Achankovil Sree Dharmasastha Temple
Achankovil Sastha Temple is a Hindu temple and one of the 108 Sasthalayas, located in Pathanapuram tehsil of Kollam district in the Indian state of Kerala. It is also one among the famed Pancha Sastha temples in Kerala, the other four being Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu, Sabarimala and Kanthamala temples. The temple is near the origin of the famous Achankovil river, named after the locality.
|Achankovil Sree Dharmasastha Temple|
Achankovil temple entrance
|Festivals||Mandala pooja (Dhanu), Revathi pooja (Makaram), Chariot festival|
|Governing body||Travancore Devaswom Board|
|Architectural type||Traditional Kerala style|
|Completed||Kollam era 1106, Makaram 12|
|Elevation||950 m (3,117 ft)|
Ayyappa, the MahavaidyaEdit
Lord Ayyappa / Aiyanar presides there in the form of grihastha (householder) and the idol faces east. It is believed to installed by Lord Parasurama himself. The pratishta of Lord Ayyappa here is quite unique from that of other Sastha shrines in Kerala. The idol is known as Rudraksha sila. He is depicted as a grihasthashrami (one who leads a married life) along with his two consorts Poorna and Pushkala. The temple is famed for curing poisonous Snakebites and thus Ayyappa is often portraited as a Mahavaidya (great physician). The right palm of the idol always keeps Chandanam (Sandalwood) and Theertham (sacred water) which is thought to have medicinal properties.
The temple is located near the banks of Achankovil river in the dense forest regions of eastern Kollam, about 50 km (31 mi) from Punalur, 85 km (53 mi) from Kollam and 62 km (39 mi) from Kulathupuzha via Aryankavu, Thenmala and Shenkottai. There is a route through the forest from Alimukku near Pathanapuram to the temple. The panoramic Kumbuvurutty and Manalar falls are on the route to this shrine.
Distances to the temple from various placesEdit
- Thiruvananthapuram:(124 km) via Nedumangad - Kulathupuzha - Thenmala - Chenkottai
- Kollam:(85 km) via Kottarakkara - Punalur
- Pathanapuram:(45 km) via Konni - Achankovil road
- Kulathupuzha:(63 km) via Thenmala - Aryankavu, Shenkottai
- Konni:(41 km) via Kalleli - Kadiyar - Uliyanad - Mannarappara - Thura
- Punalur:(43 km) via Kumaramkudy-Mullumala route, but the route is not in a good condition.
Railway: The nearest railway stations are at Thenmala, Kottarakkara and Punalur.
Airports: Thiruvananthapuram international airport is about 140 km and Cochin international airport about 180 km.
The Thiruvutsavam (annual festival) and Mandala pooja is hosted in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December to January) for 10 days and celebrated in grand style. The Thiruvabharanam (sacred ornaments) procession to the temple via Punalur, Aryankavu, Shenkottai and Tenkasi is another attraction. Pushpabhisheka is conducted on 8th of Makaram. Revathi festival is hosted during the months of January and February. The main offering of the deity is Karuppanootu to appease Karuppaswami, a great friend of Ayyappa. The Therottam (chariot festival), Karuppanthullal and Chapparam procession held on the 9th day of festival is very much similar to the rituals in Tamil Nadu.
The temple holds a number of sub-deities like Malikappurathamma, Durga, Nagaraja, Nagayakshi, Ganapathi, Muruga, Karuppaswami, Karuppayi amma, Cheppanimundan, Chappanimaadan, Madanthevan, Kalamadan, Kochattinarayanan, Shingali bhootathan and Arukola. The back portion of the temple has a Kavu where the Naga (serpent) deity is worshipped for the welfare and sake.
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- "Achankovil Temple in Kollam Kerala - Hindu Devotional Blog". www.hindudevotionalblog.com. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
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- "Kerala Temples in Kollam - Achankovil Temple". keralatemples.info. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
- "Achankovil Temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa in Kollam - Kerala Tourism". www.keralatourism.org. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
- "Achankovil Kollam- A Must Visit Destination in Deep Western Ghat Kerala". www.tourmyindia.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
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- Sree, Ayyappan (2016-11-17). Sastha temples. Siso books. p. 225.