Friday, June 05, 2009 | Author: Vishnu
“Chamravattam” is a small village in Malappuram District of Kerala, India; situated on shores of a river “Bharathapuzha”, also known as “Nila”. This place is famous for the presence of a temple situated in an island about 100 meters inwards in to Nila, dedicated to lord Ayyapa. As a part of custom, Innumerable pilgrims visit this temple on their way to the famous “Sabarimala” temple during the season.

What make this temple special are the peculiarities in the temple design, location of the temple and the method of worship (Pooja).
Unlike other Hindu temples; the Sanctum sanctorum of the temple, where “murti” of “lord Ayyappa” is installed, is below the ground level and the murti is installed in sand; as if the temple was built around the idol which was already there. The reason for this is believed to be that the idol was not installed by anyone but as a miracle emerged from the ground by itself and is still growing. This phenomena is names as “Swayambhu”, meaning Self-manifested or that which is created by its own accord. The method of worship also differs here slightly as, unlike other temples, bell is not used here for pooja.
This temple is situated in a small island about 100 meters inwards the river, which immerse in water during the monsoons. Temple will be so much waterlogged that the water level will be about 4 feet high inside the temple.

The name Chamravattam originates from Sambaravattam, named after a saint named Sambara Maharshi, who used to meditate on the banks of the river. After years when the
tapasya was over, he advised a brahmin that this is lord Ayyapa and on the method of Pooja ; this is believed to be the reason for the difference in the method.
New studies point that during earlier years, Chamravattam could have been a part of the Jain settlement as a part of the Jain country ruled from sravanabelgola and the name of the river ‘Bharathapuzha’ is named after the mythical Jain king “Bharata”. The statues, pots and utilities made of clay found in this place, even today, may be pointing to the same fact and to the differences in pooja and the concept of lord Ayyappa (Lord Ayyappa is considered to be married in this temple, which is not the case in others).
You may notice that this place is not mentioned in many old Hindu stories and according to the old sayings around here, places towards west of Thirunavaya , including Chamravattam, is considered to be part of Arebian sea. Due to this belief, devotees perform the rituals for the dead at Thirunavaya, considering it as the end of the river.
Studies also suggest that Aryabhata, the great mathematician-astronomer from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy is from Chamravattam, which also may mean that Chamravattam was a part of old Jain kingdom.
Anyhow, if we try to observe from so close by, these colorful places and stories become just ruins of some not so colorful events, which is at the level of decay. Believe me; the way to look at myth is from a distance. What we see from there takes us to somewhere which may not have existed historically, but in peoples mind.
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On June 7, 2009 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous said...

kazhinja thavana vellam ambalathil kayariyappol njanum kanan vannirunnu was amazing...

On June 9, 2009 at 10:24 AM , Ragesh. said...

hi, Vayichu, Kandu. Nannayittund. Enikku Mazhakkalathu thanne avide varanam ennu mohamundu. Mazhakkalath Pooja mudangaathe nadakkaarundo? Atho Thozhaan Varumbol Pooja undaaville? Sharikkum paranjaal ee Mansoonilthanne varanam ennundu.


On June 28, 2009 at 8:31 AM , Anish Nair said...

Great Article.
Even though, I have stayed in Chamaravattam for so many years, didn't know that - there was so much to know about this place.
Makes me feel a proud Chamaravattam-ian :))

On August 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM , jaan gopinath said...


On August 23, 2015 at 1:24 PM , drsabu said...

Read in a news paper regarding the recent discovery of jain idols near chamravattom and it's lose due to the apathy of archaeology dept.can you give any information regarding this?

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