Janardanaswamy Temple, Varkala, Kerala and tying of dolls on the fertility tree!!

Janardanaswamy Temple, Varkala, Kerala. tourmyindia.com

Above image:  Janardhana Swamy Temple, Varkala, Kerala. the holy tree with dolls of fertility.....

Janardanaswamy Temple, Varkala, Kerala. virtual-eyes. aminus 3com

A dream longingly cherished  in the bosom of a married woman is to become a mother of a healthy baby. Stepping into the world of womanhood is the most important event for a woman. Woman attains womanhood only if she has a child or two. Some women are unlucky and experience miscarriages, abortion, etc. Married  Women do not want to go through the pain and agony of childlessness if they are pushed to the edge of being tagged as infertile, short of medical diagnosis. Their biological efforts having been failed, they now turn to god  to be blessed with a kid. The journey from intense prayer to the delivery of a healthy baby is a tedious one and is bereft with many issues that need to surmounted with patience. Once their wish is fulfilled, their joy has no bounds.  A mother needs a son or daughter regardless of her own age to laugh, feel proud,  cry and share joy and sorrow.  When aged every hug and cheer from her kids gets her going unmindful of her physical impairment.  

Spiritual needs, worship rituals and practices may vary among countries and more often it is so among the Hindu temples of India. General consensus among  Hindus is no matter how hard you try to achieve your goal,  the determining factor is the "edit of God". God's blessing gets due importance in many spheres - business, education, carrier, etc.   In the case of couples without a baby, regardless of modern technology available nowadays, majority of them rely on intense prayer and visiting temples where their aspirations and hope get rejuvenated and finally they are blessed with what they have prayed for. Having a wealthy baby is on the mind of most couples  to avoid criticism and carping remarks. 

Across South India, in particular, Tamil Nadu hanging or tieing colorful dolls or small model cradles from the tree on the temple premises is a common practice among women who want to be blessed with a baby. It may be superstitious, but their  belief is so strong no person can stop them. The main driving force is trust. In many temples one can see an array of small stones carved with an image of snake and the women offer the stone image to the temple with an intense prayer that she be blessed with a baby. In most of the Hindu temples there is a separate space in the prakara /corridor or pradakshina path for installing  stone-carved  snake images. 

This kind of superstition or strong belief prevails in Kerala. The famous snake / naga temple at Haripad  in Alappuzha district  is a good example.  A popular  centre of pilgrimage for the devotees of serpent gods (Nagaraja), the Nagaraja temple "Mannarasala" in Haripad nestled in the midst of a densely  wooded area  has over 100,000 stone images of snakes all around the temple and they are all donated by the couples seeking fertility.  Upon the birth of their child the couple visit the temple to express their gratitude and after prayer install a new snake images as offerings. 

At the Surya Sadashiva Temple, Ujire in Mangalore, Karnataka  dedicated to Lord Shiva (Rudra),  here  devotees offer cradle clay dolls to God upon fulfilment of their wish to have a healthy baby. The offering is made  in a park - called Harake Bana  that is specially built for the same.

 Janardanaswamy Temple, Vakala, Kerala:

Lots of women folks visit the  Janardanaswamy Temple, Varkala, Kerala  to offer their prayer for a baby. There is a holy tree on the temple premises and here instead of offering model cradles or snake images, women tie  colorful dolls on the tree after prayers, hoping they will be blessed with a baby.  

Motherhood. in.pinterest.com

old tree at varkala temple, Kerala,TripAdvisor

Dolls at the varkala temple. www.alamy.com

Dolls at the temple.www.alamy.com

hand-made dolls. www.alamy.com

Above image:   Janardhana Swamy temple, Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala near the coastal area is a famous pilgrimage center for the Hindus. A temple of great antiquity, it is dedicated to God Vishnu  whose idol is enshrined in the sanctum- sreekovil along with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. Located in a serene place with quite soothing ambiance lots of women visit the temple with a firm determination to be blessed with a baby. 

There is a holy banyan tree on the temple premises. The strong traditional belief has been that those who seek  baby are required to to make dolls as offering to the temple. They offer flowers, etc and after a brief puja hang the doll(s) from the old tree and seek God's blessings. Though this  practice has been in vogue in many parts of south India, it is more common in Tamil Nadu and Kerala than other states.