Legend of Kalady
Kalady has been popularly known for a number of legends. According to the legends the widowed mother of Little Shakara once fainted while walking along the course of river Periyar. Little Shankara began to pray Lord Krishna in helplessness. Pleased with his prayers Lord Krishna blessed him that Periyar River will change its course according to the foot steps of little Shakara. Accordingly the river did change its course which is said to have followed the foot steps of Little Shankara. This gave the name of Kalady which means 'foot steps' to the village that was established on the eastern side of River Periyar. Shankara then installed the idol of Lord Krishna which was later on converted into a regular temple. As such the place is mainly known for the love of an innocent child for his mother and Lord Krishna.
Temples in Kalady
Kalady as a popular pilgrimage includes a number of temples which were largely established by Adi Shankaracharya. Originally it is surrounded with the religious institutions that nearly date back to the 19th century. Some of the major institutions are the Shankara temple, Ramkrishna Advaita Ashram and Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthamba Mandapam. Besides this the area also includes some major institutions which were established by Adi Shankaracharya. This include Shri Krishna temple, Manickamanagalam Karthyayani temple, Mattoor Thiru Vellaman Thulli Shiva Temple, Manjapra Karppilli Kavu Siva Temple, Thekke Madhom and Aryadevi Samadhi Mandapam. Along with this the place is surrounded with a number of ancient ghats like Kalady Kadavu (Aaraattu Kadavu), Crocodile Ghat, Ghat of the Post Funeral Rites of Mother Aryadevi and celebrates the festivals of Shankara Jayanti, Navaratri, Chariot festivals and some more festivals.
Sankara temple in Kalady is one of the major shrines. Situated at the bank of Periyar River this is an open structure dedicated to Sri Sankaracharya and other gods and goddesses including Goddess Saradamba. Another important institution of the place is the Ramkrishna Advaita Ashrama which is built in same style as the Ramkrishna Mission of Belur Math. One of the most unique structure of the place is the Sri Adi Shankara Keerti Sthambha Mandapam which is an eight storey memorial constructed by Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. This grand structure attracts the tourists towards its colourful appearance which has two giant elephants at the entrance. This building has two silver knobs representing the padukas of the acharya or the teacher and some immemorial relief paintings which depict the story of Adi Shankaracharya. Along with this there are some memorable institutions which were established by Adi Shankaracharya. This includes the legendary Sri Krishna Temple which was established by Adi Shankaracharya. Located at the western part of the Sringeri Mutt temple complex, this colourful temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. This temple is also known for the legends of Adi Shankaracharya who established this temple in his childhood. This temple also includes the deity of the Kula Devta which is maintained by Kalady devasthanam. As one of the oldest surviving structure this temple is worshipped by the Namboothiris instead of the shankaras.
Equally popular is the temple of Manickamangalam Karthyayani Temple which is dedicated to Bhagvati or Goddess Durga which was mainly worshiped by Shankara's father who was a Namboothri priest. This temple has been considered as one of the most sacred temples of Kalady. Mattoor Thiru Vellaman Thulli Shiva Temple is another important temple of Kalady dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is 2 kms from Kalady and was established by Shankara's father who was obliged with the darshan of Lord Shiva. This temple is named as Thiru Vella Man Thulli, or "dancing white deer." Along with this there are some more temples like the temple of Nayathodu Sankara Narayana which is 3 km west of Kalady; the temple of Manjapra Karppilli Kavu Shiva that is 8 kms from Kalady; Thekke Madhom dedicated to Lord Krishna; and Aryadevi Samadhi Mandapam dedicated to the mother of Shri Shankaracharya. At this place Sri Shankara performed the cremation of his mother and later on developed into a major sight to visit.
Thus, surrounded with some ancient ghats and age old temples Kalady is considered to be one of the most important sights of Kerala. The colourful temples attract a large number of tourists who visit the area with great devotion.
(Last Updated on : 29-03-2014)
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