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108 Dhivya Desam - Thirukkadittaanam

Location :  Thirukkodittaanam near Chenganacheri
Perumaal :  Amritha Narayanan
Thaayaar :  Karpakavalli
Theertham : Bhumi Theertham
Paasuram :  NammAzhwar
Vimaanam : Punyakoti Vimanam
Travel Base : Kottayam

Description: Thirukkodittanam  is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharatam. (Chengannur - Yuddhishtra, Thiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Thiruvamundur - Nakula and Thirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It is located near the town of Changanacheri near Kottayam. This ancient temple has been glorified by the Tamil hymns (Thiruvaimozhi) of  NammAzhwar.

Legend has it that this temple was built by Sahadavan of the Pandavas. It is also believed that this village was ruled by Rukmangatan, a king of the Solar race.

 

The Temple: This temple has a vritta (circular) vimanam. Several murals (possibly from the 17th century) adorn the walls of the sanctum, portraying images of Shiva Tandavam, Karatarjuniyam, Vinayaka, Sasta, Yoganarasimha, Rama Pattabhishekam, Mahisasuramardhini, Mohini, Venugopala, Anantasayanam etc. The temple structure dates back to the 11th century. There are subshrines to Narasimha and Dakshinamurthy here.  The Narasimha image is said to date back to the Vijayanagara period. The wood carvings and murals date back to the 16th through 18th centuries. Inscriptions from the period of Bhaskara Ravivarman (10th century) are seen in this temple.

 

High walls surround it and give it the grandeur of a fort. Stones are so carefully chiseled and joined that it is impossible to distinguish joints. There is a large 2-3 acre tank outside the temple. On the bank of the tank, near the temple gate, there is a big pillar on top of which is kept hanging a human figure in granite stone, with a crown, sacred thread and a conch. This image  is related to a historic story of petty feudal warfare. Stone inscriptions found here are of significance .

 

Festivals: A unique custom of sprinkling rose water along the circumambulatory path is seen in this temple. Deepa Mahotsavam is celebrated  in the month of Vrischikam (Nov 15 - Dec 15). This festival is said to commemorate the self immolation of Madri the mother of Sahadevan. In this unique festival, plantain leaves are arranged in the form of a pyre, and torches are inserted and lighted to the accompaniment of unique percussion instruments.