Thursday, September 21, 2017

Manalikarai Azhvar Krishna Swamy Temple, Kanyakumari

Manalikarai Azhvar Krishna Swamy Temple, Kanyakumari
Manalikarai Azhvar Krishna Swamy Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located at Manalikarai, a small village located in the southern part of ancient Travancore state, presently under Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu in Kalkulam Taluk. The area comes under Padmanabhapuram division in Kalkulam Taluk in Kothanallur Panchayat. The Malayalam name Manalikkara was very popular during the Travancore state rule and after the reformation of Indian states in 1956, this place is more known as Vazhikkalampadu and it became the part of Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu.


History
This place belonged to constituency of Princely Travancore State in 1235 AD. The Inscription about Taxation was written in a pillar in front of the Manalikkara Alwar Temple in year 410 ME during the rule of Venadu ruler King Veera Ravi Kerala Varma. The place Manalikkara has its influence as one of the branch of Travancore royal family in Kalkulam in 1610 AD. Raja Sri Illaya Rama Varma from Venadu was from Manalikkara branch of the family in Kalkulam.

Years ago, this temple was known as "Manalikkara Thiruvannur Azhvar Temple". Azhwar’s are the followers and core devotees of Lord Vishnu. The Kulasekhara Azhvar who had been the 9th Azhvar from Kerala ruled Travancore during 800-825 AD. The presence of Manalikkara Alwar temple is mentioned in the "Manalikkara inscription" during the year 410 (ME). The re-installation of deity is happened by year 411 ME. The present "Kodimaram" (flag pole) in front of the temple is installed in the year 1141 ME.

The Temple
This temple is believed to be found before 411 ME Kollavarsham. The temple main deity is Krishna (Vishnu). The full structures of the temple are made up of long granite stones. This temple is believed to be constructed around 700 years ago. This construction is similar to other old temples in Kanyakumari like Thiruvattaru Adhikesava Temple and Vellimalai Murugan Temple.


Although it was part of the Travancore state, the style of construction shows similarities with Tamil style. The Manalikkara inscription issued by the Venadu king Ravi Kerala Varma (AD 1215-1240) was written in 1236. It shows the king's keen interest in ensuring people's welfare. The inscription says that while fixing the tax rate for tenant’s exemptions should be given in times of crop failure.

Festivals
The Manalikkara Azhvar Sree Krishna Swamy temple is managed by Tamil Nadu Devasom Board under Tamilnadu Government. This is one of the temple in Tamilnadu follows the Kerala style of tradition and culture. The Major temple festival is conducted by April–May of every year. The yearly temple festival called Utsavam is conducted here on Malayalam month (Malayalam calendar) Medam on Rohini Nakshatram (star) day represents the birthday of Lord Krishna. On Rohini Nakshatram day the "Kodikayataam" (flag hoisting) is carried out in the morning represents the begin of Utsavam which would be followed by another nine days of functions.


The ten days of Utsavam is auspicious and covered with special pujas in the morning and evening. Elephant procession is carried out in the temple all the day. In the late evening, cultural programs like Nadakam (Drama), Kathakali (Traditional art), Bale (Dramatic dance), Ottanthullal etc. are conducted. The ninth day of Utsavam, late in the evening the custom called "Palli Vetta" is carried out on the belief that Lord Krishna is on his way for Vetta (hunting). The tenth day function is a "Aaraat Mahotsavam" during which the Lord Krishna is on elephant procession to the place called Valliyatumugham.


The procession starts by 4 pm is accompanied by different traditional melas, vadhyas and full of devotees. The whole procession is completely colorful with the presence of traditional instrumental performances like Panchari melamChenda melam, Singari melam and other folk artistic performances like TheyyamPuli Kali etc. The procession would reach to a place Valliyatumugham at 11pm night followed by poojas on the valley of the river and final dip bath in the Valliyar river.


Thereby lord Krishna finishes the Aaarat and the procession would be returning to Manalikarai temple. Once lord Krishna is back from Aaarat (holy bath), the last tribute was the Kodiyirakkam. This is the symbolic end of the 10 days Utsavam followed by "Vedikette" (bursting of crackers) to show and notify the pleasing end of Utsavam.


Connectivity
The Temple is located at about 4 Kms from Manalikarai Bus Station. Manalikarai is located at about 13 Kms from Marthandam, 10 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 10 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 12 Kms from Eraniel, 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 9 Kms from Thuckalay, 18 Kms from Colachel, 42 Kms from Kanyakumari, 27 Kms from Boothapandi, 16 Kms from Thirparappu and 58 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram. 

