The Heart Thorobbing Legend

Pullukulangara Sri Dharmasastha Temple, which is more than ten centuries old, enlighten numerous hidden treasures of histories as well as legends!

Deity of the Raja of Kayamkulam was Lord Sri Krishna, the Parthasarathy who blew Panchajanya for Arjuna in the Kurukshethra battle field. But getting fed up in the recurrent attacks of Udayana in the Eastern Ghats and the pirate Vavar in the coastal areas, the Raja wished to have the blessings of Sri Dharma Sastha too, by consecrating him in his proximity. Near Aykya Junction which is north to the palace, he selected a beautiful place for the purpose. But the construction of the temple couldn't start or finish in the decided Muhurtha. Getting desperate, he abstained from the wish and handed over the property and the unfinished temple to the Muslims in that locality. A Mosque was built instead, with the very peculiar stone lamps, which are otherwise seen only in temples!

Thereafter the King was bedridden, getting weak day-by-day and one Mandala period (a period of 41 days) passed without any change. One night he had a dream in which a glorious handsome boy blessed him to fulfil his wish and quickly he came back to health!

He felt such a peace in his mind which he never had before. It was at the same time there heard an uproar in joy in the royal pathway. He got surprised and joyful seeing a handsome tusker with all the traits in full perfection, which was encircled by his excited citizens. The handsome boy as well as the tusker made the king energetic than ever in his lifetime.

A messanger from the Raja of Pandalam came to the court hall the next morning announcing the arrival of Sree Ayyappa, son of the Raja of Pandalam, for meeting the Kayamkulam Raja the very next day. The Raja was thrilled in the thought of seeing Sree Ayyappa in person, about whom he was hearing day-by-day as a super human teen as well as a sentinal to his citizen.

Followed by the fellow soldiers, Ayyappa entered the court hall and bowed the Raja. With heartful welcome and bowed hands, Raja invited Ayyappa to the honourable seat and started chatting. Ayyappa's aim was to seek military assistance to put an end to Udayana's attacks, to restore peace and happiness to the people, to renevate Sabarimala temple which was worn out in Udayana's attacks, etc. He also wanted to provoke spirituality in the people. For achieving these goals , he intented to travel from Kayamkulam to Ambalappuzha , Cherthala , Alangod and finally to the Pandya Kingdom .The Raja promised all the help and allowed Ayyappa to collect soldiers from the Kalaries in the Weastern regions of his Kingdom.

Just before Ayyappa's departure, a messanger came to annonce the attack of Vavar the pirate, in the coastal areas. Ayyappa was excited and joyful to start attck as early as anything, as Vavar himself arrived to gather his fortune! The Karanavar (head) of Mullasseril family, who was the minister as well as the bravest soldier of Kayamkulam Raja, was to assist Ayyappa in the attempt. Conquering both body and mind of Vavar and converting him as a deciple , Ayyappa , with the consent of the Raja , gathered the nearby Kalari leaders and soldiers in the vast and beautiful ground at Pullukulangara . There, being seated on a stool, Ayyappa addressed and encouraged them and explained his plans and aims.

Then he visited Ambalappuzha and Cherthala and conducted similar meetings. Enriching the soldier power, he conducted war against Udayanan and released the Eastern ghats from his iron fists. Later, in the Holy Makara Samkrama Muhurtha, Ayyappa did the reconsecration in Sabarimala temple and was absorbed and vanished in the idol of Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha as a holy flame! It was only thus everyone realized the amazing truth that their lovable, gentle, ameable, merciful young prince was the incarnation (avatar) of Sri Dharma Sastha!

While his stay at Cherthala, Ayyappa was in the Kalari of Cheeram Chira Mooppan. Mooppan's daughter fell in love with Ayyappa, who was Brahmachary (one who is intended to live unmarried). Ayyappa gave her Jnanopadesa (spiritual instruction) and thus she could change her mind to a spiritual level. On his return to Sabarimala, this virgin saint accompanied him and lost her life there.

In overwhelming devotion, the Kayamkulam Raja connected his previous dream with these miraculous incidents and realized that Lord Ayyappa or Sri Dharma Sastha himself was the one who blessed his dream as well as his country. In no time, he started the consruction of a beautiful temple in Pullukulangara, where Ayyappa addressed his countrymen and did the consecration on Utram star, which was the star of Ayyappa as well as the day on which the meeting was held. (The property just north to the present Pullukulangara L.P.S. was blessed with the first presence of Ayyappa that the property is known by the name Sastham Padikkal. Pooja is conducted once a year in the small shrine built here).

