Sri Hanuman Temple

Sri Hanuman Temple, also known as Sri Raghavapuram, is one of the most important temples dedicated to Lord Hanuman in Kerala. Situated in the serene village of Cheruthazham near Payyannur, opposite the Ezhimala hills, this temple holds great significance in the region. Despite its official name, it is popularly known as Hanumarambalm, symbolizing the deep love between Lord Rama, Sita Devi, and Hanuman.

Legend has it that the original temple was constructed by the Mooshaka dynasty centuries ago. Later, during the 8th century, Sri Udaya Varma Kolathiri renovated the temple and brought 237 Brahmin families from Gokarna Kshethra, present-day Tulu-speaking areas in Karnataka, to settle in nearby villages. The original idol of Lord Rama, depicting him during the battle with Ravana, faced east. However, due to hardships faced by the people residing on the eastern side, it was decided to relocate the idol and open a doorway on the western side facing Ezhimala.

During the Rama-Ravana yudham (battle) in Lanka, it is believed that a piece of the mountain carried by Hanuman for healing Lakshmana fell at this spot, forming Ezhimala. Since then, the divine presence of Lord Rama and Hanuman has been felt in this area. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama with Sita Devi, and uniquely, Lord Lakshmana is also present on the same pedestal.

Inside the temple, the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Hanuman is located at the northwest corner of the main sanctum sanctorum. Another unique feature is the presence of a sanctum sanctorum for Lord Shiva just outside the main temple. Lord Shiva faces west, and the idol represents ‘Shanta Shiva Prathishta.’ There is also a sanctum sanctorum for Sri Durga Devi nearby.

During festivals, the idols of Lord Rama, Hanuman, Lord Shiva, and Sri Durga are carried on the heads of Brahmin devotees, and a special dance known as ‘Thidambu Nrithyam’ is performed, a rare sight in any other temple. The temple celebrates Karkidakamasam as Ramayanamasam with special rituals like Maha Ganapathi Homam and Ramayana Sapthaham. Navarathri and Shivarathri are also celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The temple is famous for its offering of “Avil” (rice flake) to Lord Hanuman. The serene ambiance, rich history, and unique rituals make Hanumarambalm Temple a must-visit destination for devotees and tourists alike.

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