Legend of the blue lotus blooms

palakkad-temple
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The flower 'Neelathamara,' was given a romantic aura by the great author M T Vasudevan Nair. His film, 'Neelathamara,' (The blue lotus) was woven around the myth of a blue lotus flower blooming in a temple pond as a reply to the devotee's prayers. It was a test of truth. If the devotee wanted to find out truth, place the cash on the temple's steps and pray. If it's truth, the blue lotus would bloom in the temple pond the next day.

The myth arises from a temple in central Kerala – the Malamalkkavu Ayyappa Temple near Thrithala in Palakkad district on the banks of the river Bharathappuzha. One among the 108 Ayyappa temples of Kerala, the blue lotus flower found in the temple pond, known locally as 'Chengazhineer Poovu,' is one of the beautiful myths that the region of Valluvanad holds close to its heart.

Malamalkkavu Ayyappa Temple is quite well-known, not just for the blue lotus flower, but for the percussion ensemble of Thayambaka which is of a different school. The idol worshipped here belongs to Ayyapa, in the company of his two wives, Prabha and Sathyaka. The Upadevatha-s (secondary deities) include Siva, Kannimoola Ganapathi, Rudra Mahakalan, Bhagavathi, and Vettekkaran.

The Chengazhineer or blue lotus flower is required for the 'Kalasam' performed in Siva temples. Usually, the office bearers of the Siva temples where the Kalasam is to be held place their offering money at the 'Thrippadi' (the sacred step in front of sanctum sanctorum) and offer their prayers. According to the belief, the blue lotus flower will be in bloom in the temple pond next morning. The flowers bloom in two small ponds, which are separate from the main pond, in the large temple of Malamalkkavu.

According to the local belief, the flower never fails to bloom if the devotees offer prayers after placing the money at the temple. The rustic roads leading to the temple and the large banyan tree in front of the temple provide a beautiful ambience. A trip here is worth not just for the rare sight of the flower, but for enjoying the ambience as well. In case you are really lucky, you will certainly get to see the flower that bloomed in answer to the prayers of some devotee.

The temple is located 16 kilometres away from Pattambi.

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