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       Madavoorpara beckons tourists, pilgrims and researchers alike
 
         Posted on :09:18:07 May 17, 2018
   
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       Last edited on:12:30:47 May 17, 2018
         Tags: Madavoorpara, Shiva Temple, Thiruvananthapura
 

Taking a turn at the Sreekariyam junction towards Pothencode and just a few minutes’ drive away from the hustle of the busy national highway, one can start feeling the natural calm and quite of a village life.

Another half kilometer past Chenkottukonam and a steep drop to the valley below, you would reach the foothills of Madavoorpara, which translates to ‘rock of Madavoor’. At the top of this almost 300 feet high rock is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Now, this is not just another regular temple. It is not even the fact that it is a cave temple that makes it special but the rich heritage, history, and the bountiful nature that surround it.

As per records, Madavoor rock-cut Shiva temple dates back to around 850 AD, which is even much before the kingdom of Travancore was formed by King Marthanda Varma in 1729. You can still find inscriptions in ‘vettezhuthu’, which is a mix of ancient Malayalam and Tamil scripts on the rocks close to the temple. The temple and the surrounding is now under the protection of the State Archeological Department.

Madavoorpara is not just a pilgrimage spot for the devotees but also is a favourite among researchers and tourists.

A unique attraction of this place is a 100-metre long bamboo bridge that takes you to the top of the hill. After reaching the top, one needs to climb another 33 steps cut on the rock that leads you to the temple.

The temple is nothing more than a cave carved out on the surface of the rock. Inside you can find an idol of Lord Shiva, again carved in stone, and another one of Lord Ganesha, both protected by iron grills.

The winding bamboo bridge through the mini jungle takes you up another 50 metres to the highest point on the rock, which is a fenced-off space. There is another bamboo hut at the top and one can watch almost the entire spread of the Thiruvananthapuram city from there – the high-raised buildings of Technopark, the Greenfield Stadium, and if you strain your eyes enough, even the sunlight reflecting on the surface of the Arabian Sea at a distance.

Other attractions of Madavoorpara are the ‘Ganga theertham’ pond that collects the water trickling down the rock from a hidden natural spring, and a children’s park at the base, where families can spend some picnic time with kids in natural surroundings.

Madavoorpara was relatively an unknown spot until recently when the government and the archeological department decided to make it a tourist attraction, and hence the bamboo bridge, the children’s park and more.

The government is further planning to add adventure zones, an amphitheater, floating cottages, a water fountain, cafeteria, stone pavements and more benches for people to sit, relax and take a good breath of the tranquil air of freshness.

Cave temples are a rarity in Kerala, and Madavoorpara cave temple is one of the two ancient cave temples that can be found in the district of Thiruvananthapuram, the other being the cave temple at Vizhinjam.

How to get there?

There are three routes from Thiruvananthapuram to reach Madavoorpara, which is around 18km away:

1. This is the most known route: Thiruvananthapuram - Sreekaryam - Chempazhanthy - Kattayikonam – Madavoorpara.

2. You can also reach there by taking the Powdikonam - Pothencode route. From Sreekaryam travel along for 8 kms and reach Santhipuram. Take a left turn from this junction. After 2 kms along this road you will reach Madavoorpara. One advantage is that you don't have to climb up the rock if you take this route.

3. The third route is through the bye-pass road to Kazhakuttom. From Kazhakuttom take the new road to Venjaramood. Take a right turn from Kattayikonam. Travel along this road for about 1 km and Madavoorpara comes up along the left side. There is a kucha road on the left side which leads to the place.

What one can do there?

Well, you can go there as a devotee, tourist or even for research purpose.

It is a good picnic spot for families with bamboo huts, benches and restrooms. The modest children’s park is a good spot for your kids to unwind in natural surroundings.

The viewpoint at the top is an excellent spot to glance over the entire Thiruvananthapuram city, and also one of the best spot to catch a splendid sunset.

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