Friday, February 17, 2012

Pambummekkattu temple, Pambummekkattu temple .

Pambummekkattu temple, Pambummekkattu temple .

Serpent worship is very common in Kerala. In many of the temples serpents have shrines. In many homes too serpents are worshipped. Pambummekkatt Mana in central Kerala is famous for snake worship and for getting snake-related problems solved. The tradition is centuries old. The gate tower of the Pambummekkattu Mana is embedded with snake statues as a welcome posture. Normally the Manas are Nalukettu. But, the Pambummekkattu  Mana here is Ettukettu – two Naluketts. 

There are five Kavus (abodes) of snakes (and snake gods)in Pambummekkattu mana. The sanctum sanctorum of Nagaraja (king of snakes) and Nagayakshi female devil of snakes) is in the Kizhakuni (eastern court) of a Nalukettu. There is no idol in the sanctum sanctorum. In its place there is all time burning oil-lamp. The Prasadam given to the devotees is the oil from the lamp. This  oil Prasadam of Pambummekkattu mana   has the power to cure the diseases caused due to the curse of snakes. Vrischikam 1st (November 17) is a great day here. Noorum Palum (food and milk) offering to the snakes is on this day. To participate in this auspicious ceremony at Pambummekkattu mana , thousands throng, even from far way places. There is a legend behind how Mekkattu  Mana became Pambummekkatt Mana. 

Mekkatt Mana was facing acute poverty. To get some relief from the poverty the head of the family started praying at Thiruvanchikulam temple. He stayed there and continued his pray. On the completion of 12 years of pray one day he went to the temple pond to fetch some water where he s aw a man with extra-ordinary body structure, looking like a divine power, standing near the pond. He asked him of his identity. The stranger replied in a vague manner. The Namboodiri however realised that he is a divine power and requested him to give the precise stone ring he is wearing to show to his friend and guide Kodungallur Thampuran. The ring so given to the Namboodiri was returned and immediately on receiving it back the man disappeared. As the identity of the man was still a mystery, the Namboodiri’s mind was unsettled. 

Next day as usual Namboodiri went for his early morning bath in the temple pond when he saw the mystery man again. He bowed down at his feet and requested to divulge his identity. The man said, I am Vasuki (Vasuki is serpent god as per Hindu mythology). Namboodiri thereupon requested him to prove it. Vasuki squeezed himself to a ring similar to the one Lord Parameswaran wore in his finger. Seeing this Namboodiri fainted and when returned to his original sense Vasuki asked him what sort of blessings he wants. Namboodiri said he wishes that Vasuki be present in his Illam (Mana) to have them prosperity. Vasuki agreed and disappeared. 

The relieved Namboodiri returned to his Illom soon. He placed his palm-leaf umbrella in the eastern court of the Nalukettu and went for bath. When he came back to take the umbrella a snake was there on the umbrella to greet him. The snake came down and took the form of a divine man and said, I am Vasuki and added a Nagayakshi will soon be present in the Illam.

 At this moment the eldest Antharjanam (Antharjanam denotes Brahmin lady) of the Mana came on the scene. She put her palm-leaf umbrella (in the past, Brahmin ladies, as a custom, used to hold palm-leaf umbrellas, to cover up their face, which are unfoldable, while moving out their Illams) in the portico before stepping into the home. Soon a snake appeared on this umbrella and moved to the eastern court of the Nalukettu. On reaching the eastern court the snake manifested into a beautiful lady and took position near Vasuki. Both of them ordered Namboodiri to install them in the as idols at the place where they stand and consider them as their family deities. 

Saying this much, they disappeared. Namboodiri strictly did what they said and continued daily rituals to appease them. After this incident Mekkatt Mana came to be known as Pambumekkatt Mana. Poverty vanished from Pambummekkattu mana. Prosperity and glory of the Mana began sky-rocketing. Pampummekkatt Mana is in the forefront of snake related Thantric rituals and they do the rituals at many snake god centers, including famous Nagarcoil temple in Tamil Nadu. Besides Noorum Palum, the other main offering to the serpent gods is Kadali Pazham (Kadali plantain). In the centre court of the Mana there is shrine of Bhadrakali. Vasiyedam temple at Puthenchira, Sarangapani Sree Krishna temple and Kunnathunadu Mahadeva temple are owned and managed by Pambummekkatt Mana. 

