Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temple Vanchiyoor Thiruvanathapuram
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There are two Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temples and are situated at Vanchiyoor in Thiruvanathapuram city. One is called the Pazhaya(old) Sreekanteswaram Temple and the other is called Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temple. The Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram temple is located near to Thampanoor over bridge and S.M.V school on M.G road. Devotees can see the Shiva Lingam worshipped by Lord Parasurama in Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple. There are two seperate Sreekovils for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Here Shiva is in Ugra bhava. To reduce the angry of Shiva later a Vishnu shrine was created to the right side of Shiva shrine. Ganapathy, Subrahmanya, Ayyappa, Nagaraja, Hanuman, Nandi, Garuda and Devi are the sub deities. Sreekovil of Vishnu is covered with copper plates. Shivarathry is the main festival in this temple. The importance of Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram temple began to wane with the rise of the new Sreekanteswaram, but one can still find references to it in the Mathilakam records (documents relating to the administration of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple), dated 1587. The Chirikandeswaram mentioned in the record could bear reference to the old Sreekanteswaram. The old Sreekanteswaram was on the route taken by the King during Pallivetta, a ritual connected with the festivities of the Padmanabha Swamy Temple.
Old Sreekanteswaram Temple
The new Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temple is located to the southwest of the Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram temple. This is a Maha Kshetram with with golden flag staff. The 10 day long annual festival in new Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temple begins with a special offering called Panthirunazhi Pooja at Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple. This festival is in the month of Dhanu(December-January) and Arattu is on Thiruvathira day. Ayyappa, Ganapathy, Krishna and Nagaraja are the sub deities. There is an ancient Durga temple in the southern side of Sreekanteswaram temple. The temple pond is infront of the temple and is also called Jathakunda Theertham. Many poets, right from Irayimman Thampi to Tulasivanam (R. Ramachandran Nair) has sung the glory of the Lord Sreekanteswara.
New Sreekanteswaram Temple
Daily poojas begins at 3.30 am. Nirmalya Darsanam in this temple is very famous and it is belived that those who attends the Nirmalya Darsanam for 41 days continuously, will accomplish their wishes with the blessings of Lord Sreekanteswara. 4 poojas are conducted daily. Palabhishekam(pouring of milk) is the main offering. On Sivarathri day 24 hrs Palabhishekom is conducted. Ucha Pooja nivedyam is a feast with eight items. This temple is managed by Travancore Devaswom Board.
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