Friday, 8 November 2019

All Saints' Cathedral, Allahabad, UP - finest Anglican Cathedral in Asia,18 historical facts

stained glass panel. All Saints’ Cathedral.Allahabad, India
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, UP., India
Gargoyle, All saints church, Allahabad city, India. /
All Saints Cathedral on the Sarojini Naidu Marg (the western end of Civil Lines), Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh built in the 19th century is the most remarkable legacy of the colonial rule in India.  Also known as Patthar Girja Ghar or The Church of Stone locally, this well-reserved colonial structure attracts lots of tourists to this  old city which is an important center of pilgrimage for the Hindus and Christians. There are 14 other churches here built during the colonial period.  It was  in Allahabad, in 1858, Earl Canning read out the proclamation,  transferring control of India from the British East India Company to the British Crown, and the British Raj officially came into being. This city  is known for its  multi-cultural and  multi-religious  fabric.
Gold and marble altar, All Saints’ Cathedral.
The historic church is  remarkable for its  intricate work and designs on the marble altar with  a majestic  pulpit, 
stained glass  windows  and  fine ornate  arches in pale sandstone,  and all these unique features add zest  to this already beautiful edifice. The Cathedral is about  2 km  from the Allahabad Railway Junction. Surrounded by nice  lush green garden,  people who visit this place for prayer and blessing may find it quite relaxing  and may easily go into a meditative mode. When the mind becomes calm and composed, it is good for your  physical as well as mental well being. Allahabad City is well connected with all major cities of India by Railways.
All Saints’ Cathedral, Allahabad, you tube. 
The following are the important facts about this Asia's   finest church despite its age.

01. It is the oldest church built during 19th century and  is  well-preserved as a nice piece of colonial structure in today’s time. Considered  as the best church in Entire Asia,  it  is  more than 128 years old ; the stained glass windows of the church  have not lost the shine and look as if they were original.
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, India.
British Architect. Sir William Emerson,
02. Designed by  Sir William Emerson, an eminent  British architect who also designed popular buildings  such as the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta,  Crawford Market, Mumbai  and the Muir Central College, Allahabad (founded in 1872), he followed the Gothic style of architecture.

03. In those days, the Gothic style  was mostly used by Christian community in  places of worship and the trend seems to continue in many places today.  Quite popular in Europe during the High and Late Middle ages, it  evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France. 04. Sir William Emerson used Canterbury Church, England as a model for this church, as he was very much inspired by the English church.  Founded in 597 A.D Canterbury church  was rebuilt in 1070-77 A.D.  After a fire mishap in 1174 A.D., its east end was enlarged and rebuilt in the present Gothic style.
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, India.
05. The  lush gardens of the All Saints Cathedral in central Allahabad bear striking similarity with those of Canterbury in terms off its serene ambiance.
Gargoyle  All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, India

Gargoyle All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad,
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, India
06. This  cathedral has a dimension of  240 feet by 56 feet Anglo-Gothic stone mass, with a 130 feet by 40 feet nave, resembling most the east end of Canterbury Cathedral in England.  It is the seat of power  of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the symbolic leader of the global Anglican Communion.

07. The remarkable feature of stained glass works is its murals  resemble  those in Fatehpur Sikri,  close to Agra. 

All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, India
08. The impressive intricate designs on the marble altar  look as if they were made in recent time  and despite the age factor of the structure, they have retained their originality even today. It is said the  Bishop's throne in the church is engraved in the style of the Lahore School of Art.

09. The altar  has  mosaic and marble inlay and the pulpit is nicely designed with 3 panels exhibiting amazing  workmanship in alabaster.

10. The central panel represents the crucification with figures of Virgin Mary and St. John at the base. The other figures are St. Mathew, St. Mark, St.Luke and the two martyrs.
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad

11. The cathedral is in a nice surrounding lined with palms. It also presents a façade with fine stucco work, Gothic arches, a  tower, flying buttresses and snarling gargoyles;  the latter ones add beauty to this old structure. The exterior is built in creamy-white stone from Surajpur with fine red sandstone dressings. As for the slanting roof, it is covered with red tiles to prevent seepage of water in the rainy seasons.
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad, India Alamy
12. All Saints Church, Allahabad carries mostly European style of design and construction. However, it does have Indian influences as revealed by  marble latticework. This inspiration owes its origin to  the Mogul buildings of Agra.