Karavilagam Krishna Temple, Marthandam, Kanyakumari

Karavilagam Krishna Temple, Marthandam, Kanyakumari
Karavilagam Krishna Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Marthandam in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. The Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Marthandam Bus Stand. Marthandam is located at about 4 Kms from Kuzhithurai, 27 Kms from Nagercoil, 48 Kms from Kanyakumari, 7 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 14 Kms from Thuckalay and 46 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Marthandam lies on the National Highway connecting the city of Trivandrum and Nagercoil.





A bus stand is also located in Marthandam near the Market Road. Marthandam has a railway line connecting the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum, with the southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari. Kuzhithurai station is found to be centered between Trivandrum — Kanyakumari railway route. Most of all daily trains passing through this route halts in Kuzhithurai station. Marthandam is well connected to Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore by rail service also bus service to all over Tamilnadu. Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

Dharma Shasta Temple, Vettuveni, Marthandam, Kanyakumari

Dharma Shasta Temple, Vettuveni, Marthandam, Kanyakumari
Dharma Shasta Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappan in Vettuveni near Marthandam in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. The Temple is located on the banks of Kuzhithurai River. This temple is known as either "Vettuveni temple" or "Vedi sasthan Kovil". The latter one due to the fire cracker being burst at the temple as a mark of prayer to Lord Ayyappa.


This temple is just by the side of National Highway NH-47 connecting Trivandrum with Nagercoil. The Temple is located at about 1.5 Kms from Kuzhithurai Bus Stop. Marthandam is located at about 4 Kms from Kuzhithurai, 27 Kms from Nagercoil, 48 Kms from Kanyakumari, 7 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 14 Kms from Thuckalay and 46 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram.


Marthandam lies on the National Highway connecting the city of Trivandrum and Nagercoil. A bus stand is also located in Marthandam near the Market Road. Marthandam has a railway line connecting the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum, with the southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari. Kuzhithurai station is found to be centered between Trivandrum — Kanyakumari railway route. Most of all daily trains passing through this route halts in Kuzhithurai station. Marthandam is well connected to Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore by rail service also bus service to all over Tamilnadu. Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

Jumma Masjid, Manalikarai, Kanyakumari

Jumma Masjid, Manalikarai, Kanyakumari
Jumma Masjid is located at Manalikarai, a small village located in the southern part of ancient Travancore state, presently under Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu in Kalkulam Taluk. The area comes under Padmanabhapuram division in Kalkulam Taluk in Kothanallur Panchayat. The Malayalam name Manalikkara was very popular during the Travancore state rule and after the reformation of Indian states in 1956, this place is more known as Vazhikkalampadu and it became the part of Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu.

This place belonged to constituency of Princely Travancore State in 1235 AD. The Inscription about Taxation was written in a pillar in front of the Manalikkara Alwar Temple in year 410 ME during the rule of Venadu ruler King Veera Ravi Kerala Varma. The place Manalikkara has its influence as one of the branch of Travancore royal family in Kalkulam in 1610 AD. Raja Sri Illaya Rama Varma from Venadu was from Manalikkara branch of the family in Kalkulam.

The Masjid is located at about 300 meters from Manalikarai Bus Station. Manalikarai is located at about 13 Kms from Marthandam, 10 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 10 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 12 Kms from Eraniel, 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 9 Kms from Thuckalay, 18 Kms from Colachel, 42 Kms from Kanyakumari, 27 Kms from Boothapandi, 16 Kms from Thirparappu and 58 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram. 

St. Thomas Forane Church, Thoothoor, Kanyakumari

St. Thomas Forane Church, Thoothoor, Kanyakumari
St Thomas Forane Church is located at Thoothoor Village in Vilavancode Taluk in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. The Catholic Church plays a conspicuous role in the day-to-day life of the fishermen of Thoothoor village. The conversion of the Hindu fishermen of this village may be traced back to A.D. 1544. The event cumulated in the works of St. Francis Xavier, who is said to have converted 10,000 Mukkuva fishermen living in thirteen villages along the coast (from Pallam to Poovar - Neerody, Marthandanthurai, Vallavilai, Eraviputhenthurai, Thoothoor, Poothurai, Thengapattanam, Enayam, Midalam, Vaniyakudy, Colachel, Kadiapattanam, Muttom and Pallam) in December 1544.

