The land dubbed ‘God’s own Country’ is famous for its picturesque landscape, breathtaking water bodies and above all the ornate and majestic temples which adorn almost every corner of the state. The Ananthapura Lake Temple is a prime example of the beauty and magnificence of the temples of Kerala.
Situated on a rectangular shaped lake, Ananthapura Lake Temple is the only temple in Kerala which is positioned on a lake. The Ananthapura Lake Temple is also one of the famous places in kerala as the temple where a vegetarian crocodile resides. The amazing phenomenon would be discussed at length later when we delve into the mysteries and myths surrounding the eponymous temple. The beautiful surroundings of the temple make for a calm and serene ambience which adds to the tranquility of the place. The mesmerizing beauty of the temple has lured pilgrims to this place since time immemorial.
Best Time To Visit Ananthapura Lake Temple
Kerala has a sterling reputation for enjoying a cool maritime climate all year round due to the confluences of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Combined with it being the leeward side of the Western Ghats, the cool climate makes it favorable to visit the place all year round. But if you were to pick an ideal time to visit the temple then it has to be from the months of September to March when winter is in full flow. Due to the fact that the place is sandwiched between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, the winters offer a cool and favorable climate which makes visiting the temple a truly rejuvenating exercise for both the mind and the body.
How To Reach?
The only viable option to reach the place is via road. The nearest international airport is at Mangalore. So for tourists from all over the world who wish to visit the temple then Mangalore temples are most famous to explore and auspicious to start your journey with. From Mangalore no direct buses are available to go to the temple. You have to take a bus towards Kasaragod and get down at Kumbala town which falls along the way. From there you have to find a bus on the Kumbala – Badiaduka route. After boarding this bus you have to get down at the Naikappu bus stop. From here the temple is a short distance away and has to be reached on foot. You can also choose to hire a taxi or cab from Mangalore to the temple but the fare would be quite steep as the distance is quite considerable. Hence if public transport suits you, then the bus route is the most ideal one to take. Kasaragod is the nearest railhead and is situated 12 km. away.
7 Reasons why you should definitely check this place out
Legends and myths: – The obscure and myriad past of the temple sheds light on one solid fact that the temple premises was the meditation ground of the great Tulu Brahmin sage, Diwakara Muni Vilwamangalam. The legend goes on to say that the Lord Narayana himself came in front of the sage in the form of a little child to test him. Upon being overwhelmed by the radiance emanating from the boy the sage asked him about his whereabouts and upon learning that he was orphaned the sage took pity and allowed him to stay but the boy had a very peculiar condition which said that if the boy felt humiliated then he would leave at once. Soon after, the boy’s pranks became intolerable to which the sage responded violently and the boy left with the message that if the sage wishes to see him again then he must travel to Ananthankat, the abode of the serpent god Anantha. Realizing his folly Vilwamangalam travelled to the forest and at long last found the boy near a woody tree by the sea. Upon the sage’s approach the boy vanished into the Mahua tree and came out as the Lord Vishnu astride on the many headed snake Anantha. This legend marks the holiness of the temple
1. The vegetarian guardian crocodile
Legend has it that an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, Shree Vilvamangalathu Swami, was meditating on the banks of the lake when Lord Krishna, in the form of a child, came and started disturbing him. Irritated the sage pushed the child back and Lord Krishna disappeared into a nearby cave. Upon realizing his folly the sage went in the cave looking for the lord and later the cave turned into a shrine and a crocodile appeared as a protector of the shrine. Babia, as the crocodile has been named, stood guard over the entrance. In 1945 a British soldier shot the crocodile dead and ended up dying himself of snakebite a few days later. Soon after another crocodile appeared who was just like the last one, vegetarian and docile. Devotees feed prasadam to the crocodile.
2. Architectural genius
This temple exhibits excellent wood craftsmanship on the mandapam. The wood carvings depict the scenes from Dasavaatharam and have an allusion to the Navagraha. On either side of the Sreekovil Dwara, Jaya and Vijaya palakas are beautifully carved.
3. Unique idols
The original idols of the temple were not built with stone, metal or wood but of a combination of 70 medicinal plants. These were replaced in the year 1972 by the idols of panchdhatu donated by Jayendra Saraswathy Thirvatikal.
4. View of the adjacent hillocks from the premises
One of the many perks of being situated in the heart of nature is the vibrant view of the surrounding hillocks covered with dense forests which is a sight for the eye sore from all the digital exposure.
5. Tapotsavam Festival
This festival is celebrated in the month of April with great pomp and grandeur. The deity is taken out on a procession along the lake. Afterwards the traditional dance form from Karnataka, Yakshaganam, is performed. This festival draws in devotes from all over the country every year.
6. Madhur Temple
Situated about 8 km from the Ananthapura temple, the Madhur Temple is the residence of the Siddhi Vinayaka Ganesha and Lord Shiva. The foundation of this temple dates back to the Drapar Yuga lending a mystical undertone to it. The Appam served here with prasadam is quite tasty. Surrounded by trees and streams on all sides this temple performs Anna Dan on auspicious occasions making it a must visit.
So much hassle to visit a temple? Seriously?
Well when the temple is ancient and has as many unique attributes about it as this temple then it’d be foolhardy to not visit. If you are in urgent need of some soul searching this temple is your destination. Most importantly, the temple does not discriminate between religions and castes and everybody is equally welcome here. So if that was a bar for you then that’s also lifted. Ananthapura lake Temple, residence of the vegetarian crocodile awaits you. Engulf the mystery and see what you make out of it!