Monday, October 12, 2009
Dharamaraja built this temple to repent the killing of his Acharya Drona
Located about 1km West of the Chengannur Railway Station (Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayankulam rail route) is the East facing Imayavarappan Divya Desam in Chengannur, a temple that dates back to the Mahabaratha period.
This Chengannur Divya Desam is better known as the Dharma Raja temple. This temple is also referred to as the Thiru Chitraru Vishnu temple in Thiru Chenkundroor.
There are 5 other Divya Desams in Chengannur-Thiruvalla-Chenganacheri region near Kottayam, referred to as ‘Anju-Ambalam’ (Five Temples of Pandavas). It is important to note that most of the Divya Desams in this region close at 11am. Hence, one has to plan the trips starting very early in the morning around 5am.
An asura, who had obtained lofty boons from Lord Shiva troubled the Devas at this place. Lord Subramanya is said to have come here and killed the asura.
Unhappy at being the cause of the death of his Guru Drona(by announcing the death of Aswathama, 'the elephant'),Dharma Raja, the eldest of the Pandava brothers, came to this place and undertook penance to get peace of mind. He is said to created the idol and built this temple. This is believed to be the first of the Vishnu temples built by the Pandavas in this region.
Another story goes that Imayavars (Devas) undertook penance at this place invoking the blessing of Lord Vishnu. Hence, the Lord here is referred to as ‘Imayavar Appan’.
Panguni Ashta Nakshatram 10 day Brahmotsavam
Thiruvonam Nakshatram Aaratu (last day Utsavam) - The Lord goes on a procession to the Pamba River for an Abhishekam
Ashtami-Rohini- Birthday celebrations of Krishna
Dasavatharam Utsavam- The Lord gets decorated in different avatarams. On the last day, he takes on the Mohini Avataram
January -7 day Sapthaham Festival- During this Utsavam, Bhagavatham Parayanam takes place every day
Deity : Imayavarappan East Facing Standing Posture
Goddess : Shengamalavalli
Azhvaar : NamAzhvaar- 11 Paasurams (3480-90)
Temple Time : 530am-10am and 5pm-730pm
Priest : Mohan Rao (quite unlike a priest, this person has a moustache-and no beard)
Telephone number : 94976 74799 or 0479 2456672
How to reach Chengannur:
Chengannur is located about 120kms South of Ernakulam (Kochi) and about 20kms North of Kayankulam on the Kottayam- Kayankulam/ Kollam (Quilon) rail route. It is just 90minutes away from Ernakulam by most of the super fast express trains that ply on the Thrissur-Kottayam-Kayankulam-Trivandrum rail route.
The Imayavarappan Divya Desam is at walking distance from the Chengannur Railway Station
6 Divya Desams- Half a day car trip
One can start off the visit to the 6 Divya Desams from either this Divya Desam or from Puliyur (Bheema Kshetram).
It is better to take a taxi from the Chengannur Railway Station and cover the 6 Divya Desams in one half of the day. The taxi to cover Puliyoor, ThiruChittaru, Aranmula (Parthasarathy Temple), Thiruvan Vandur, Thiruvalla (Vallabha Kshetram) and Changanacheri will cost Rs.600/-.
For car pick up from outside the Chengannur Railway Station, contact: Driver Mohan @ 99466 73868.
It is best to stay in Kochi and cover these 6 Divya Desams and the 2 Divya Desams around Kochi( Thiru Moozhikalam and Thirukatkarai) in one day.
Location of the 6 Divya Desams in the Kottayam region
1. Puliyoor- 6kms West of Chengannur on the Mavelikara Highway
2. ThiruChittaru - 1km West of Chengannur Railway Station
3. Aranmula- 10kms East of Chengannur on the Pamba river banks
4. Thiru Van Vandur- 6kms North of Chengannur Divya Desam and 4Kms South West of Thiruvalla
5. Thiruvalla- 10kms North of Chengannur and 10kms South of Changanacheri
6. ThiruKadithaanam- 20kms South of Kottayam (Northern most of these 6 Divya Desams)