At last Travancore Devaswoam Board admits that celestial light “Makara Deepam” over the famous Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, that many believe is a divine phenomenon, is man-made.!
My friend Ram told lot of temples in Kerala were actually once Buddhist shrines converted to Hindu Templates!
Here are some horrifying facts ;
The Siva temple in Trichur, the Vatakunnathan Temple is also said to be a Buddhist shrine of old. The name ‘Vatakunnathan’ means Lord of the North. It is said that this refers to a Lord from North India, Buddha. The temple itself is very peculiar in that there is no idol, statue or even a Siva Lingam in the sanctum sanctorum of the main Siva temple. Within the temple room there is a mound beneath which they say there is a Siva Lingam. But, no one has seen it. Some say that actually there is a statue of Buddha hidden from view.
There is a Kali/Durga temple in Kodungallur. This is a temple with strong thanthric rituals. In the past, goats, chicken and other animals were sacrificed. This practice is now stopped. It is said that there was a Buddhist monastery established close to the temple.
The legend is that the Buddhists were chased away by a peculiar practice by the Hindus. It is said that the devotees would join together and recite loudly a set of songs/chants in honor of the Goddess, in absolute and utter porno. The recitations are called Bharany-Pattu. This practice is still performed, but only during the annual Bharani festival.
There are a few temples in Kerala to Bharatha, the brother of Rama. It is said that the Bharatha temples were also Buddhist shrines along with many Vishnu temples.
Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Trivandrum was initially a Buddhist location. The supine figure of Vishnu is strongly suggestive of reclining Buddha and the location itself was called Ananthan Kadu, meaning the Woods of Anantha (The multi hooded serpent on which Vishnu reclines).
The words Ananthan Kadu were probably, Ananda Kavu. Kavu in Malayalam means, garden, holy location(monastery) etc. and could be a reference to the favorite disciple of Buddha, Ananda.