Immediately after this conversion, Hindu temples and idols which had been built earlier were removed and replaced with a cross and thatches for worship. In due course, they were converted into churches. In 1600, the Thoothoor Parish Church was brought under the Padroado. Subsequently, this Parish came under the Diocese of Cochin. In 1838, St. Thomas Church, Thoothoor and other adjacent coastal Churches from Pallithura to Erayumanthurai were brought under the Diocese of Varapuzha. This unification brought the Padroado–Propaganda dispute to a crucial stage. Ultimately St. Thomas Church, Thoothoor was brought under the Diocese of Cochin with its revival in 1850.

The Diocese of Thiruvananthapuram was founded on 1 July 1937. But only in 1952 were all the coastal Churches from Pallithura to Erayumanthurai added to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram Diocese. Thus, at present Thoothoor Parish Church is one of the Foranate Churches of Trivandrum Diocese. Thoothoor is a coastal village is situated on the Arabian Sea coast. It is the headquarters of Thoothoor panchayat, consisting of five villages, namely Thoothoor, Chinnathurai, Eraviputhenthurai, Poothurai and Erayumanthurai. These five villages together are commonly just called Thoothooor. Thoothoor is geographically located in Vilavancode Taluk, Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu. Thoothoor Forane Church was built by foreigners in about 1600.

Contact
St. Thomas Forane Church,
Thoothoor, Vilavancode Taluk,
Kanyakumari – 626 176
Phone: +91 954651 / 240640
Connectivity
Christ Bhavan Retreat Centre is located at about 1 Km from Thoothoor Bus Stand. Thoothoor is located at about 15 Kms from Marthandam, 14 Kms from Vilavancode, 22 Kms from Colachel, 20 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 37 Kms from Nagercoil, 60 Kms from Kanyakumari, 13 Kms from Kuzhithurai, 25 Kms from Eraniel and 46 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kuzhithurai and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Christ Bhavan Retreat Centre (Albutha Matha Alayam), Thoothoor, Kanyakumari

Christ Bhavan Retreat Centre (Albutha Matha Alayam), Thoothoor, Kanyakumari
Christ Bhavan Retreat Centre is located at Thoothoor Village in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. It is also called as Albutha Matha Alayam. The Catholic Church plays a conspicuous role in the day-to-day life of the fishermen of Thoothoor village. The conversion of the Hindu fishermen of this village may be traced back to A.D. 1544. The event cumulated in the works of St. Francis Xavier, who is said to have converted 10,000 Mukkuva fishermen living in thirteen villages along the coast (from Pallam to Poovar - Neerody, Marthandanthurai, Vallavilai, Eraviputhenthurai, Thoothoor, Poothurai, Thengapattanam, Enayam, Midalam, Vaniyakudy, Colachel, Kadiapattanam, Muttom and Pallam) in December 1544.

Immediately after this conversion, Hindu temples and idols which had been built earlier were removed and replaced with a cross and thatches for worship. In due course, they were converted into churches. In 1600, the Thoothoor Parish Church was brought under the Padroado. Subsequently, this Parish came under the Diocese of Cochin. In 1838, St. Thomas Church, Thoothoor and other adjacent coastal Churches from Pallithura to Erayumanthurai were brought under the Diocese of Varapuzha. This unification brought the Padroado–Propaganda dispute to a crucial stage.
Thoothoor is a coastal village is situated on the Arabian Sea coast. It is the headquarters of Thoothoor panchayat, consisting of five villages, namely Thoothoor, Chinnathurai, Eraviputhenthurai, Poothurai and Erayumanthurai. These five villages together are commonly just called Thoothooor. Thoothoor is geographically located in Vilavancode Taluk, Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu India.
The Church is located adjacent Thoothoor Bus Stand. Thoothoor is located at about 15 Kms from Marthandam, 14 Kms from Vilavancode, 22 Kms from Colachel, 20 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 37 Kms from Nagercoil, 60 Kms from Kanyakumari, 13 Kms from Kuzhithurai, 25 Kms from Eraniel and 46 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kuzhithurai and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

CSI Home Church, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari

CSI Home Church, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari
CSI Home Church is located in Nagercoil Town in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. CSI Home Church is one of the largest and oldest churches in Asia. It is having a rich history of close to 200 years. It was the first Major church in the erstwhile state of Travancore. It currently has the most number of members of all the churches in South Asia. It was built during the British reign. This Church comes under Church of South India (CSI).


