Payyanur Sri Subramanya Swami Temple with unique tradition

Payyanur Sri Subramanya Swami Temple, Kerala.
Payyanur Sri Subramanya Swami Temple,, Kerala/
In the southern state of Kerala, there  are numerous temples dedicated to Lord Karthikaya (lord Subramanya or lord Murugan as popularly known in Tamil Nadu state). For numerous Malayali families, Lord Subramanys is the family deity. Among the Subramanya temples of Kerala, this is one is traditionally different and  the temple festivals  are unique and  as simple as it can be. No pomp and show as one will find in many temples during the festival times. The Payyanur Pavithram or ring, if worn with trust, will help the devotees achieve their desires. 

Payyanur Sri Subramanya Swami Temple, located at Payyannur, 21 kilometers north of Taliparambu on NH 17 is a popular Hindu temple, dedicated to lord Subramanya  or Karthkya.  Believed to be constructed by Lord Parasurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, this temple is known as the 'Palani' of Kerala  and is on a plot, covering of 3.5 acres.

About this temple and the temple town Payyanur, there are references  in Brahmanda purana. Muni Garga mentioned about this temple and the place to  the Pandava brothers when they were in exile (vanavasa). The six feet tall idol of lord Subramanya with a long vel (trident) is housed in the Garbagraha - Srikovil and each day five pooja and three Sivelis are conducted. There are shrines to other deities such as Lord Ganapathi,  Kanya Bhagavathi, Sasthavu,  Parasurama and others. This temple, destroyed in the 1700s when Tipu Sultan of  Mysore raided this place  was rebuilt  in AD 1792.

This temple was destroyed, it is said, two times. Once due to a fire and then during the attack of Tipu Sultan of Mysore The temple was reconstructed in the present form in Malayalam era 967 (AD 1792). The earlier  temple structures  such as Dwi thala sreekovil (for Lord Subramanya covered with copper roofing and 2 golden stupas and a golden sree mukham), a copper roofed mandapam with a copper thaazhikakkutam, a Vaathalimaatam with a golden snake motif on its top, a Chuttambala two copper roofed sub-shrines for Lord Parashuraama and Lord Ganapathi with Saastha besides 4 Gopuras were all  destroyed by fire on 27th Meenam 964 (March - April 1788) by Tipu’s forces. Fortunately because of prior information about the impending attack by Tipu's forces,  some of the items in the temple like balithitamb of the Lord were saved as they were safely  kept at Peringothth Kottathh as arranged by the Chenga Koovilakam Chiraykkal Raja.
The main idol was not damaged and after this unfortunate raid by Tipu Sultan; however,  the temple remained closed for three full years. The temple was
 re-opened on Vruschikam 967 by the senior woman of the Thaazhakaat manna. The temple was rebuilt in 968 K.E in accordance with the temple Agamma Sastras.

The interesting features of this temple are there are no big festival processions with pomp, caparisoned elephants, etc. On the contrary  the thitamb of the deity is taken in  a procession on the head of the priest daily. Many temples do not have this kind of simple tradition. 
Payyanur Sri Subramanya Swami Temple. payyanur pavithra ring.
Yet another tradition, worthy of mention is wearing of Pavithram by the temple priest. Pavithram is a sort of  ring worn during performing Vadic rituals or during the "pithrubali" in the Hindu tradition. Normally Brahmins wear it when they perform Ammavasai Tharpanam and other ceremonies. Commonly, the traditional Pavitram is usually made of "dharba" grass normally grown on the banks of the rivers. In the case of  Payyanur Pavithram, it  is made of gold and silver. Unlike numerous temples of south India, including Tamil Nadu, here the temple priest or Acharya must wear it before commencing pujas or temple rituals.The Pavithram is to be worn on the right ring finger and, it is believed, that this ring will bring luck, grace and success to  anyone who wears it with the deep devotion and trust in god.

Temple Timings: 4:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM