About the Temple
Lord Subrahmanya Swamy, renowned in the names Velayudha, Muruka, Shadanana, Skanda and Karthikeya, who is the synonym of all the Vedas, Vedangas and the supreme knowledge, dwells as the Lord of Kodumthara, which is the virtue this small village possesses.
Lord Sree Karthikeya who has been dwelling in the Kodumthara temple since time immemorial, showering his blessings on all devotees who worship him, is the soul of the spiritual sector of this region as well as the route cause of all its physical achievements and prosperity. It is the great Chaithanya with which the entire region is filled with due to the charisma of which the Lord and the devotee unite to one.
Along with the great tradition of Bhakthi , this temple has a noticeable historical background also.
Kodumthara Subrahmanya swamy temple has a prominent position on the centuries old Muruka temples of Kerala. The Subrahmanya swamy temple at Harippad, the Kumarakovil temple in Thiruvananthapuram District and the Kodumthara temple are believed to be built up during the same period.
All the Muruka temples of Kerala were constructed before the period during which the great linguistic change of separation/evolution of Malayanma from Tamil took place. The major implementing force behind the institution of theses temples were the Nayanars , the great Shaiva Gurs, which is a widely recognised historical fact. Since these temples are centuries old, we lack the written forms of history and other legendary aspects regarding them.
The only text which throws a little light about this temple is the Ascharya chudamani written by the yogic saint Shakthi Bhadra who was the ruler of Chennerkara Swaroopam, who was in possession of the Tantric rights of this temple. In this book, Shakthibhadra depicts about Kodumthara temple and the rights and powers possessed by his dynasty, over this temple and its movable and immovable assets. Shakthi Bhadras were the rulers who belonged to the dynasty named Chenneerkkara Koyikkal or Chenneerkara Swaroopam and eventually when we trace out the history of Kodumthara temple, it becomes the history of Chenneerkkara Koyikkal.
Shakthibhadras were great Shiva gurus, who were Yogis having immense knowledge of Vedas, Manthras and Tantric rituals. History points to some situations which make us arrive at the fact that the Shakthi Bhadra Yogis belonged to the Tamil cult. They reached here during 3rd or 4th Centrury ( A.D). It is noteworthy to understand from the scriptures that the then emperor of Venadu, Sthanu Ravi had accorded sanction and help to Shankara the Shakthibhadra to establish a province ranging from the southern side of the Achen Kovil river to the northern side of Kallada river. They established their capital at Angadikkal. They brought all their deities along with them from Tamilnadu. It was impossible for them to live without the presence of the deities they worshipped. In short, their lives were fully earmarked for their deities.
The Shakthibhadras found Kodumthara, anciently known as Neerman (Land with the presence of water), as a suitable place to construct a temple to idolise their deities. The Chief deity, Lord Muruka, was installed here at Kodumthara. They installed the idol of their Godess Shakthi (Bhadrakali) at Ayirookkavu temple. Shakthibhadras worked as the owners and Tantris of these temples. Thus Kodumthara temple had become the meeting place of four great powers- Subrahmanya, Maha Ganapathy, Mahavishnu and Mahamaya (Devi).
The Shakthimangalam Madhom of Chenneerkkara had large areas of land in Shengottai Taluk . They had the tantric rights of the temples of Kuttalam and Ambasamudram. It is said that Kodumthara temple also had lands in Shengottai Taluk and thus a lot of devotees from Tamilnadu used to visit this temple during the ancient times, though it was quite difficult to traverse the dense forest terrains to reach Kerala, at that time. They used to bring offerings and small idols made up of terracotta to worship Muruka of Kodumthara. This practice continued for a long period till the temple lost all its properties in Tamil Nadu. Gradually the visits of the devotees from Tamilnadu had declined.
The Chennerkara swaroopam had the sole possession of Kodumthara temple and its Tantric rights till the period during which the Malayalam Brahmins got the complete control over the temples of Kerala. They became an unchallengeable and unquestionable force and they claimed the Tantric rights of Kodumthara temple as well . Unable to resist them, the Shakthibhadra had to give half Tantric rights to them. Even then they didn’t allow Shakthibhadra to perform the rites , thus violating their mutual understanding. The Chenneerkkara swaroopam was not powerful to sustain their rights.
Things changed when Sankaran Shakthibhadran, the author of Ascharyachoodamani (A famous Sanscrit drama ) took over the charge of Chennerkkara Koyikkal. He was a powerful Yogi and a poet honoured as “Bhuvanabhoothi”, who had immense knowledge of Vedas, Shastras, Shaivagamas, Samhithas and Thantras. He reached Kodumthara to claim his rights over the temple. The then authorities of the temple were Namboodiri Brahmins belonging to four major families- Manthanathu Madhom , Karaveli Madhom, Varikkuveli Madhom and Velluvettuveli Madhom-They were not ready to release the Manusham (Tantric rights) and the temple properties which the Shakthibhadra deseved. Shakthibhadra stood fast for his rights and began sitting on a small wooden stool (Kurandi) , in a nearby plot, in protest.
The angry Brahmins attacked him and threw him in the nearby river. Somehow, he swam across and returned to Chennerkara Koyikkal in disgrace, with a deeply wounded heart. He arranged some Nair warriors and led them to Kodumthara to do the revenge. Unable to fight with them, all the Namboodiris except the Karaveli Madhom Karanavar fled in fear. Karavelimadhom with his tactics, made a treaty with Shakthibhadra and agreed to release the Tantric right ( manusham) and half of the temple properties to Shakthibhadra. Shakthibhadra didn’t like to continue there. He took all his possessions including half of the copper plates with which the temple roof was made. He also took the Mahavishnu idol installed in the western nada and the idols of Bhagavathy and Ganapathy, and returned to Kodumon. The Mahavishnu idol was installed in Vaikundapuram Temple and the Devi idol , in Palliyarakkavu, at Kodumon. The idol of Ganapathy was installed near his Madhom at Angadikkal. The idol of Mahavishnu, presently seen in the west nada of Kodumthara temple is brought from a famous Nair family near by, named Kurumpelil (Kottarathil).
It is also believed that Adi Sankara had visited this temple during his mounavrutha and had a meeting with Shakthibhadra. Thus, this temple has a rich historical back ground, which has to be explored in detail . It will undoubtfully throw more light to the cultural and spiritual scenario, prevailed in that period.
The Department of tourism, Govt of Kerala has included the details of this temple in their website.
Please see the link. https://www.keralatourism.org/search/?q=kodumtharatemple