Duryodhana is a great warrior and a villain from the epic Mahabharatha. If there are temples dedicated to Pandavas, then why not for Kauravas? Yes, you heard it right. A temple for Duryodhana! Though there are a few temples dedicated to Duryodhana in North India, there is only one Duryodhana Temple in South India.
It is Poruvazhi Peruviruthy Malanada Temple in Kollam, Kerala. This temple is the only Duryodhana Temple located in a village named Poruvazhi in Kunnathoor Taluk, Kerala.
The shrine is perched on a small hill; in Malayalam 'Mala' means hill, 'Nada' means temple. Hence, it is locally famous as Malanada Temple. One interesting fact is that there is no presiding deity or temple tower (Gopura) here. Surely, it is one of the unique temples in India.
In Mahabharata, Duryodhana is a unique character. His spirited personality, stubbornness and his hatred towards Pandavas weave the tale till the end. So it is his ideal of 'Thamo guna' which is celebrated here.
Thamo guna (philosophically) is a state of mind where all the bad thoughts, desires, lust, laziness, anger engulfs a person. In such a state, the mind itself is seen as the internal enemy which doesn't care about the self but forces to destroy someone else. True to this, Duryodhana tries to destroy Pandavas till his last breath. In many versions of literature, Duryodhana is also seen as a hero who tries to win in a logical perspective.
At Poruvazhi Peruviruthy Malanada Temple, devotees can pray to any God they believe but by respecting Duryodhana as the 'Sankalpa Moorthy'.
As per the local legend, once Duryodhana came here in search of the Pandavas who were in exile. During which he becomes exhausted and goes to a priest's ( Appoppan) house to quench his thirst. As per the custom, Appoppan's wife offers him local toddy instead of water.
Pleased by their hospitality, Duryodhana sits on a small hill to pray for the well-being of the villagers. And he also donates several acres of land to the residents. The temple is built in the same place where Duryodhana is said to have meditated. Hence, they have great respect and love for Duryodhana.
Interestingly, even the temple property tax is also paid in the name of Duryodhana. Such is the strong belief they have on this epic hero!
The region is famous for the annual Malakkudu Festival, which is celebrated during March-April.
How to Reach Kunnathoor
Kunnathoor is about 40km from Kollam. It is better to arrange for a private vehicle or a cab if you want to visit this temple.
Click - How To Reach Kollam
Best Time to Visit Kollam
Kollam has a pleasant climate year-round. Usually, the time from September to February is the best time to visit Kollam.
Click - List of Hotels in Kollam