Aykunn Bhagavatikshetra is located in Venginissery, Paralam Panchayat, Thrissur District. The temple is on top of a hill. There were 5 hills here. That is why the name Aykunnu came. The planks were also destroyed due to soil erosion. However, two mounds and the remains of three mounds still exist today. From the top of Aykunn, the view of Thrissur town and the view of the Kohl fields of Thrissur is beautiful.
There are myths that this place is associated with the Panchapandavas because of its five hills. The Myth related to this is that the Pandavas came here during their exile and performed austerities, the most important of which was the austerity performed by Draupadi in front of Aykunn Bhagavati for the sake of happiness and husband’s victory, and Draupadi was blessed by Bhagavati’s darshan. At the southeast corner of the temple is a rock called Draupathishila. Thus Bhagavathy of the temple is also known as Pandavagiri Devi due to the legend associated with the Panchapandavas. It is believed that many ascetics performed penance here in prehistoric times. There used to be a cave here. There is an old saying that Aykunnu is the place where the deities left the earth on their way back after the construction of the Peruvanam temple.
The temple has no elephant wall or gopurams. Goddess Durga is the deity. West view. Chatur Bahu is the idol. Stone idol beautifully carved in black stone. In large square meters. There is an environment. The deity of Shasta can be seen outside the enclosure. Aiyankunn is also called Aiyankunn. The name probably comes from Ayyan’s hill. Durga Pratishtha may have taken place later. There is a mention of Aykun in VVK Valam’s History of Places. Ayyun is also called in the local language. Bhagavathy in the temple is referred to as Ayyun Bhagavathy in the Puram.
In the sloka about 108 Durgalayas, Ayyakunn is referred to as Ayyakun.
In the north, Perumpadap Mana is the trick. This temple was once in the possession of Aykunnu ward. In the past, Chittoor Manakas were Urals. Later it was handed over to Aykunnu Warya. There was a robbery here years ago. The silver ball on the idol was lost. In 1995, under the leadership of Swami Bhumananda Theertha of Narayanashrama Thapovanam, the temple, which was lying in ruins, underwent major renovation works. The hills and the temple, which were on the verge of destruction, flourished under the shadow of the Narayan Ashram. There is a tarred road up the hill and a ring road around the hill. The high part where the temple stands is fortified with black stone. The enclosure, the shrine and the shrine of Shasta were all renovated. Although it is made of concrete, it is tiled over the perimeter.
With the acquisition of the Ashram, there were many changes in the traditional Pooram ceremonies.
Some of the Aarats and Ehunnallips of the Puram were brought down and the Puja etc. was stopped. With the installation of the copper-clad flag pole, the ceremony of planting the flag and raising the flag by the elephant was abolished. Instead, it took place in Pongala and other festivals which were not included in the temple system of Central Kerala. Ayyun Bhagwati used to have Aarat in the Panamkutty temple pool and Ukkalipuja in the Panamkutty Shiva temple along with Kodanur Shasta. This has been discontinued. Similarly, Ayyun Bhagwati participated in the elephant race held at Pattaramp. It is also among the discontinued ceremonies. There is a rumor that a long time ago, a flag tree was planted for Ayyun Bhagwati and the flag was hoisted on the north side of Thiruvullakkav Shasta Temple. It is also said that due to quarrels between the Nambutiris, this flag-raising and flag-planting stopped in the olden days. As a reminder of that, on the last day of Poorkalam, Ayyun Bhagavathy comes to Thirullakkav and goes for circumambulation.
In the past, whenever a yaga was performed in Peruvanam village, before the yaga started, they used to go to the altar and perform bhajan. The temple is believed to be the seat of a village deity of Peruvanam village. From this it can be assumed that Aykunn Bhagavathy Temple was a prominent and dominant temple in Peruvanam village in ancient times. Later the temple fell into disrepair.
Illamnira in Karkidakam, Puja Vaypa in Kannimasa, Tiruvonam Aarat in Tulamasa – Thiruvonam Aarat in Tulamasa is the first time Bhagavathy comes out in the year. The special days are Kartika in Scorpio, Peruvanam in Pisces – Aratupuzha Pooram, and Pratishtha day on Puyam day in Medam. Apart from this, the recently started Pongala in Kumbh month and Draupathi day in Medam are also special.
