Kulathupuzha, a small village in the reserve forest area falls in the Kollam Shengottai road is famous for its Sastha Temple. The deity in this temple is Balasastha, who has referred as Manikanda. This deity of Sastha in his childhood is believed to be installed by the Pandalam King himself after Manikanta left him to stay on Sabarimala. However, the present day temple has been built later.
|Kulathupuzha Sastha Temple|
The legend goes like this. Once, a Brahmin from Kottarakkara, another village in the Kollam district of Kerala came to this place on his way back from the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. He was followed with his servants. When they reach on the banks of Kulathupuzha, a tributary of Kallada River, they decided to take rest.
The Brahmin asked his servants to prepare food. Obeying their master’s order, they started preparing food. One of them went inside the nearby forest and brought logs to burn fire while other one cleaned the rice they were carrying along with them and poured in the vessel. The third one was in the effort to build a makeshift oven to cook the rice. He saw a stone fixed on the earth nearby and decided to make the oven there by bringing two more stones. He brought two stones of similar size and kept near the fixed stone. To his astonishment, the fixed stone grew larger. To keep the balance he placed one more stone each on both of the stones he brought. However the fixed stone again grew longer.
This continued for several times and the angry servant lost his control. He hit the fixed stone with another stone and blood started oozing out from the fixed stone. Totally surprised with this event all the servants ran to their master who was taking rest nearby. They narrated the entire episode. Being a scholar, the Brahmin could identify the reason for the oozing of blood. He understood that the fixed stone has some divine power on it. Now he knew how to heal the disease.
He went near the stone and sprayed a bit of ‘Theertha’, holy water he brought from Rameshwaram on the stone. Suddenly the bleeding stopped and Dharma Sastha appeared in front of them and blessed them. He asked the Brahmin to construct a temple there and to worship him. He instructed the Brahmin that no other creatures living in that area should be disturbed in the name of constructing the temple.
Hearing the news, the King of Kottarakkara came there and constructed the temple. As told by Dharmasastha, no other living things are being disturbed even now by the devotees and one of the major offering in this temple is ‘Meenutt’ or feeding the fishes in the nearby Kulathupuzha.
It is believed that the fishes in this area are ardent devotees of Dharma Sastha and hence the fishermen will never enter this area to catch fish. Kulathupuzha Dharma Sastha temple experiences a heavy rush during every Mandalam period when lakhs and lakhs of devotees come to visit Shabarimala. This temple has a prominent place in the temples to be visited list of Ayyappa Devotees.