Spiritual Tourism XXIV - Heavens on Earth
The Ettumanoor Siva Temple
That destructive aspect of Lord Shiva is known as Kaala Bhairava or Aghora and here in this temple, He sits in his fierce aspect as Aghora Moorthy !
The main festival in this Temple is during the Aridra day, when Moon tenants the constellation of Aridra or Betelgeuse. It occurs during the sidereal month of Aquarius or Kumbha.
Thiruvathira or Betelgeuse
Great is the Wall painting of Pradosh Nrithya of the Lord. Pradosha occurs on the 13th Lunation, Thrayodasee and lasts for 90 minutes.
7.5 golden elephants, known as Ezhara Ponnana are put on display during the festival and lakhs watch this event.
Legend has that a demon called Khara got three Lingas from the Lord. He installed the Linga held by his teeth at Kaduthuruthi, the one held in his right hand was consecrated at Vaikom and the one held in his left hand was consecrated at Ettumanoor. He became a deer and the Lord held him in his Hand and the place came to be known as Ettumanoor !
Lighting of lamps is the major worship at this Temple. A big lamp, ever glowing can be seen when you enter this temple. Devotees pour oil into this big lamp. A vessel is kept nearby, so that even if the lamp is full, devotees can pour oil into it. There is a legend associated with this. A bronze maker had made a huge lamp and the temple authorities laughed at him saying that they cannot buy this lamp from his. So he pleaded with the Lord. A great storm shook the temple and the temple authorities bought this lamp from the bronze maker ! This lamps burns always before Deity !
Shivarathri, the Night of Lord Shiva, is also performed at this temple and it is a famouse festival, like in all Shiva temples !
By Govind Kumar