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Kalady, Of Myths and Legends

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Kalady is a small village located near the Periyar River in Kerala. Kalady means 'footprint' and the village was formerly known as Sasalam. It is the birthplace of Adishankara, the great saint who established the doctrine of Non-dualism or Advaita Vedanta school of the Hindu philosophy.

It is a very popular destination for pilgrims from all over India, especially the followers of Adishankara. A temple for Adishankara was built here in the year 1910. The centenary of Kalady was celebrated in the year 2010 with grandeur.

The places to visit in Kalady are mainly temples and ashrams, which include the Ramakrishna Ashram, Kallil Devi Temple, Srinegri Mutt Complex, Mahadeva temple, Vanamoorthy Temple and Kuzuppillkkave Jaladurga Temple. Here is a travel guide to Kalady.

How to Reach Kalady

How to Reach Kalady

By Air: The nearest Airport to Kalady is the Kochi Airport at a distance of 7 km. This airport is connected to all the major airports in India and many cities abroad.

By Train: The nearest railway station is in Aluva, which is 18 km from Kalady, and is connected to all the major Indian cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. Trains from all major cities have a stopover here.

By Road: Bus services are also available from Kerala to Kalady. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation operates many buses which commute the route to Kalady. The availability of private buses also makes travelling by road, a happy experience. The super deluxe buses connect Kalady to other major South Indian cities.

Photo Courtesy:Navaneeth KN

Kallil Devi Temple

Kallil Devi Temple

One of the places to visit in Kalady is Kallil Devi Temple. It is a Jain temple built in the 9th century. Kallil means stone in Malayalam. The temple is located on a 28 acre plot and is cut out from a huge rock. You has to climb 120 steps cutout in the rocks to reach the temple. The main deity of worship is Durga Devi. The other deities of worship are Parshvanath, Mahavira and Padmavati Devi also known as Bhagwathi Devi. The image of Brahma is carved on the rock. In this temple, the puja is never performed after dark and is usually performed during the day before noon.

Photo Courtesy: Praveen Kaycee

Adi Shankara Keerthisthambam

Adi Shankara Keerthisthambam

The Adi Shankara Keerthisthambam Mandapam was built by the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. It is an eight-storey structure which leads to the Paduka Mandapam. There are two silver knobs that represent the 'Padukka' of the teacher. A 'Padukka' means wooden sandals of the teacher or Guru. The memorial hall showcases various paintings, which depicts the life history of Adi Shankracharya. The Mandapam has several statues of Ganapati and Adi Shankracharya. The Shrine is open to people of all religion. When you are at Kalady, come here and pay your homage to the great Guru.

Photo Courtesy:Praveen Kaycee

Kuzuppillykkave Jaladurga Temple

Kuzuppillykkave Jaladurga Temple

A must visit place in Kalady is the Kuzuppillykkave Jaladurga Temple. This ancient temple is surrounded by water from all sides, and the water has never dried up. The deity worshipped here is Goddess Durga. Within the temple, the Jaladurga festival is held and is celebrated for 16 days. Thousands of devotees visit the shrine to witness the celebration which begins from the first day of the 'Phalguna' month.

Photo Courtesy:Praveen Kaycee

Mahadeva Temple

Mahadeva Temple

The Thiruvanikulam Mahadeva temple is another place to visit in Kalady. The main deity worshipped here is that of Lord Shiva, and there is a separate temple dedicated to goddess Parvati, Shiva's wife. The temple has small shrines for Lord Ganesha, Lord Ayappa and Lord Vishnu. The Sanctum Sanctorum opens only for 12 days in a year; it is known as Parvati Srikovil. Many devotees visit this temple during the Thiruvathira festival and during this time the sanctorum is opened for worship and offering prayers. These twelve days are considered to be very auspicious by devotees.

Photo Courtesy:Praveen Kaycee

Ramakrishna Ashram

Ramakrishna Ashram

The Ramakrishna Ashram is a branch of Ramakrishna Math. It is located at the birthplace of Adi Shankara. It has a huge spacious hall used for prayers, and a shrine which is modelled like the Sri Ramakrishna temple at Belur. The ashram runs a school, charitable trust and library. The Ramakrishna Ashram is situated in the lap of nature. You can come here to pray and seek solace. You can go for a walk in the nearby places.

Photo Courtesy:Challiyan

Sringeri Mutt Complex

Sringeri Mutt Complex

The Sringeri Mutt Complex is located at the northern bank of the Periyar River. This complex is an ashram dedicated to Adi Shankracharya. It has several shrines and a temple dedicated to Adi Shankara's mother. The mutt is famous for conducting debates and Vedic courses in which various religious scholars participate. The prominent temples located inside the ashrams are dedicated to Lord Shankracharya, Goddess Saradamaba and Lord Ganesha. The Navratri festival is celebrated here with great fervour.

Photo Courtesy:Praveen Kaycee

Vamanamoorthy Temple

Vamanamoorthy Temple

Another place to visit in Kalady is the Vamanamoorthy temple, which is one of the rare temples dedicated to Lord Vamanam, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is styled in ancient Kerala architecture and is situated in Thrikkakara. Inscriptions on this temple date back to the 10th and 13th century. The best time to visit this temple is during the Onam celebration as Lord Vamanam is related to the legend behind Onam. The other deities worshipped in the temple are Lord Ganesha and Goddess Annapoorneswari.

Photo Courtesy:Hari Vishnu

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