Touring Shiva Temples in Thiruvananthapuram
But Ben was in for a big surprise when he discovered that there are more than 2000 temples in and around this city! By the time he would finish visiting all of them, he would himself have become a monk!
Ben has seen idols and pictures of Lord Shiva in various forms - as Natraja, the Lord of dance or Neelkanth, Lord with a blue throat due to the poison he drank to save the devas from asuras. Shiva carries a trident or trishul which represents three gunas in our life namely, sattva, rajas and tama. The crescent moon on the forehead give him the name Chandrashekar and His damrusignifies the sacred sound of 'om'. Under his feet is asura signifying ignorance. With his wife Parvati, he symbolizes Ardhanarisvara form.
(Picture Courtesy: Anandita Pandey)
Shiva Temples in and around Thiruvananthapuram
A tourist at heart, Ben planned his visit well in advance and landed in Thiruvananthapuram. He made up his mind to visit only Shiva temples this time. His experience in each temple, the marvels he came across were penned down in the mini diary on his android phone. This is what he got for his friends - some architects, historians, sociologists and anthropologists.
Madavoorpara Cave Temple
Cave temples are not very common in Kerala. However, there is another cave temple in Vizhinjam. Madavoorpara is 8 kms. from Sreekaryam Junction and 18 kms. from Trivandrum.
Open on all days.
Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple or Old Sreekanteswaram Temple
Morning: 5.20 to 10.30
Evening: 5.00 to 8.30
Sree Ashtalakshmi Viswanatha Temple
Monday to Sunday: 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Major Chengallur Mahadeva Temple
Kamaleswaram Mahadeva Temple
Morning - 5.20 AM to 10.00 AM and 5.00 PM to 8.00 PM
The temples in Thiruvananthapuram were places of worship, of vedic learning and some are marvels of architecture. Ben's tour was more about knowing stories and legends associated with these temples, about war and religion, about worship, art and architecture. The Natraja statue Ben got from India still reminds him about his religious sojourn. What he most imbibed from this tour was internal peace and serenity and self-awareness which every religion teaches.
Also Read: Attukal Bhagavathy Temple | Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple