Udayanapuram enshrining Subramanya
is located near Vaikom and is closely associated with the Vaikom Mahadevar temple and the Kumaranallur Bhagawati temple. It is believed that
worship at the famed Vaikom Mahadevar temple is complete only after a visit to Udayanapuram.
Udayanapuram is also closely tied to the grand Ashtami celebration at the
Udayanapuram is considered to be equivalent to Palani
Legend has it that the Bhagawati temple at Kumaranallur nearby was
originally intended for Subramanya and that this temple was intended originally for Bhagawati
and was known as Udayanayakeepuram. It is believed that Bhagawati occupied the temple
intended for Kumaran, and hence her temple town took on the name Kumaran-alla-ooru
(not for Kumaran). In conjunction with this legend, Bhagawati Sevai is
conducted at the Subramanya temple at Udayanapuram.
In terms of structure, it does resemble the Vaikom Mahadevar temple. The temple boasts of
several beautiful carvings and paintings.
Thai Poosam in the month of Capricorn, is celebrated in great splendour
here, when hundreds of Kaavadis line up here in procession. These
Kaavadis make their way to Vaikom first and then find their way to Udayanapuram.
The most interesting of festivals here is the Vaikkattu Ashtami, the 12th
day of the annual festival in the month of Scorpio. This day witnesses a spectacular victory
procession of Subramanya from Udayanapuram to Vaikom, symbolizing Kartikeya's victory over the demons, and his
greeting Shiva at Vaikom on the occasion. Also
accompanying this procession are deities from several other neighboring temples.
This three hour long procession with the accompaniment of
music and elephants reaches the Vaikom temple, where an image of Shiva on a beautifully
decorated elephant greets the procession. This meeting is followed by a farewell, and
Subramanya is taken back in procession to Udayanapuram.
Interestingly, no food offerings are made at the Vaikom
temple sanctum during this festival, as it is believed that Shiva himself fasts, for his
son's success in the battle against the demons, while thousands are fed within the temple
Kidangoor Skanda temple: At Kidangoor in this area,
there is a Subramanya temple. Legend has it that this temple was originally constructed
for Vishnu, but a sequence of events involving local legends caused this to be consecrated
as a Subramanya temple (in a manner similar to the Kumaranalloor temple). The annual
festival at Kidangoor is celebrated in the month of Kumbham. Kartikai
and Thai Poosam are the other festivals celebrated here.
Thottagam Skanda temple: Located in Thalayazham near Vaikom, this
Subramanya temple celebrates its annual utsavam for 8 days from Chathayam to Rohini in