 Offerings  to serpent god At Pambummekkattu Mana
·                            Vella Nivedyam
·                            Kootupayasam
·                            Palpayasam
·                            Kadalipazha Nivedyam
·                            Manjalpodi Charthal
·                            Vilakkuvekkal
·                            Sarpabali
·                            Payasa Homam
·                            Naga Prathishta
·                            Noorum Palum
·                            Pushpanjali
·                            Malakku
·                            Prathima Pooja
·                            Abhishekamv
·                            Thulabharamv
·                            Annaprasham
·                            Ayilya Pooja
·                            Rahu Pooja
The favourite offering  to Serpent Gods of Pambum mekkattu mana  is 'Kadalipazha Nivedyam'(a kind of banana). 'Noorum Palum' (lime and milk) is the other  main offering  but is offered only in special occasions. 'Devotees offer Thulabharam' and 'Annaprasham'  for getting a baby.

Special Days at Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala Thrissur

1. First of the month of Vrishchikam(mid November).
2. Ayilyam in the month of Kanni(mid sept-mid oct).
3. From Thiruvonam to Bharani in the month of Meenam (mid March to Mid April).
4. Tenth of the month of Medam(mid of April).
The most important occasion in Mekkattu Mana is first day  of Vrishchikam, the Malayalam Month. That day is celebrated as the festival of Serpent Gods and every Serpent God  is pleased on  that day by giving  ‘Palun noorum’ the lime  and milk.  It is believed that only the members of the Mekkattu family has the right to conduct ‘Sarpabali’. From the first of Vrishchikam to 41 days, ‘Sarpabali’ is conducted as a special offering on  every evening. The Bali is also  conducted on  special occasions chosen  and  decided by the Mana authorities . During –Mandalakalam- (41 days from Vrishchikam 1), 'Kalamezhuthum Pattum' is also conducted. Only 'Sarpapattu' is conducted and not'Pulluvanpattu'.
Normally, only higher caste people are permitted into the 'Kavu'. But on special days people of all castes can come to the temple.  On these days they can enter anywhere except the 'Kizhakkini'.
Snakes are believed to have powers to curse a man who kills them and cause misfortunes and diseases, especially of the skin. There are two namboothiri houses (Pambummekkattu and (Mannarsala) famed for worshipping the snakes and which specialise in treatment of illnesses caused by serpent ire. 

With the exploding human population, snakes are increasingly going rare. Snake charmers, who make the cobra dance to the movement of their 'Makudi' (modified flute), are becoming an extinct tribe.

In ancient times, there were native doctors who specialised in treating snakebites. The belief is that they were able to foresee a snakebite victim being brought to them and upon their arrival, predict the cause of the poisoning. 

They were also credited with the power to lure the very snake, which bit a person and command it to suck its own venom from the wound. Certain stones and herbs were used in snakebite treatment.
The members of Pambummekkattu.Mana call the snakes 'parambaryalgal' ('traditions'). Now is believed that when a birth occurs, the 'traditions' will come to see the newborn. Likewise, if a death occurs in the family, a 'tradition' will also die. The dead body of the family member will be cremated only after cremating the 'traditions' body. As burning fire in the Mana and premises (except in the kitchen hearth) are forbidden, the funeral pyre for the namboori and the 'tradition' are set in the southern compound which is called 'Thekke Kavu'. This shows the intimacy between members of the family and the serpents.
The Mekkattu family members are not bitten by snakes owing to Vasuki's blessings. Even if anybody gets a bite by chance, the venom will not affect them. The venom in turn affects the snake itself and the family members save them, surprisingly, up to this day, nobody has been bitten by a snake from the Mana which has so many snakes in its premises. brought directly to the Mana and no harm should be done to the snake. But, today nobody comes to the Mana for treatment, may be due to the advancement in Medical Science.

How to Reach  Pambummekkattu Mana

Devotees can hire taxis from Mala town or travel by regular buses plying Mala, Ashtamichira and Kodungallur. The distance shall be from Mala to Vadama 1.5 km and from Vadama to Pambumekkattu Mana 1 km. There is a small junction named vadama on the route from Mala to Ashtamichira.  From this junction move on the road to western side. Half a kilometer journey will reach to the mana.  

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Head of the Pambummekkattu Mana: P.S Jadhadevan Namboodiri.
Postal Address: Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala, Thrissur District, Kerala, PIN - 680 736.
Phone: +91-480-2890453, +91-480-2890473, +91-480-2899495

Tags: Pambummekkattu temple, Pambummekkad temple,  Pambummekkad temple  mala vadama, pambummekkattu mana vadama. Pampumekkad naga temple, Naga temple in Thrissur, Pambummekkattu mana, Pambummekkad mana temple.

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