The Lord Ayyappa Temple at Kulathupuzha near Thenmala in Kollam District of Kerala is an important shrine visited by Ayyappa devotees especially during the Mandala-Makaravilaku season. This Shasta shrine is located on the banks of Kulathu Puzha, a tributary of Kallada River, and is in the reserve forest. The deity here is Manikantan or the child form of Lord Ayyappa.
About The Temple
Kulathupuzha Sastha Temple is located on the banks of river Kulathupuzha which is a tributary of Kallada River in Pathanapuram taluk of Kollam district. The presiding deity of this temple is lord Ayyappa who is in the form of Balasastha. It is one among the 108 holy Ayyappa Swamy shrines in Kerala. Lord Parashurama is believed to have installed the idol here. Lord ayyappa is seen here in both fierce mood (ugramoorthi) as well as auspicious mood (mangalapradayakan). Shiva, Yakshi, Vishnu, Ganapathi and Karuppaswami are the other deities present in the temple. It is said that the idol of Sri Sastha was founded by a Brahmin from Kottarakkara. The temple was initially under the control of Kottarakkara raja but later the administration of the temple was handed over to the Travancore devaswom board. The pond near to the temple is another important attraction. Devotees offer Meenoottu vazhipadu for healing the warts in the skin. All the devotees are so concerned about protecting the fishes in this pond, considering them as lord Ayyappa's favorite ones. Fishing is also strictly prohibited here. The tantric rights of the temple are held by Kokkalathu madam.
About the Deity
Lord Ayyappa is also called as Dharma Shasta. There are two main deities in this temple – Lord Shiva and Shasta. Shiva is in the form of Shiva Linga and that of Shasta or Ayyappa is a stone idol. There is also an idol of Lord Vishnu perfectly carved. The temple complex also consists of smaller shrines of Lord Ganesha and Devi Parvathi within it.
Legend and Stories
There is a fascinating legend behind the establishment of the Ayyappa Temple at Kulathupuzha. Once an elderly Brahmin who was returning from his Rameshwaram pilgrimage is said to have camped on the banks of river Kallada. His servants were looking out for stones to create the makeshift oven in order to prepare the dinner.
They found a stone fixed to the ground nearby. They brought two other stones to make an oven. But the fixed stone was bigger than the other two stones. So the servants placed two more stones on top of other to adjust the height. Suddenly, the first stone grew a bit taller. The poor servants raised the level of the two stones again but the fixed stone again grew a bit taller. This exercise of adjusting the height continued for a while.
Finally frustrated with the fixed stone, one of the servants hit the fixed stone with another stone. Suddenly blood gushed out of the fixed stone and the scared servants ran and reported the incident to the Brahmin. The Brahmin sprinkled the holy tirtha (sacred water) which he had brought from Rameshwaram , on the bleeding fixed stone. Soon, Lord Ayyappa appeared before them in the form of a child. The local chief came to know about this incident and decided to built a temple for Lord Ayyappa.
Vishu mahotsavam is the most important festival which is celebrated in the months of April and May.The Tiruvutsavam is celebrated in the month of Medam from 5th to 14th.
Nearest railway station: Punalur, via Ayoor – Punalur Hwy, about 31 km and Kollam, about 60 km.Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 68 km.
Thiruvananthapuram - Thenmala Rd,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- For protection from misery and suffering
Om Bootha Nathaya Vidhmahe Bava Nandhanaya Dheemahe Tanno Sastha Prachodayaath
Meaning -We worship Lord Shiva's son, Ayyappa. Salutations to Saastha (Ayyappa). May Ayyappa encourage our creativity.
Mattha Mathanga Gamanam Karunyamrutha Pooritham Sarva Vigna Haram Devam Sastharam Pranamamyaham
Meaning -I salute Lord Ayyappa, who has an elephant's gait, who is compassionate and who destroys all obstacles.
Loka Veeryam Mahaa Poojyam Sarva Rakshaakaram Vibhum Parvathee Hirdya Anandham Saasthaaram Pranamaamyaham
Meaning -I bend down to Lord Shastha, who defends Dharma and Sastra and who brings happiness to Parvathi's heart, the fearless warrior that protects all, who has great glory and who warrants great admiration and devoted worship.
Bhoothanatha, Sadananda, Sarva Bhootha Daya Para, Raksha Raksha Maha Baho, Sasthre Thubham Namo Nama
Meaning -I offer my salutations to Lord Sastha, the master of all beings, who is infinitely every happy, who is merciful towards everyone, I pray, protect me great hero.
Morning 6 AM to Evening 9 PM