Author: Thirur Dinesh , English version by Anjali George
Several temples in Malabar still stand as testimony to the atrocities committed by Tipu Sultan during his brutal invasion of Kerala and the subsequent genocide of Hindus.
One such temple is the Trikkandiyur Maha Shiva Temple in Tirur Taluk of Malappuram district. This temple is one among the 108 Shivalayas installed by Parasurama. The temple also houses a Parasurama murti. This is the only temple in India where the temple is opened in wee hours for Shakti puja during a whole mandala season in the month of Vrischika.
Thunchath Acharya and Melapthur Bhattathiri used to visit here regularly. Trikkandiyur Achyutha Pisharody, who was an eminent scholar from 16th century Kerala used to perform his Kazhakam duty in this temple. The temple used to stand tall with a massive Gopura in the east and a Vilakkumadom (for lighting the lamp around Nalambalam) which used to burn lakhs of lamps. During Tipu’s invasion, the Raja of Vettom was the Ooralan (care taker) of the temple.
After widespread conversions, mass murder and temple desecration in the kingdom of Vettom, Tipu and his Moplah force reached Trikkandiyur Mahadeva temple. Scared Hindus ran away. Many sought refuge in forests and secret hideouts. Tipu and his troops first demolished the Gopuram of the temple. Breaking the outer wall, they entered the temple compound and destroyed the Vilakkumadom (lamp post) and the balikkal pura in front of the temple. Breaking into the Sreekovil (Sanctum) they tried to uproot and tear down the Shivalinga, only to fail in the attempt. They then took an axe and attempted to break the Linga into pieces. Anguished raiders backed down just after beheading the Nandi statue using the axe.
The Shiva linga bearing the marks of Tipu’s pirate attack is still worshiped in the temple because it was told in Ashtamangala Deva prashna not to reinstall an another Shivalinga. A granite pillar of the demolished gopuram can be seen in the temple compound now. Headless Nandikesha and the ruined floor of the Vilakkumadom also linger the horrors of the past.
After the reign of the king of Vettom, Trikkandiyur Mahadeva temple is under the trusteeship of the Samuthiri. It has not been possible to conduct a complete renovation of the temple. The perambulation path and the Balikkal pura was reconstructed after Tipu’s invasion, it has not, however, been perfect. Much has not been achieved although a committee was formed for the renovation works including the reconstruction of the Vilakkumadom.
The renovation committee is in search of affluent devotees who can contribute to the reconstruction activities of this temple entangled with history and myth. Trikkandiyur Mahadeva temple is situated around one kilometre south from Tirur railway station.
Several temples in Malabar still stand as testimony to the atrocities committed by Tipu Sultan in Kerala. We are documenting all such Hindu temples which were destroyed by Tipu Sultan and during subsequent Moplah riots in Kerala. #ReclaimTemples volunteers and researchers are visiting these sites and collecting all information available. The research articles will be published on www.reclaimtemples.com website and later will be published as a reference book.
You can contribute to the project via www.instamojo.com/@ReclaimTemples