|Shiva's bull, Bragadeshwar temple thanjavur. en.wikipedia.org|
|Vallasala Kanthalloor Sri Mahadevar Temple harekrsna.com|
Valiyasala Mahadeva temple in Valiyasala in Thiruvanthapuram district is a popular temple dedicated to Trinity Gods. The temple also goes by the name of Kanthalloor Mahadevar Temple which is spread over four and a half acres of land set in a serene ambiance. The main deity Lord Shiva graces from the main Srikovil / garbagraha and the other major shrines are dedicated to Brahma (here he is Rudra Shiva) and to Mahavishnu The temple complex, besides three large shrines. also has eight small shrines, dedicated to other deities.
|Mahabaleswar temple,MH,see the bull. Age Fotostock|
Just like other temple legends, this one has no historical records to support it. The 17th - century royal records with respect to this temple refer to the temple as Jwala Mahadevar'. However, historical and archaeological records point out this temple is far older than this period.
As to the date of construction of this temple, the general consensus has been that it dates back to the 7th century. According to Mathilakam records (official records of the Padmanabhaswamy temple), Kanthalloor dates back to the 7th century AD. Chola inscriptions from the time of Rajaraja Chola (985 -1016 AD) also refer to Kanthalloor. An inscription belonging to Rajendra Chola, discovered on the rear wall of the sanctum, puts the date of origin of this temple before 1045 AD. The earliest record being that of the Parthivapuram Pattayam (a historical record) of 866 A.D.
The three major shrines are in the inner courtyard. - all with the slopping conical roof with copper plate. The smallest one is that of Brahma at the center, flanked on either side by the shrines of Vishnu and Shiva. Vishnu's shrine is a two-story structure. All have the traditional `Mukhamandapa'or frontal pavilion.
According to one version: Concerned about his bull's adamant, but playful attitude, which was quite unusual, Shiva sympathetically looking for him by visiting many places closer to the village of Thaliyal, on the banks of the river Karamana. In order to pacify the errant nandi, with a compromising gesture, Shiva, along with Parvati appeared before him and offered him food and asked him to take his permanent residence in his place. This great event is remembered every year and in memory of this incident, to this day, during the annual Kanthalloor festival, Shiva, accompanied by Vishnu and Brahma, stops by at the Thaliyal Shiva temple. This is done to offer food to nandi and thereafter he proceeds for `aarattu' (the ceremonial bath) in the Thaliyal temple pond.
|Thaliyil Mahadeva temple, Kerala Kerala Tourism|
The other version is as follows: The temple priests come up with their own story which is more or less interpretive and it does not show the bull in good light. As a school boy playing truant, the bull also played truant, frequently leaving the temple premises secretly in the dead of night, in search of greener pastures and be free from temple duty and returning to the temple before sunrise. This having become habitual, his nocturnal roaming in the nearby fields went unnoticed. One day, things went berserk for him. Bull became confused over the sunrise and it was embarrassingly too late for him to return to Kanthalloor. So what he did was he chose the available space in a hurry bury at the Thaliyal temple.
That he chose the spot right before shrine of Ganapathi, instead of Shiva at Thaliyal, confirms this convincing interpretation. Lord Shiva of Kanthalloor is still in perpetual pursuit of Nandi to get him to his place.
01. In those days women were forbidden to enter the temple and presently, such restrictions are not there.
02. This temple was used as a place of gathering by Ettuveettil Pillimar to conspire against the Maharajah of Travancore Marthanda Varman.
03. In the enmity between Travancore ruler and Ettuveettil Pillimar group, the temple became a center of conspiracy and one of the members put a spell on the ruler of Travancore.
04. In 1749 AD, Marthanda Varman renovated the temple to nullify the evil effects cast by the Ettuveettil Pillimar and his supporters.