Sita Devi lived here once

A temple for Seetha at Wayanad
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Pulpally, now, is one of those hubs where you can shop for anything – from groceries to electronic goods, but it has a history steeped in the Ramayana lore. The legend says that it was here that Lord Rama banished Sita Devi to when he came to know that his ‘subjects’ did not believe that she was 'pure' after staying at Ravana's Lanka for a long time. It was here that she lived after that and gave birth to her sons Luv and Kush. And it was here, that she was claimed by Mother Earth when she was asked to prove that she was faithful once again by her husband, years afterwards.

So, it really did not come as a surprise when we were told about one of those rare temples dedicated to Sita Devi and her sons Luv and Kush. The temple was built during the time of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, who was among the first of the local leaders to declare war against the British during 1774 to 1808. During his reign, it is said, that he used to meet the local cheiftains at the courtyard of the temple.

Sita Devi lived here once
The pond next to Sita Devi's temple. Photo: Praveen Elayi

The salient feature of this temple built in the traditional Kerala style is a pond, one of the biggest in the area. The story goes that Sita Devi was inconsolable when Lord Rama left her and the pond was formed by the tears she shed. It is amusing to note that this part of Wayanad is not infected with leeches. The story goes that Luv and Kush were once bitten by the leeches while they were playing, and Sita Devi denied the leeches entry at their hermitage. The leeches, it is belived, have stayed away hence.

There are a couple of places around Pulpally which is part of this Ramayana lore. The Valmiki Ashram, according to the lore existed here. Sasimala, just beyond is said to have been the place Luv and Kush used to play when they were kids. Erayipally is the place where a local gave them food and drinks while they were travelling.

As we walk away from the temple, which is now a popular tourist destination, we have no doubts why Kerala has earned the moniker of being God's Own Country.

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