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Saanthi Illams ("Saanthikkaar") in Some Temples of Kerala

Of the thousands of temples that remain today in Kerala, only a handful has specially designated families authorised to perform "Saanthi" (daily-twice-Pooja and other rituals). This is surprising since Saanthi should be performed uninterrupted, unlike Thanthris and priests with designated jurisdictions, but needing to perform their duties only when occasion demands. Most temple authorities scout around and engage someone as "Saanthikkaaran". The Saanthi Illams for some important temples are given below:

Thrissur Temples (Earlier under the Maharaja of Kochi) - 8 families : Manpally, Kuriyedam, Paarakkunnam, Kizhakke Kunnam, Padinjaare Kunnam, Edasseri, Puthusseri and Veluthedam.

Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur - Only Manpally. The eldest son marries and runs the house. Younger sons do Saanthi after "Samaavarthanam", and observing strict celibacy - "Purappedaasaanthi", and well looked after by the "Devaswam". In their absence [due to "Pula"(defilement), etc.], the Thanthri and in his absence, the Swaamiyaar of the Thekke Madhom or the Naduvil Madhom.

Thiruvilwamala Temple (Under Kochi Maharaja) - 6 families : Kuni, Eledam, Edasseri, Kunnam, Maruthiri and Mundaykkad.

Irinjalakkuda Temple - Only Puthillam (also Purappedaasaanthi).

Guruvayur Temple - 13 Illams of Kaarasseri Desam of Irupathonnu Desam ( Click here to know more about Irupathonnu Desam) in Kozhikode District, like Naageri, Manchara, etc.

Padmanabhaswamy, Haripad and Ettumanoor Temples - Nearly 20 families of Pullur Sabha belonging to Neeleswaram, Kanjangad, etc. (They are also known as Kokkada Pottis or Akkara Desakkaar).

| Article No:7.5.2 | Last update of this article:16th February 2001 |
Source: Kanippayyur Sankaran Nambudiripad - "Aarynmaarute Kudiyettam - Keralathil" Vol. 2, Panchangam Book Depot, Kunnamkulam. Price: Rs.80-00

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