Peralassery Sree Subrahmanya Temple and the largest stepwell in Kerala

 Centuries old ornamental stepwells are common in the semi-arid regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat states that are meant for the nearby communities to access the potable underground water in the hot season. The principle is simple; Deep underground, the evaporation of groundwater is far less than near the surface so waler lasts almost all thru the hot months. It is quite surprising there are some stepwells in the state of Kerala that receives heavy rainfall during both SW and NE monsoons. Besides there are back waters and countless rivers flowing from the ghats toward the Arabian sea. Positively the presence of  stepwell in the fertile region of this state will make one curious. 

stepwell,Peralassery Sri Subrahmanya Temple,Kerala

Sree Subramanya Temple, Peralassery, 14 to 16 km (on Kannur-Koothuparamba Road)  away from Kannur town, Kerala  is a unique one for a few reasons: 

01. Lord Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya, it is believed, on a visit to this place while in search of  his consort  Sita, was so much enchanted by the serene surrounding, he installed the idol of God Subramanya (Kathikaya) and prayed here, 

02. Worship of nagaraja (snake worship) is famous here and lots of childless women visit this place and instal a stone image after they are blessed with a baby. The presiding deity in this temple is the serpent form of Lord Subrahmanya and on the temple premise there are numerous stone images of Cobra; eggs are the main offerings, called  ‘Mutta Oppikal’.  Below the  Ashoka tree there is a sort of mole hill and devotees perform naga aradhana (snake worship) by offering  eggs and milk to the snakes residing in the cave to get rid of various ailments!   Another legend has it  Lord Subramanya, son of Lord Shiva, appeared at the temple site in the form of a five-headed serpent and lived in the pond for a long time. 

03.The presence of the largest stepwell in Kerala with innumerable geometrically designed steps leading to the ground water. 

Peralassery Sri Subrahmanya Temple,Kerala

Peralassery Sri Subrahmanya Temple,Kerala

As for the stepwells, there are steps  all around the pond and the descending steps in the center of the side are wide. The open stepwell here  is similar in configuration with those in Gujarat or Rajasthan (called  baoris). But here, there are no artistic pavilions in the deeper parts supported by ornate stone pillars as in the western states. They serve as the meeting place for the womenfolks who come there to collect water and relax. 

nearest location Kannur.

The local belief  has been that  the water from the Cauvery river   mysteriously flows into the pond in the stepwell on Thula Sankramam (Tula Sankranti–Libra Solstice). On this day devotees reach the pond at the bottom and take a holy dip and later offer prayers.  This festival  at Peralassery Sree Subrahmanya  temple coincides with Cauvery Sankramana festival in Kodagu, Sankramana, Karnataka.