been deriving our livelihoods out of the work we used to do here. Now that you have completed the work we’ll be rendered jobless.
Perunthachchan had replied, "Do not worry, friends! Panniyur temple will never ever be short of work to offer members of our profession. Anyway I will never touch my chisel and measuring rod ever again."
So saying he had dropped down his chisel and rod, which have been ever carefully preserved by his followers at Panniyur Mahakshetram and are still available for everyone for see.
Predictions of Adeeri
Mahapundit Appath Adeeri had written his autobiography on pieces of copper around 600 years back, in which he has made his predictions for the future. These pieces were found recently and the scriptures have been translated into Malayalam. The Mahapundit had predicted that the Panniyur Mahakshetram would definitely regain its lost glory and fame. The time that he had indicated in his writings is ripe now. He had foretold that when this blessed day arrives, everyone who believes in Shri Varahamurthy would be blessed with ‘Abhishta Karya Sidhdhi’ (i.e. the realisation of everything that one had prayed for). Devotees believe that when in peril, if one utters the words ‘Varahamurthy Rakshikane’ (save me, Varahamurthy) thrice, Shri Varahamurthy would rescue one from all impending perils and dangers.
The ‘Devaprashnangal’ held here since 1983 indicate that within the next two revolutionary periods of the Saturn, this temple shall enhance in prestige and prominence to be at par with great temples like Guruvayur and Shabarimala. It is clear that Shri Varahamurthy has reincarnated himself at this temple to bless one and everyone. Many a devotee has claimed that he/she has already felt the blessing and glorious presence of Shri Varahmurthy. It is said that all devotees of Shri Varahamurthy shall be blessed with ‘Abhishta Karya Sidhdhi’. And hence the number of devotees of Shri Varahamurthy is increasing day by day.
This temple is the only one in Kerala to worship the ‘Varaha’ avatar of Shri Vishnu. This temple also houses and worhips Updevtas like Sri Shiva (‘Vadakovil’), Sri Ayyappa, Sri Durgabhagavathy, Sri Ganapathy, Sri Subramanya and Sri Lakshmi Narayan. This temple is also said to have the blessings of Chitragupta and Yakshi. This temple also has a stage and a huge ground to accommodate spectators. The legendary ‘Panniyur thura’ is located just to the North of the Mahakshetra. It is believed that the fishpond constructed by Parashuram used to be located just a little south of the temple.
Among the different pujas conducted here the most important one happens to be the ‘Abhishta Sidhdhi Puja’. This puja costs Rs.101/- and is believed to pave way for ‘Abhishta Karya Sidhdhi’.
This puja is booked in advance till a long time into the future. Yet with due consideration to those who visit this temple, 3 days in a week have been earmarked for the conduct of this puja immediately or as soon as can be managed for all such devotees.
‘SANDHYA DEEPARADHANA’ is considered as the most auspicious time to seek the blessings of Sri Varahamurthy. Covered in sandalwood paste and adorned in scintillating jewellery, the divine form of Sri Varahamurthy is for every mind to embrace and seek solace with.
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