25 January 2012

Parassinikkadavu Sree Muthappan Temple in Kannur, Kerala

Parassinikkadavu Sree Muthappan Temple is a famous centre of worship in Kannur district of Kerala.  Sree Muthappan is considered to be a manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu

Located at Parassinikkadavu, about 20 km away from Kannur, this temple is unique for its worship styles and rituals. Unlike other temples here the offerings to the deity include toddy [an extract from coconut trees], fish and meat.

As a ritual Theyyam is performed on all days in the temple.Theyyam is a ritualistic art form popular in Malabar, the region comprising northern districts of Kerala.

There are several versions of the story of origin of the temple. However the central character in all these stories is a boy with divine powers who came to the place from nowhere and disappeared mysteriously. Villagers who felt the presence of Lord Shiva erected a temple to mark his presence.

Situated on the banks of Valapattanam river, the temple attracts devotees from all over Kerala irrespective of their caste and faith.


Enjoy the ritual dance at the temple...


Have darshan of Sree Muthappa Dharsanam....


Here is a virtual tour of the temple which is breath-taking...


The famous Muthappan [Siva] Temple [Parassinikadavu Madappura] is on the banks of the Valapatanam river.

Muthappan is believed to be the personification of two divine figures — Thiruvappana and Vellatom. The dual divine figures Thiruvappana and Vellatom are similar to those of the Theyyamkaliyattem of the northern Malabar region. Though Sree Muthappan is worshiped as a single deity, it actually represents an integrated or unified form of two gods: Vishnu [with a fish-shaped crown] and Shiva [with a crescent-shaped crown].

Sri Muthappan's Theyyams are performed year-round whereas other Theyyams are seasonal [lasting October to May]

According to tradition, the main abode of Muthappan was Puralimala near Mattannur. The story goes that Muthappan appeared in the form of a child before one Padikutti Amma. The child had an insatiable appetite for liquor, fish and meat and became a nuisance to the family was therefore turned out from the house.

Armed with a bow and arrow Muthappan wandered from place to place and eventually reached Puralimala.  At Kunnathurpadi, on his way to Puralimala, he climbed on to the top of a palmyra tree near the house of one Chandan and drank toddy.

Chandan who happened to arrive on the scene, is said to have been turned into a rock at the gaze of Muthappan. Here Muthappan completely disappeared from the scene and nothing more was heard of completely disappeared from the scene and nothing more was heard of him.  It is believed that he came down to Parassinikadavu.

According to tradition, a member of the Vannan community at Parassinikadavu found a metallic arrow on the trunk of a Kangira tree and having felt something divine about the place, reported the matter to the senior member of an ancient Thiyya family in the neighbourhood. The latter, who felt the divine presence of Muthappan, immediately performed the necessary ceremonies and offered worship to him.

Sree Muthappan is always accompanied by a dog. Dogs are considered sacred here and one can see dogs in large numbers in and around the temple.

One can see two carved bronze dogs at the entrance of the temple that are believed to symbolize the bodyguards of the God. When the Prasad is ready it is first served to a dog that is always ready inside the temple complex.

Local legends enhance the importance of dogs to Sree Muthappan, such as the story that follows:

A few years ago, temple authorities decided to reduce the number of dogs inside the temple; so they took some dogs and puppies away. From that very day, the performer of the Sree Muthappan Theyyam was unable to perform; it is said that the spirit of Sree Muthappan enters the performer's body for the duration of the ceremony. But He probably refused to enter the Theyyam performer's body because the dogs had been removed. Realizing their mistake, the dogs were brought back to the temple by the temple authorities. From that day onwards, Theyyam performances returned to normal.

It is an accepted dictum here, that whatever is received by way of gifts or offerings should be spent for the  benefits of the pilgrims. The daily offerings made to Muthappan are also different from what they are in other temples.  It has been customary to offer toddy, fish and meat as 'nivedyams' to this deity. 

People of all castes and communities including members of the Muslim as well as Christian communities are known to donate sums of money as vazhipadu of Muthappam. The annual festival which falls on December 1st, provides a special occasion for pilgrims to throng the Parassinikadavu temple.

The temple is situated 20 kms, north of Kannur town.

Getting there:

Nearest Railway Station: Kannur, about 20 km away.
Nearest Airport: Mangalore, about 120 km from Kannur town; Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode, which is 93 km from Kannur town

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