13. The work on the cathedral was done by Messrs Frizzoni and Co. and  Messrs Martin and Co. as the chief builders  and the total cost of this project was over Rs. 6,00,000, indeed a whooping sum in those days, 

14. Built  in 1871 by William Muir,
the Lieutenant Governor of the North West Provinces  and his wife Elizabeth Huntley Wemyss is more than 128 years old.  Sir William Muir donated  the land to build the church in Allahabad and then in April 1871, his wife  Elizabeth Huntly Wemyss laid the foundation stone of Cathedral. The church was consecrated in 1887 and the construction was completed in 1891.

15. It was built roughly 33 years later after the subcontinent's administration had been taken over  directly by the British government from East India company's misrule. . 

16. All Saints Cathedral,  one of the sacred places in Allahabad for the north Indian Christian community, can accommodate more than 300 people  at a time during prayer services. 

17. The church is designed in such a way as to keep the interiors cool during hot summer season. Keeping  in mind  the pretty warm weather for much of the year in Allahabad, the cathedral has porches for carriages, low windows that could be easily covered with mats to protect interiors from hot winds and dust, and  high vaulted hallways to prevent hot radiation from the roof.

18. The church has many plaques where visitors can see names of the British administrators and others  who died for various reasons during the time of the British Raj.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, one of the oldest women's colleges in India!!

Isabella Thoburn College on a 2012 stamp of Indiaen.wikipedia.or
Isabella_Thoburn college, Lucknow, UP.
 The Isabella Thoburn College that had its origin  in a small school for girls  in Aminabad, part of Lucknow town (now it is a big city), Uttar Pradesh, is one of the oldest women's  educational institutions in India.   It was opened on 18 April 1870  by Isabella Thoburn,  American missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Now, this college is a famous one in Uttar Pradesh,  informally referred to as IT College.  On 12 July 1886 the college was renamed as  the Lucknow Women's College  Presently,  this old women's college bears the name of its founder Isabella Thoburn who settled in India during the early period of the British Raj with a view to spreading  Christ's  Gospel of Love, strictly following Methodist tradition. Realizing the  women's status in the conservative society  and their high illiteracy,  she made up her mind to focus fully on their school and college education  so that in the future they could  spread their knowledge and work for their welfare  and as well as society's.
Methodist Episcopal missionary Isabella Thoburn
Above image:  Isabella Thoburn (March 29, 1840–Sept. 1, 1901), an American Christian missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church established educational institutions and  carried on missionary work in North India
. She landed in India at a time when the British government in London took over the administration of the subcontinent from the repressive rule of the greedy East India company.  Born in 1840 near St. Clairsville, Ohio, USA,  she attended Wheeling Female Seminary in Wheeling, Virginia (now in West Virginia). She came to India at the  invitation of her brother
James Mills Thoburn, a Methodist Episcopal missionary in India,
In 1866, she taught at 
the college  established by her.  She also founded  a Methodist High School in Kanpur, UP. These two educational institutions  were among the first in colonial India,  serving the  religious and educational needs of  the Anglo Indian  community in the kingdom of  Awadh (now part of UP).............
Isabella Thoburn College. Lucknow, UP.YouTube
 At the very early stage, the college had just six girls as the  girls in the Indian society  were not allowed to pursue education.  The school gradually expanded and by  1871, it moved over to a house called  Lal Bagh,  where the treasurer of the last Nawab of Awadh had lived. 
-In July 1886,  the college introduced  Fine Arts classes under the supervision of the University of Calcutta and  after 1894 the college was affiliated to the newly formed  Allahabad University by the British India government. Upon the death of  Miss Thoburn in 1901, the College was again renamed  after the founder Ms. Isabella.  It was in 1923 the college moved from the present location at Lal Bagh to the new location  Chand Bagh estate, comprising 32 acres of prime land. This place was once a royal garden under the Nawabi rulers of Lucknow.  The college then got ample support from one Nirmal Chandra Chaturvedi, an educationist of great repute and  member of the university Executive Council.

