A Mini Rameswaram hidden away in Kochi
A Muthaliar, who was a steward of the Kochi maharaja, is said to have set up the shrine
Did you know that there exists a village office named Rameswaram in Kochi? Hidden away near Thoppumpady, this village sub-locality derives its name from the Mutaliarbhagam Rameswaram temple, which holds great historical significance.
“Many years ago, a vast area here was known as Rameswaram. But, over time, it was divided into different villages,” notes the deputy tahsildar of Kochi, Joseph Antony Hurtis. The ancient Rameswaram temple now comes under Thoppumpady village. “The name Rameswaram is mentioned in numerous old documents,” chips in Thoppumpady village special officer K Jayanandan.
Notably, the temple’s association with the Muthaliar community adds to its historical intrigue. The community, originally hailing from Tamil Nadu, engaged in various trades in Kerala of yore. A Muthaliar, who was a steward of the Kochi maharaja, is said to have set up the shrine.
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“According to legend, the Siva prathishta (deity) was brought directly from the renowned Rameswaram temple in Tamil Nadu. The same power residing at Rameswaram, which is known as Dakshina Kashi, is found here,” says V V Gopalakrishnan, the managing trustee of the temple.
“The temple’s structure has undergone several changes over time. Initially, it was a thatched structure. The current complex was constructed about 400 years ago,” he added. Located at Karuvelipady, Kerala’s Rameswaram temple has a history dating back five centuries. Though built under the rule of Kochi kingdom, the temple eventually came under the patronage of the Vellala Pillai community, said to be staunch devotees of Lord Siva. Currently, the temple is managed by a trust comprising seven families.
The principal deity here is Lord Siva facing the west, similar to the Rameswaram temple in Tamil Nadu. The only other shrine in Kerala where the Lord Siva idol faces west is the Ernakulam Siva Temple. “There are several rituals and offerings similar to the Rameswaram temple in Tamil Nadu. Therefore, those who are unable to travel to Tamil Nadu can seek spiritual solace here,” says temple trustee member Sreenagesh K R.