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Mahaabhaarat Temples

There is a Shakuni Temple in Mahaaraashtra, just as there are Raavan Temples, Duryodhan Temples, Karn Temples and also Shalya worship.

Shakuni's Temple, Kolaam, Kerala
Shakuni, or Shakuni Maamaa, Gaandhaaree's brother or the maternal uncle of Kaurav, in the Mahaabhaarat is one of the most hated personalities in Hindu scriptures. His name is associated with villainy and people talk about him scornfully and with disrespect. But Sanaatan Dharm sees a person in terms of Gun. It is true that Taamasik characteristics were dominant in Shakuni but he too had some Saattwik elements and this was recognized by a community in Kerala, India and there is an ancient temple dedicated to Shakuni at Pavitreshwaram in Kollam District of Kerala.

A throne believed to have been used by Shakuni is found in this ancient Temple. There are no usual Poojaa or Taantrik rituals at the Temple. Offerings to the Temple include tender coconut, silk, toddy etc. The Temple is maintained by the Kaurav community of the region.

Expressbuzz writes about this unique Temple - It is perhaps the only one of its kind in the country. An artistic granite throne inside this ancient temple, is considered as the sacred seat of Shakuni. The legend of the Temple goes like this. During the Mahaabhaarat battle, Shakuni traveled across the country along with his nephews, the Kaurav. When they reached the place where the Temple is situated, the Kaurav divided their weapons among them. Since then, the place came to be known as ‘Pakuteshwaram’, which later became Pavitreshwaram. Shakuni returned to this place after the battle and attained ‘Moksh’ with the blessings of Lord Shiv and became Lord Shakuni. The Up-Devtaa (sub-deities) of the Temple include Bhuvaneshwaree Devee, Kiraat Moorti and Naagaraaj. The festival of the Temple, popularly known as Malakkuda Maholsavam, is observed in the Makaram month in the Malayaalam calendar.

My Note
This statement does not seem logical, as Shakuni cannot travel during the MBH war with his nephews. Because he and his nephews were fighting with Paandav at that time or would go on traveling? Secondly, Sahadev had already vowed to kill Shakuni, and he killed him on the last day of the war - 18th day. That is why he could have come to this place only if he was alive. He was already killed by Sahadev on the last day of the war. Then how could he come here after the war?

Duryodhan's Temple (Malanada Temple), Kollam, Kerala
Nearby the Shakuni's Temple, there is a Temple dedicated to Duryodhan also. This Temple is located at Edakkad Ward (Kara) of Poruvazhy Village in Kunnathoor Taluk of Kollam District (Kerala State). This place is the northern border of Kollam district which Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts share the boundaries. The Temple is located equidistant from Adoor (MC Road) on the Northeast and Sasthamcottah on the Southeast. It is also reachable from Kayamkulam and Karunagappally on the NH 47 and Kottarakkara (via Puthoor or Enathu) on the MC Road (approximately 25 Kms from each center).

Duryodhan, the eldest of the Kaurav brothers and the main villain of the Mahaabhaarat, is worshipped in certain Temples in India. Temples exclusively dedicated to Duryodhan are very rare, the reason being his evil deeds against the Paandav. Legend has it that Duryodhan who was searching for the Paandav during their exile got lost in the dense jungle here. A weary and tired Duryodhan was picked up by people of the Kaurav community and they provided him food and shelter. In return, Duryodhan is believed to have helped the community.

My Note
The legend I read in "Mahabharata Group" by Pradip, on May 1, 2011 is as follows.
The Paandav , after completing 12 years of their stay in forest , were living incognito in Viraat's palace.
Duryodhan was searching for them everywhere. Someone informed him about certain sages living in the caves of a hill who would be able to help him. So Duryodhan came here looking for those sages. He became thirsty and hungry . An old man recognized the King and asked his wife to offer him some thing to drink. The woman offered toddy and the King took the drink. Then he realized that the woman belongs to the ' Kurav cast. The man directed the King to the sages, who asked him to worship Shiv. The King did so and materialized Shiv. The King gave the ownership of this place to that old couple. The King asked the people to pray for his victory in the great war. He asked them to perform his last rites, if he does not return after the war.

The Temple festival starts on the first Friday of the Month of Meenam (around March 15). The War is enacted symbolically during the Temple festival. At midnight on the second Friday (around March 22) the funeral rites of Duryodhan are performed by the priest of the Temple and four of his assistants on a stone platform, where Duryodhan sat and worshipped Shiv. With this the festival concludes on a sad note. This platform is worshipped here. Today we see a trident (symbol of Shiv) kept vertical on the sacred platform.

Duryodhan is worshipped as ‘Malayappooppan’ and there is no idol for the deity. Rituals and customs followed here are Dravidian in nature and the chief priest of the Temple is from the Kurav community. The temple also has small shrines dedicated to other important characters in the Mahaabhaarat who were allies to Duryodhan during the 18-day war. The subsidiary shrines are dedicated to Bheeshm, Drone, Karn, Shakuni and Dushalaa. One of the most important offering to the deity is toddy – local liquor [I think because the woman gave him Toddy to drink]. Other offerings include betel nut, rooster, arrack and red cloth. The Malakkuda festival held in March is the main festival at the Temple. It is one of the famous festivals in Kollam District and is noted for its Kettukazhcha procession. One can take the Temple's virtual tour on the above site.

Two of the most famous temples dedicated to Duryodhan are located in Uttaraakhand.

Temple of Hidimbaa
There is one Temple dedicated to Hidimbaa (Bheem Shakti) also located in Uttaraakhand where the sacrifice of blood is offered.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/30/13