Legend of Udayanapuram Temple
There is an interesting legend about the interchange of deities at Udayanapuram and Kumaranallur. The Udayanapuram temple was actually intended for Bhagawati and hence was originally known as Udayanayakeepuram while the latter was to be the abode of Kumara or Subrahmanya. It is said that it was the Goddess who intruded into the temple originally intended for Subrahmanya. Hence that temple was named Kumaran-alia-ooru meaning 'not for Kumara (Subrahmanya). Similarly with the change of deity at Udayanapuram, Udayanayakeepuram originally meant for the Goddess came to be known as Udayanapuram. The fact that Bhagawati seva (an offering in the form of Bhagawati worship) is still conducted as offering at Udayanapuram confirms the fact that the temple was in fact meant for the Goddess.
Architecture of Udayanapuram Temple
As far as the architecture of the temple is concerned it can be said that with its thick compound walls it closely resembles the Vaikom temple and it is believed that worship at Vaikom temple becomes complete only when they offer worship in the Udayanapuram temple too. This is especially so in the morning of the Ashtami festival. The temple of Udayanapuram has several wonderful carvings and structures which adds to the glory of the temple.
The mandapam, balikalpura and srikoil are adorned with beautiful carvings and paintings which speak of the antiquity of the temple. In the mandapam especially the entire story of the Ramayana has been graphically delineated on its four beams which attract connoisseurs of art.
Festivals of Udayanapuram Temple
Thaipuyam in Makaram (January-February) is of course the most sacred day when hundreds of kavadis are brought here in a ceremonious manner. After observing fast for seven days devotees carry kavadi containing various articles for abhishekam like milk, ghee, honey, pan-chamirtarn (a pudding consisting of banana, jaggery, honey etc.) sandal paste etc. according to one's vow. They first go to Vaikom in procession to the accompaniment of music and drums. After offering worship there they move to Udayanapuram temple where the contents are emptied and offered to the deity as abhishekam.
Another notable festival of the temple is Vaikkattu Ashtami in the month of Scorpion.
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