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Yajneswara Temple, Palakkad

The video is of Yajneswara temple at Pattithara, 9 km southwest of Pattambi in Palakkad district. The temple has a unique place in the history of Kerala for its connection with Mezhathol Agnihotri, the noble Brahmin, who revived the ancient Shrauta tradition of his community.  

An end to Agnihotri's triumphant journey

Mezhathol Agnihotri is believed to have conducted 99 yagams, the auspicious Vedic ritual, just falling short of one yagam, which would have gained him the status of Lord Indra.

According to mythology, Agnihotri after completing the 99th yagam, was on his way from Mezhathol to Thrithala. The envious gods, fearing his attainment of a lord’s status devised a ploy to dissuade him from performing the final yagam. The story says that on his way Agnihotri saw a brahmachari boy (Lord Indra in disguise) sitting atop a peepul tree. As the boy’s act was against the Sastras or sacred rules, Agnihotri asked him to climb down the tree. The boy agreed to the demand on condition that Agnihotri should not perform another yaga. Mezhathol agreed to his demand and to his surprise he saw a ‘swayambhoo’ (self-emerged) idol of Yajneswara or Lord Shiva at the place. However, it is said that Lord Indra conferred Agnihotri and his seven associates the same status he had.

The present Yajneswara temple is said to have been built around the swayambhoo idol. Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganapathy, Sree Dakshinamoorthy and Sree Mookkottutala Bhagavathi are also worshipped at the temple. There is no annual festival at the temple which is another rarity.