Monday, 5 August 2013

Retrieved land - Claims before Muziris glory days

On the banks of Vembanad lake in Udayamperoor lies the famous Parasurama Temple aka Ameda Temple.

'Aamaninnayidam' - the place where the turtle became standstill. 
Said to have built by Lord Parasurama during the time he was travelling across Kerala, the very  land which according to Hindu mythology is claimed by Parasurama from the sea by throwing his axe. During his journey, coincidentally,  Parasurama stepped into the Vembanad lake for 'Sandhyavandanam', the place where the temple is located presently, and he saw a streak of bright light from the center of the lake. Parasurama soon ventured in only to find out that it was 'Sapthamathrukkal' who were traveling through the lake on top of a turtle.
It is believed that as Parasurama walked in, the Vembanad lake had paved way for him and hence the turtle could not swim any further and took a stand still there and this place later came to be known as 'Ameda'. 
     History says Parasurama constructed a magnificent temple for the 'Sapthamathrukkal' exactly where the tortoise stopped, as his move stopped their journey.

 It is interesting to see that there is no exact record for when Parasurama actually retrieved the land now known as Kerala but one can see that the Parasurama temple is located rightly on the banks of Vembanad lake just like the Synod of Diamper in Udayamperoor which is close to Ameda temple.

     Equating this location with the Muziris heritage, one would be surprised if this historic temple in the ideal location does not reveal secrets from the Muziris glory days. If the story of Parasurama has to be true, then quite surely the temple has to be there even before the formation of Kochi region and destruction of  Muziris town - The land that is said to be destroyed due to the massive earthquakes, landslides and floods which occurred during AD 1341. 
     If this phenomenon had to play a significant role in the natural retrieval of land now known as Ernakulam and other coastal areas extending till modern day Mavelikkara, then I would like to assume that Parasurama might have thrown the axe exactly when the floods occurred. One would never know! 

Another interesting fact about the Ameda temple is that it hosts several sacred groves -'Sarpakavu' which are actually abandoned by the land owners. In traditional Kerala, the sacred groves had a significant role in balancing the ecology. But today, a sacred grove in your inherited land would only mean a depreciation in land value and this may even hinder the sale-ability of the land. So when the sacred snake spirits are to be abandoned by the owners, Ameda is a place which accepts these spirits and plays a host for all the sacred groves. Several idols symbolizing this unique ecological balance that the Hindu religion had in the past can be seen all throughout the Ameda Temple.

 'Pulluvan Pattu' - Music for the snake spirits sung by Pulluvar a  different caste in Kerala.

The music from the single stringed instrument elevates the devotees to a special plane of trance. It is performed as a means of worship, ritual, custom and even exorcism in extreme cases by evoking the snake spirits. Devotees today sponsors the ritual as an offering to get rid of 'Sarpa dosha' - omen of snake spirits according to their astrological permutations. These are common practices in temples that worships serpent spirits.

Referring to Abraham Tharakan - Abraham Tharakan Blog

"This flourishing port of Muziris became defunct in 1341 CE. There are different theories about this. One is that natural silting over the years closed the shipping channels. The other is that heavy floods in River Periyar deposited huge quantities of sand and debris making the port unusable. A third and probably the more likely possibility is that some geophysical occurrence in the sea closed Muziris and opened the connection to the Vembanad Lake at Kochi, making it a safe natural harbour."

Indeed there are lot of mismatches in time periods mentioned but if the fall of Muziris opened way for Vembanad, then definitely Ameda temple and the mysterious history behind its formation demands a better research and explanation.

How to get there : From Nadakavu temple junction in the Ernakulam - Ettumanoor highway, take the by-road that connects to MLA road ie take right if you traveling towards Ettumanoor and then its hard to miss the boards that leads you to Ameda temple.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting..informative.. and very nice pictures. :-)