Arulmigu Keralapuram Mahadevar Thirukkovil
The Keralapuram Mahadevar Temple is one of its kinds. A very powerful and extremely rare lord Ganesh’s temple exists for many centuries in Keralapuram near Nagarcoil Dist. in Tamil Nadu. ‘Adisiya Vinayakar Koyil’ literally translates to ‘Miracle Ganesha Temple’. Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, is known by many names. Vinayaka is one of his several names.”Vinayaka” symbolizes the qualities of a true leader in all aspects. “Viyate Nayake Iti Vinayaka” meaning, He is a master unto Himself. Lord Vinayakar’s idol changes its color to black and white once in every six months. During Utharayan (March-June), the idol is black in color, and in Dakshiyana (July-Feb) idol turns to white. Hence this temple came to be known as ‘’Miracle Ganesh Temple.The first glance of the temple will speak of neighboring state (Kerala’s) influence. There are no exuberant temple towers that we usually find in other Tamil Nadu Temples. If not for the Temple nameplate, one cannot recognize that this is the famous ancient temple. Once entered the temple, one can find a huge yard with deep-rooted trees, a small dome and a sculpture of lord Shiva and Parvathi on it. One can also find a whole lot of Nagaraja idols, and each idol has a unique face to it. There are many idols; the temple is located in a pristine environment, and the whole place echoes simplicity! There are two temples inside the temple complex one for lord Shiva and another is for lord Ganesha. Lord Shiva here is known as Mahadevar. It is believed that the temple was built in 1317. The idols were established long before the temple was built! Although, it is primarily a Shiva temple, one can clearly see the Vishnava’s influence in this temple. Those days Vishnava’s dominance was high and it reflects thru’ Vishnava signs throughout the temple. Lord Ganesh is very famous in this part of the state. This temple was renovated many times over the centuries and this information is available in the temples scriptures. There are beautiful paintings drawn on the walls inside the temple. Once we pass by a huge tree under it is a snake carved out of granite stone, we head to Adisiya Vinayakar Temple. This temple has a long passage and walls are adorned with magnificent paintings. The sacred sanctum has an iron grid sliding door. The sacred sanctum is not an enclosed chamber, as the lord is placed outside, and under the huge banyan tree.The idol here changes its color every six months. There is an interesting story behind this idol. The king, who ruled Keralapuram, went for a pilgrimage to Rameshwaram, a famous shivite temple facing Bay of Bengal. A Ganesh idol is washed over while the king and his men were washing their legs at the Rameshwaram beach. The king then gifts it to his Rameshwaram counterpart ‘’Sethu Mannan’’. Sethu Mannan was overwhelmed by the love and affection, however he returns the gift back to the Keralapuram King. It was his opinion and belief that the finder should have it and it was the right thing to do. Along with the idol, the Rameshwaram King gifts another Huge Emerald Idol. However, the Mogul later looted the emerald idol during their invasion. They could not take the idol with them, it was stuck to the ground. So, the idol was left behind. Though, the temple was built in the 12thcentury idols here are quite older than the temple. According to the temple priest, the idol is at least 2,300 years old! The idol was not installed according to the agamana shastra; it is simply kept on the elevated platform. People offer their prayers every morning and in the evening. Abhishekam to the lord takes place every morning and in the evening! Hence the idol found at the Rameshwaram beach is worshiped here. It is believed that those who are looking for their soul mates, married couple wishing to have kids throng this temple. By breaking coconut, and offering rice dumplings to the lord, devotees believe their wishes will come true. Devotees also believe that the idol color changes every six months is due to god’s grace. There are many devotees come her just see the color change. The color of the idol changes to black and white every six months i.e. during utharayana (March-June) and dakshiyana (July-Feb). During Dakshiyana the color of the idol changes to white, and in utharayana it is black in color. There is another miracle associated with this temple. There is a well inside the temple complex and the color of the water too changes every six months. When the idol is white in color, the water changes to black and vice versa! Right now, the color of the water is black in color. Though, there is no ‘’fall season’’ in the tropical states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, however the key temple tree has a unique characteristic where leaves starts to fall during dakshiyana, and new leaves starts to sprout from march. This is not a typical behavior of a Banyan tree.