On 12 April 2012 the Postal deptt. of government of India issued a Rs. 5 postal stamp honoring this institution. Now affiliated  to Lucknow University, the college offers several undergraduate and post-graduate courses in various fields for women.  Isabella Thoburn College is being  run by the Isabella Thoburn Society of the Methodist Church in India

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

King Raja Raja Chola II,1034 birth annniversary (Sathaya Thiruvizha)- builder of 1000 year old big temple, Thanjavur

1010 AD. Brigadishvara temple, Thanjavur, Tamil

The subcontinent of India produced countless  strong rulers  of wisdom and valor 1000 years ago. The Chola rulers were quite popular in those days. Among the rulers from the subcontinent, the contribution made by king Raja Raja Chola was immense,  The Thanjavur big temple called  Brehadishwara (locally referred to as Peruvudayar) temple (dedicated to God Shiva) is a popular tourist spot in south India. This unique temple entirely made of granite stone is a UNESCO  recognized World Heritage  Monument. It was built more than 1000 years ago by the  King Raja R Chola II
reign 1146 AD -1173 AD) of the famous Chola dynasty of south
Chola territories during 1170/
  India. This temple is a model of Dravidian type of temple architecture . Thousands of tourists visit this huge temple which is known for its grandeur  and impressive  stone sculptures. Though more than 1000 years have gone by the great king  is a source of    generations across the world. His glory reached far and wide  and his  war exploits, cultivable land management and surveys, recording of history by way of stone inscription, administration of the kingdom  and his utter devotion to religious matter  and construction of Hindu temples bear testimony to his superb  leadership and versatility.  The 80 ton stone dome atop the tower is a riddle.The total height of the entire granite tower is 212 feet. The moot question is:  How did the ruler  put a massive  stone dome on the top of  the tower? Right answer is not yet available.    Lots of architects from western countries come here to do research on the temple construction.
 2017 Sathaya Tiruvizha, Thanjavur Big temple.

The 1,034th Sathaya Vizha marking the birth anniversary of King Raja Raja Chola got underway here on last Tuesday  (5th November) on the temple premises.  Earliest Chola ruler Karikala Cholan in the early part of 2nd century built the world's first water diversion dam using mainly huge blocks of granite called  ''Kallanai'' (Grand Anaicut) which is close to Tiruchi city. That dam  exists even to day  as strong as ever and it is an engineering marvel. During the early British rule, British civil engineers used grand anaicut as a model and built the barrage across the Godavari river in Andhra  state. 
RajaRaja Chola II
 Above image: Chola ruler Raja Raja II (reign 1146 AD -1173 AD) The Chola rulers excelled in agriculture, and and water management way back in those years. Rajaraja Chola II succeeded his father Kulothunga Chola II to the Chola throne in 1150 (the inscriptions of Rajaraja II count his reign from 1146). Rajaraja's reign was weak in the initial stages.  However,  he developed a firm grip and regained control of provinces like Vengi, Kalinga, Pandya and Chera territories. He  invaded Sri Lanka  and captured the territories there.  Being a devout Hindu ruler,  he made many grants to the temples at Tanjore, Chidambaram, Kanchi, Srirangam, Tiruchy,  the temples at Madurai. and also to the temples of Kerala,  He improved  the administrative structure initiated by ruler  Parantaka I. Villages were the smallest administrative units. They were combined to form ‘kUtram’. Many kUtrams joined  to form a ‘Nadu’/ValaNadu and many Nadus formed a ‘Mandala’............

Thanjavur city, Tamil Nadu  location map.

