There is a temple in Kerala that is surrounded by water all year round. This temple, called Ardhanareeswara, is located in Veligondu within the Arakkuparamba village of the Prerinthalmanna taluk in the Malappuram district. It is known to possess a powerful positive energy that emanates from it, making it a significant place of worship. Despite its significance, many people are unaware of its existence.
Let’s delve into the enigmatic offerings of this unique temple.
Kerala and its distinctive places
The Ardhanareeswara Temple, a sacred shrine dedicated to the Ardhanarishvara form of Lord Shiva, is a rare gem in the rich tapestry of Hindu spirituality. What makes this temple truly unique is its remarkable attribute: the pradakshina path and the main sanctum are always filled with water. This enigmatic place of worship is said to be where a yogi once had a divine vision of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati together.
A Divine Fusion of Masculine and Feminine
The Ardhanarishvara form of Lord Shiva is a striking representation of the union between the male and female energies of the divine. In this form, Shiva embodies both the masculine and feminine aspects, symbolising the perfect balance and harmony between the two. Half his body is depicted as Lord Shiva, and the other half as Goddess Parvati. This image carries profound metaphysical symbolism, emphasizing the inseparability of the male and female principles in the cosmos.
The temple’s dedication to this form of Lord Shiva is a profound statement about the temple’s spiritual significance. It invites devotees to contemplate the duality and unity of existence, highlighting the idea that the universe itself is a harmonious blend of contrasting energies.
Shivratri: A Day of Revelation
While the Ardhanareeswara Temple maintains its watery ambience throughout the year, there is one exceptional day when this unique characteristic takes a backseat. On Shivratri, a significant festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, the water from the main sanctum sanctorum is drained. This day is celebrated with great fervour and devotion as it offers devotees the rare opportunity to have a direct and unobstructed darshan (sight) of the Shivling.
Shivratri at the Ardhanareeswara Temple is a spiritual experience like no other. The unveiling of the Shivling symbolises the temporary dissolution of duality, emphasizing the oneness of the divine on this auspicious occasion. It is a time when devotees can bask in the divine radiance of Lord Shiva, contemplating the profound unity of all existence.
A temple of divine rituals
On the Makam nakshatra day during the Dhanu Masam (which occurs from December to January), the yearly five-day festival at the temple begins with the ceremonial flag hoisting known as “tri kodiyettu.” The Thiru Arattu ritual marks the conclusion of the celebrations on the fifth day.
On the Makam Nakshatra day in Mithuna Masam, which falls from June to July, there is another big event. A three-day Kalam Pattu is held during this occasion. The respected Goddesses adored at the temple may also be offered water, precisely 1008 pots of water, as part of the sacred ceremony known as jala abhishekam, which devotees can directly engage in at this Kerala temple.
This temple also has a prominent pooja known as the ‘Uma Maheshwari pooja,’ which is widely practised by devotees. It is believed that performing this pooja has the potential to resolve various marriage-related issues, including facilitating early marriages. However, it is important to note that these beliefs are based on faith and tradition.
A must-visit temple for Keralites!
Ardhanareeswara temple is something mysterious and powerful to witness. Additionally, the brilliant green rice paddies surrounding this sacred location, set against the lovely Kodikuthimala backdrop, create an atmosphere of profound serenity and tranquillity that is highly resonant with devotees.
To reach the temple, you need to cover a distance of 6 kilometres from the Karinkallathani bus stop, which is situated along the Palakkad-Kozhikode national highway.
So, seize this opportunity! Plan a trip and make your way to explore this exceptional temple in the enchanting land of God’s Own Country!