Friday, December 31, 2004

Kollur - first impression

May be my expectations were very different. Kollur isn't like Tirumala where you also get breathtaking views of the surrounding scenic beauty. There wasn't also the sort of milling crowd I thought there would be. When we went in for darshan at 9 am there was a long queue of some 200 odd devotees, many of them school children. Within an hour there were just a few dozen people, that we went in again and again for darshan, just going to the nearby temple out here.

The temple may be very old and grand, but the place, Kollur, is the typical small temple village. It's tucked away in a forest at the foothills of Kodachadri and on the banks of Souparnika. Typical old houses, lots of trees, shrubs and herbs. Narrow and undulating roads. In some ways it took me back to my father's home town of North Parur in Ernakulam district. Incidentally, Parur is the only place, other than Kollur, in the country where there is a temple of Mookambika Devi.

This is supposed to be a very old temple. I was told that only recently good guest houses and hotels came up. Until then people used to stay at Udupi or Kondapur and make a trip to Kollur. It is growing in popularity. With more popularity more people may flock in, and there will be chances of the place become dirty. The administration should be alert to that.

Kollur has a special significance for Keralites. The Mookambika Devi is the household deity in many Kerala homes. I don't know if it is because of the association of Adi Shankaracharya of Kaladi with the Kollur temple. Mookambika Devi is supposed to have appeared before Adi Shankara, and he is said to have installed the idol of the goddess.

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