Raja Raja Chola's son Rajendra Chola built a  Hindu temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram (in Ariyalur District) which is  almost a replica of the Big temple at Thanjavur. It is also a UNESCO recognized Heritage monument and  is an epitome of Chola architecture and workmanship. The temple boasts of intricately carved amazing stone sculptures that reflect on the artistic excellence of artisans of those period.
Raja raja Chola, a devout Hindu ruler  built the temple with perfect planning  and construction materials in a place where there are no rock outcrops. The entire delta districts of Tamil Nadu do not have any out-crops of granite and other rocks that belong to the Archean group  according to Geological Survey of India.  Imagine how much efforts he would have taken 1000 plus years back to bring tons of granite stone from neighboring district on the west about 25 to 40 km. The two-day  Sathaya Tiruvizha (festival) was a sort of low-key affair and it was inaugurated by the Collector of Thanjavur District.  As part of this festival there were a seminar, debate and  Thirumurai music programs. Various cultural programs were held on the second day including a sound and light show on the architecture of Big Temple. The temple and the statue of king Raja raja Chola were specially decorated and illuminated during Sathaya Vizha.   Of course there was special abishekam (ritual anointing) done to the presiding deity  Brihadeshwara  and his consort Periya Nayaki (Parvati).  Indeed, a great honor to one of India's prominent  rulers.

Regular jogging - running - advantages and important precautions!!
In the last  five decades, people world over have taken to jogging or running to improve their health, in particular,  heart condition and blood circulation. Both jogging and running, main two forms of aerobic exercise, no doubt,  are popular because it does not cost you money. All you have to do is allot time for the outdoor physical activities. Countless Medical science research papers lay emphasis on regular physical activities for both men and women who, in the last two or decades,  have spent much of their time sitting before the computer doing a variety of work. After long hours of work in the office  when they hit home, they become fatigued. If the  women have children, they will plunge into cooking  dinner and later concentrate on daily chores. Thy hardly get time to go out and exercise. Regardless of their tight schedule, they must  be resolute to set aside  time for regular work-out  to keep the health in good nick. In India both working men and women in the urban and semi- urban areas   work like a galley slave in the office for long hours more than  nine  hours, besides, they also spend lots of time in the congested traffic-ridden roads to go to work and back. To such people who lead stressed life in the urban jungles  physical exercise is a panacea for them and the health benefits are many.
Regular running or jogging offers  a plethora of  health  and longevity benefits.
Pre-exercise  medical screening is a necessity and it is a ''safety valve'' for you  and the enormous  benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you.  The  advantages of running/ jogging are enormous.

01.  It improves the strength of bones and weight-bearing muscles as it is a  sort of weight bearing exercise.

02.  It vastly improves heart muscles, blood circulation and staying power.  Overall improvements of cardio vascular fitness.

03.  Reduction in heart-rate/minute  over a long period of time, reducing the work load  of heart to the minimum.

04.  Lots of  calories are burnt promoting  a healthy weightm that may give you physical and mental agility.

05.  It 
improves lungs' capacity and, over a period of time, you will realize how effortlessly you climb  the stairway  to the 3rd or 4th  floors.   'Panting' will go down considerably after a strenuous physical activity. 

06. It makes the arteries and blood vessels stronger and  reduces BP. The more you exercise the more will be the  palpitation.

07. Regular exercise controls the blood-sugar level. 

08. According to recent studies conducted by Victoria University and Sydney university of Australia, jogging/running not only reduces 30% risk from death due to heart failure, but also reduces 23% risk from death caused by  cancer.  

08. Because of reduction in fatigue and  overall improvement of stamina,  it improves your power of concentration and memory power. It promotes better performance at work. The heart with least strains pumps well and supplies oxygen to the brain. 

09. The most important advantage is if you are in a pressure-cooker situation, going through a stressed  phase, the  well-strengthened heart muscles  and arteries will absorb the negative effects on the body and help you get  over the tense situation. Your approach and attitude will improve for better.

10,  At least 5 times a week engage in jogging. A regular daily regimen of 30 minutes to 50 minutes activities will promote good health.  Even if you jog once a week for roughly 45 minutes it also reduces the death risk  considerably.

