God Muthappan, Parassinikadavu, Kerala - here Thayyam and liquor offerings are part of worship

Sri Muthappan temple and Thayyam dancers, N.Kerala mykeralatravel.com/

Muthappan temple, North Kerala. indiatravelblog.com  

Among the strange and unconventional offerings made to Hindu gods in India, liquor as an offering is a weird one, normally unheard of across India and there some exceptions.  In my last post (https://navrangindia.blogspot.com/2020/09/superstitions-jinx-and-some-hindu.html) I mentioned about Bhairon Mandir near Delhi where the devotees offer both Indian and foreign liquor as offering to God Bhairava, a fierce-looking form of God Shiva. 
Muthappan temple Kanur dist. Kerala. mykeralatravel.com


Muthappan Thyyam, Kerala. .dsource.in/

In the South Western state of Kerala, a temple dedicated to Lord Muthappan, a form of both Gods Shiva and Vishnu  stands apart. It is famous for liquor as offering and divine counselling is part of Puja protocol.. Here, the Brahminical satvik worship tradition is not followed  He is a folk god revered by the people.  mykeralatravel.com/

Located on the scenic  banks of Valapattanam River at Parassinikadavu about 20 km from Kannur corporation, the temple boasts of   one of the lowest rates in the country for puja - prayer starting from just 25 paise to Rs.13.25 for ."thiruvappana" while for marriage it is Rs 5.25 and rice feeding for kids is fixed at a mere 75 paise. Locally, he is called  as "Parassini Muthappan Madapura" . He is an incarnation of Gods Shiva and Vishnu, two of the trinity gods in the Hindu pantheon. Unlike other Hindu temples yet another feature is the mode of worship which is  a ritual enactment of both characters of Muthappan, by way of  a traditional  colorful and impressive dance known as Muthappan Theyyam.

Muthappan  in kannur blessing a baby, Pinrest.com

What is special about this temple that makes it stand apart? The offerings to god include  liquor local brew toddy,  grilled dry fish and meat and fish, besides the devotees can 'interact' with the God here.  They can pour out their pent-up grievances and long, unfulfilled wishes  in a free-wheeling manner. A dedicated person  assumes divinity and acts as a representative of  Lord Muthappan,  The theyyam responds with convincing solution to the  devotees  who take them seriously as sacred. as god.'s divine dispensation. Invariably, such interaction of people on the temples premises with a representative of god will loosen their mental agony and nagging  anxiety and offer them solace and hope. Such a divine counselling, equal to listening to a shrink by lying on the couch, is rare among the Hindu temples. 

Above image: Kuri Kodukkal’ (in Tamil Kuri solluthal) A rep. of god Muthappan in dance regalia is giving  advice and blessings to his devotees...........

After counselling, the theyyam  parts with the liquor and elderly male devotees take it as "nectar" . As for other offerings, they are  given to dogs, considered the Lord's pet animal. This strange temple is marked as a popular dharmastala" of north Kerala, providing free food and accommodation to devotees. Almost daily on an average, nearly 2,000 devotees visit the shrine and more during festivities. 

A fact worthy of mention is regardless of  caste, creed and religion  temple rituals and worship, are done by people from  backward Thiyya community while the Muthappan theyyams are enacted by scheduled Vannan community. .Thiruvappana (Lord Vishnu) and Vellatom (Lord Shiva), it is beloved,  fought for the cause of low caste  God's  life is  portrayed through a traditional dance known as Muthappan Theyyam. This is the reason  why the performers of Thayyam are from other communities.