In Wayanad there are many pilgrim centres for Hindus, Muslims, Christians as well as Jains. One of the major pilgrim centres in Wayanad is the Thirunelli Temple. Thousands of devotees visit this temple as this is a major pilgrim for performing the ancestral rites. Some of the other major temples in Wayanad are Valliyoorkavu Temple, Thrissilery Siva temple, Seetha Lava-Kusha Temple etc. Besides, there are many Jain temples in this district. Some of them include Glass temple, Puliyarmala Jain temple etc. Glass temple is also a major tourist attraction in Wayanad. The churches in Wayanad include Pallikkunnu Church, Meenangadi Cathedral etc. The famous mosques in Wayanad are Korome mosque, Varambetta Mosque and Kalpatta Town Juma Masjid.
Temples in Wayanad
Sree Thirunelli Temple
Sree Thirunelli temple is located in Brahmagiri hill in Wayanad at a height of 900 m above sea level. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Exact dates of the establishment of this temple are unknown and it is believed that it is around 3000 years old. The word Thirunelli is derived from the Malayalam word ‘Nelli’ which means Gooseberry. This temple has been mentioned in the Puranas. This temple lies in the Sahya valley and so it is also referred to as ‘Sahyamalaka Kshetram’ in these Puranas. The architecture of the temple is marvelous with 30 granite pieces that supports the shrine and huge blocks of granite are laid on the floor.
This temple is an important temple in Wayanad and is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The Goddess appears in 3 forms namely Vana Durga, Bhadrakali and Jala Durga. It is situated on the banks of the river Kabani. This temple is famous for the 15 days festival conducted here in the Malayalam month Meenam from 1st to 14th. This festival called as Valliyoorkavu festival is the main event of the various tribes of Wayanad and exhibitions and fares are conducted as part of this festival. During festival, various folk art forms are exhibited which is a visual treat for the viewers. The temple ritual art called Kalamezhuthu which is the drawing done on the floor with various colors is a characteristic of this festival.
To take the panoramic view of Valliyoorkavu temple, follow the link:-http://p4panorama.com/panos/Valliyoorkavu_temple/index.html
Thrissilery Siva Temple
This is a Shiva Temple that has an excellent architecture. This temple lies in Thrissilery which lies near to Sulthan Bathery. People believe that paying contribution at this temple is equivalent to performing rites at Thirunelli Vishnu temple and that performing ancestral rites at Thirunelli is incomplete without making offerings at this temple. Those who visit Thirunelli temple make it a point to worship in Thrissilery Siva temple also. The main offerings done in this temple are banana, flowers and coconut. People irrespective of caste and religion can worship from this temple. The annual festival of this temple is held in the Malayalam month Meenam. Another main festival held is the Puthari festival conducted in Thulam month.
Seetha Lava-Kusha Temple
This temple is a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Sita and sons of Lord Rama, Lava and Kusha. It is the only temple dedicated to Lava and Kusha and is located in Pulpally. Thousands of devotees come to worship at this temple daily. This temple was constructed by Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja and was his favorite shrine. The temple has a pond nearby and is the largest one in Kerala. There are numerous ant hills near the temple. It is strange to note that the leaches which are commonly found in Wayanad is not seen near the temple and its surroundings.
Manikavu Temple is located in Meenangadi near Sulthan Bathery and is dedicated to lord Shiva. The idol is the Shivalingam which is self made. A unique feature here is that water from the streams is poured over the Shivalingam. The architecture of this temple is excellent and beautiful. The offerings made in this temple are coconut, banana and flowers.
Glass temple at Koottamundu is one of the major attractions of Wayanad. It is a Jain temple constructed on the hill side of Vellarimala. This temple is built in honor of the Jain saint Parshawanatha Swami. The main feature of this Glass temple is that it has thousands of mirrors kept on the inner walls of the temple. The idol id kept in the main hall which is reflected in the numerous mirrors on the wall. The view of the idol reflected on the wall is a beautiful sight. This temple is also a major tourist attraction.
Puliyarmala Jain Temple
Jain temple located in Puliyarmala is built in excellent Jain architecture. This temple is also called as Ananthanatha swami temple and is visited by thousands of Jains and other cultural activists. This temple is dedicated to the Jain saint Ananthanatha swami and so is known by his name. The entrance doors of the temple are carved well and have three panels. There is a carved granite pillar at the outer entrance. There is a Stupa which is built in the Dravidian style and has painted carvings. At the top of it is carved with the Jain god Mahavir.
Some other main temples in Wayanad are
Maha Ganapathi Temple, Ponkili Temple etc. Some of the main Jain temples are Chandranatha Swami Temple at Puthanangadi, Santhinatha Temple at Venniyode, Vrishabhadeva Swami Temple at Mananthavady, Jain temple at Sulthan Bathery and Parawanatha Swami temple at Palkunnu.
Churches in Wayanad
This church which is called as Our Lady of Lourdes church is a Latin Catholic church. This church which is located near Kalpetta was established in the year 1905 by a French Missionary named Fr. Jeffreno. This church is unique as some of the rituals performed in this church are similar to those in Hindu temples. The annual festival conducted in this church is held in February from 2nd to 18th and lasts for 2 weeks. The important days during the festival are the 10th and the 11th day.
Assumption Forane Church
This church is located in Sulthan Bathery and is one of the oldest churches in Wayanad. This church was started by French Missionaries in the year 1900. The main festival of this church is the Feast of Holy Mother which is a 10 day long festival held in the end of January. As part of the festival, colorful displays and procession carrying the relics of saints and Holy Mother is done. There is a sneha virunnu on the final day of the feast.
Some other main churches in Wayanad are
Meenangadi Cathedral, Nadavayal St Thomas Church, Knanaya Church Puthussery, St. Mary’s Church at Thariode, CSI St Thomas Church at Sulthan Bathery etc.
Mosques in Wayanad
This mosque is located around 23 kms from Mananthavady and is an old mosque. It is around 300 years old and was initially built by the Nair community. So it is in traditional Kerala style of architecture and has lots of wood carvings done. The annual festival conducted here is the Uroos festival and is the important festival of this mosque. Peple of all religions participate in this festival.
This mosque is located around 15 kms near Kalpetta. This is the oldest mosque in Wayanad and is around 300 years old. The annual festival of this mosque is held in March. People irrespective of religion come to this mosque and is an important tourist attraction.
Some other main mosques in Wayanad include Maithani Palli, Kalpatta Town Juma Masjid etc.