There are many myths and legends surrounding Suryakaladi Mana. You will get a whiff of milkweed if you intend to search for the stories here. This mana which retains its antiquated glory will be a visual treat for every visitor. This 'Naalukettu', once encircled by a Yakshi Parampu with an Indian devil tree or Yakshi pala tree in it, can be considered as the crowning glory of Kerala's unique architecture.
Take a trip to Suryakaladi Mana which has a lot to see and a lot of stories to tell. Learn more about this soil that is intertwined with beliefs.
Towards Suryakaladi Mana
If you go a little further from Kottayam, you can reach the Suryakaladi Mana by getting down at Chavittuvari near Kumaranalloor. You can spot the majestic mana standing proudly on the banks of the Meenachil river after you walk a kilometer from Chavittuvari. Despite the years gone by, the grandeur of the Mana remains unscathed. The younger generation is preserving the sanctity and magnificence of the mana for their future generations too. Apparently, the Yakshi Parambu, which is located near the Mana is full of stories and the Suryakaladi Mana is eagerly awaiting to tell these stories to their visitors. The Ganapati idol here is pretty well known.
It was Swathi Thirunal, the King of Travancore, who built this quadrangle in the Kerala style of architecture. This structure is believed to be about two hundred years old. Due to its location on the shores of the Meenachil River, the cold wind always keeps the place breezy and cool. Except for the absence of Yakshi pala tree that filled the air with the fragrance of milkweed, the Yakshi Parambu and quadrangle retain their glory and will be a tourist's delight. Every tourist should visit Suryakaladi mana which is said to have magical powers, at least once in their lifetime.
Folklores surrounding the Mana
The story of Suryakaladi Mana is told in Kottarathil Sankunni's Aithihyamala (Garland of Legends). It is said that once upon a time Bhattathiri of Kaladi Mana and his friend Namboothiri went to see Thrissur Pooram. They had to cross the Yakshi Parambu to reach their destination and it was almost dark. Suddenly they were approached by two beautiful young women who cautioned them against taking this journey at night and invited them to stay at their house. Namboothiri and Bhattathiri agreed to their request.
Namboothiri was in the habit of chanting Devi devotional hymns all the time. That night he kept the book near him after chanting the hymns. When the young woman entered the room, she requested him to keep aside the book. Namboothiri instantly suspected something amiss and kept the book in his hand. At that moment, he could hear the noise of someone sucking human blood from the next room.
The Yakshi was unable to harm the Namboothiri as he had clasped the book of Devi hymns to his chest. Early morning when he woke up, he realised that he was sitting on a palm tree. When the Namboothiri got down from there and went in search of Bhattathiri near the sugarcane field, he was appalled to find strands of hair, blood droplets, and bone fragments scattered there. On his return, Namboothiri went to Battathiri’s house and narrated everything to his pregnant wife.
Soon Battathiri’s wife gave birth to a baby boy. During the baby's upanayana, when he inquired about his father, she narrated the incident to him. Determined to seek revenge, the boy invoked the might of the sun to gain superpowers. The boy who did penance for the sun later came to be known as Surya Bhattathiri and the mana was christened as Suryakaladi Mana. Made invincible by the gifts given by the Lord, the boy magically brought to the fore the spirit who had killed his father and placed her in a burning homa kunda, in the form of a deity outside the mana.