Chemmanda Subromonia Temple
This ancient temple is located at Chemmanda in Kaaralam Panchayat of Mukundapuram Taluk, Thrissur District, at a distance of 5 km from Irinjalakkuda municipal town.
Situated in a seven acre residual plot (earlier, the temple had an extent of 15 acres with Koothambalam, Nedumpura, Theerthakulam etc.), the temple layout reveals the vestiges of ancient glory. The temple faces east adjoining the Chemmanda-Kaaralam road. Right from the kanikka vanchi on the road side, the site slowly rolls up with the majestic view of the temple through the lofty laterite remains of the outer gopuram basement.
On the south-east corner of the extinct outer prakara there is an Hidumban Sannidhi sans any idol. Legends say that Hidumban, a disciple of Sage Agastya brought to the south the two hillocks 'Shiva and Shakthi' gifted to the Sage by Lord Shiva, carrying them on his shoulders in the shape of a Kaavadi. On a temporary stop over, the hills got set because of the presence of Lord Subramonia in them and after an altercation between Hidumban and the Lord, the demon was accepted as the dwarapalaka of the Lord.
The temple proper consists of the circular Eka Thala shrikovil and the pyramidal namaskara mandapa in front (a much later construction). This is one of the 32 grama kshetras of Kerala and as such its antiquity is beyond doubt. The circular Sanctum has the usual granite adhishtana and laterite superstructure, plastered over. The inner shrikovil is square, circumscribed by a series of pillars. Above the paduka, jagathy and the semicircular kumuda, comes the gala portion wherein comes the Mrgamala, a carved chain of vyalis going all around the sanctum. The sopana bhithi in granite has also carved figures.
The sanctum is of the sarvato-bhadra type with openings on the four cardinal directions. The roof deserves special mention.
Only the nalambala thara has survived the war and a later improvised kitchen exists in the south east corner. Over a circular superstructure the roof in octagonal shape has been constructed.
The idol is of Subramonia in the standing pose and about 6 ft. in height. The pratishta of Lord Shiva is on the southern side of the temple complex in a comparatively later construction. The well is on the northern side of the shrikovil.
Rituals and Festivals
Daily pooja is restricted to two times, morning and evening. There is no Shribali though Shribali stones exist. Five days festival with Aarat in Shashti of Vrischigam. Thaippooyam in Makaram and Shashti in Kumbhom are also important. The temple had a variety of Kazhakakars and Ambalavasis in its days of glory but there is none except the shanthikkars now.
The temple belonged to 41 illams of Chemmanda gramom. During the troubled days of invasions and internecine wars, the temple structures (the namaskara mandapa and naalmbalam, koothambalam etc. have suffered irreparable damage, and most of the manas became desserted. Now the sole owner of the temple is Netumpilli Tharananallur family. Nagarjuna pharmaceuticals have taken over the responsibility of maintenance of the temple premises. Judging from the incidence of the Mrgamala, the temple proper may be co-existent with other similar temples such as Airanikulam and Kuzhur (both in Thrissur district) and may be dated round about tenth century.
- Panoramic view of Chemmanda Temple
- Remains of the Gopura
- Shrikovil and Namaskaramandapa - fullview 1 2 3
- Mrgamala on the shrikovil wall
Last Revised (contents): 29 july, 2001
Last Revised (design) : 4 sep, 2004