Sree Bhavaneeswara Temple: Legendary Temple where Gandhi met Guru

The temple achieved a remarkable feat on April 14, 2017, when it secured the record for the world’s largest Vishukkani, a traditional arrangement displayed on the auspicious occasion of Vishu.
The Sree Bhavaneeswara Temple in Palluruthy. (Photo | Express)
The Sree Bhavaneeswara Temple in Palluruthy. (Photo | Express)

KOCHI: Consecrated by Sree Narayana Guru in 1904, the Sree Bhavaneeswara Temple in Palluruthy holds a special significance in the annals of history as a symbol of social equality and religious inclusivity.

It was a time when cast hierarchies were in flux, and social concerns were compounded by conversions from Hinduism to other religions. Spearheading social reform and spiritual revival, the Guru installed the Shiva idol at this temple, which was built over four years. 

Incidentally, this was the first temple dedicated to the backward classes to have a golden mast. Attesting the significance of Sree Bhavaneeswara Temple, Mahatma Gandhi, visited the shrine in 1925. 

Gandhi’s meeting with the Guru centred around the temple entry proclamation and their joint participation in the Vaikom Satyagraha. 

Former temple committee member K R Mohanan shares an interesting anecdote. “During their discussions on the caste system, Gurudevan pointed to a tree on the temple premises and told Gandhi: ‘People are like the leaves of that tree. They are all different, but belong to the same tree and share the same roots.”

Today, he notes, the Sree Bhavaneeswara Temple stands as a testament to the enduring struggle for social equality. 

“Its rich history, intertwined with the temple entry movement and the progressive teachings of Sree Narayana Guru, continues to inspire generations, reminding us of the importance of inclusivity and unity,” says Mohanan. 

Jalaja Vijayan, a resident of Palluruthy, says the annual festival of the temple is a grand affair. “The 11-day festival is held during the Malayalam month of Kumbham. It is an eagerly anticipated event that showcases a diverse range of cultural programmes,” she says. 

Notably, the temple achieved a remarkable feat on April 14, 2017, when it secured the record for the world’s largest Vishukkani, a traditional arrangement displayed on the auspicious occasion of Vishu.

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