Temples in Trivandrum

Monday, January 14, 2008

This is a quick peep in to share with you some pictures of the many beautiful temples in Tiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum). Photography is prohibited in most temples here, so some of these are sneakily shot. Kerala's temple architecture though brilliant is typified by it restraint in form and colour. But some of Trivandrum's temples gain colour from its proximity to TamilNadu. A state whose temples are famous for its many hued gods and goddesses.
Attukaal Bhagawati Temple, one of the ancient temples of South India, is popularly described as Sabarimala of the Women, as women form the major portion of devotees. The Goddess in the temple of Attukal is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings and the mighty preserver as well as destroyer of them all.This temple is in the Guiness Book of Records for the maximum number of women devotees taking part in a religious gathering.

The stone pillars that flank the entrance are carved elaborately.

The ceiling of the entrance passage.

On either side of the entrance there are depictions of the goddess in various forms

Side entrance to the temple.

Shrikantheshwaram is a famous Shiva temple in Trivandrum. Seen here is the deepa sthambham which literally means pillar of lamps, which is exactly what it is. And makes for a beautiful sight when lit at sundown.

All the rows and columns you see here surrounding the walls are lined with lamps.

Snake gods below the Banyan tree is an integral part of temples in Kerala. Normally there are some 3-5 stone representations. But the Srikanttheshwaram Temple had them going all around the tree.

I LOVED the way this looked. Turmeric is smeared on the idols as an offering.

And finally the most famous and ancient Padmanabha Swamy Temple. And easily the most expansive and beautiful. The rules here are very strict. You are not permitted to enter the presincts with electronic equipment- meaning no camera or mobilephones or other such. You are searched at the entrance. The men are supposed to go in bare chested (as is the case in most temples in Kerala) and the women cannot get in wearing trousers or salwar kameez. Skirts and sarees are fine. There is provision to rent a mundu or set-saree outside the temple which can be worn over the offending trouser or the salwaar :)

The Padmanabhapuram Palace is something I missed this trip. But thats going to be my 1st stop when I go to Trivandrum next. Meantime here are some pics I picked from the net.

This pic is from the wiki page

And all the following pictures are from a pbase artist called oochappan

The Kuttambalam or the theater hall is a stage, raised from the rest of the floor. This is the site of the performance of Kathakali or Chakkiyar koothu recitals. Thus the kuttambalam plays a role in educating visitors on the rich legends of the Indian cultural fabric.

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