Kerala, the visitors’ paradise, has soul-cleansing centres too. Pilgrim centres of all religions abound this tiny state. Thousands throng such centres with agitated minds and return cool, calm and collected.
Hindus, Christians, Muslims and even microscopic minorities such as Jains have their own pilgrim centres where devotees genuflect to bare their mental trauma.
Attukal Bhagavathi Temple
Attukal Bhagavathy temple (Mudippura), knows as the Sabarimala of women, is in Thiruvananthapuram. Attukal Ponkala, the annual festival commences on Bharani day in Kumbhom (February – March) and continues for nine days.
Chettikulangara Devi Temple
One of the renowned Devi temples in Kerala is Chettikulangara temple, Kayamkulam in Alappuzha. Highlights of Bharani festival, celebrated in February-March, are Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha. Of these , the former is performed as an offering to Bhagavathy.
Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple
A big pilgrim draw, Guruvayoor is known as Kasi of South. Round the year devotees throng to worship Guruvayoorappan, little Krishna, the reigning deity.
Mannarsala Temple, Harippad
Mannarasala temple at Harippad is the seat of God of Serpents. Built in a grove, the temple is reputed for having 30,000 images of snake-gods and this is the largest of its kind in the state.
Thrichambaram Sree Krishna Temple
The temple dedicated to Sree Krishna is at Thrichambaram, Kannur, 14-kms from Pappinisserry railway station. The fortnight festival begins on 22nd Kumbham (February – March).
Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallor
The first mosque in India. Situated in Methala, Kodungalloor, hardly 20 kilometer from the Irinjalakuda railway station.Legend says King Cheraman Perumal of Kodungallor left for Mecca, embraced Islam, accepted the name Thajudee, married the sister of the then King of Jeddah.
Ottapalam Juma Masjid
Mortal remains of Uthman Auliya, a revered man in Muslim Community here, is entombed here. Prayers are held in this mosque on Fridays. Annual festival is held in January-February.
The Jama-at mosque, Malappuram
The Jama-at mosque is important for Kerala’s Muslims. The annual Nercha festival of the mosque is celebrated for four days in April.
Pazhayangadi Mosque, Kondotti
On the way to Malappuram, 18 km east of Manjeri, is Kondotti a prominent pilgrim centre for Muslims.