The biggest annual event at Aykunn Bhagavatikshetra is the Peruvanam-Aratupuzha Pooram in the month of Pisces. Ayyun is one of the people who came down from Peruvanam. It is said that in the past there was a single Pooram on the walkway and Peruvanam participated in the lighting. Now the Puram of Ayyun Bhagavathy is with Cherp Bhagavathy. Cherp Bhagwati is believed to be Ayyun Bhagwati’s elder sister. Similarly, it is also believed that Kotannoor Shastav is the brother of Ayyun Bhagwati.
At half past six in the evening, after worshiping the lamp, flag hoisting was conducted by the Tantri. Valiyapanikotti then lifts Bhagavathy out of Makairam for departure. After circumambulating the temple, Venginissery sinks into the Sankaramangalam temple pond for worship. Shankaramangalam temple is a sub-shrine of Aykunn temple. Devotees throng the flagpole and the altar at six o’clock. Return to the temple after six o’clock and perform the Navakam and Sribhutabali ceremonies.
In the morning, Sankaramangalam gets up to worship the temple pool. Come back and perform Navakam and Sribhutabali ceremonies. At 5:00 p.m., get up to the Payankal Devi temple for prayer. Returning to the temple at night.
In the morning, Sankaramangalam gets up to worship the temple pool. Come back and perform Navakam and Sribhutabali ceremonies. In the evening go to Kotannoor Shasta temple. Participating in Kotannoor Pooram along with Kotannoor Shastava. Kotannoor Shasta is invited for Utram Laak who is going to walk in Aikun. Returning to the temple at night.
In the morning, Sankaramangalam gets up to worship the temple pool. Come back Navakam, Sribhutabali. In the evening, Panikoti leaves to participate in the Peruvanam Pooram. Arrive at Peruvanam around 7 pm and drop off and pick up. At dawn, when Cherp Bhagavathy’s procession reaches the west gate, the fair stops and one of Cherp’s uralans asks, “Are there people coming?” When asked three times, Ayyun says “yes” and carries Bhagwati on the right side of Cherp Bhagwati and lifts her up. It is said that in the past Ayyun Bhagwati used to have her own Pooram at Peruvanam and participated in the Peruvanam lamp. It is popularly said that Ayyun started lifting Bhagwati along with Cherp Bhagwati because he could not get an elephant to lift him for a year.
There is a different study that Aiyyun is doing this by gathering Bhagwati and offering a security to Cherp Bhagwati in Vasiriya Peruvanam Pooram. Another lesson is as follows. In olden days, the eastern side of the Peruvanam temple was owned by Poomulli Mana, a descendant of Urakathammathiruvadi, and the western side was owned by Chittur Mana, a descendant of Cherpa Bhagavathy. The problems between these Urals were breaking all its boundaries. There are gopurams allotted to each goddess and god who visit the Peruvanam temple. Through it, there should be ups and downs. But the Vashimutha Namboothiris started disrupting the uprisings and creating disorder in the Puram.
A full year later, when Urakathammathiruvadi’s Ezhunnallip Peruvanam temple reached the western side, Urakathammathiruvadi was stopped by Namboothiris, who were supporters of Chittoor Namboothiri. Not allowed to complete the circumambulation. (Perhaps it was blocked due to delay in schedule. The wall had to pass through the wall to get inside the wall). The following year, with the help of the Desamangalam Avanav Manakas, Chathakkudam completed the Orakathammathiruvadi Peruvanam temple tour by keeping Shasta with them. But that year Poomulli Namboothiri and other Urakam partisans like Avanav and other Namboothiri’s stopped Cherp Bhagwati’s ezhunnallip when it reached the eastern stage and retaliated. Then Ayyun Bhagwati, who was starting to descend the path, came to Cherp’s aid. When Ayyunn Bhagwati, who is the village deity of Peruvanam village, joined Cherp Bhagwati, the opponents may have had to change their ways. Since then, Puram has been associated with Ayyun Bhagavathy and Cherp Bhagavathy in Peruvana.
If Ayyun Bhagwati joins with Cherp Bhagwati, it will be Pandi Melam for a while. Then after circumambulation of the Peruvanam temple and reaching the shrine of Shri Parvati, after the Pandi is over, the flute and the horn are played. After that it is time for Panchari Mela. Panchari descends the path with 7 elephants and ends at 7 in the morning. Along the way, both the Bhagavatis and Patini conch call. After that, both Bhagavatis go to Thodukulam again with the fair. Aarat after puja for both of them in a specially prepared mandapam. After six o’clock, both the Bhagavatis are raised separately with panikotti.
Credit : Hari NG
Photos Credit : Hari NG