Saturday, 2 July 2011

Lord Brahma at Kottakkal

Lord Brahma at Kottakkal

by Mantra & shlokas on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 3:15pm

When one begins to research Brahma temples in India, there is a short list of places that consistently come up after the preeminent Pushkar, and one of these is Kodakkal, Malabar.

As usual, we have the issue of nomenclature to deal with: Kodakkal in the Malabar region of Kerala is presently known as Kottakkal, in Malapuram, Kerala. Prior to the Indian Independence of 1947, Malapuram (Malappuram) was a part of the Malabar District under the British system. The district included Kodakkal, Kozhikode, Ernad, Valluvanad, and Ponnani taluks. Parts of Malabar District became part of Madras state after the Independence, while others remained with Kerala state.

So the Kodakkal, Malabar being referred to in relation to the list of Brahma temples is actually Kottakkal, situated 24 km. west of Malapuram, near the coast and parallel with Coimbatore. It is one of the oldest Panchayaths in Kerala.

As will be evident from the descriptions that follow, even after identifying the location of Kottakkal, we are still left with a bit of mystery in identifying the Brahma temple there. In fact, it's so unclear that we feel it necessary to point out several temples in the area that have some association with Lord Brahma:

the Viswambhara temple, on the property of the famous Arya Vaidya Sala Ayurvedic center in Kottakkal;
    the Venkata Tevar (Theva) Shiva Temple, a rock-cut temple near Arya Vaidya Sala; the Sree Ramaswamy Temple in Ramapuram, Malapuram, which is 32 km. east of Kottakkal, and 9 km. southeast of Malapuram; and the Thirunavaya Temple, which is 27 km. south of Kottakkal.
Unless there is a hidden Brahmadeva temple in the Kottakkal area that we have not identified, it seems very likely that the temple being referred to on the lists of Brahma temples is the only temple in the general area that is actually dedicated to Lord Brahma – the one in Thirunavaya, on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River.

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