Vaikom Sree Mahadeva Temple

Vaikom Sree Mahadeva Temple

Thantries & Priests

Welcome to our Temple

Thantries & Priests

The speciality of Vaikom Temple unlike any other Temple is that here the Thanthra is divided between two illams (Brahmin houses). The Thanthra of this Temple was in charge of Monattu Illam in ancient days. About 500 years ago there was a big fire in the Temple. The Thanthri Monattu Namboothiri entered the Sreekovil and covered the Siva Linga with a large copper vessel (Andav) and he recited the Varuna Manthra and stayed there embracing the Linga and for many days till the fire was extinguished. People saw the Thanthri unconscious and they took him out and brought him to consciousness. After coming to sense the Thanthri prayed ardently and he declared “In the future my family members will not be ready to undergo such hardships so I renounce the right of doing Thanthra here.” Vaikkathappan did not like this as He was always ready to protect who love Him with faith. Even though this was well known to the Thanthri his behavior was not approved by the Lord. So as a result it is said that the old Monattu Mana became issueless and got extinct.

Afterwards the Thanthra has gone to Mekkattu Illam. One day, in Puthussery house there were no male members available to perform the ‘Panikottu’ (special type of drumbeat for the Sreebeli) for the Pooja. Only a pregnant lady who was so devoted to the Lord Siva was available. That woman approached her relatives for help because it was the time to begin the festival. Her relatives were only conscious of their rights and money and they refused to do their duty. The lady prayed to Vaikkathappan earnestly in tears. Then she got an apparition of the Lord who spoke to her “What grows in your womb is a male baby and you boldly go to My temple and perform the duty”. Next day after taking bath she went to the Temple in wet cloth when it was time for Beli. The Chief Thanthri seeing her asked if she knows to perform the Panikottu. The lady replied that with the blessing of the Lord she shall try. Again she asked Thanthri whether she has to play the instrument in the closed way or open way and Thanthri replied to do it in the open way. Then according to the will of the Lord, the woman was possessed with the spirit of Nandikesa and she performed the Vadyamela in such a lively way that the Thanthri found it very difficult to do the Beli easily. But inspired by the special course of that thala-laya the Bhootha Gana came in the real shape to receive Beli. At that time the noted magician and Thanthri Bhadra Kali Mattappalli Nampoothiri was traveling through the Vembanattu lake after seeing the Maharaja. Hearing the extraordinary rhythm of the drums he came to the Temple. Then he saw the Thanthri was in dilemma standing in the Southern part of the Beli route and the impatient Bhootha Gana in their original form asking for the Beli Vasthu. As the Thanthri could not speak while putting the Beli the Mekkattu Nampoothiri asked help from Bhadra Kali Mattappalli Nampoothiri. He demanded the half Thanthra by gestures and the Thanthri agreed. So Bhadra Kali Mattappalli Nampoothiri after a dip in the Theertha came and performed the rest of the Beli and the haviss and all articles were received under soft thala laya. The Bhoothas were pleased and they disappeared. From that day onwards the responsibility of Thanthra of this great Temple was divided between two families in memory of that. Even today the flag is hoisted on either side of the mast in accordance with who is hoisting the flag. If Mekkattu Nampoothiri is hoisting, it is done on the southern side and if Mattappalli, it is on the northern side. The custom of keeping some rice and water intending for the Bhootha Gana at the right side of plantain leaf before eating is still continued by the Karanavar (chief) of Bhadra Kali Mattappalli Nampoothiri’s family.

The Santhies and other servants

The Santhies (priests) of Vaikom Temple come from Kadathanadu in Vadakara Taluk of Kozhikode District. The place is so Holy with the Lokanarkavu Bhagavathi and is the birthplace of champions of Kalari payat like Aromal Chekavar, Unniyarcha and Thacholi Othenan. The following eleven houses have the right to do the Santhi in Vaikom. They are Arangottu Illam, Thy Illam, Meladathu Illam, Kolai Illam, Ezhancherry Illam, Reyara Mangalath Illam, Nalloor Kandi Illam, Azhattu Illam, Paroli Illam, Kani Illam and Tharani Illam. In the beginning the Melsanthi title was with Choya Mangalath Illam then it came to Arangottu Illam. When the old Arangottu Illam became extinct without any heir this post was shifted to Tharani Illam, and it is still continued. So the offsprings of the Tharani Illam have the right to be Melsanthi and the rest ten Illams have the right to do the Keezh Santhy.

Other works related to the Temple are performed by Moosad of the East and West families. And the Kizhakkedathu Moosad having the first place. The invitation for the flag hoisting, reception etc. are the right of Kizhakkedathu Moosad.

The flowers and garlands are prepared by Mullassery Unni family and Kazhakam (the right of cleaning & Vilakkeduppu) is the right of Perumthrukkovil varyam. The right to do the Pooja Kottu, Pani Kottu etc. goes to Puthussery family. These together are the Karanma right related to Vaikom Temple.

All the other employees are appointed by Devaswom Board of Travancore. They don’t have any rights in the Temple.

Muttass Nampoothiri

The right to prepare the delicacies for the Pratal ie, Anna Dana is mainly with Muttass Nampoothiri. Once the Holy Vilwa Mangalathu Swamiar came to meet Vaikkathappan in the noon time. He could not find the Siva Sannidhya in the Sreekovil. He went in search of the Lord in the whole temple courtyard and happened to see Vaikkathappan doing work in a Brahmin dress at the big Kitchen. When Vaikkathappan saw the Vilwa Mangalathu Swamiar, He handed over the Chattukom (spoon) to the Muttass Nampoothiri and disappeared. From that day onwards the right (Karanma) was with Muttass Nampoothiri. The Muttass Nampoothiri ritually takes bath and brings a burning charcoal taken from the Thidappally and comes in front of the Sreekovil, rings the bell and worships the Lord. His works start only after this ritual. Rice, Payasam, Kaallan, Erissery etc. (different types of dishes) are prepared in the big Kitchen. Other items are prepared by the Brahmin Samooha in the small Kitchen next to the feeding house (Oottupura). The right to cut the vegetables is with sixteen Nair families known as Pathinaranmar and they are experts in their job.