The Pandya dynasty, which was ousted by Thirumala Naicker the ruler of the Pandya Empire spanning Madurai, Thiruveneli and Ramanathapuram resided in places such as Valliyur, Tenkasi, Shengottah and Sivagiri. King Rakashekhra, which was the foster-father of Lord Ayyappa belong to this dynasty.
LORD AYYAPPA WAS THE SON OF #VISHNU
Lord Ayyappa is a very popular #Hindu
deity, which is mainly worshipped in #SouthIndia
. He is also spelt as Ayyappa. It is believed that he was born out of the union between Lord Shiva and the mythical Mohini, who is also regarded as an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, Ayyappa is also called as ‘ Hariharan Puthiran’ which means the son of both Hari or Vishnu and ‘ Haran’ or Shiva.
LORD AYYAPPA ALSO CALLED AS MANIKANDAN
Maniknanadan is the another name of Ayyappa because, according to the legend of his birth, his parents tied a golden bell also called as mani around his neck ( kandan ) soon after his birth. As legendary, when Shiva and Mohini abandoned the child on the banks of the Pampa River, the ruler of that dynasty, King Rajashekhara, the childless monarch belonging to Pandalam, adopted Ayyappa and accepted him as the divine gift.
THE DEIFICATION OF LORD AYYAPPA
The king understood the queens' bad nature against his son and begged Manikantan’s forgiveness. Then Manikntan left for the heavenly abode after telling the king to build a large temple at Sabari, so that the memories remain forever on the earth. The temple was constructed and Lord Parshuram sculpted the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the eve of Makar #Sankranti
. Thus in this way, Lord Ayyappa was defined.
King Rajasekara built the shrine and the sacred eighteen stairs leading to the temple complex was made. As he was in a dilemma for perplexing the task of placing Dharamasastha’s idol in the temple for darshan, he was reminded the words of Lord himself. The River Pampa known as Ganga, Sabarimala as holy as Kasi – Dharmasastha sent Parshuram, who made the land of Kerala holy from the bottom of the ocean to the Sabarimala and it was he who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa.
Picture Credit @ramesstudios