The temple of Valiya Koyikkal DharmasasthaTemple is situated at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala in India. Pandalam is situated 10 Km north of Adoor and 13 km south of Chengannur. The name of place has been got from the word Panthirand Alangal (twelve regions or twelve villages) which was reduced in the passage of time as Pandalam.
About The Temple
The temple of Pandalam Valiya Koyikkal dedicated to Dharma Sastha is the family shrine of the royal family. It is located inside the Pandalam Palace grounds. The shrine is positioned in around 3 acres of land. It has a square shaped arrangement with the roof made of brass. The shrine of Malikappurathamma is located to the south-west of the Sastha shrine.
The uniqueness of this temple is that it is one amongst the 348 significant shrines of Kerala which was categorized in 1811 during the rule of Travancore Diwan Colonel John Monroe. Parade of the Thiruvabharanam (Holy Ornaments) on the way to Sabarimala temple starts from the Valiyakoikkal shrine each year ahead of the Makaravilakku festival. Lots of devotees come to this temple each year during the Makaravilakku festive period.
About The Deity
The chief divinity of the shrine is Shri Dharma Sastha. Ayyappan is the other name he is popularly known. In this temple Malikapurathamma is worshipped as another deity.
History of the Temple
According to the legend it the Raja of Pandalam chanced to see the infant while one of his outings in the forest and brought Him to his palace. The infant was named as Ayappa. Pandalam royal family was a division of Pandya dynasty. It was during the reign of Pandalam Raja the establishment of the temple took place adjacent to his palace. Lord Sastha or Ayyappa was the tutelary god of Pandalam royal family. The shrine was later taken over by the Government of erstwhile Travancore in 1811 besides other 347 temples of that came under its governance.. Now the shrine is managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board. The management of Sabarimala temple was consigned with the Pandalam royal family. Since they were unable to conduct the temple ceremonies appropriately, the Government took over the management of Sabarimala. However, the sacred adornments of Lord Sastha are still preserved at the Pandalam palace itself. The celebrated parade carrying the adornments well-known as Thiruvabharana Ghosha Yathra starts from Pandalam to Sabarimala fittingly escorted by the Raja of Pandalam.
The temple gets lots of visitors during Saturdays.
Mandalapooja -Makaravilakku festival season (November – January) is the season when great number of pilgrims visit the temple. Yearly festival is celebrated in the month of Kumbha (Februvary-March).
Prasad and Offerings
‘Sharkara Payasam’, ‘Aravana’ and ‘Unni appam’ are the main offerings in this temple.
How to Reach Pandalam
The closest airport is Trivandrum International Airport.
The closest railway station is at Chengannur (13 km).
Pandalam is 101 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, and 120 km south of Kochi the state's commercial capital. Public transport is available to reach Pandalam. KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) is providing the services from either Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi airports. Private buses ply to various endpoints around Pandalam.
Pandalam Valiya Koyikkal Dharmasastha Temple,
National Highway 220, Pandalam,
Pathanamthitta District, Kerala,
India, Pincode – 689501.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- For protection from suffering and misery
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.
The temple is open from 6 A.M to 9 P.M