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Gramam - Lakshminarayana Puram

Location : Palakkad District. 

Laksminarayana Puram is one among the Eighteen Villages in the Palghat Town. Lakshminarayanapuram Village is one of the well known ancient villages in Palghat situated east of Kalpathy by the side of Palghat Puthur Malampuzha main road. This beautiful village with is two famous temples of Lord Gopalakrishna at the western extremity and Lord Subramanya at the southern extremity has held a unique fascination for those who have been living here for several decades and even for those who visit the village on some occasion or the other. It is difficult even for a casual visitor not to be impressed by the natural cleanliness of the village and the inexplicable tranquillity of the environment. It is a tribute to the village that they have been able to preserve the hoary tradition of the village for than three centuries. The tradition of the village has been the source of perennial comfort and inspiration to all those who hail from the village. This is certainly not to say that those who have settled down in the village in the recent past felt like aliens. In fact, all those who have settled down in the village have become an integral part of the time-tested culture of the village. One who hails from this village and has imbibed the spirit of its tradition can proudly claim that Lakshminarayanapuram is a symbol of a harmonious, gregarious village life exuding sweetness and light all around.

The Sree Gopalakrishna Swamy temple is believed to be more than three hundred years old. History has it that originally the temple deity was Sree Lakshminarayana (and hence the name Lakshminarayanapuram) and that at the time of Tippu Sultan's invation of Palghat the residents of the village had hidden the deity in the well of a house with a view of protecting the sanctity of the idol. It so happened that the Sree Gopalakrishnaswamy of Sekharipuram village had also been hidden in the idol first to be taken out of the well. Subsequently when calm was restored after the withdrawal of Tippu Sultan from Palghat, the idols were retrieved. The elders of the two villages agreed that the idol first to taken out of the well should be stalled and consecrated for worship in the Lakshminarayanapuram temple and the second at Sekharipuram, The idol of Lord Gopalakrishna, the first to be taken out was installed as per "Sankalpam" in Lakshminarayanapuram. That was how Lord Gopalakrishna become the presiding deity of the place. Since, then it has been the sacred practice of the village to perform the 'Upacharas' for the Lord at the time of the Chitra Car festival in front of the house where the idol of the Lord was kept during Tippu's invasion.

The annual car festival is an occasion when all the villagers, irrespective of their status get automatically drawn in to the service of the Lord and give off their best, both financially and physically. What one witnesses is a delightful exhibition of divinely inspired unity and a spectacle of spiritual gaiety and social harmony. The belief that the celebration of the car festival is the "sine quanon" for the peace and prosperity of the villagers has reminded unshaken till now. It is a matter of gratification for all that the car festival has, of late come to be celebrated with redoubled interest and zeal. It is an ecstatic manifestation of the irrepressible religious spirit of a whole community wedded to a common cause.

The rich culture of the village is reflected in many other activities like the Poojas in the month of Margazhi performed in the small hours of the morning to the accompaniment of soul-stirring devotional melodies sung by the village Bhajan troupe with passionate zeal and devotional intensity. It is no exaggeration to say that a true devotee at that beautiful hour of the morning, standing before the luminous, idol of the Balakrishna, the presiding deity of the village, seated on a Lotus flower with butter on both his tender palms and a lotus crowing his head goes into raptures over the infinite beauty of his divine being and momentarily feels relieved from the "heavy and weary weight of all this unintelligible world". Helpless devotees unable to cope with their problems, surrendering themselves at the feet of the Lord, have never been let down by him. The instances are too numerous to recount. The beneficiaries of the Lord's protection and grace usually perform 'Ekadasi Vilakku" as a token of their gratitude to him. No wonder the Lord is hailed as the Chitanayamoorthy by one and all and the belief that the propitiation of this Chitanyamoorthy is the surest way for all to tide over the various crisis of life is getting reinforced with every passing year. Yet another convention which has remained unbroken for several decades is the performance of Sastha Pooja on which occasion a feast is arranged which is also thrown open to the hapless poor living in the vicinity of the village. Can there be a better way of upholding the spirit of the Great Lord Ayyappa Cult?

The temple of Lord Subramanya according to our forefathers was built more than 85 years ago by one of the families of the village. It is the Lord Subramanya's manifestation as "Naga" that we see in this temple and legend has it that Naga is a powerful symbol of purity and strength. Now that the worship of Naga is gaining momentum everywhere among believers, it would not be wrong to conjuncture that the temple for Lord Subramanya in the form of Naga was built by the family as an act of expiation of some sin committed by some member of the family sometime in the remote past. Propitation of Naga has been found to be an effective means of wiping out the baneful effects of a sin and ensuring a peaceful tension free life.

The proposition of 'Naga' in the Subramania temple has saved many a family from breaking down. While "Thai Poosam" festival is celebrated every year to pripitiate Lord Subramania, the pre-dawn performance of Ganapathy Homam on all days in the month of Aadi started a few years ago for the good of the whole village community (Nay, the whole of human kind) is an added spiritual attraction of the Village. Besides the Chitra car festival and Thai Poosam, the early morning bhajans of Margazhi and the Aadi Ganapathi Homam have become something of a magnificent spiritual obsession with the villagers. Blessed is he who participates in these services which relieve the mind from the burden of life's problems.

The renovation and Mahakumbabhishekam (consecration) of both the above temples of our village was performed on 27th May, 2001.

LN Puram has maintained its status and reputation as an enlightened and middle class village amongst its numerous siblings in and around Palakkad. It has had its share of luminaires like Shri L.K. Ananthakrishna Iyer (eminent Anthropologist), Shri L.G. Subbarama Iyer (a Lawyer of standing) and Shri L.A. Narayana Iyer (well known officer of the Indian Audit Department, Madras). In the recent past, Shri L.N. Subramanian Iyer and Shri L.A. Vaidyanatha Iyer did their bit in the functioning of the village temples, Samooham activities. Even my Grand Father, Shri L.S. Narayanan Iyer (who was a Landlord in yesteryears) was also involved in the various activities / management of both the village temples. In the sports field too, L.N. Puram had its impact. Two of the villagers had sports outfit outlets - Ramoo Sports Goods of Shri L.S. Ramu and Model Sports Goods of Shri L.M. Venkataraman. Atleast three of the villagers had doned the colours of the G.V.C. (Government Victoria College) Cricket Team - Shri L.G. Subbaraman, Shri S.R. Seshan and Shri L.V.A. Narayanan. L.N. Puram could boast of tennis court too for some years. This village consists of 100 houses.

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