Devaswom boards in Kerala

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Devaswom (Sanskrit: Property of God) are socio-religious trusts in India that comprise members nominated by both government and community. Their aim is to manage Hindu temples and their assets and to ensure their smooth operation in accordance with traditional rituals and customs. The devaswom system notably exists in the state of Kerala, where most temples are either managed by Government of Kerala-controlled devaswoms or formed by private bodies/families. The properties of each temple are deemed to be the personal property of the presiding deity the temple and are managed through a body of trustees who bear allegiance to the presiding deity.

The four Kerala devaswoms (Guruvayur, Travancore, Malabar and Cochin) together manage nearly 3000 temples.[1]

Revenues[edit]

The four devaswoms (Guruvayur, Travancore, Malabar and Cochin) earn about Rs. 1000 crore annually[1][2]

Devaswom Approximate annual revenue (yearly income)
in crores (INR)
Net Assets of Board
in crores (INR)
Number of Temples Richest temples (annual revenue in crores (INR))
Guruvayur 400
2500
12 Sri Guruvayurappan Temple (400)
Travancore (TDB) 390
N.A. 1240 Sabarimala Hill Shrine (200)
Chettikulangara Devi temple,Mavelikkara(100)

Ettumanoor Siva Temple (60)
Malayalappuzha Devi Temple (5.75)

Malabar (MDB) 80
N.A. 1337 Kadambuzha Sri Parvati Temple (8)
Cochin (CDB) 50
N.A. 403 Chottanikkara Devi Temple (6)

Travancore Devaswom Board[edit]

Travancore Devaswom Board is an autonomous body formed as per the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act of 1950. It is one of the oldest Devaswom Board, as a successor to Travancore Royal Devaswom Commission. The headquarters of Travancore Devaswom Board is located at Devaswom Complex in Nanthancode, Thiruvananthapuram. Current president of Ttravancore Devaswom Board is Prayar Gopalakrishnan. Immediately after the British take over of Travancore , all temples till then, managed by different communities and families were confiscated including all its movable and immovable assets and put under the control of one institution with top control resting with the British resident. This also lead to the bhrahminical worship in all temples. The Sabarimala temple, is the largest and most important temple of Travancore Devaswom board. The second largest temple under this board is Chettikulangara Devi temple at Mavelikkara. The Constitution of the Board was based on the covenant entered into by the King of Travancore. The current president is Shri. Prayar Gopalakrishnan. Sabarimala is the main income source of the board, with Rs.90 crore accruing to it from there during the previous pilgrimage season (Nov.2010-Jan.2011).[3] The income from the rest of the temples in Kerala was Rs.57 crore.[3]

Administration[edit]

The Board comprises President and two Members, the President and one Member is nominated by the Hindu members of the Kerala Council of Ministers and the other Member from the Hindu Members of State legislature. The term of the President and Members is for a period of three years. The headquarters of the board is in Nanthancode,Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Main Temples[edit]

Governed Institutions[edit]

Schools[edit]

There are several Primary and Higher Secondary schools all over South Kerala.

Colleges[edit]

There are four aided colleges all over South Kerala. They are:

Temples[edit]

Sree Subrahamanya Swami Temple,Pnanachery,Trichur Mahadeva Temple,Pananchery Sree Balasubramanyaswami Temple Cheriyanad

Malabar Devaswom Board[edit]

The Malabar Devaswom Board[4] was formed by the H.R & C.E (Amendment) Ordinance of 2008 of Government of Kerala. The Board consists of 9 members. There are five divisions Kasaragod Division, Thalassery Division, Kozhikode Division, Malappuram Division and Palakkad Division. temples are in Special Temple category and the others in A,B,C,D category. in special category are [5] 'Some of the well known' temples (*All temples cannot be included)

Prominent 'Category A' temples: Cherukunnu Annapoorneswari Temple, Cherukunnu, Anantheshwaram Temple, Kasargod, Kalarivathukkal Bhagavathy Temple, Valapattanam.
Prominent 'Category B' temples: Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy Temple, Kongadu, Viswanathaswami Temple, Kalpathy, Thaliyil Neelakanda Temple, Neeleswaram. These temples are in relative lower category but are highly famous in the region.

[6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Guruvayur Devaswom Board[edit]

The Guruvayur Devaswom Board was formed for administering the activities of Guruvayur Temple.

Administration[edit]

Administrative office started functioning since 1997. The day-to-day administration is to be looked after by an Administrator appointed by the Government of Kerala. The Managing Committee includes the Tantri of the temple and others.

Cochin Devaswom Board[edit]

Main Temples[edit]

Pandavathu Siva Temple,Maradu,Ernakulam Ayani Siva Temple,Maradu,Ernakulam Kottaram Poonithura Sreekrishna Swamy Temple, Maradu,Ernakulam

  • Rajarajeshwari Temple, Chottanikkara, Ernakulam
  • Shree Poornathrayeesha Temple, Thripoornuthura, Ernakulam
  • Shiva Temple, Ernakulam, Ernakulathappan.
  • Elangunnapuzha Temple, Vypin
  • Kodungallur Bhagawathy Temple, Kodungallore
  • Pazhayannur Bhagawathy Temple
  • Cochin Pazhayannur Bhagawathy kshetram, mattancherry, kochi
  • Cochin Palliarakkavvu bhagawathy temple, mattancherry, Kochi
  • Peruvanam, Thrissur
  • Arrattupuzha, Thrissur
  • Vadakkumanathan Temple, Thrissur
  • Sreeramaswamy Temple, Triprayar
  • Kanchanapally Ayyappan Temple, Patturaikkal, Trichur
  • Sreerama Swamy Temple,Manali,Near Kalyanam Tile Company,Trichur
  • Thanikkudam Bhagavathi Temple, Thanikkudam
  • Chittur bhagavathi temple,Palakkad

Educational institutions[edit]

Criticism[edit]

The Devaswom Board has been seen as corrupt and making improper use of profits from temples. Other criticism include the inability of the Board to sufficiently operate major temples in Kerala, despite the huge profits that the Board receives. This is thought to be a product of corruption inherent within the Board. The Aravana Payasam Controversy of 2007 at Shabarimala was a prime example of Devaswom's (and the Government's) inability to cope with the running of the temple.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]