Panayannarkkavu Murals

Panayannarkavu is one of those few temples in the state where the Sapta Matas or the Seven Mother Goddesses are worshipped as the presiding power. Chamundi, the fiercest of them all, gets the predominant place as Kali. There is also a temple of Siva in the premises. Situated in a lauxuriant grove near Parumala and girdled by a tributary of Pampa, this apparently modest temple is only about two miles from Mannar, a Village well known for its bell metal lamps and vessels.

The shrine of the Sapta Matas is rectangular in structure. Murals are painted along all the available wall space. Probably these were done at the transitional phase of Vaishnavite influence on Saktheya cult. Vaishnavism helped to alleviate the fearsomeness of the tantric rituals once practiced here. How ever the murals on the front of the shrine and also those around the square shrine of Siva were painted much later, Presumably after the transition was complete. Like elsewhere the subjects of the frescoes were inspired by stories and episodes from the Devi Mahatyam, the Saiva Vaishnava Purnas and the Bhagavata.

The murals of Panayannarkavu are notable for their linear accuracy and agreeable color combinations. It is a little difficult to date these paintings. We can however presume that these frescoes were done in two phases. The murals around the small rectangular chief shrine were in all probability the earliest paintings. The paintings on the square shrine were completed later, presumably during the closing years of the reign of the King of Chirava a branch of the Odanadu Royal House; it was during this time that Vaishnava cult assimilated Sakti worship to effect in a more colorful ritualistic pattern.

Best Season: 
All seasons

Transport Terminals: 
It is situated in luxuriant grove near Parumala and girdled by a tributary of Pampa river, two miles from Mannar. 

How to Reach: 
Nearest Railway Station: Thiruvalla, about 11 kms away
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, about 105 kms from Thiruvalla

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