Thiruvizha Shiva Temple
This temple is situated 40 km away from Ernakulam on the Ernakulam –Cherthalai road. There is a Shiva temple which is consecrated in a pit where water keeps on ebbing. It is believed that people who are mad or people who have been under the control evil effects set on them by black magicians get cured at this temple. The famous Nadaswara Vidhwan, Thiruvizha Jaya Shankar hails from this place.
There was a very dense forest in this area belonging to arakkal panikkars. There was a pond in the forest which had lot of tortoises. A group of hunters called Ulladaas used to catch these tortoises for their living. They would introduce a long sharp staff in to the pond and keep on hitting. Then the injured tortoises would come up. Then they would catch them. Once when a lady of their tribe was doing it, suddenly she saw blood ebbing out of the pond. The entire pond became the colour of the blood. Then they started pumping out the water of the pond. After three full days of removing the water, they saw a stone in the bottom of the pond from which the blood was oozing out. On the fourth day, a great sage came and applied sacred ash on the wound. The blood immediately stopped. He told the people there to build a temple over the pond without removing the stone from that place. They filled up the pond, partially by sand. Even today, we can see the Linga only at the bottom of the pond, where water would be constantly oozing out. In rainy season, the idol will be covered by water and we would not be able to see it. So in rainy season the pooja is performed only to the Uthsava moorthi.
Immediately after the temple was built a mad man belonging to the Thalakkatt family of nairs used to daily visit this temple. The devotees were afraid of him and prayed to the Lord to cure him. That day, one nair was instructed in his dream “Tie up the mad man overnight. Next day, a new plant will appear near the temple. Collect one hand full of leaves from this plant and hand it over to the priest. He would take out the juice inside the temple, mix it with cow’s milk and do Pandeeradi pooja to the God, Then keep, three chakras (The coin of Travancore) before the temple and take out the milk and make the mad man drink it. (The mixture would first become blue, then become dark red and then black and later become yellow and then white.) One hour after he drinks the milk, give him tepid water to drink. Then that mad man would vomit a lot. Then in the noon make him eat the milk kheer (paal Payasam) offered to the Yakshi. He would become all right.”
This was followed and the man regained his sanity. People who were mad were then brought to the temple and the same treatment followed. Most of them became all right.
People who are mad, are brought to the temple in the previous night itself. Then after the evening worship of the temple they attend the saffron (kuruthi) worship to the “Bhootha kala Yakshi” which is outside the temple. Then next day the treatment described above will be done at 9 Am. Most of them become absolutely all right. So large number of pilgrims bring the mad persons from all over India to this temple. The right to bring the holy medicinal leaves is forever with Thalakkat family, to which the original mad man belonged.
There is a custom of worshipping lord Shiva by abhisheka (anointing) of tender coconut water and milk, The abhisheka(ceremonial drenching) with milk for 1001 times is special to this temple.
It is believed that the Goddess in Kanichukulangara temple in the neighborhood of this temple is the daughter of Lord Shiva. So everyday noon the Goddess is brought to this temple for an offering of Payasam along with her father
The temple opens at 5 Am immediately there is Abhisheka and the god is adorned with sacred ash and sandalwood paste. Immediately puffed rice (Pori) is offered to the god. At 8.15 Am, Pandeeradi pooja is done and later the medicinal milk is distributed to the patients. At 11 am, Payasam is offered to Lord Vishnu who is having a temple in this complex itself. This also is given to the patients after they vomit the milk taken by them.
In March April, there is Arattu festival in this temple. There is a festival in the month of Dhanu (Margazhi-November –December), which lasts for ten days.