By Biju Gopinath, Paravur
Paravur puttingal Devi Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kollam district. People in and out Kollam district come to this temple. ' Puttu' in Malayam means ant hill. A small temple was constructed when the presence of Godess herself was experienced on an ant hill. Later on, the temple was reconstructed a couple of centuries before present.
The temple reconstruction was started in 2006 and the renovation work is still going on.Upon completion,it would make Puttingal temple one of the biggest temple complexes in Kerala. The massive renovation project is carried out by a set of people who have vast experience in handling similar large projects. The renovation work has already been started with the 'thodupani' puja. The elaborate estimate and plan of sreekovil (sanctum santorium), Upadevalayas, nalambalam, kambapuras, kalithattu, dwajam(the flag post), kshetrakulam(temple pond), gopurams(towers), koothambalam and chuttumathil (compound walls) are already done. At the extreme end of the front compound, there is the prathishta of Lord shiva which face with puttingal Devi. The entire project is estimated to cost Rs.5 crores. Money does not seem to be a problem since devotees are coming forward to contribute very positively and the funds are available without any delay.
The full frame work is made with Teak and each part of the sreekovil appears fully devotional.
Aval ( beaten rice) and malar ( the puffed rice) are the main offerings for the Puttungal Goddess along with tender coconut and flowers. The annual temple festival which is also the birth day of the Goddess is celebrated on the star Bharani in the Malayalam month of Meenam (March-April). Aswathy vilakku, Kampadikali, Kathakali, Marameduppu and other cultural events are associated with the festival. The festival lasts for seven days each year with huge crowds of pilgrims thronging the temple grounds each day. The very big compound which surround the temple especially to the front can accommodate more than a lakh of people without any difficulty. Malsara Kambam (fire works) is one of the main attraction in connection with meenabharani maholtsavam. It starts around 10' o clock on the last day and is on till the next morning. Kathakali is also an inevitable item of the festival.
The festivals attract thousands of visitors and foreigners. After the festival the temple close for seven days. On these days pooja does not take place.
Thottam paattu is also a main offering of the puttingal temple. It begins on the 21st day of Vrischikam ( November - December) and lasts till the principal festival of the Goddess. Three persons recite the story of Devi in three parts, twice a day first in the evening and later on after Deeparadhana. After the Thottam paattu season also the temple close for seven days.
There are lot of temples in and around paravur. On the day of the festival of each temple, the evening procession come to Puttingal temple before it ends. People believe that if we pray Puttingal Devi deeply, their sufferings will be mitigated by Amma - the eternal Mother . Lots of people witness this.
Getting to the Temple
- By train
- Paravur is the first main railway station from Kollam to Trivandrum. After getting down at Paravur Railway station, go to the western direction. It will take 15 mnts to walk and by auto it is a minimum charge trip.
- By bus
- From Kollam in KSRTC Fast Passenger: get down at Chathannoor and catch another bus from there. It takes 15 minutes to reach Paravur Bus stand
- From Trivandrum, by bus: get down at Paripally (1 hr from Trivandrum) and catch Paravur Bus. It is around 10Kms from Paripally to Paravur bus stand.
- From Paravur Busstand, it is only 10 minutes walking distance to the Temple.