❧ About Thazhuthala Ganapathi Temple ❧
Thazhuthala Sree Maha Ganapathi temple
Thazhuthala Sree Maha Ganapathi temple, the abode of Lord Vigneswara is situated at Thazhuthala, a serene and peaceful village two kilometers north of Kottiyam Junction , a fast developing town in NH 47, ten kilometers south of Kollam city, in God's own country, Kerala. The temple is famous for the great elephant procession known as ‘Thazhuthala Gajothsavam”, an event equivalent to Thrissur Pooram. Today thousands of devotees flock to the feet of Thazhuthala Sree Maha Ganapthy seeking eternal salvation from the bonds of Karma and solace from the evils of Kaliyuga.
According to local narrative, five decades ago in a fine morning the idol of lord Ganesha was found beneath the huge banyan tree near the Desa Seva Samajam Library and SNDP Shaga Mandiram. People who gathered around the banyan tree decided to seat the idol in a suitable location near the banyan tree where it was found. A small structure was built and the idol was placed inside. People started worshiping it. Later it was learnt that it was the handiwork of Sri. Paramu Panikkar, who was a Railway staff. The Idol was presented to him by his senior officer.Though he had kept it in his home for some days, he got a call from his inner voice to locate the idol beneath the banyan tree near his house. There after he led a secluded and ascetic life and years after left for Kasi in search of Moksha. The Idol was seated there for years with small pujas conducted by locals. Too many hindrances, mishaps and unfortunate incidents were reported, villagers generally felt discomfort and dissatisfaction. While seeking the reason for the disasters and mishaps in the village, the holy 'devaprasna' (astrological findings) revealed the presence of the mighty power residing there and suggested to construct a proper temple and place Vinayaka accordingly. Villagers, irrespective of religion, caste and creed came together to built a suitable shrine for Maha Ganapathi. In the year 2000, at the dawn of the new millennium, a mahapuja was performed and Vinayaka was consecrated in sanctum sanctorum. The omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Thazhuthala Sree Maha Ganapathi Thampuran reigns over the region warding off all evils and ‘vignas’, showering solace and blessings to all who reaches to him.
Avittam Thirunal Mahotsavam
The ten day long annual festival of Thazhuthala Sree Mahaganapathi falls on the Malayalam month of Makaram (January-February, as per the English calendar). The festival, perhaps the best known in this part of the world, ends with the much publicised Thazhuthala Gajotsavam on the tenth day, which happens to be on Avittom nakshathram of the month. Religiously, the festival, utsavam in local parlance, is held in reverence in the restoration of divine Chaithanya. The utsavam starts with the hoisting of the festival flag by Tantri, the chief priest.
Culturally, the annual festival consists of various processions, extravagant illumination and cultural programmes. All throughout the ten days, the entire place wears a festive look, streets get dressed up with decorative arches and festoons and houses get a fresh coat of painting. Every shrine and building is tastefully decorated with illuminations and eye-catching electrical and electronic displays. The ten days long carnival and cultural programs attracts thousands of people every year.
The festival culminates with Thazhuthala Gajotsavam on tenth day and every year, the same attracts several thousands of devotees and tourists from across the world.
Thazhuthala gajotsavam includes Ananeerattu (elephant bath) Anayootu (feeding elephants) Chamaya Pradarshanam (exhibition of elephant ornaments) and two kilometer long grand procession of caparisoned elephants along with traditional art forms and music. The mighty tuskers with its frontlets ranges up to hundred in one procession fill the minds of the viewers with aesthetic beauty and enthusiastic wonder. The presence of well known elephants of Kerala drags the attention of natives as well as foreigners. Guruvayoor Valiya Kesavan , Guruvayoor Nandan , Guruvayoor Indrasenan, Mangalamkunnu Karnan , Ganapathi ,Pallattu Brahmadathan, Pampady Rajan , Chirakkal Kalidasan, Thrikkadavoor Sivarajan , etc. are the center of attraction every year.