Devotees who reach the Mannam Subramanya temple in North Paravur in Ernakulam district in Kerala are often curious to know more about the unique offering tradition here. Salt is offered to the deity here to make your wishes come true. Devotees offer salt in case they have lost something or to get cured of skin or stomach diseases. Those who have made the salt-offering firmly believe in the divine power of it and vouch for the effectiveness of it. Just like the iconic temple in Palani, the deity is washed in panchamritam, milk, rose water and tender coconut water.
Unlike other major temples in Kerala, there aren’t many sub deities in this temple. An icon of Hidumban who took shape from Lord Shiva could be seen on the north western side of the nalambalam (group of four smaller shrines). It is believed that Lord Prasurama had established the deity here. An amazing sliver plated stone deity of Prasurama is erected on two feet tall stand at the althara (beneath the banyan tree) in the temple. The deity, which is more than five feet tall, shines in golden hue when the lamps around the temple are lit. Just like Vaikathappan deems Udayanapurathappan as his son, the deity of Mannam Subramayan is dear to Peruvaram Mahadevan. The idols of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi and Lord Ganesh are seated at Peruvaram. The deity of Mannam Murugan, meanwhile, is considered the son who had left home.
Once in a year, on the Taipooya festival during the Malayalam month of Makaram, the idol of Murugan would be taken to Peruvaram, in a grand procession accompanied by Peelikavadi, Varnakavadi, Nilakavadi, Kottakavadi and various traditional art forms like Theyyam.
Similarly, the idol sets off from Mannam on the Makayiram day in the Malayalam month of Medam as well. It reaches Peruvaram on the next day that is the day of Thiruvathira. The idol would be welcomed at Peruvaram by a grand traditional orchestra that has percussions like thakilu, nagaswaram, pandi, panchari and panchavdyam. The deities of Lord Shiva and Murugan would then be taken for a procession around the shrine. The next day, the arattu ceremony (customary dip in the temple pond) for Lord Shiva would be performed at Mannam.
When Tipu’s forces attacked Kerala, the idol at Mannam was transferred to the Eloor Pattupurakkal temple and the pooja was performed in the shrine of that temple. The legend says that the word Mannam comes from ‘Manram’ which means development.
On regular days, the temple opens from 5 am to 11 am and from 5 pm to 8 pm. Earlier, the idol here had owned acres of field where more than 10,000 para (traditional measurement) paddy were grown.
Dr PB Rajesh
Rama Nivas, Poovathum Parambil
Near ESI Dispensary Eloor East
Udyogamandal PO, Ernakulam, 683510
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Phone - 9846033337, 0484 2546421