History
Rev. Charles Mead:
Rev. Charles Mead, known as the “Father of the South Travancore Mission”, was born on the 1’st of October 1792 at Bristol, England. He was ordained at Chichester on 6th March 1816. As per the London Mission Society’s report, Rev. Charles Mead was nominated for Travancore as Missionary Rev. Ringle Taube’s successor. He left England on 20th April, 1816 for Travancore State and arrived at Madras on 28th of August 1816 along with Rev. Richard Knill, who was the Pastor of the church at St. Petersburg. He left for Travancore from Madras on the 9th of September 1817 along with his wife and arrived at Colachel on the 17th of January 1818.
During his journey, the ship was stabled at Prince of Wales Island where his wife passed away leaving behind a child due to her prolonged ill-health. Finally, Rev. Charles Mead arrived at Colachel with his child John Hunt after his tragic journey. Rev. Charles Mead, was heartily welcomed at Colachel by Vedamanickam who was holding charge of the mission work. Col. Munroe had already issued instruction to the Sircar officers to repair the small mission house at Mylaudy in consultation with Vedamanickam and suggested certain alterations for the stay of Rev. Mead.
In the meanwhile, Colonel Munro offered his own circuit bungalow at Nagercoil for his occupation and invited him to stay at Nagercoil. Rev. Mead gratefully accepted it, and then made Nagercoil as his headquarters for the Missionary works he was about to accomplish. In April, 1818, Rev. Mead was appointed as the Civil Judge of Travancore State by the Travancore Queen.
Church Construction:
With the permission of the queen of Travancore, Rev. Charles Mead, utilized the elephants of the Nagaraja Temple and the prisoners in the construction of the church, which has been called as Kalkoyil” (stone church) as it is built with huge stones. The church construction was started on 1819. The Church was built under the supervision of Rev. William Tobias Ringeltaube an Prussian. By the effort of Rev. Charles Mead, the Church foundation stone was laid on the 1’st of January 1819 on New Year’s Day by Rev. Richard Knill, and was completed by the Rev. Charles Mault in 1843.
The land on which the church was built was donated by the then British Travancore Resident, General John Munro, 9th of Teaninich, who had acted as a catalyst between the Missionary and the government of Madras and the Kingdom of Travancore. H.H the Maharani of the State gave free timber, free use of the temple elephant to assist in the work, and allowed convict labour.
Later His Highness the Maharaja of Travancore who happened to pass this way and see this noble structure rising, gave a donation of Rs. 2,500/-. H.H the Maharaja of Cochin and the Rajah of Tanjore also donated liberally. These prove that though this was meant for a place of worship for Christians, non – Christians also helped and encouraged the efforts thus appreciating the all-round uplifting influence which is bound to result through Christian Missionary enterprise in the lives of everyone irrespective of one’s religion.
In 1830, the Home Church hosted the wedding of Dr. Robert Caldwell, one of the best-known linguistics scholars in the World. The Home Church has a completely democratic constitution since 1860 and has ever since elected its own Pastors who have been eminent preachers. This helped in the Theological Education for about two Centuries. 
Architecture
This Home Church is perhaps the largest Church in the East, 140 ft. X 70 ft. The imposing building is built in Greek style. This is one of the oldest and biggest of the Protestant churches in South India. The edifice can provide accommodation for nearly 2500 people at a time. This is an outstanding example of the architectural achievement of the missionaries. Four families, comprising thirteen souls, were the first Christians. But today there are more than four thousand on the rolls.


The building, a very strong one, is of stone work, and hence its name, the Stone Church (Kal Koil / Kar Koil). The basement is of huge hewn ashlar stones, so huge that elephants were employed during the construction. There is a tall terraced portico and a spacious vestry and store – room at the back. The large doors and windows and the tall pillars of the terrace, together with the elevated location, give a majestic appearance to the Home Church.

Originally the roof was thatched with coconut leaves. In around 1862, the present roofing was built. It was of galvanized iron sheets over closely placed rafters arranged in Malabar style. The acoustic arrangements of the Home Church are excellent. The building is electrified and the original chandeliers were fitted with eight bulbs and one with thirty. These add to the beauty of the evening service.

Connectivity
The Church is located at about 750 meters from Nagercoil Bus Stand and 2.5 Kms from Nagercoil Railway Station. Nagercoil is located at about 21 Kms from Kanyakumari, 13 Kms from Thuckalay, 23 Kms from Colachel, 27 Kms from Marthandam, 12 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 27 Kms from Thiruvattaru and 72 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Adequate rail and road facilities are available to reach Nagercoil from all parts of the state. Nearest Railway Station is located at Nagercoil and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.