Tuesday, December 7, 2010



Duryodhana is considered as one of the worst villains of Indian Mythology. But he is worshipped in Kerala. Unbelievable? It is Poruvazhi Peruviruthi Malanada , the biggest Malanada of Kerala.

Malanadas are the places of worship cituated on hillocks, where people worship their deity but don’t have any idol or complicated rituals. People come, lighting the lamps and giving tobacco, arrack and cocks as the offerings. Every year the festival is held on the second Friday of Meenam (Pisces) month of Malayalam era.

But it is a truth that every year on the occasion of Malakkuda Mahotsavam (festival of umbrella of the mountain, Mala means mountain, Kuda means umbrella), lakhs of people gather here to witness the Kettukaazhcha and vedikkettu (fireworks). Kettukaazcha is the procession of huge chariot shaped structures, which are carried on shoulder by hundreds of people, and small and huge shapes of horses, bullocks etc made of wood, bamboo and straw, decorated with colourful clothes of mirror works. Fireworks are now banned in this place of worship, since a major fire accident held two decades ago, causing huge casuality to life and wealth.

Right to do the rituals of the worship place is of the Ooraali (Chief of Kurava community) from the Kaduthasseri family. He performs the rituals during normal and festival periods. Oorali literally means once who possess the place, or leader of the people that place. In almost all the Malanadas (about 101 in the Travancore area of Kerala) Kuravas are the priests.

Peruviruthi means big viruthi. Viruthi means the tax free land which is given to the warriors by the rulers. As the name of this place is Poaruvazhi ( means warpath) it has some relation with war of historical importance for this area. Every day hundreds of people visit this place and they offer Cocks, tobacco and arrack. Now a days arrack is prohibited by the government, but for rituals it is using still.

Why Duryodhana is worshipped in this place ? Many theories are there among them the main one is that, after defeat in the Mahabharatha war, the Kurus, followers of Duryodhana were caught as slaves, and many escaped to various parts of India. Those who came and settled in this part of India established their own centre to worship their king, Duryodhana. It is believed that Kuravas are the successors of Kurus, thus they called Kuruvars, the word gradually evolved as Kuravas. Kuravas are now among one of the major Scheduled Castes of Kerala. Their population is restricted to Central Travancore area i.e, in the districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alleppey.

Peruviruthi Malanada is situated at Poruvazhi Panchayat of Adur Taluk of Pathanamthitta District. Another small Malanada is situated at kurumpakara of Enadimangalam Panchayat of the same taluk. It is called as Pulippaaramala, means the hill of leopards. This small Malanada situated on a rock atop the hill has its own legends. There the deity is Karna, the close friend of Duryodhana. Here also the Ooraalis are the priests.

In this Malanada, festivals are rare, as people of Kurumpakara believe that if an annual festival is conducted, some evil things will happen in the village. During the last five decades only two times the annual festivals were conducted, and some bad things happened on that days. Now the villagesrs are not daring to conduct annual festivals in Pulippaaramala.

Name of the village is Kurumpakara. Kurumpa means the land , and Amba means mother.Kurumpa means mother of Kurus. Near Peruviruthi Malanada also there is a place called Kurumpakara.

It is worth study that why people in this part of Kerala worship Duryodhana and Karna, the defeated heros of Mahabharatha.
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  1. Kurumpakara, the place of Kurumpa. Having many folds of culture from the time immemorial.A place worth visit and study the environment.