Kodumthara Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Kerala

Kodumthara Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple. Kerala. .keralatourism.org

Kodumthara Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple,  located near Pathanamthitta (about 3 km from Pathanamthitt)  in Kerala,  is a popular one, attracting  lots of devotees daily. The holy shrine  dedicated to God Subramanya, son of Lord Shiva, is on the banks of Achankovil River.  His other name is Murugan, commonly used in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu and Karthikaya in the northern states. He is also known by the name of Velayudha Swamy because his war weapon is Vel.

 Unlike numerous Kerala temples this one is well-known for  its traditional architecture with a well-defined  conical shaped roofing over the Srikovil (Garbhagraham or sanctum). Hence the Srikovil  is in circular form, not in rectangular as one would find in many Hindu temples.One of the famous Lord Subrahmanya temples in Kerala, Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple at Kodumthara is situated on the banks of Achankovil River. The presence of this river rejuvenate the devotees who come from far and wide to seek the blessings of Velayudha Swamy who abode here and safe guard all .
It is also believed that Adi Sankara had visited this temple during his  Mounavrutha ( not talking for a particular period as part of  prayer) and had a meeting with Shakthibhadra, a well known yogic saint 

Kodumthara Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple. Kerala. incrediblekerala.org

Among the festivals, the annual Pooyam or Thaipooyam (called Thaipoosam in Tamil Nadu)  organized  here  attracts lots of people. It falls in the month of January every year..

On such occasions special pujas and rituals are held throughout the day in the temple. Among the prayers made by the devotees, carrying Kavadi is an important one. It is something like a small arched yoke with a cross pole made of bamboo or other wood and on either sides of the Kavadi devotees carry offerings to be made at the temple. They walk, sometimes, several miles carrying the Kavadi. When people carry Kavadi in groups, they go in procession while  traditional music is played. Some people dance dexterously without letting the Kavadi fall. Yet another prayer ritual is devotees in their devotional ecstasy go in a semi conscious state and pierce their body with small vel or lance. This is done to get their prayers answered. These rituals are normally common in all Murugan or Subramanaiya temples.

Various types of Melam (percussion instruments), Kavadiyattam using  various types of colorful Kavadi and fireworks make the rituals more exciting and the devotees do it with utmost devotion and Bhakti. The nearest railway station is
Chenganur, about 30 km fromKodumthara.