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Temples & Legends Of Kerala
Kulapati's Preface Author's Preface
Introduction The Temple Of Sri Padmanabha
A Temple Of Serpents The Goddess Who Has Periods
Aranmula Parthasarathi Ambalapuzha Krishna
Sabarimala The Fierce Lord Of Ettumanur
The Benign Lord Chottanikara
Kaladi A Temple For Kannaki
A Temple For Bharata Sri Rama Temple At Triprayar
The Vadakkunnathan Temple The Lord Of Guruvayur
A Temple For Rama And Lakshmana The Historic Tali Temple
Tiruvangad Peruma Rajarajeswara Of Taliparamba
Trichambaram Krishna Temple Other Temples
Major Sections
Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

INTRODUCTION

The annual temple festival or Utsavam in Kerala temples are, as mentioned earlier, important events and generally lasts as long as ten days or even more-at Chengannur Bhagavati temple it lasts even
28 days. The hoisting of the temple flag usually marks the beginning of the celebrations. The arattu or the ceremonial bathing of the deity marks the culmination. The real emphasis, however, during the
festival is on rituals and purificatory rites to increase the Chaitanya or power of the deity. In fact, Utsavam consist of two classes of functions-the Akathepaditharam or the ritual side and Purathepaditharam or the ceremonial side for amusement, which consists of elephant procession, music, dance, fireworks etc.

Temples and Politics

Temples have played an important part not only in the religious life of Kerala but also in its political history. Writes K. V. Krishna Ayyar in I-is A Short History of Kerala: "There might be nothing unique in the Chera, kings propitiating their tutelar deity, Kottavai, before they started on their warlike expeditions. Marthanda Varma, again, might not be doing anything peculiar when he got his sword consecrated at the temple of Adikesava at Tiruvattur before he attacked the Dutch in 1741. But the0 worship offered by the Zamorin not only to his guardian deity but also to the tutelary deity of the enemy was original, a new device in statecraft, seducing not only the enemy's allies but also his deity."  

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