The History of Kodungalloor, and the temple are indeed fascinating. This is the only temple where I have seen black pepper as an offering. May be a custom from the good old days of flourishing maritime trade.
yes, Indeed. I wonder whether any archaeological findings have been presented that throws new light on the maritime importance of Vanji. But the area itself has a dynamic topography indeed- the unpredictable river, sea currents, I believe all helped bring an end to the importance of Vanji. But would appreciate your input on real location of Vanji. I can only imagine the archaeological treasures hidden beneath the silt!
Another temple I find very intriguing is the Vamana temple at Trikkakkara. There a lot of vattezuthu inscriptions around the sopanam. The architecture is very much like Buddhist shrines.
Never been there, but I've also seen vattezhuthu at the base of Siva temple at Kilikurushimangalam, the birthplace of Kunjan Nambiar, near Lakkidi. This temple is an ancient one indeed- worth visiting!
Geographically too, the location of Madurai and Kodungallor appear logical. Kannaki just had to cross over the western ghats to reach Chera territory
yet it was not an easy task, I think, despite the established trade routes available at that time, the crossings would have been a hazardous trek indeed. But, it always helps having Kannagi as company- No Fear!
An intriguing architectural feature of the Kodungallur temple is the existence of a sealed underground vault. Scholars have speculated that the granite vault may be a megalith or a burial chamber, possibly containing the mortal remains of Kannaki. Until the breaking of its sealed walls for research purposes, this puzzle will never be solved.
yes, but iI wish it'd remain closed!
Several temples between Guruvayoor and Ernakulam are believed to be originally Buddhist/Jain shrines. Trikkanamathilakam was once a center of Buddhists and Jains. I have read (just can't remember in which book) that when Hinduism was gaining a stronger presence in Kerala (I guess during Sankaraacharya's time) the Hindu scholars defeated Buddhist scholars in a debate and forced them to leave their temples. In fact some of the events at Kodungalloor temple during Bharani festival may well indicate that. For instance, the custom of singing profane songs is the practice at Kavu Theendal. And during this desecration ceremony they are said to run around the temple beating the copper roof of the shrine with bamboo sticks. I wonder was this the way the Hindus drove away the defeated Buddhists/Jains?
Yes, I believe it was indeed Shankaracharya that led to the demise of Buddhism and Jainism in Kerala. Consider the erstwhile importance of Kayamkulam as an important Buddhist centre of learning.
There's some controversy regarding the correct date of Shankaracharya. Some say, on the basis of astronomical calculations, that he was born around 9 BC, and not 8th century AD, as popularly believed. I think even before Shankaracharya this process had started- just a hunch because the Ayyappanama stotra contains one glorifying epithet "Bauddha-dharma-vinaashaaya-namah". Can one say the the Sankaracharya merely completed what others had started all along?
Re: the desecration ceremony, I believe 'everything's fair in love, war and theology'
It's so fascinating, this account of Trikkanamathilakam. Can you tell me where this place might be, presently?
Unlike other Siva temples, Lord Udyaneswara is facing west as if looking at the Atabian Sea. Was it similar at the original Trikkanamathilakam temple? I don't know. I wonder whether this was a common practice at temples erected by Chera kings. At the temple at Palani, (built by a Chera king) also the lord Murugan faces the west - the ithihyam is that the Chera king wanted Muruga to face towards his kingdom.
There's one point though: Does the westward facing image be in accordance with the temple vaastu shastra, or just according to the whim of the ruler? I always wonder when the whim of a ruler becomes law, so as to be sanctioned even by the Shastras? Again, if we take this as a common feature, there are many Siva temples which face west, like the Paalora Siva temple on the top of a hillock north of Calicut at a place called Thalakalatthur. Can we derive that most
of the westward facing temples have been encouraged or influenced by the Chera design? just a whimsical thought!
Couldn't agree with you more. What other explanation is there? How can all those events you mentioned may have taken place in our little state?
Some incidents like those from the Ramayana seem plausible because of the relative proximity of Kerala to Lanka. On this score, I have another feeling that the Ramayana again took place someplace else- not where we have supposed it did, in the first place, but another area where the geographical descriptions were more 'in sync'. But rather tell that (to you first) after preparing a proper 'story'.
Adding sub titles- you must be kidding. I have copied it on to a CD, but adding subtitles is beyond me
Oh! Just kidding!
I was thinking something akin to an audio commentary!
Thanks so much for the link to the map.
Did you take a look at the map? I'm curious- hope it was of some interest!
BTW, I need to ask you: what does this 'kulam' word mean? like in Vaniyamkulam, Tiruvanjikulam, Ernakulam, and what about 'Kurussi' like Vaadaanamkurussi. The Kulam word also appears in Lanka Tamil areas.
Quite eager to know your response.
Edited by groomlake, 07 June 2006 - 05:11 PM.