|Shiva Temple, Aluva. during non-rainy season. Kerala www.youtube.com|
|Shiva Temple, Aluva.www.hindu-blog.com|
Above image: In certain years, the entire temporary shrine gets submerged in water. This is known as natural Arattu – bathing of the deity..........
Every Hindu temple of great antiquity is unique in its own way and its veneration is enhanced by the legends behind it. Devotees with many problems go to such sanctified place for peace of mind and remedy through prayer /prarthana. The latter can be achieved only with faith. The Hindu temple rituals and worships are entirely based on faith in God. Faith in God should be followed by hard work and desire to succeed. This is also true of other faiths as well.
We rarely come across Hindu temples partly submerged in water during rainy seasons normally associated with the NE or SW monsoons, and in spite of it devotees visit them for worship. There is a temple in Kerala that is submerged partly during SW Monsoon and devotees visit the temple and take part in temple festival Maha Shivaratri, unmindful of water logging around the area. It clearly points out people's faith in the power of almighty through prayer to bless them with peace of mind and good health. Aluva Mahadeva Temple is an important place of veneration and Bakthi in Kerala and is different from other Shiva temples across Kerala. Temple is located on the sand bank (flood plains) in between the Mangalppuzha and Periyar river (1Km from the Marthanda Varma bridge on NH-47). Not withstanding the fact that the idol of Shiva here is in Swayamboo form, the temple gains prominence because Shivalinga, that rises from the sands on the bank of the Periyar river, was installed by Lord Parasurama and later worshiped by Lord Sri Rama. Yet another fact is Shivalinga is not enshrined in the Sreekovil or Garbagraha as one will find in all Hindu temples. This place is frequently referred to as the Aluva Manal Puram (in local parlance meaning land with sand).
There is no Hindu temple in India that does not have a legend or two and this one is no exception. One legend has it that the Shiva Linga here on the river bank was damaged because of flooding in the Periyar river whenever it was in spate. Lord Shiva told Parasurama who installed the Swaymbu Lingam that he did not like a temple or any structure built to cover the exposed Lingam.
The other legend has it the Boothaganas - good demons wanted to build the structure and Shiva told them to have it built overnight. Before the dawn, Lord Vishnu, disguising as rooster signaled the arrival of early morning. As the work was not completed as promised, the Boothaganas left the place. According to sthalapurana Rama came here in search of his consort Sita and performed the Tharpana - homage to Jatayu, the bird who fought with demon Ravana and got killed.
Vilwamangalam Swamiyar, a was a true devotee of Shiva and on his visit to this place he realized the presence of Lord Shiva and identified the Shiva Linga installed by Parasurama. No sooner had he begun to worship Shiva, than the lord appeared before him and instructed him to continue the pooja here.
|Aluva Siva temple, Shivaratri indiaeve.com|
|Devotees doing tharpanam.Sivarathri Manappuramwww.newindianexpress.com|
The Shiva Linga in this temple faces east and there is a stone image of nandi (bull). Among the temple festivals, the Maha Shivaratri (February- March) is celebrated on a grand scale that the entire vast sand bank is filled with thousands of devotees who stay awake whole night, doing prayers, Bhajans and chanting mantras. The entire atmosphere is charged with devotion and religious fervor. Devotees also pay homage (Tharpanam) to their pithroos - forefathers by dipping in the river at Brahmamuhurtha after the ritual.
|Aluva Shiva Temple, Kerala. www.keralataxis.com|
As for pooja protocol there is only one pooja from Makaram to Medam - only athazha pooja and on other days only just nivedyam (food offering) is offered to the deity as in other temple. Temple is managed by Travancore Devaswom Board. Aluva town is located on the banks of Periyar river, 21 Kms from Ernakulam.