Travel tips to visit Kerala based Divya desams

sridhar venkatachari < wrote:
How many days it took to visit allt he malainattu Divyadesams.

** We started on the evening of 27th Dec 2006 by 2695 TVC Superfast Express from Chennai and returned by
6628 West Coast on Jan 1, 2007. We covered 10 divyadesams in Kerala (except TVC)

Where did you stay in each divya desam.

** 28th - Tiruvalla, 29th & 30th - Ernakulam, 31st - Shoranur Jn.

How did you go there?

** I guess a detailed note will help you...

Tiruvalla – We reached Tiruvalla around 5 AM on 28th. It was Christmas season there, so we struggled a
lot to find a room in a hotel. There are plenty of decent hotels as Tiruvalla is a
big town by itself. Finally we managed to get a room opposite Pushpagiri hospital. The hotel manager
arranged a taxi (Ambassador) for us at 6.30 AM. We had a nice sleep in the train, so refreshing up for
an early start was easy for us. We went direct to Thiruvanvandur first. It is very nice to see that all
Malainattu Divyadesams (DD) still have the same name what Alwars did mangalasasanam some 1500 years ago.

Thiruvanvandur – Take the main road from Tiruvalla to Changannur for 4 kms upto Praavinkoodu Jn. (It
is actually Puraavin koodu – Pigeon’s nest). Take a right turn (heading west) and drive for another 4 kms,
you will reach this DD. The temple is on the main road itself near the bus stop and is not very tough find out.
Buses are plying between PK JN and this DD, but you have to wait for a long time!

Chengannur – Coming the way back to PK Jn for 4 kms and taking the main road to Chengannur,
we headed to the famous Bhagavathi temple. After having finished that temple, we came
down the hillock and had tiffin in Arya Bhavan. We then came back in the Tiruvalla main road for
a km and took a left turn (heading West) to reach Chittattu (Thiru Chitraaru). The temple is on the
main road itself (Just travel for ½ km). There is a sign board on the Tiruvalla main road indicating
‘Chittattu Mahavishnu temple).

Puliyur – We then came back to Chengannur and took the Mavelikara main road to reach Puliyur.
It is also known as Puliyur Chengannur. It is 5 kms away from Chengannur. Beautiful temple.
After having the sevai, we came back to Chengannur and traveled East to go to Aranmula.

Aranmula – Aranmula (Thiruvaranvilai) is 9 kms to the east of Chengannur on Sabarimala main road.
Ask for Aranmula Parthasarathy ambalam – that is the actual name of the temple.

Thrickodithanam – We had to come back to Tiruvalla via Chengannur (the direct road is in a very bad condition.
We crossed Tiruvalla, reached a place called Perunthuruthi, took a right turn to cross the Level crossing,
went through a place called ‘Nalukodi’ to reach Thrickodithanam (Thirukadithanam). It is 4 kms from Perunthuruthi.
This place is accessible directly from Changanasseri.

Tiruvalla – Finally, we came back to Tiruvalla via Nalukody and Perunthurutti. The Vallaba ambalam is
a km away from the Town centre. The time was 1130 as we completed this sevai. We headed back to the hotel
and took some rest. We asked the same driver to take us to Alappuzha on that evening. We had sevai of
Ambalappuzha Krishnar on the way back via Thakazhi. It took the whole of that evening. We took rest at the hotel.
We had our plans as 28th for Tiruvalla and 29th for Alappuzha. Having finished both the temples on Day 1 itself,
we had tickets booked in Venad Express from Tiruvalla to Thrissur on 29th. We went to Guruvayur on 29th,
had sevai at 4 PM and took Kannur – Ernakulam Intercity to come back to Ernakulam North. We booked a
hotel right opposite North station on 29th evening.

