GR Travels

Mahadeva Temple

Thiruvairanikulam Mahadeva Temple is a famous Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati temple located about 15 km south of Aluva, in Ernakulam district of Kerala. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Mahadeva. The Lord faces east and the separate shrine for Goddess Parvati facing west in the same sanctum. The unique feature Thiruvairanikulam Temple is that the shrine of Lord Shiva is open all round the year; but, the temple of Parvathi is open only for 12 days in a year. The shrine of the Goddess Parvati is opened during the Malayalam month of Dhanu (mid December mid January), beginning from the Thiruvathira nakshatram, the birthday of Lord Shiva. A grand festival is celebrated at the Thiruvairanikulam Shiva Temple during the opening period called as Nadathurappu Mahothsavam. In 2016, as Thiruvathira naskhtram on Dhanu month falls on January 2017 only, the Thiruvairanikkulam Mahadeva Temple Nadathurappu Mahothsavam festival starts on 11th January 2017 and ends on 22nd January 2017.The temple is situated near a village called Srimoola Nagaram, in the banks of river Periyar. A Mandapam in front of the Lord Shiva has an idol of the Rishabam, the celestial bull, which is seen facing the Lord. Lord Ganapathy is seen in the nearby lawn, facing east. Other deities found here are Lord Dharmasastha (Swami Ayyappa), Lord Mahavishnu, Goddess Satidevi and Goddess Durga. It is believed that the temple was found during the period of Agnihotri one among the legendary Parayi Petta Panthirukulam. Lord Shiva is offered with four pooja services including one Naivedyam. The celestial bull, unlike in other temples, cannot be touched by devotees or even by the Kazhaka (one who maintains the temple surroundings), except by the Thantris or Brahmins who are permitted to do so. A cleansing ceremony is performed if somebody touches the bull. During these 12 days of Nadathurappu Mahothsavam festival at Thiruvairanikkulam Temple, the sanctum is opened for the public and the Goddess Parvathi is decorated in oriental silks. Various offerings are made to the deity such as Pattu Saree and wedding Thali (necklace), turmeric powder, Swayamvara Archana (pooja performed to remove marriage obstacles), Valkannadi (a unique mirror found only in Kerala), Nelpara, Malarpara, Aripara, Sarkara para, offerings in the form of oil lamps, Thrimadhuram and Brahminipattu. Click here to check the timings or visiting hours of Parvati shrine at the temple during festival occasion. An 8day festival is carried out during Sree Krishna Jayanthi, the birthday of Lord Krishna. Bhagava Sapthaham, the life story of Krishna, is recited during the festival. Other Hindu festivals such as Pradishta Divasam (day of deity installation) during the month of Midhuna (Punartham nakshatram), Mandala festival, Vishu Kani, Naaga Pradishta, and Navarathri are celebrated here.      Book Now



Advaita-Ashrama

The Advaita Ashram has its origins in 1896, when Swami Vivekananda was travelling through the Alps recuperating, and expressed the desire to have a similar place in India for retreat and study of Vedas. Earlier, in 1895, Captain James Henry Sevier, who had served the British Indian Army for five years, and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth Sevier, met Swami Vivekananda in England. Later in 1896, for nearly nine months, they travelled with him through Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. It was at the Alps that Swami Vivekananda, while travelling with the couple, expressed his desire to have a similar retreat for the monks in the Himalayas. So, in December 1896 the couple moved to India, with Swami Vivekananda on board a steamer from Naples, Italy, with an aim to find a place near Almora and set up an Ashram , and arriving at Chennai in February 1887 . Soon, just as Swami Vivekananda left for Kolkata, the couple left for Almora, where they rented a bungalow which became the residence of Swami Vivekananda and the Seviers for the next two years. Later, when Swami Vivekananda left for Kashmir, the Sevier couple along with Swami Swarupananda, a monastic disciple of Vivekananda, started travelling to the interior area looking for a suitable place, which was eventually found in July 1898. Set amidst dense deodar, pine and oak forests; the land which was till then a tea estate was promptly purchased, and decided upon for the new ashrama. Finally, with the help of Swami Swarupananda, the ashrama was set up, along with a small dwelling for the monks, ashramites and the couple themselves, around the same time as the Belur Math was being established near Kolkata. Swami Swarupananda and the Seviers moved in on 19 March 1899, which happened to be the birth anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna (Hindu calendar) that year.After the sudden death of its first editor, 24year old B. R. Rajam Iyer at Chennai, the publication of the English journal Prabuddha Bharata was halted for a few months in May 1898. Meanwhile, in Almora, Swami Vivekananda asked Mr. Sevier and his wife to revive the magazine, and the editorship was given to Swami Swarupananda, who not only became the first head of the ashrama upon its opening on 19 March 1899 , but also remained the editor of Prabuddha Bharata at its new base hence forth; and he held the position until his death in 1906.Upon its foundation, Swami Vivekananda sent the following letter, in March 1899, entailing the prospectus of the Advaita Ashrama: To give this ONE TRUTH a freer and fuller scope in elevating the lives of individuals and leavening the mass of mankind, we start this Advaita Ashrama on the Himalayan heights, the land of its first expiration. Here it is hoped to keep Advaita free from all superstitions and weakening contaminations. Here will be taught and practiced nothing but the Doctrine of Unity, pure and simple; and though in entire sympathy with all other systems, this Ashrama is dedicated to Advaita and Advaita alone. Captain Sevier died on 28 October 1900, and was cremated in the near by river Sarada, according to Hindu traditions as he had wished. Swami Vivekananda visited the ashrama from 3 to 18 January 1901, primarily to console Mrs. Sevier, and his place of residence has now been turned into a library. Mrs. Sevier continued to stay at the Ashram for several years.      Book Now



