THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is the perfect escapist's paradise. Lying just a few kilometres north off Sreekariyam is Madavoorpara which offers a rocky, picturesque destination to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is also where history sleeps in all its grandeur. A rock-cut Siva temple, believed to have been built in 8th century CE here. A visit to Madavoorpara is a double delight for travellerS, with history and natural wonders offering the best of all worlds.
The journey to the summit of Madavoorpara is packed with a dose of adventure. You have to amble up a large rock, for which a support rope is provided. Once you have reached the first landing, another mighty rocky face stares at you. There are no ropes provided but the slope can be manoeuvred easily if you are careful. The path will take you to a recreational and activity area, one can settle at one of the bamboo huts and let the time ebb away. The facility also has a children's park.
You can also reach the point without climbing the hill by using the road. From here a long, bamboo bridge takes you to the summit of the rock from where you get to witness the vast vistas of the city.
The Siva temple is one of the rarest of rock-cut temples in the state. Everything has been sculpted on the rock, even the steep steps leading up to the temple. You can also see the sculptures of temple doorkeepers etched onto the rock on either side. The cave temple is open on all days and is of importance to not just history buffs. On the outside, you can see an inscription in Vattezhuthu, one of the scripts of Malayalam, which mentions an offering made at the temple.
The pujari and the manager of the temple who have been here for the past two decades recall how the cave temple used to remain in the midst of a forest. “It has changed now. Earlier there was no walkway except the 30 steps leading up to it. This is one cave temple which has a history dating back to many centuries. At that time, they might have created all this using the very bare tools they had,” says Ravindran Nair, the manager of the temple.
The temple timings are from 6.30 to 10 am in the morning and 5.30 to 7 pm in the evening when poojas are held. The bamboo bridge is open only from 4 pm to 6 pm. Meanwhile, you can always spend time at the recreational area where bamboo huts have been set up.