In pasurams of Nammalvar and Thirumangaialwar, Thirumoozhikkulam Lakshmana Perumal is refered as Moozhikkalattappan and Tayar (Mahalakshmi) as Madhuraveni Naachiyaar.
Thirumoozhikkulam temple is located in between Angamaly in Ernakulam district and Mala in Thrissur district. Thirumoozhikkulam is one among the 32 Brahmin gramams in Kerala. This is the place where Hareetha muni the son of Vishwamithra worshipped Vishnu.
The mythology behind the name of this place goes like this. Hareetha Maharshi did penance and meditation on the banks of river Poorna(Periyar). Lord Mahavishnu got impressed by the dedication of the Maharshi and appeared before him on the beginning of the Kali yuga. Lord Vishnu gave some advices to Hareetha Maharshi to overcome the difficulties in Kali yuga. These advices are called "thiru mozhi" meaning sacred words. And there after this place got its name as "thirumozhi kalam" – kalam means place. Later Thirumozhikkalam became Thirumoozhikkulam.
This shrine is associated with legends from the Ramayanam. Legend has it that while Bharata the brother of Rama and Lakshmana, came to invite Rama, then in exile, to take over the reins of the kingdom, an angry Lakshmana suspecting Bharata's intentions intended to kill him; however, Bharata's innocence was very soon revealed, and then the two of them offered worship together at Tirumoozhikkalam. Worship is offered to Rama, Sita and Hanuman at this spot acknowledging their presence. No music is played during worship services here, unlike other temples. The annual festival which falls in the malayalam month of Makaram used to be an occasion of great festivity, with performances of koothu and Koodiyaattam for a 41 day period in the temple Koothambalam.
Inscriptions from the 11th century CE (Bhaskara Ravivarman) are seen in this temple. The Thirumoozhikualam Lekshmana Perumal Temple had a superior status and it had a command over the other local temples. It attracted most of the Tamil Vaishnavite pilgrims who visited ancient Kerala. The temple had a bylaw by name 'Moozhikkulam katcha' which applied to all other temples of Kerala.
Vakkay Kaimal, had a dream one night in which some mysterious person appeared before him and told him that four idols have been washed ashore and that these idols are to be consecrated at such and such places. The Kaimal being an ardent devotee hastened to the sea shore there lay four idols as indicated in the dream. They were duly installed in four temples as directed in the dream. Rama at Thriprayar. Bharata at Irinjalakuda, Lakshmana at Moozhikkulam and Shathrughna at Payammal. It is believed that worship at all these four temples on the same day is especially meritorious. In the Malayalam month of Karkidakam (July 15th to August 15th) - the Ramayana Masa, thousands of devotees do this special pilgrimge, which is popularly known as Nalambalam Yatra - a pilgrimage to the four temples.
The temple was sacked by during Tippus invation, like the temple at Thiruvanjikkulam. The image of the presiding deity is in a damaged state . A silver kavacham or armour was made as a covering for the image; however soon after installation of the kavacham an attempt was made to steal it. Afterwards a Devaprasnam was conducted, which insisted that the Perumal wanted to be in that state only, he didn't want to hide the damage or replace the original idol. Since then it stays like that.
The 'Periya Thiruvaymozhi' composed by Nammazhvar praises the greatness of deity of Thirumoozhikkulam. The deity of this temple Lakshmanan is said to be kind to those who suffer and the wish of the devotees get fulfilled. Devotees vouch of their wish getting good children by visiting the temple which is also claimed to ail illness of heart.
There are idols of Shiva as Dakshinamoorthi(south side) Ganapati, Sree Rama, Seetha, Hanuman Ayyappa, Sree Krishna (as goshala Krishnan) and Bhagavathy in this temple. There is an order in visiting the deities of this temple. Which is described below, enter through the eastern gate and first visit and pray to the main deity Lakshmana, after praying there then visit Ganapathy, Shiva and other deities then come back to Lakshmana to offer a second prayer after the pradikshana visit Ayyappa and Bhagavathy and then Krishna, and final visit to Lakshmana’s steps to offer prayers before returning.
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