Thursday, 2 June 2016

Shree Varaha temple Azheel, part of Muziris hritage, Kerala.


Shree Varaha temple Azheel, Kerala. www.muzirisheritage.org
This Hindu temple, near Pallipalayam in Kerala, is in the area where the Gowda Saraswat Brahmin community  of Kerala has been living for centuries. It is near the great Muziris heritage site. This place is 25 kms from Kochi city and 4 kms from south paravoor. There are 31 temples established by them  and this temple has all the seven deities  venerated by them. These people  migrated to this part of Kerala from Goa and other areas  centuries ago during the religious persecution (16th century) under the Portuguese rule.  Seven of the  GSB families  settled in Azheekal in the Vypeen island near Cochin. One  Krishna Prabhu, a rich trader had  two  idols  of Sree Varaha and Sree Vithoba with him which were temporarily installed  and worshiped at this place of worship. 

Sree Varahamoorthy in Chathurbahu form with shnkha chakra abhaya varada mudra is the presiding deity of this temple. Sree Venkatachalapathy with Lakshmi Devi and Bhoomi Devi on left/right side is also installed in the Srikovil (Garbagraha - Sanctum). Sree Varaha Murthy soon became the Gramadevata of the Azeekal community.  Sri Krishna Prabhu  donated the lands upon which this temple was built and the idol was consecrated in 1565 AD by Sri Yadavendra Tirtha Swamiji, the first pontiff of Kashi Mutt. The idols in the temple at Azheekal,unfortunately, were stolen in 1723 AD and  and were replaced by new idols. After a long period of time, the stolen idols were recovered. The Mahajanams and the families, living in that area  donated extensive lands to the  temple  for upkeep, maintenance, daily (nithya)puja rituals, etc. The temple came to be known as Sree Varaha temple. The temples established by them serve as centers of religious and cultural life of that community, thus preserving their age old tradition, language, worship and aesthetic values. It is under the control of Azheekal Varaha Devaswom Board. The Dwajsthambam was installed in 1900. This temple is famous for Rathoutchava - pulling of big Chariot with  the deity on the ratha along the rathaveethi (street). The chariot was introduced in 1909 and the rathaveethi was built specifically for ratha procession.  This temple takes the credit of being  the only Sampoorna Kshetra  - 'complete temple' of the Nagara type in South India.  Hanuman, Ganapati, Mahalaxmi, Garuda, Shiva, Durga, Yakshi and Nagadevatha are the upadevathas or sub deities in this famous shrine.
 Ref:
 http://www.muzirisheritage.org/azheekal-sree-varaha-temple.php