Sree Sundareswara Temple
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|Sree Sundareswara Temple|
|Major festivals||Pooyam Star in Meenam|
|Creator||Sree Narayana Gurudevan|
Sree Sundareswara Temple is one of the two prominent temples consecrated by Sree Narayana Guru Devan in Kannur District, the other being Sree Jagannaatha Temple, Thalassery. The temple is located in suburban Talap in Kannur district of Kerala, India, approximately 2 Km away from Kannur Railway Station, and 3 KM from Kannur New Bus Stand,Thavakkara.
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The ancient inhabitants of North Malabar belonging to the Thiyya Community were denigrated to backward status on advent of Brahmanism in the 8th Century AD. The Status of the Ezhava Community in South Kerala was not different, if not worse. This is the milieu which gave rise to the incarnation of Sree Narayana Guru Devan, whose revolutionary ideas took the length and breadth of Kerala like a storm. Realizing that the members of backward communities were denied the right to enter temples run by higher castes, Sree Narayana Guru Devan embarked on a mission to consecrate temples with Satvik style of worship, by members of the backward castes themselves, who were denied those rights till then. The wave of spiritual revolution started creating positive ripples in the society.
Barring a few, the members of Thiyya Community in Malabar have been far removed from their spiritual maturity originally based on ancient Buddhist traditions, and were indulging in worship of prakritik deities and tamasic practices like animal sacrifice etc. However, during the last part of British Raj, community members started gaining modern education, especially with the help of Missionary run Educational Institutions and slowly but surely started their ascendancy towards social and cultural prominence. Some noble and learned souls among them realized that the tamasic spiritual practices are taking a toll on the collective social psyche of the community and are actually hampering their social and cultural ascendancy.
One such noble soul, Varathoor Kaniyil Kunhi Kannan heard many stories regarding the extraordinary spiritual activities of Guru Devan, and started looking forward to meeting him. After efforts of many days, finally he managed to reach a house in "Anju Thengu" where Guru Devan was staying. Next day he was able to have a discussion with Guru Devan at Shivagiri. He requested Guru Devan to consecrate a temple in Malabar, like those he had done in South Kerala, for the spiritual uplifting of Thiyya Community in Kannur. However Guru Devan asked him why such a temple is required in the land which is ruled by the Queen of England directly, with a lot of community members were highly educated, socially prominent and active in Arya Samaj and Vedanta Societies. Mr Kannan was able to convince Guru Devan that despite these, a large number of population are still following tamasic rites, and no one is guiding them to the right path. Finally, Guru Devan agreed to visit Kannur, in near future. Mr. Kannan came to Kannur and started working towards the aim with other prominent community members like Madhavan Master, Choyi Butler, Manikkoth Govindan Bhagavathar, Karyan Govindan Gurukkal, Chamakkali Kannan, Poovadan Krishnan, Chandroth Ananthan Mesthri, Oyatti Krishnan Vakil etc. They created an executive committee with Choyi Butler as president and Chamakkali Kannan as Secretary.
True to his promise, Guru Devan visited Kannur in 1907 and stayed at the home of Kottiyath Choyi. The matter of temple building was discussed again, and before return of Guru Devan, a committee was formed with Cheruvari Karunakaran Tahasildar as president and Chamakkali Kannan as secretary. In a meeting held on 16 February 1908, Sree Bhagaval Bhakti Pradeepa Yogam was formally established. This organisation was renamed as Sree Bhakti Samvardhinini Yogam in 1913. In 1908, Guru Devan agin visited Kannur on invitation of Chamakkali Kannan and Kombra Kannan Master.
On his visit to see the proposed sites for the temple, when Guru Devan reached the proposed site in Talap, he said this is the ideal place and is a Temple Ground. Later during construction, remnants of an ancient temple was unearthed from this site. After selfless efforts by these noble souls, overcoming a host of hurdles including financial problems, finally the temple was constructed, and consecrated by Sree Narayana Guru Devan at a muhoortham between 3 AM and 3:20 AM on 11th April 1916, during the ascendancy of Pooyam (Pushya) star.
Subsequently, Guru Devan's statue was consecrated in 1938 along with the Dwajastambam (flag pole) and Deepastambam (lamp post). The consecration of the Balikkappura (bali platform) was done in 1939, the Gajamandapam (elephant hall) in 1943 and the temple pond in 1946.
The main annual festival celebration spanning eight days, of this temple is held in the Malayalam month Meenam, starting from Pooyam Nakshatram. Aarat procession begins from the temple at 4PM on the last day of the festival, Arat is conducted at Payyambalam Beach. Govt declares leave for all offices from 4 PM onward on this day.
- (PDF) http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/19928/9/09_chapter%204.pdf. Missing or empty
- Centenary Memorial Book (Malayalam Edition) Published by Sree Sundareswara Temple in 2016.
- Baby Sujatha, V M. “Religious Philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru,” Thesis. Department of Philosophy, University of Calicut, 2004.