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Poovar is a small coastal village in the Trivandrum district of Kerala state, South India. This village is almost at the southern tip of Trivandrum while the next village, Pozhiyoor, marks the end of Kerala. This village has a beautiful beach which attracts tourists.
State government offices
- Poovar, Sub Registrar's Office
Poovar lies very close to Vizhinjam, a natural harbor. Poovar has an estuary which connects with the sea during high tides. The 56 km Neyyar River passes through Neyyattinkara taluk into the Arabian Sea near Poovar. Its natural beauty enables it to be a quiet tourist spot.
Poovar was a trading center of timber, sandalwood, ivory and spices. In around 1,000 BCE, it is believed that ships owned by King Solomon of Israel landed in Ophir, which is identified by some sources as Poovar, while the village was one of the ancient Muslim settlements along the western coast of India. The central mosque in Poovar was built by Malik Deenar, an eighth century Muslim preacher. During the reign of Madhurai Naikar, there were riots against the Nadar community in Madurai, west of Kerala in Tamil Nadu. As a result, the Nadars migrated to different parts of south India with the vast majority of them settling in Poovar. During the reign of the Chola dynasty, Poovar was a major port. The explorer Megasthenes, Roman writer Pliny the Elder and Venetian traveller Marco Polo mention connections with Greece and Rome.
There were a merchant named Pokku Moosa Maraikkar who lived in Poovar during the 18th century in a house called Kallaraickal Tharavad, which many times gave shelter to Marthanda Varma (1706–58), king of Travancore from his enemies. Poovar also had trade relations with international markets at this time as well as a well trained army and some ships. At the Battle of Colachel and Battle of Kayamkulam these forces assisted the Travancore army against the Dutch East India Company during the Travancore–Dutch War.
The origin of the name "Poovar" has a story related to Marthanda Varma. Before that it was called Pokkumoosapuram. During internal riots in Travancore and while escaping from the Ettuveetil Pillamar (Lords of the Eight Houses), the king reached Poovar. It was a spring season and the trees on either sides of the Neyyar were full of flowers. These flowers fell into the river making it more attractive. On seeing this pleasant scenary, Marthanda Varma commented that this was poo-var, a conjunction of the Malayalam words for "flower" and "river".
Poovar also played a critical role in the life of the orphan Raja Kesavadas who arrived in Poovar and joined with Pokku Moosa Maraikkar. Pokku Moosa had strong relations with the royal family and thus Kesavadasan was appointed as gumastan[in English?] in the palace. Later he became the Diwan of Travancore.
The most famed and legendary Arumanoor Koyikkavilakom Sree Bhadrakali Devi Temple is situated near Arumanoor Koyikkavilakom, Arumanoor Desom, Poovar Panchayath, Neyyattinkara Taluk, Thiruvananthapuram District. The all powerful and benign Arumanoor Koyikkavilakom Sree Bhadrakali reigns eternally supreme at Arumanoor and nurses her devotees. Arumanoor koyikkavilakom Sree Bhadrakali is the incarnation of three legendary Goddesses. Hundreds of devotees from far and near flock to the temple to bend before the Goddess with awe and reverence to prostrate and redress their affliction and agony. She poured them with blessings. According to mythology, Centuries before, there is a vast majority of Nambuthiri families resided there. Among them, there lived an enchanter with magical powers and knowledge. One day he was stepped near a pond named Arumanoor Edavoor Poonthoppe pond, he saw three beautiful ladies were bathing. With his charismatic demeanor, he realized the fact that the goddess disguised themselves as beautiful ladies. By chanting manthras, the Nambuthiri picked away their outfits and ornaments. Then, a lady among them followed him to his house. Then the enchanter with his magical powers transformed her as a little beautiful girl. He entrusted his mother to look after her. She nurses her as a mother does her child. One day the girl compelled the mother to decorate her with old outfits and ornaments. On wearing it, she transformed herself as a beautiful lady. And she went very near to the well and vanished. There arise bubbles and appeared a deity. Soon the man started rituals. Afterwards "Thirumudi idols "were installed instead of "Manimudi" and started rituals. Later the Nambuthiri had a night mare in which it is revealed that the other two beautiful ladies were the sisters of the deity and she wants him to establish them in the same place where she sojourns. According to the revellation of the charismatic man, one of the idols has been established in the same place and the other is established at Puliyinkil near Irumbil. In mythological study, it is said that, three Goddesses were incarnated as Sree Bhadrakali Devi only for the assassination of Daruka at the age of Kaliyuga. Kaliyoot Parnate festival and other festivals were conducted in the holy place. Sree Veera Marthandavarma, the king of Venad once participated in the Kaliyoot Parnate. Threatened by the" Ettuveettil Pillai" Marthanda Varma lived without revealing his whereabouts and identity, His Highness disguised himself among the devotees and visualize the parnate festival. The epic juxstaposes the fact that the idols of the temple protected the king from Ettuveetil Pillai. Devi protected the king from his enemies by showing jestures for travel by the north direction. As a remuneration for this help,He offers his majestic sword(Udaval) to the temple as a reward which is kept at Vadakkeveedu Thekkathu situated 200meters away from the temple.The majestic sword will be brought back to the temple once in every six years, at the time of Paranettu festival with all dignities. The old temple had decayed and the abode of the almighty Bhagavathy has become an antique due to hundreds of years. After 1973, there formed a trust including 22 devotees in REG NO 685/73 DTD: 27.04.1973 and they initiated to renovate the holy place. Strangely enough, they conducted Aswathy mahotsav in Meenam for every year, which was considered as the birth star of Devi and also conducted Kaliyoot Parnate festival for every six years. Kaliyoot festival is divinized only with the shrine and supreme presence of the divine idols of the three goddesses. There are three idols in the sanctum sanctorum. This is only one temples in Kerala where the three Goddesses were represented in the Kaliyoot Mahotsav.
- India9.com, Retrieved on July 1, 2008
- Nadar, G. Krishnan (2001). History of Kerala. Learners' Book House. p. 41.
- Menon, Rekha (1961). Cultural Profiles. Inter-National Cultural Centre. p. 1.
- Murickan, Jose (1991). Religion and power structure in rural India: a study of two fishing villages in Kerala : Poovar, Sakthikulangara. Rawat Publications. p. 43.