Rajarajeshwara Temple: A Temple where Women are only allowed at Night
This aesthetic abode is known to situated at a distance of about 25 km from the town situated in Kerala known as the Kannur. The Rajarajeshwara Temple located in Taliparambha is solely dedicated towards the mighty lord Shiva whose shrine, as the locals believe, was said to be renovated by Parshurama while the precise date still remains to be obscure. Known to be built by Parshurama, this beautiful temple is considered to be one of the 108 Shiva Kshetrams and is also referred to as Shaktipeetham due to the belief that the head of the Goddess Sati fell off at this particular location.
Known for its unique rituals and customs, this shrine is known to have been visited by some of the most well-known personalities of all time. Here, Load Shiva is referred to as the Rajarajeshwara which basically means emperor of emperors, Perumchellurappan, Thampuran or Perumthrikovilappan. Considered to be one of the jyotirlingas, the shiva lingam that is present here is worshipped by many devotees wholeheartedly.
In this article, we shall discuss about more important facts about the Rajarajeshwara temple and the historical events associated with it in detail. So, let’s get started!
Legends associated with Rajarajeshwara Temple
One of the greatest legends associated with this temple is about the story of how Parusharama came across this beautiful and powerful shrine that to his surprise was lying in the ruins. He was totally grief-stricken and couldn’t accept the fact that such a spiritually powerful shrine was simply lying around in an abandoned state. Out of this curiosity, Parshurama also called the Narada who then came and recited to him the whole story behind the fall of this spiritual shrine.
According to Narada, the story states that once in order to reduce the heat of the sun, a sage named Sanaka along with his companions managed to churn a disc of the sun. Out of this process of churning, the dust which they had initially mixed along with Amrutha which is considered to be the divine immortality nectar arose and was later divided into 3 portions. These portions were then, presented before Shiva, Parvathi, and Brahma.
Parvathi offered her three lingams to three of the kings who were offering intense prayers to please her. Two of her offerings were to the Shatasoman and Muchkunda of the Dwapara Yuga and the last one was offered to the Maandhatha of the Thretha Yoga.
These three kings were ordered to install these spiritual lingams in a place wherein no death of any kind of creature had taken place naturally. Also, there were no cremated bodies present. After intense searching, one of the three kings, Maandhata found a place that well suited all the conditions put forward for installing the idol.
The origins of Rajarajeshwara Temple
The place that he discovered was basically a region somewhere close by to Taliparambha where Maandhata finally decided to install the idol. Eventually, as time passed by, this spiritual jyotirlinga got buried deep inside the earth and converted this place into a highly spiritual one. This event led to the end of the Thretha Yuga. Followed by the Thretha Yuga, marked the beginning of Dwapara Yuga. In this Yuga, the second Lingham was offered to Muchunda who was ordered with the same instructions with regards to the installation of the second idol. But by coincidence, he too landed at the same destination where in the first idol was installed.
The installation of the second Lingham in the same location made it even more powerful and made it spiritually more vibrant than ever before. Next in line was the Shathasoman who also walked on to the path taken by Muchunda and Maandhata and installed the third idol too at the same location. When this idol too began to dissolve into the earth, he started praying to Agasthya for a vision. His prayers were answered and the sage eventually appeared and lit a ghee lamp and also performed the Namaskaram for about 12 times in front of the Lord.
While performing the 13th namaskaram, the linga got installed thereby increasing the power of the shrine to three times and making it all the more spiritual and powerful.
Darshan timings and other important requirements
The Rajarajeshwara temple darshan timings basically include morning schedule wherein the time for worship is between 4.00 am until 12 pm. In the evening, the temple opens at around 5.30 pm and closes at 8.30 pm. For women, the timings are strictly after 7.15 pm and not before that. Men are allowed to worship even during the day time. Strict rules are to be followed while entering the temple such as the men are expected to wear dhotis and no shirts while the women strictly need to wear either Saree or salwar. The temple also has a provision of a cloakroom within its premises outside in order to keep handbags and other travel bags outside since they are not allowed in the temple.
Entry for women inside the Rajarajeshawara temple
The Rajarjeshwara Temple has been known for following numerous customs that have always been under the debate for the lack of its rationality. As a part of the customs followed in this temple, women are allowed in the temple only after the Athazha puja has been performed that takes place at 7.15 pm. Though the men are allowed even during the day time, but it is a mandatory rule that the women can enter only a night after the Athazha puja has been successfully performed.
The reason behind such a custom is believed to be that after this Puja has been performed Lord Shiva is found to be in a gracious temper and is accompanied by his better half, Parvathi. Therefore, this timing is considered to be one of the most auspicious ones for women to enter the temple. After this pooja, they can take blessings from both, Lord Shiva as well as Parvati Devi.