11. If you are an early starter, allow a minimum of 4 to 5 weeks to build up to regular running and begin your activities with walking.
 Useful precautions  associated with running/jogging:

a. The advantage of jogging is it has less intensity  and can do it in a casual way unlike running that requires better focus, better fitness and strenuous physical activities involving leg muscles, lungs and heart. 
 b. The benefits of jogging/ running considerably depend on your dietary  habits. Over-eating will negate the benefits from aerobic exercises as it will add more calories to your body. 

c. As much as possible avoid eating beef, pork, etc., besides junk food and junk sugar-rich drinks. Eat lots of  fresh vegetables and fruits; wholegrain cereals and low-fat dairy products and pulses give you more dietary benefits than meat. The well-known Irish satirist and humanist Bernard Shaw was a strict vegetarian through out his life. He said 'I hate people who eat  animal flesh and dead cells'.  Do not exercise soon after a good meal.

d. As for juices, if you take, home-made pomegranate juice, beetroot juice and pineapple juice regularly, it is conducive to good health, They are all good for the heart;  beetroot will improve you stamina and you  won't get tired easily during physical activities. As for pineapple, it is loaded with potassium which is good for the heart. 

e. Many people fail to  do stretching exercises before and after jogging. It is a must, it is roughly equal to tuning your hardened muscles before long physical activities. 

f. If you are,  for the first time,  about to get into  aerobic activities like jogging, etc., do it in moderation in the  beginning. In the initial stages brisk walking will prepare your leg muscles  for later strenuous physical activities involving the entire legs. The impact will be heavy on knee-joints. No stretching of muscles before you resume your exercise means  you will suffer from  severe muscle pull, pain, etc., in the later period.
g. If you want to focus on general fitness - mix your running /jogging  with other forms of exercise such as swimming or sports activities like tennis, shuttle cock, basketball, etc.

h. If you are a woman jogger, it is prudent to choose  safe, well-lit,  and populated routes.  Do not ever try isolated, poorly- lit areas; drunks, anti-social people may be bothering you. 

i. Like-wise choose air-pollution free areas, particularly do not venture out in the fog.  In case, air pollution/air-quality  is bad in places like Delhi,  avoid out-door physical activities 

j. To avoid dehydration, make sure you have plenty of fluids. Take a water bottle with you on your run. Drink plenty of water before, during and after any activity.

k. Avoid running during the hottest part of the day in summer;   restrict your jogging in the morning. 

l.  When you pant a lot, almost out of breath,  breathe in lots of air through mouth, your panting will go down. 

m. Choosing the right ground for jogging is a must. Avoid rugged ground. Choose flat, grassy areas rather than hard or loose (such as sandy) surfaces. This will reduce the risk of knee pain, foot pain, etc. The cumulative effect of running on rough ground will be very bad.  Choose  quality  jogging shoes  with  shock-absorbing material in the heel part. Like-wise wear loose pants and sweat shirt.

Run or jog baby, run or jog, don't be sedentary

Sweating /panting 'll go hand-in-hand.

Among  physical activities to improve overall health and prevent the onset of cardiovascular problems as one  ages and goes past mid age  Jogging or running is, no doubt,  a popular form of physical activity.  The advantage is it neither costs big investment nor does it require  exercising gadgets like tread mill etc that will cost a bundle.; further, you can run at any time either in the morning or in the evening as you wish.  Yet another inherent  benefit  is  when you  jog  in a serene, green  natural environment, say in a park or jogging track  far removed from the madding crowd and urban chaos, it is quite appealing to your mind and  soul.  It is said  one in  five Australians chooses jogging or slow running at some stage of his life to get  health benefits.

 As we are aware that both running and jogging are forms of aerobic exercise, meaning  any intense physical activity produces energy in our body by combining oxygen with blood glucose or body fat. The difference between running and jogging is the former  requires more  energy level as the heart, lungs and muscles  are put to maximum use, unlike  jogging that does not demand high energy level. Both are  beneficial to cardio-vascular functioning and reduces the heart rate/ minute at rest. A man who has been a jogger or runner for a long time will have low heart rate, say 50 beats/per minute that will do the work of 72 to 80 beats/minute. Joggers and runners should take precaution that it is likely after crossing middle age, they may be prone to arthritis problem owing to wear and tear of knee joints weakening ligaments. This problem does not arise if you do aerobic exercise in moderation. 

