Kumaranalloor Sree Kartyayani Temple: Legend & History
Prof. T R Sankaranarayana Iyer
This is a brief description of the legend and history of the Kumaranalloor Devi Temple. The first chapter gives the ‘Sankalpa’ or special concept of the deity which is that of ‘Mahamaya’ – the Supreme Goddess. Hinduism is probably the only religion that conceives the Ultimate Deity as Woman. It needs special mention because very few are really aware of it. Certain preliminary notions about Hinduism are also dealt with and explained in this context.
The Second chapter is about the symbolism of the Temple structure. I have heavily relied on a book by Nitya Chaitanya Yati for this purpose. i.e. ‘An Intelligent Man’s Guide to Hinduism’.
The third chapter is about the historical background which is also intricately intertwined with legend – a difficult section to deal with.
The final chapter gives some well-known anecdotes and stories associated with the temple including the visit to the temple by the Father of our Nation – Mahatma Gandhi.
The two stanzas given on page 9 and 10 were translated from Malayalam by Dr. Mathew Joseph, formerly Professor of English, St. Thomas College Palai.
Prof. T R Sankaranarayana Iyer, born in 1936, at Kottayam had education in the CMS College, Kottayam. Did his MA (English Literature) in the University College, Trivandrum (1956-58). Took MPhil degree from Calicut University under the guidance of Prof. C. A. Shepherd. Worked in the St. Thomas College, Palai, for thirty years. He has authored a critical study on Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Party’. Also has translated the play into Malayalam. Lives very close to Kumaranalloor Temple, Kottayam.