In the temple, he built the main Sanctom Sanctorum (Sreekovil) with the idol of Ayyappa or Sri Dharma Sastha, facing the East. In the South, facing North, Bala Bhadra Sanctom Sanctorum and in the KanniMoola (South West corner), Lord Ganapathi, who is also called Vighneswara, Lord Mahadeva and Salagrama Vishnu. At that period, to escape from robbery, baptism, etc, people used to migrate to distant places. One rich brahmin from Kilikolloor, who had no kids yet, came with his wife and two servant girls, changing his wealth into gold coins and concealing it in cereal baskets. Eventhough the temple pond was vaster than the present, it was somewhat hidden with grass. Accidently he got some idols from its bank, which was the remainings of an ancient, ruined, temple, which was once there. These idols alongwith the Salagrama Vishnu , who was his Upasana Moorthy ( Deity ) , were worshipped in the temple for hundreds of years , till the reconsecration , which was on July 5th , 1989 .

Raja gave the administrative power of the temple to the Head of Mullasseril family, who was Ayyappa's bravest assistant in the battle with Vavar and to the Head of Karavallil or Thoppil family. Head of Mulasseril family was honoured by the name Veerakarmam Narayanan and both these families were honoured as Stanippillai by the Raja. These families were having this power till 1105 of Kolla Varsham (The Malayalam Era beginning with 825 AD) and they voluntarily resigned from the responsibility in that year. The Raja gave paddy fields worth thousand paras (Para - a measurement of ten Edangazhis . Edangaazhi - A measure of four nazhis. Nazhi - A bamboo joint used to measure paddy ) of paddy as levi per annum and about seventy acres of land for the needs of the temple in the name of Kandan Chatha ( the pet name used in olden days to address Sri Dharma Sastha by the local people ) . As most of these properties are now in the custody of the inmates of the locality, Government gives annuity to compensate the same.

The aforesaid Brahmin stayed in a nearby compound. Two baby girls were born to him as a boon! The elder daughter was got married to Thekke Moodambady Illam at Ramapuram. The right for Thanthra in the temple was given to that son-in-law, who was the priest of Thekke Moodambady Illam, as dowry. From time immemmorial, Ramapuram Sree Dharma Sastha Temple is governed and poojas are conducted by Pullukulangara Devaswam Committee. Due to the shortage of priests in the Ambalappuzha temple, the Raja of Chempakassery seeked the help of Raja of Kayamkulam and some members of Thekke Moodambady Illam were sent to Ambalappuzha to fulfil the needs. This family is known by the name Plakkudy Illam.

His younger daughter was got married to Muzhangodikkavu Illam nearby and the Thanthra of Muzhangodikkavu temple was given to the younger son-in-law. The servant girls were also well- settled, with some rights in the temple duties of Pullukulangara .

Many years passed, it was the time to renevate the temple. While everybody was in search of the timber for the purpose, one of the devotees had a trance that a log anchored in the lake south to the temple. Actually it was not a dream but the reality and in the morning, in overwhelming devotion, joy and energy, all the villagers gathered and pulled the log towards the bank! It was as big a log as the balance log after the renevation of the temple was used to build the two Kalathatts (the square, open , resting place , with tiled roof and wooden flooring , seen in ancient temples ), Anakkottil ( a large shed in front of temples and palaces , where decorated elephants stand on festivals ) and the former dining hall ! This dining hall was again renevated and inaugurated on 22nd August, 1981.

Other than the Sanctom Sanctorum, Kalathattu, Anakkottil, Dining Hall and the pond, the temple has Namaskara Mandapa (the open before the Sanctom Sanctorum of a temple), Thidappally (the cooking place of a temple), Nalambalam (the buildings immediately surrounding the Sanctum Sanctorum of a temple), Balikkalppura (an altar in or before the temple), a flag staff in copper (it was consecrated on 24 January 1995) and a grove for worshipping Serpents.

As the idols were obtained from the bank (kara) of the pond (kulam) filled with grass (pullu), this place got its name Pullukulangara, the land enriched by the unfading footprints of our Lord, who is anywhere and anytime with us, being our light, love and prosperity!