Today I ran into a news item in the local news paper about the benefits of jogging/running. There are innumerable  articles on the benefits of jogging on health and strengthening of heart muscles. This research report is based on scientific medical research, so the credibility factor does not arise in this case. 
 fast jogging if chased by El Toro. you may pick up 2nd wind.
The research work was done by researchers  at two Australian universities - University of Victoria and University of Sydney. It is based on 14 studies, involving 2,32,149  people whose heath had been regularly checked for 5.5 and 35 years. During the study period  25,951 people died.  The researchers pooled the data  to correlate any amount of  running  was associated with 27% lower risk of death from all causes for both males and females. The study found out:  
01.Running was positively associated with  a 30% lower risk of death from heart problems. 
02. The study also reported  23% of lower risk of death  from the most dreaded disease -  cancer. 
03. Even small bits of aerobic exercise, say  once weekly lasing  50 minutes or less  each time at a normal speed of 8 km /hr had a significant impact on the  health  and longevity benefits.  

The results of this long-drawn research  were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The in-depth analysis focused on the  association between running or jogging and the risk of death from heart problems, cancer, etc. 

The corollary to this research studies is '' any amount of physical exercise such as jogging or running will significantly lower the risk of premature death.  Aerobic exercises have good longevity benefits.
Ref; ''Jogging reduces the risk of early death'', The New Indian Express (Tiruchi Edition), dated 06 Nov. 2019. E.mail: 

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Sree Vallabha Temple at Thiruvalla, Kerala - a historical place of Hindu worship

Sree Vallabha Temple  at Thiruvalla
Sree Vallabha Temple  at Thiruvalla in Pathanmthitta district of Kerala, which is believed to be one of the big Hindu temples of that state, is  400-years old. Located on the  banks of the River Manimala,  this temple has a huge 8-foot tall idol of Sree Vallabha in Srikovil (sanctum). 

It is believed that Lord Vishnu appeared here as Sreevallabhan before mendicant/ sage Durvasa and Khandakarnan.  As wished by the old   Brahmin lady,  Sreevallabhan  took an avatar of a   brahmachari (bachelor) and killed the demon Thokalaasuran who had been troubling the people and the sages for a long time.. The presiding deity installed in 59 BC here is said to have been worshiped by Lakshmi and Krishna.   Since ancient time the puja protocol that has been  followed here is a different one not being followed in other temples. The belief has been that  Sage Durvasa and Saptarishi visit the temple at  midnight for worship.

Known for its architectural beauty and rich orthodoxy, the architect  of Sri Vallabha temple is the famous Perunthachan who had a  54-foot  tall Garuda Sthambha (flag-staff) built. The striking feature of this dwjasthambham is it is monolithic - made from one block of rock of granite, a tough job ingeniously done  by artians of this place way back in the past. The interior of the temple is known for exquisite stone and wood carvings  besides impressive mural paintings. It is one of the Divyadesam shrines recognized by the Tamil devotional scholars/saints - Azhwars. The Tamil Vaishnavite saints Nammazhvar of the 5th century AD (2612-2622 in Divya Prabhandham) and Thirumangai Azhvar of the 9th century AD (paasurams 1806-1817 in Divya prabhandham) had praised  in profusion the  glory of the temple.

For several centuries the temple had been managed by  Thiruvalla pattillathil pottimar (Brahmins of ten families) till 1752-1753. The Sreevallabha Temple  became popular and once had 15 main priests (melsanthi) and 180 assistant priests (keezhsanthi) all the time and another 108 for only daily noon pooja. The temple had boarding and lodging facilities for all devotees, students, teachers etc. It also held  daily  annadanam (serving food to the poor).  Yet another interesting fact is daily only once  about 400 devotees were provided with Naivedyam of Lord Sreevallabhan.  This temple had large income and held vast cultivable lands. Now, those lands do not exist.  During 1752-1753 Marthanda Varma of Travancore  took possession of the temple under force from the Brahmins  and later Ramayyan Dalawa looted  temple assets  and transferred them to Thiruvananthapuram. Unlike other temples of Kerala, for unknown reasons, till 1968, ladies and elephants were not allowed  to enter the temple. Women were  allowed  twice a year during Thiruvathira of Dhanu month and Vishu in Medam.
Sree Vallabha Temple  at Thiruvalla
A note-worthy feature of this temple is it showcases the impressive ancient  traditional dance  of Kerala.  ''Kathakali'' is  performed every day on the temple premises and this place of Hindu worship is believed to have  been once a center of learning centuries ago.  This temple's immense contribution to  maintain the cultural legacy of Kerala can not be ignored. Further, it is, perhaps, the only one temple in this state where  the daily Kathakali dance is performed as a ritualistic offering to the almighty.