Vaikunta Ekadasi – We booked an ambassador for 30th and went to Trikakkara at 5.45 AM. There was
virtually nobody in the Divyadesam at that time and we had sevai of Perumal until we felt
contended and happy! It was a hard-to-describe-on-words sevai on that V.Ekadasi morning! Trikakkara
is a suburb of Kochi-Ernakulam. We took the main road to Aluva and took a right turn after the point
where Guruvayur road takes a left turn from the main road. We then headed to TKS Puram (Thiru kulasekara
puram / Thiruvanjikkode) via Varapuzha toll bridge. We had sevai of Kulasekara Azhwar, Krishnar and
Mahadeva (This temple is the only Thevara sthalam in Kerala). We then went to Kodungallur and
reached Thirumoozhikulam via Aluva. The road to this DD is a left turn just after the right turn to
the Kochi airport. In other words, if you travel North from Aluva, you will find the Airport
on your right, don’t turn here and proceed straight, you will find a left turn to Thirumoozhikulam. There
is an indicator board for Thirumoozhikulam temple on the mainroad itself. Take this left turn and proceed
west) to reach a small town where you have to take a right turn to a place called Kurumasseri.
Once you take the right turn and reach Kurumasseri, you will reach Thirumoozhikulam DD. It was 1130 by
the time we reached there. We then went to Athirappilly and Chalakkudi waterfalls near Chalakkudy and
came back to the hotel around 3 PM. It was a bandh on that afternoon, so we had to stay at the hotel itself.
Being an ardent fan of trains, I just spent the evening watching locomotives and train action at Ernakulam
Town station with my friends…

Ernakulam – We started as early as 0530 AM on 31st morning and went to Chottanikkara. Had a sevai
of Bhagavathi and got down at Tirupunittura on the way back. It was a very nice Krishnar temple.
We came back to the hotel at 0900 hrs, vacated the hotel and boarded Parasuram Express to go to Shoranur Jn.
We arrived at SRR at 1300 hrs. We booked a hotel near the station. The hotel manager was helpful in booking
am Ambassador for us. He advised us to start early as the two DDs – Tirunavaya and Tirumittakkode will
seem to be nearer in the map (crow’s flying distance) but will take more than 90 minutes to reach
because of road condition and ghat sections. We started at 1530 hrs and went to Tirumittakkode
(Panchapandava pradhishta) via Vadanamkurusshi, Pattambi and Nyaangaatri. Nyaangaatri has a famous Bagavati
temple, so it is very easy to reach our DD if we reach there. We then proceeded to Tirunavaya via Pattambi,
Angadi puram and Kuttipuram. It was around 2100 hrs when we came back to the hotel. It was a tiresome journey.
Alternatively, you can reach Tirumittakkode by getting down at Pattambi Rly. Station and taking an auto or taxi.
It is around 3 kms from there. Tirunavvaya also has a station which is a km away from the temple.
The only constraint is the connecting train pattern between these two stations.

We took rest on 31st night in the hotel at Shoranur and got West Coast on 1st early morning to reach Chennai
at 1500 hrs on that day. We happened to have a glimpse of Tiruppur Tirupati temple on the way near Tiruppur station.

For those who are conversant with Google Earth / web-based Wikimapia, here are the locational details
 for some of the temples
(Name – Latitude – Longitude)
Tirunavaya - 10.863851° - 75.981676°
Tirumittakkode - 10.782761° - 76.184533°
Trikakkara - 10.035312° - 76.329355°
Thirumoozhikulam - 10.187940° - 76.327280°
Tiruvalla - 9.373929° - 76.563153°
Thrickodithanam - 9.438222° - 76.562320°
Tirupatisaram - 8.208198° - 77.447269°
Thiruvananthapuram - 8.482783° - 76.943799°

Please don’t hesitate to contact me in case you have any trouble in locating any DD (or Thevara sthalangal
for those who are interested in them) in Google Earth or Wikimapia.

Hope this provides an overall idea for better planning. And check with the map-link which I did in MS-paint
( Generally all temples are open between 3 AM and 1130 AM and
between 0430 PM and 0730 PM. Plan your trip accordingly. Also have enough buffer in your plans because
the nadai will get closed all of a sudden for some 30 minutes and you might have to wait for some time then...

Where did you eat?
** Good Vegetarian food and hot water with Seeragam is available all through the state. It is not a problem at all.
However, you may wish to pack for yourselves if you do not partake outside. Not sure about cooking-convenience

(thanks, Sridhar Venkatachari)

** dAsan, S.Aravind