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Lord Muthappan Loves Fish and Toddy!

By: Akshatha Vinayak

Kerala's Parissinkadavu is a well-known pilgrimage site. It is famous for Parissinikadavu Muthappan Temple in Kannur. Apart from Kerala, Lord Muthappa is especially worshipped in Kodagu and Mangalore in Karnataka.


Parissinikadavu Muthappan Temple
Photo Courtesy: Dexsolutions

Who is Muthappa?

Muthappa is someone who is created by Tiruvappan and Vellatam. Meaning, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu qualities are together seen in the form of Muthappa. He is one of the deities in Theyyam cult. Interestingly, Theyyam cult in Kerala resembles the Bhoota Kola folk culture followed in Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka.

In Parissinikadavu Muthappan Temple, the artists dance in a traditional attire and wear head-gears like Shiva and Vishnu while praying Muthappan. Curiously, alcohol and fish are the offerings given to Lord Muthappan. All irrespective of caste or creed can visit this temple. Hence, Muthappan Temple is one of the famous temples in Kannur, Kerala.


Muthappan Velattam
Photo Courtesy: Challiyan


Once, a Namboodiri Brahmin was living with his wife here. Sadly, they didn't have children for a long time. In her sorrow, the Brahmin's wife prayed to Lord Shiva by giving a sacrificial offering. That night, she saw the Lord in her dream. Next day, while she was returning from the river, a baby was found in a basket. Happily, she took the baby to her husband and told him the whole story.

The Brahmin also accepted the child happily. Some years later, the boy started mingling with the kids of lower caste; becomes fond of eating fish and drinking alcohol. Upon knowing this, the boy's father gets angry, and that is when the boy shows his divine form.


Folk Artists Performing
Photo Courtesy: Sreejithk2000

The boy stays with his parents, but he never stops the habit of drinking. Once, he gets caught while tapping alcohol from a toddy tree. The owner of the garden tries to hit an arrow but faints immediately. The owner's wife who comes in search of him gets worried after seeing his state. Upon seeing this man on the tree, she begs for help by saying 'Muthappa please help'. In Malayalam, Muthappa means grandfather.

Pleased by her devotion, Muthappa wakes up the owner. The owner's wife, happily offers grains, coconut pieces, fried fishes and toddy. Hence, Lord Muthappa is the prime deity of the people in Kerala's Malabar Coast. Even to this day, boiled grains, coconut pieces and fish is offered as prasadam (sacred offering) in Parissinikadavu Temple.

How to Reach Parissinikadavu

Parissinikadavu is a temple town and a tourist place in Kannur, Kerala. It is around 20km from Kannur to Parissinikadavu.

By Bus: Regular buses are available from Kannur to Parissinikadavu

By Train: Kannur Railway Station is the nearest railway station to this temple town.

Click - How to Reach Kannur

It is always exciting to know about the mythologies. The tales of Parissinikadavu Muthappan is surely one-of-its-kind in South India!

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