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Largest single-stone Lord Shani idol will install at Pournamikkavu Temple

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Thiruvananthapuram: An idol of Lord Shani, claimed to be one of the largest and highest in the world, will be installed at the Pournamikkavu Devi temple near Vizhinjam Sea Port, which is located close to the international ship route.

This Shree Bala Tripura Sundari Devi Temple, opening only on Pournami (Full Moon Day) of every month, attracted devotees after the consecration of 51 goddesses named after 51 Malayalam language alphabets a few years ago.

The 15-foot single-stone idol weighing 20 tonnes is completed at Myladi, the second-largest sculpture village after Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.

The idol will be brought to the temple on Thursday evening, and the installation will be held after the completion of the construction of a separate shrine on stone pillars, Temple Trustee Bhuvana Chandran told newspersons.

The temple, situated 17 km from Thiruvananthapuram, has India’s largest Panjamukha Ganapathi idol carved out of ‘Krishnashila’ in a single stone.

According to history, Pournami Devi was worshipped by the Ay dynasty as their war goddess (the ‘Padakaali Amma’ having five forms: Bala Bhadra Devi, Soumya Bhadra, Veere Bhadra, Shoora Bhadra, and Samhara Bhadra).

The Ay kingdom functioned as a buffer state between the powerful Pandyas/Cholas (Tamil Nadu) and the Cheras (Kerala) in the mediaeval period.

Vizhinjam was the administrative capital of the Ay kingdom, which is believed to have ruled over parts of southern India between the 8th and 10th centuries A.D.

It is believed that the Ay kingdom established an educational centre known as Kanthalloor Salai, which is believed to have existed between the 9th and 10th centuries.

The region had witnessed several battles in which the Chola and Pandya dynasties attempted to gain control of the port town. Later, Vizhinjam gradually lost prominence after the 10th century after coming under constant attack from the other kingdoms.

The Ay dynasty was an Indian Yadava or Ayar ruling lineage that controlled the south-western tip of the peninsula from the early historic period up to the mediaeval period.

The clan traditionally held sway over the harbour of Vizhinjam, the fertile region of Nanjinad, and the southern parts of the spice-producing Western Ghat mountains. The dynasty was also known as Kupaka in the mediaeval period.

The Vizhinjam Sea Port, according to historians, is located at the extreme south-western tip of South Asia and is India’s first deep-water mega container transshipment port.

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