The Miracle at Govindamala

It is believed, that when Parasurama threw his axe in an arc across the seas and created Kerala, he also cleaved the great Western Ghats with the same axe, dividing and sweeping them from left to right into two ranges – ‘Thenmala’ and ‘Vademala’. Geographically known as the Palakkad Gap, this place, in myths and legends, has been referred to as ‘Vidharanabhoomi’ (the land that was split asunder).

Long, long ago, attracted by the serenity and breath-taking beauty of the hills and forests of these high ranges, Sage Kashyapa chose to meditate here, at the hill of Govindamala. Kashyapa was an ardent devotee of Vishnu, and as a result of his penance, the Lord is said to have appeared before him. Kashyapa’s desire was that Narayana would remain with him always, in the calm and idyllic surroundings of this land. Legend has it that the Lord chose to do so. The idol of Mahavishnu, described earlier in this site, is said to have been consecrated by Sage Kashyapa himself.

Through association with Kashyapa, did this temple become known as ‘Kachamkurissi’ – as derived from ‘Kashyapan-Kurissi’ – ‘the Hill of Kashyapa’. And… at the steep and precipitous hillock of Govindamala, where Kashyapa did penance, a mountain spring magically bubbles up with force and vigour when pilgrims chant ‘Govinda! Govinda!’

It was to this place of worship that Dharma Varman, a prince, from what is now central Kerala, came in search of a cure for a debilitating ailment. It is said that the dying Dharma Varman after undergoing many days of ritual penance at this temple, returned to his kingdom, completely cured. In the legends of this region, Dharma Varman’s story has both the easy rhythm of a ballad, and the complex richness of tapestry. Woven in its warp is the intense and burning faith of a prince whose life could so easily have ended in tragedy; and entwined in its weft, is the compassionate and welcoming hand of Maha Vishnu Perumal of Thiru-Kachamkurissi.