The well known annual festival falls in the month of  February-March,  This10-day annual festival  attracts a large number of devotees from Kerala and neighboring states.  As part of the festival, on the first day itself  12,000 bunches of padatti pazham (a variety of bananas) are made as offerings. Best Time to visit this temple which is referred to as  the vallabha kshethram mentioned in Garuda Purana and Matsya Purana is during the festival time of  Thiru Utsavam (Feb/March), Uthira Sreebali (March/April). The  temple is being managed by Travancore Devaswom Board.

Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple,Kerala, a tribal god

Muthappan temple, Kerala. Thiruvappana and
Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple, Kerala.
Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple in Anthoor town on the banks of the Valapattanam River (16 km from Kannur city) is a unique Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva. and it has close tribal connection.   Here, the main deity is Sree Muthappan, whose divinity is  is ritualistically  dual   - theyyam versions -Thiruvappana and Vellattam. The two are generic versions of  two types of ' Theyyam Ketti-aadal ' in the Kavu/temples of North Malabar. Sree Muthappan, is actually  a personification of two Gods – Thiruvappana (Lord Vishnu) and Vellatom (Lord Shiva).; latter in the form of a hunter. 

Believed to be  the caretaker of the  down trodden and  the poor. the god's life is best visually explained through a traditional dance known as Muthappan Theyyam that is performed almost daily. The ritual enactment of both the versions of Muthappan, through a visual expression of  traditional dance (Muthappan Theyyam) is the mode of worship. Unlike other Hindu temples where offering of non-vegetarian food and toddy (local brew  with low alcohol content) is a taboo,  the  traditional offerings to  God Muthappan here include Fish and toddy which are   distributed  as a sort of prasadam.
Yet another strange feature of this temple is, traditional rituals are not followed here.  Muthappan Thiruvoppana Mahothsavam is the the popular  festival of the temple, celebrated for three days every year on 19, 20 and 21 of Kumbham (the days correspond to 3, 4 and 5 March).

 The tradition  has been that  the  ritualistic dance of covering minimum and maximum exposition of  Sree Muthappan, Thiruvappana and Vellattam, is daily  displayed in the early morning and in the evening. Puthari Thiruvappana festival, conducted on 16 Vrichikam  (1 or 2 December), is the first Thiruvappana of the temple year. It  coincides with the  harvesting season of the region. The last Thiruvappana of the temple year is on 30 Kanni every year.
Legend has it the childless Parukutty Amma, wife of King of Ancharamana (Ayyankara Vazhunnor) of Eruvessi village one day while bathing in the ghat close to the river saw a basket with a baby floating in the river. She had the baby retrieved and brought him up as a gift of God.. When the boy attained the adulthood, his activities were against the long-cherished  tradition of a royal family -  eating flesh, etc When she tried to stop him, the boy gave a furious, but godly stare. realizing the stare had  the cosmic force - Shakti, that could bring about unexpected changes in the world. Rani  requested the boy to cover his eyes with a Poikannu, a type of cover for the eyes, so that his fiery stare wont frighten others. Wearing a shield on his eyes, he left the family, and passed through various villages in Malabar,  

Since he had his origin in a tribal family, at last he  reached a village called Kunnathurpadi. There, he became friendly with one Chantan. One day when the local boy was tapping toddy on the coconut palm tree,  Muthappan asked for it.  When Chantan refused, Muthappan, being a divine boy, cursed him to become a stone. Upon hearing this strange thing Chantan's wife  performed the rituals, Oottu, Tiruvappana and Amruthakalasam  to propitiate the  divine boy in the month of Dhanu. Muthappan became subdued and restored Chantan back to life. For the first time, they called the boy "Muthappan".  It is said wherever Muthappan journeyed, he was followed by a dog,  Hence, there is an idol of dog in that temple.