Temple where the deity, Duryodhana, pays tax

The payment of tax in Duryodhana’s name reflects the deep emotional bond the local community has with their deity, temple secretary Rajneesh Unni told TNIE.
Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Duryodhana Temple in Kollam.
Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Duryodhana Temple in Kollam.Express

KOLLAM : The Peruviruthy Malanada Duryodhana Temple -- located in the village of Poruvazhy in Kollam district -- stands out as one of the few temples dedicated to Duryodhana, a key figure from the Mahabharata. Uniquely, this temple pays its land tax in the name of its deity, a practice that has continued since the establishment of the land tax system.

The payment of tax in Duryodhana’s name reflects the deep emotional bond the local community has with their deity, temple secretary Rajneesh Unni told The New Indian Express.

“We have been paying land tax since the concept was introduced. There’s no specific reason for doing so in Duryodhana’s name other than showcasing our emotional attachment. In our temple, Duryodhana is not referred to as a god or lord but lovingly called appooppan (grandfather). This may be why the tax has been historically paid in his name,” Rajneesh said.

Supporting this tradition, the Poruvazhy village office confirmed that the temple’s land tax records have consistently listed Duryodhana as the taxpayer. Shameer S, the acting village officer, said, "The official receipts and thandaper clearly state that the land tax has been paid in Duryodhana’s name."

Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Duryodhana Temple in Kollam.
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Manoj G, a senior official with the department of survey, clarified that religious institutions can legally pay land taxes in the name of their deities if they possess the required land deeds. “When a temple holds the land deed, it is entitled to submit tax payments under the deity’s name. The village office cannot refuse such payments. The tax receipts will include the deity’s name, documenting the secretary’s role in the process. This reflects human involvement during the transaction. If a temple lacks land deeds, it must seek validation from the district collector or tahsildar to establish land records before proceeding with tax payments,” he explained.

Open 24 hours a day, the temple welcomes devotees of all castes and religions. Unique in its customs, the temple does not follow tantric traditions, and there are no Sanskrit mantras. Instead of idols, visitors see maces, Duryodhana’s favoured weapon, symbolising his presence.

One of the temple’s distinctive rituals is the offering of alcohol, a practice that sets it apart from many other religious institutions.

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