Lord Vettakkorumakan or Vettekkaran is a popular deity worshipped in North Kerala. Some devotees believe that the deity is Kirathamoorthy or Lord Shiva in the form of a hunter. Others consider Him as the son of Lord Kiratha (Shiva in tribal hunter form) and Goddess Kirathi (Parvathi in tribal huntress form). There is another view that Lord Vettakkorumakan is a form of Lord Ayyappa. It's a fact that most of the Vettakkorumakan temples are situated in Malabar region where as most of the Ayyappa temples are situated in Travancore - Cohin region of Kerala. The legend of Vettakkorumakan is connected with the Kiratharjuneeyam story in Mahabharatha.
During the fifth year of their exile, Arjuna went to the Himalayas to do tapas to obtain the Pashupata Astra, the divine weapon from Lord Shiva. Arjuna did penance for years. Lord Siva was deeply impressed by the austerity of Arjuna and decided to test his courage and devotion. Shiva appeared before Arjuna, assuming the form of Kiratha (hunter), with Parvathi also beside him, dressed as Kirathi (huntress). He causes an asura to disturb Arjuna's penance in the shape of a large wild boar. Incensed at the boar, Arjuna chases it, and shoots an arrow at it to kill. At the same instant, another arrow from the bow of Kiratha also hits the boar. The hunter and Arjuna, from the pride of warriors, argue about whose arrow killed the boar. This leads to an intense duel between the two. Whatever weapon Arjuna cast was countered back by the hunter. Finally, he took up the best of his weapons, which was broken into two! Arjuna took up his sword. It broke into pieces on the shoulder of the foe, as if it was striking steel, or rock. There was no weapon left with Arjuna, everything was swallowed by the wild man.
Arjuna, who feels ashamed at this defeat, turns to the Shivalinga, that he has been worshipping during his penance, and offers it some flowers in prayer. Only to find that the flowers have magically appeared on the body of the hunter instead. Arjuna could not understand, again. Perhaps the wind was blowing in that direction and the flowers were blown by the wind towards the hunter who was standing nearby. But, continually, every flower that he offered at the Shivalinga that he was worshipping moved away from that image and fell again and again at the feet of the hunter. Arjuna was surprised. All that he offered, leaves, flowers, hastily moved away from that place and adored the feet of the wild hunter who was tauntingly laughing at his victory over Arjuna. Arjuna realizes the hunter's identity, and falls at hunter's feet. Immediately the hunter and the huntress vanished and they appeared in their true forms of Shiva and Parvathi. Shiva gave him the Pashupata Astra and tells him that he shall be at his disposal even in the future, whenever it was necessary. After giving Arjuna the Pashupata the divine couple wandered in the forest in the same form for some time. During this period they had a son born of extraordinary effulgence and that is Vettakkorumakan.
The boy was very mischievous. Although he killed many Asuras during hunting, he also gave endless trouble to the Devas and Rishis by the free use of his bow and arrows. Unable to bear his mischief they first approached Brahma who expressed his helplessness, as the boy was the son of Lord Shiva. Then they besought the help of Shiva Himself who however dismissed them by saying that he being a boy would be naturally naughty and he would be all right when he grew up. As a last resort they approached Lord Vishnu who took the form of an old hunter and went to the boy.
Vishnu appeared before the boy with a golden churika. The churika was so beautiful that it attracted the boy and he begged for it. Lord Vishnu said him that he will give the churika under one condition. He should behave in a responsible manner by giving up his bow and should protect the people instead of harming them. The boy accepted the conditions and obtained the Churika from Lord Vishnu. Later Shiva send him to Kerala to protect the land. Vettakkrumakan crossed several mountains and forests and rivers and reached North Kerala where he first reached at Balussery and later visited other places. Keralites welcomed him and started his worship.
Vettakkorumakan was the Paradevatha of Chirakkal, Neeleswaram and Kottakal royal families. The most famous Vettakkorumakan temple is the Balussery Vettakkorumakan temple.
Vettakkorumakan Pattu is a special ritual performed to please Lord Vettakkorumakan. Pantheerayiram thengayeru (breaking of 12000 coconuts continuously in a rythmic motion) is a unique ceremony performed for Vettekkaran pattu. Vettakkorumakan Pattu ritual is almost similar to Ayyappan Thiyyattu.
Vettakkorumakan Temples in Kerala
Balussery Vettakkorumakan Temple
Nilamboor Kovilakom Vettakkorumakan Kavu
Thiruvananthapuram Kottaykkakam Vettakkorumakan Temple
Kayamkulam Krishnapuram Vettakkorumakan Temple
Padinjareppattu Mana Vettakkorumakan Temple
(Padinjareppattu Mana Vettakkorumakan Temple)
Eruvattikkavu Vettakkorumakan Temple
Alappadamba Vettakkorumakan Temple
Neeleswaram Vettakkorumakan Temple
Kottakkal Vettakkorumakan Temple
Kozha Kottakkal Vettakkorumakan Kavu
Kozha Vettakkorumakan Kavu is located near to Kuravilangadu bus stand in M.C Road.
Olassa Vettakkorumakan Kavu
Olassa Vettakkorumakan Kavu is located near Kottayam.
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