Meenkolathi Bhagwathi temple

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By P.R.Ramachander

Meen Kolathi means “She who resides beside a fish pond”. This is a temple for Meenakshi and is situated in the Pallasena village of Palakkad District on the road connecting Palakkad and Kollengode.

This temple was established by a family of Mandradiyars who originally belonged to Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. After loosing all their business assets, they decided to migrate to Kerala. They visited the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, which was their family deity, before coming to Kerala. The eldest member of the family took a stone from Madurai before starting the journey. He was daily offering worship to this stone. In earlier years he used to visit Madurai temple every year. Once when he became very old, he kept his umbrella and the divine stone on the shore and got in to the pond to take bath. One day, while bathing, he cried out in remorse that due to his advancing years he may not be able to visit Madurai again.When he finished his bath, and came out, he could not lift either the Umbrella or the stone from where he had placed them. They appeared to have been permanently fixed to the ground. When his people called astrologers and conducted a Deva Prasnam, (asking questions to God), they found that the stone which was fixed to the shore was Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai herself. After 400 years, the Mandradiyar family built a temple for Goddess Meenakshi on the same spot. They consecrated the ashta Durgas (Brahmini, Kaumari, Maheswari, Indri, Vaishnavi, Narasimhi and Varahi) around the sanctum sanctorum. On account of this, none is permitted to go around the sanctum sanctorum. The main festivals of the temple are navarathri, Karthiga, Mandala vilakku, foundation day, and palli vettai and vaira poojai. On festival days, the sword and lamp is taken in procession. People believe that all sickness will vanish, if people bathe in the pond opposite the temple.

The temple opens from 5.30 AM till 12.30 on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays but during the other days between 5.30 AM to 10.30 AM. In the evening it is open between5.30 PM to 8 PM.

In the temple there are separate sub temples for Ganapathi,, Naagar (snake god) and Bhairava.

Chandattam to remove problems from enemies is performed during the first Tuesdays of certain months in this temple.Seperate pooja reciting Bhagya suktham and Eikamathya suktham are also performed in this temple. In the may-june month (Vaikasi-Edavam) month, the thol pavai Koothu (shadow play using dolls made of leather) is conducted for ten days. They sing and enact the story of Ramayana during this time. On the last day, the arrow of Lord Rama is kept in front of the Goddess and is worshipped. Once in 12 years during the full moon day of the same month, a festival called Palli pana is celebrated. Fire walking is one of the high light of this festival which is celebrated for four days. On the fourth day, the asura called Daruka is killed by the Goddess.

In the eastern and western part of the temple there are two agraharams (villages where Brahmins reside). In the east side village there is a shiva temple and on the western side village there is a Vishnu temple. Pilgrimage to Meen Kolathi is considered enhanced, if one can visit these two temples also.