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Monday, August 27, 2012

SREE VALLABHA TEMPLE - THIRUVALLA, PATHANAMTHITTA





Situated 750 meters south to Ramapuram vegetable market and 500 metres south to Kavumbhagom junction on Thiruvalla-Ambalappuzha state highway (SH-12), Sreevallabha temple is just 2.5 km away from Thiruvalla railway station and 2 km from KSRTC bus stand. Both KSRTC and private bus services are available frequently. Auto-taxi services are also available.

Present Thiruvalla was once a village among 64 Namboothiri villages in Kerala and is one among the oldest human settlements in India. Since this place is situated at the mouth (vai) of Manimala River (valla river) it had been known as ‘vallavai’ and later transforned into ‘thiruvalla’.[1][2] Historical evidences point out the place had been inhabited by humans before 3000 B.C. The Thiruvalla inscriptions say the temple for Sudarshana Chakra was built in 2998 B.C.[9] Another opinion is that the place was named after sreevallabha temple as sreevallabhapuram and Thiruvalla in colloquial Malayalam.From the date built, the temple was under control of thiruvalla pattillathil pottimar (Brahmins of ten families) till 1752-1753. Sreevallabha Temple emerged out as a major spiritual destination for devotees all over India centuries before. It had 15 major priests (melsanthi) and 180 sub-ordinate priests[12] (keezhsanthi) all the time and another 108 for only daily noon pooja. Temple provided staying and food facilities for all visitors, students, teachers etc. and also used to conduct annadanam (serving food to the poor) daily. Naivedyam of Lord Sreevallabhan for a single time used to be made from 45 para (one para can feed appx 100 persons) rice. In all these years, temple acquired enormous amount of wealth[8] that it even used to serve food in golden banana leaves[5] and throw them considering as the leavings. It also had thousands of acres of land too which are lost now. During 1752-1753 Marthanda Varma of Travancore captured the temple from Pathillathil Pottimar[6] and it is believed that Ramayyan Dalawa looted whole temple assets to Thiruvananthapuram. Up to 1968 AD, ladies and elephants were not allowed in the temple. The temple used to be opened for ladies only during Thiruvathira of dhanu month and Vishu of medam till then. Anyhow now this custom is not in practise. These facts clearly say that how popular and wealthy the temple was in those days.
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