|Muthappan temple, Kerala. Thiruvappana and Vellattamen.wikipedia.org|
|Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple, Kerala. tourmyindia.com|
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.