Aluva-Palace

Alwaye Palace is located in Aluva, which is one of the major towns of greater Kochi city of Ernakulam district, Kerala. Alwaye is an important industrial town of Ernakulam as well as an important tourist spot in Kerala. Alwaye Palace (also known as Aluva Palace) is a glorious monument, which is a reminiscent of the splendor and heritage of the ancient past of Kerela. The palace is located on the banks of the charming Periyar River. The palace has seen a long past, which was full of events that changed the face of Kerala. The palace has seen numerous battles and successions, which formed an important part of the history of Kerala. Through a visit to this palace, you will be transported to the glorious historic times, the period when royalty hailed. The river which flows at close vicinity and expansive gardens enhance the beauty of the palace. The circular balconies of Aluva Palace give a spectacular view of the river. Alwaye Palace used to be the summer residency of the Travancore royalty. Nowadays, the huge mansion is used by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation as a guest house. Alwaye Palace attracts a number of tourists every year from India and abroad equally. Its architectural style is commendable, as it is constructed in the traditional style of architecture, which is a specialty of Kerala.      Book Now



Lakshmi-Narasimha-Swamy-Temple

Sanskrit Transliteration Narasiṃha Affiliation Avatar of Vishnu, generally 4th of the 10 primary avatars Abode Lakshmi Weapon Chakra and Mace Consort Lakshmi, Narasimhi Narasimha , also spelled as Narasingh, Narsingh and Narasingha is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu and one of Hinduisms most popular deities, as evidenced in early epics, iconography, and temple and festival worship for over a millennium. Narasimha is often visualized as halfman/halflion, having a humanlike torso and lower body, with a lionlike face and claws. This image is widely worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups. He is known primarily as the Great Protector who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. Vishnu as Narasimha kills Hiranyakashipu, stone sculpture from the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu, Karnataka There are references to Narasimha in a variety of puranas, with seventeen different versions of the main narrative.[4] The Bhagavat Purana (Canto 7), Agni Purana (4.23), Brahmanda Puran (2.5.329), Vayu Puran (67.6166), Harivamsa (41 & 3.4147), Brahma Puran (213.4479), Vishnudharmottara Puran (1.54), Kurma Puran (1.15.1872), Matsya Puran (161163), Padma Puran (Uttarakhanda 5.42), Shiv Puran (2.5.43 & 3.1012), Linga Puran (1.9596), Skanda Puran 7 (2.18.60130) and Vishnu Puran (1.1620) all contain depictions of the Narasimha Avatar.      Book Now



Mangalapuzha Major Seminary

St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary Mangalapuzha is a Major seminary of the SyroMalabar Church of the St. Thomas Christians. It is the continuation of several Seminaries and the outcome of the centralization of the priestly formation in Kerala. It has a long history of untiring service and selfless sacrifice of several missionaries, native clergy and laity. Until the sixteenth century the St. Thomas Christians of Kerala followed the general system of education of Malabar known as Gurukulavasam, which means living with the teacher. Such a system of the formation of the clergy was known as Malpanate. A boy who aspires to priesthood inscribes himself as the disciple of a Malpan (teacher) who was generally the parish priest himself or the elderly Priest of the parish. Under such Malpans the candidate learns to read and understand Syriac, the liturgical language, and to interpret the Sacred Scriptures. Besides these Magnates there certain educational centers were selected few were trained. Angamali was a training centre of the clerics who came from all parts of Malabar. The very names of the books mentioned by the synod of Diamper (1599) show that the clergy of the preDiamper period were keeping a rather high standard of learning in scripture and other ecclesiastical matters. With the arrival of the European missionaries in India in the sixteenth century Seminaries, after the model of the formation houses of Europe and according to the prescriptions of the council of Trent were started by the missionaries belonging to the different Religious Orders. These seminaries helped much in raising the standard of the clergy. With the opening of such Seminaries the Malpanate system gradually died out.      Book Now



Periyar Banks

Sargam Builders is an eminent construction company in the country’s southwestern frontier state of Kerala. Although incorporated thirteen years ago in 1997, the firm has been actively engaged in the development of dwelling domain since 1988. Spearheaded by Mr. V. K. A. Rahim, the organization has been instrumental in creating wonderful structures that have captured the interest of numerous prospective buyers. For those scouting for properties that can guarantee their complete money’s worth, the group is the perfect place for their investment to fetch fruitful returns. Operating out of the coastal hub of Kochi, the builder has ensured that its magnificent edifices bear the hallmark of quintessential excellence. These sophisticated complexes exude top notch quality that is on par with global standards of living. Periyar Banks,a passion of Sargam builders at the naturally formed delta Manapuram, presents you a matchless option for luxury living in healthy environment. The beautiful landscape of Periyarbanks is surrounded by the perennial Periyar from three sides. Here you can enjoy life admist nature,yet very near to Keralas buzzing metro Kochi and adjacent to the historic town of Aluva. Aluva on the banks of ever flowing serene Periyar river, with its stunning picturesque locale, is famous as summer resorts since the days of the Maharajas. Here is a place in Aluva with a heavenly touch to the location,very near to the famous sivarathri Manapuram, a place to unwind in Nature’s bounty.      Book Now


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