Sree Vittoba Temple, Payyannur
This temple at Payyannur in the Kannur district. It was established in 1974. The main prathishta is Vittoba Rukmini. The temple and prathista are facing the west. There are sila vigrahas and panchaloha vigrahas of Vittoba and Rukmini installed in the srikovil. The sila vigrahas were made by the famous sculptor Karkal Sriranjal Gopalakrishna Shenoy.
It is believed that Sree Vittal or Vithoba is Naada Murthi and is fond of bhajans and He does not need other poojas. So, bhajans are conducted regularly in the temple. Vaisakha Pournami festival, Ashada Ekadashi, Bhajana (recital of slogans of gods likings), Karthika Ekadashi Bhajana, Karthika Panchami, Uthana Dwadasi, Sree Varamahalaxmi Vritham (fast) are the festivals and major ceremonies conducted.
The divine Shami Vriksha Katte in the temple premises is a great craze for devotees. The worship of this tree fulfils the wishes and remove obstacles encountered, the devotees testify. It is believed that the Raksha Charadu (safety thread) worshipped at the feet of the Lord Vithoba and goddess Rukmai ensures solace and prosperity to the devotees who wear it.
The gsb members in Payyannur formed a Bhajan group in 1924 and installed pictures of Vittoba and Rukmini in a room offered by Sri. Anantha Shenoy above his business establishment at Payyannur.
Weekly bhajans was offered on every Saturday and on Ekadashi days. Later, a common Bhajan Mandir was constructed by the community and poojas started installing idols of Vittoba Rukmini. Sri Vaijappa Narayan Bhandari, a business man from Mangalore, donated a marble statue of Sri Krishna (about 1.5 ft) to the Mandir for worship.
In 1951, during his visit to Payyannur, Srimat Sudheendra Tirtha Swamiji stressed the need for constructing a community temple at Payyannur. Since the location of the present Bhajan Mandir was not suitable, Swamiji directed that a suitable location has to identified for construction of the temple. A committee headed by Vasudeva Shenoy was formed and they raised fundsby way of monthy subscriptions and donations from community members and businessmen. It took about 18 years to materialise the dream. The land for construction of temple was purchased from Sri. Anantha Prabhu in 1970 and the construction work started under the leadership of Sri. Upendra Shenoy. A marriage hall (Sukrathindra kalamandir) was constructed next to the temple and was inaugurated in 1975 by Srimat Sudheendra Tirtha Swamiji.
The concrete roofing of the sanctum sanctorum has been changed to copper sheet roofing in 1998.
The temple governance is by a committee elected locally from the community members. There are about 100 gsb families in payyannur.
Story of Vittoba-Rukmini
Vittoba is a form of Krishna, the name Vittoba means Father Vittala. The Vithoba-Rukmini are the Divine couple. Of Krishna's eight wives, Rukmini is considered to be his most favourite and beloved because of her satvic character and her devotion to Him. The story of Rukimini's marriage to Lord Krishna is a very interesting love story. Rukmini's father, the king of Vidarbha, decided to give away Rukmini in marriage to Shishupala, the king of Chedi. Her brother also consented to the marriage and the wedding preparations were in full force. Rukmini, however was in love with Krishna even from her younger age because she heard so much of His virtues. To escape her pre-arranged marriage to Shishupala, she sent one of her confidants to Krishna with a message. Krishna along with Balarama came down to Vidarbha and took away Rukmini in a chariot and killed Shishupala in the battle followed. On reaching Dwaraka He married Rukmini.
One day it so happened that Lord Krishna, while
feeling lonely, was reminded of his early days in Mathura. He particularly remembered his
love, Radha. Though she was dead, he longed to see her again. By his divine powers he
brought her back to life and seated her by his side. Just then his queen, Rukmini, entered
the room. When Radha did not rise to pay her respect, Rukmini left Dwarka in anger and hid
herself in Dandirvan forest.
Payyanur is situated in the Kannur district of Kerala. The place derives its name from the renowned Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple located here. 'Payyan' is an appellation of Lord Subrahmanya and Ooru' means the place. Thus Payyanur means the land of Lord Subrahmanya. Payyanur is also well known for Pavithra Mothiram, Astrology, Art forms like Theyyam and Poorakkali.
Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple of Payyanur is believed to be constructed by Lord Parasurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In Brahmanda Purana the temple and its town is being mentioned while Muni Garga explains about Kerala to Pandavas during their exile. This temple was destroyed two times. Once due to a fire and then during the attack of Tipu Sultan of Mysore The temple was reconstructed in the present form in 1792 AD. The two-storied sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) is in the shape of Gajaprishta (back of an elephant). The idol of the main deity Lord Subrahmanya is about 6-ft tall . The Ilanji tree in the front-yard of the temple remains a surprise to all devotees since this tree always flowers but never fruits.
Shree Raghavapuram is situated in the valley of Cheruthazham village near Payyanur town, opposite to the hills of 'Ezhimala'. Though the place had been named as Sree Raghavapuram, it is popularly known as 'Hanumarambalm'. There is a small beautiful Sree Rama temple here which is one of the most ancient and famous Vaishnava temples of northern Kerala. The original temple is believed to have been built by Mooshaka dynasty centuries ago and later Sri Udaya Varma Kolathiri during his rule had renovated the temple in the 8th Century. The main temple where idol of Sree Ramachandra was originally installed was east facing. As per the ancient annotation the original idol of Sree Ramachandra was depicting the mood of the Lord as was during the Rama-Ravana battle. It was felt that, the population residing on the Eastern side of the temple were experiencing lot of hardship due to this mood of the prathista.
On conducting 'prashnam' it was decided to open a doorway for the temple on the western side facing 'Ezhimala', and to shut the doorway facing eastern side and also to reinstall Sree Ramachandra with Sita Devi along with brother Lakshman. It is believed while Sree Hanuman was carrying the Mountain with Mridhasanjeevani to Lanka, a piece of the mountain broke and fell down at this place (where the temple is located) and thus the 'Ezhimala' was formed. Sree Hanuman's temple is located inside the 'Naalambalam' at the 'Vaayu moola' (Northwest corner). It is believed that Sree Rama had devoted the name of His temple itself in the name of His Baktha, as 'Hanumarambalam'.