| Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple
PARASSINIKADAVU MUTHAPPAN TEMPLE
Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple is a Hindu temple, located on the banks of the Valapattanam river about 10 km from Taliparamba in Kannur District, Kerala. Principal deity of the temple is Sree Muthappan, a manifestation of two mythical characters called Thiruvappana and Vellattam. According to the local tradition the presiding deity is a folk deity and not a vedic deity, but there are recent attempts to associate the deity to Vishnu or Shiva.
Rituals of the temple is unique in that it does not follow the Satvic Brahminical form of worship, as in other Hindu temples of Kerala. The main mode of worship is the a ritual enactment of both the characters of Muthappan, through a traditional dance known as Muthappan Theyyam. Fish, meat and toddy are the customary offerings to Muthappan. Muthappan Thiruvoppana Mahothsavam is the major festival of the temple, celebrated for three days every year on 19, 20 and 21 of Kumbham.
The legend of Ponnu Muthappan: Naduvazhi of Ayyankara Brahmin family in Payyavoor village and his wife, Padikutty Antharjanam, had no offsprings. Padikutty Antharjanam was an ardent devotee of Shiva and when she found a baby floating in a basket of flowers in the river water when she was coming back after a bath in the river, she took it as the blessing of Lord Shiva, and so was her husband. The child grew up and in his boyhood, he was always for the benefit of downtrodden and poor people. However, to the agony of his family he practiced hunting, and also started eating flesh, which was not allowed for a Brahmin. Unable to bear the indictments from his family, the boy decided to leave home. When his mother attempted to stop him, he looked at her in fury and appeared in his original godly figure before the parent. She bowed down before her son. Nonetheless, she requested him to cover his eyes with a Poikannu, a type of shield for the eyes, since she was afraid that such a fiery look on another occasion may cause to emanate the cosmic force, Shakti, that could change the entire world. Wearing a shield on his eyes, he left the family, and passed through various villages in Malabar, such as Kunnathurpadi, Puralimala, Padavil, Thillenkeri, Kannapuram, Parassinikadavu and Valluvankadav.
The legend relates Muthappan with a tribal family for the divine boy started being called as "Muthappan". Accordingly, when he reached a village called Kunnathurpadi, he got a tribalman, Chantan as his friend. One day, when he saw Chantan tapping toddy from Palm tree the boy asked for it but was denied. All of sudden, Chantan was cursed and became a stone. His wife prayed and offered to perform the rituals, Oottu, Tiruvappana and Amruthakalasam, to propitiate the boy in the month of Dhanu. The boy relented and gave her husband back. The Chantan family started to conduct pooja to propitiate the boy and they called him in the name: "Muthappan".
However, according to another version of the legend Muthappan climbed the coconut tree and emptied the toddy jar in the absence of Chantan. When Chantan returned and saw Muthappan holding the jar, he was provoked and defied the latter. It was at this instant, Chantan was cursed.
The chieftain of a nearby village, Kunnathurpadi, who belonged to Karakattidam family, came to know this incident and invited Muthappan to his family. Hence the people of Kunnathurpadi village also started performing rituals to propitiate Muthappan.
The legend also describes a dog which always followed Muthappan throughout his journey. Hence, in the temple of Muthappan, dogs are considered divine and the temple entrance has an idol of dog, at both sides.
Another version of the legend characterizes Sree muthappan as the son of a Thiyya women, Paadikkutty, and hence the people of Thiyya caste consider Muthappan as their principal deity.