History - Malanada Duryodhana Temple
Malanada - There is a Nada (Temple) on the Mala (Hill). Unlike other temples, there is no deity, nor a ‘Sreekovil’ as such in Malanada. Down the hill on the south and west we see vast low lying paddy fields and on the east and north habitated agricultural land. In place of Sreekovil and deity we could see only a raised platform called ‘Althara’ or ‘Mandapam’. In the absence of an idol, devotees submit themselves to a divine power (of their imagination/understanding) through a mental process of ‘Sankalpam’.
It is believed that the ‘Sankalpa Moorthy ‘at Malanada is ‘Duryodhanan’, the Great Epic Hero of Mahabharatham. The concept is unique in Indian history in as much as ‘Duryodhanan’, the Kaurava King known for his ‘Thamoguna’ driven thoughts and actions, being adored as the principal deity in a temple. Enduring beliefs assimilate into personal value system. The myth unravels: as part of his efforts to trace out the ‘Pandavas’ in exile, Duryodhanan traversed the forests in the south and reached Malanada hill. By that time he was much tired and went to a nearby house on the north west of Malanada and asked for drinking water. It was Kaduthamsserry Kottaram, where Malanada Appoppan, the priest and ruler of the land was staying. An elderly woman gave him toddy which was customary at that time as a mark of respect. The king enjoyed the drink, but realized after seeing the ‘Kurathali’ worn by the woman that she belonged to an untouchable lower cast by name ‘Kurava’. The king consoled himself and appreciated the divinity of the place and its people who possessed supernatural powers (Siddha). Thereafter, in furtherance of his ‘Rajadharma’, the king sat on the hill and worshipped Lord Siva, praying for the welfare of his people (the prajas). As an act of charity he gave away 100s of acres of agricultural land and paddy fields as freehold to the ‘Devasthanam’. Even now the land tax of the above property is being levied in the name of ‘Duryodhanan’.
The king also ensured that Gandhari, the Royal Mother, Dussala,his sister, Karnan, his close associate and ‘Angarajan’, Dronar, his ‘Guru’ and the other members of his family were properly and adequately aboded and worshipped in the nearby places and members of the ‘Kurava’ caste are poojaris in all such places.
The temple administration at Malanada is vested in a committee elected by members of 7 ‘Karas’, supposed having Malanada Appoopan’s territorial jurisdiction. Kunnathoor Taluk N S S Union and S N D P Union have their representatives in the committee by having 2 members each. ‘Kaduthamsserry Kudumbayogam among Kurava caste and ‘Kettungal Kudumabayogam’ among Ezhava caste enjoying special status in the administration of the temple.