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Kalady Guide

Visit Kalady the birthplace of Shankaracharya the sanyasi who went on to streamline Hinduism...

Kalady, a small town, is situated about 37 km away from Ernakulam on MC Road. Kalady, located on the banks of Periyar, the largest river in Kerala, is a spiritual sanctuary in all senses. The founder of Advaita School of Philosophy, Adi Sankara, was born here in 8th century. The hill where St Thomas the Apostle rested on his way to Mylapore is in the sacred circuit of Kalady. (St Thomas Catholic Church, Pilgrims going up the hill to call out incessantly "''Ponnum Kurishu Muthappo, Ponmala Kayattom", meaning "O Patriarch of the Golden Cross! Climb we shall, this golden hill!"

Kalady is an important spice trading centre. The famous Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre is located here.

Sree Adi Sankara Keerthimandapam

The 8-storeyed tower called Keerthimandapam is located at the shrine dedicated to Adi Sankara, the founder of Advaita School of Philosophy. A huge image of the Sankaracharya is located at the end of a winding stair-case inside. This modern mural is a treasure itself. Here Sankaracharya had performed miracles. There are two shrines – one for Sankaracharya as Dhakshinamoorthy and one for Goddess Sharada.

Adi Sankara was born to Sivaguru and Aryamba, a Brahmin couple, in the year 788 AD. There are two versions about his birth place. One is that he born in Kaipully Mana, his father’s home, at Kalady. The other is he was born in Melpazhur Mana in Piravom (45 km from Kalady) which was the born-home of his mother, Aryamba.

He mastered Veda at the age of 16. His life lasted only 32 years. Within this small span of life he has contributed a lot to the Hindu theology. After mastering Veda he traversed India criss-cross on bare foot. During the traverse he established four famous mutts at Sringeri in Karnataka, Dwaraka in Gujarat, Joshimath in Uttaranchal and Puri in Orissa. He has composed Slokas (verses of prayer) which are considered divine. He coined Vedas, Brahma Sutras and Upanishads as part of Hindu theology. His Advaita School of Philosophy establishes the first two (god and soul) of the three eternal entities – god, soul and universe – as one and the same. His treatise on Bhagwad Githa is considered most authentic. He was not only a saint but also a Brahmachari (life-long bachelor). His end was in the form of Samadhi (align with god) at Kedarnath.

The river Periyar instead of flowing down straight takes a turn towards the shrine. This is due to the abundant power of Sankaracharya, the people believe. The reason attributed to the curving of the river is that it was to enable his aged mother have bathe without walking too much.

In the river there is a Crocodile Ghat near the shrine which too has a story to tell. He wanted to become a Sanyasi (saint), but his mother disallowed. To overcome this problem his mental machine was working overtime. One day he caught hold of a big crocodile. The frightened mother wanted him to free it forthwith. He insisted he will free the crocodile only if mother allowed him to take up sainthood. The helpless mother allowed his wish and thereafter the spot where the crocodile was caught was known as Crocodile Ghat.

The paddy field surroundings of the shrine are so lovely and enchanting even a busy scheduled visitor will not mind spending some time.

Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre

This Centre is located at Kalady. Nagarjuna was a Buddhist scholar from Gaya who lived during 78-120 AD. He was the person who introduced metallurgy and chemistry into Ayurveda. The Ayurveda Centre here is named after this doyen of Ayurveda. The Centre has earned Greenleaf Certificate from the government of Kerala. This certificate is granted only to the establishments with top level facilities and fault-free systematic treatments. The Centre has incorporated ancient and contemporary work-up to enable the guests to stay in modern comfort during the treatment.

This Centre is a unit of a big manufacturing outfit called Nagarjuna Ayurveda Ltd which makes hundreds of Ayurvedic medicines in large scale and market all over the world like Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala Ltd of Kottakkal in Malappuram district and Ashtavaidyan Thaikkattu Mooss Vaidyaratnam Oushadhsala of Thaikkattussery in Thrissur district.

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