Muthappan Swamy temple (Virar,
Mumbai) visit on a lazy Sunday afternoon
The Muthappan Swamy temple in
Virar, Mumbai, is practically the only one of its kind this side of the
country. The temple is a new addition to the city's increasingly diverse
places of worship, and is done in very authentic Kerala style. The God
Muthappan is very popular in the North Malabar region, Kannur district, of Kerala.
Visiting this temple is a good
half day outing from Mumbai, especially if you are looking for a decent
The temple can be very easily reached from the Western Express Highway.
Cross the Dahisar Check Naka and follow the directions to Ahmedabad, and
after about 20 kms of drive, you should see the left turn pointing
When you take the left road to Virar, keep your eye on the left side of
the road. The temple itself is not more than a couple of feet off that
road, so you can't really miss it. By the way, if you miss this, you
would go further on the road to a Y-section pointing to Virar east and
Virar west - and then you would know that you have missed the temple!
Theyyam and its importance:
Theyyam - The term Theyyam refers to the traditional dance performed in
the Muthappan temples regularly. The term sometimes is also used to the traditionally fancily dressed individuals,
who perform the Theyyam dance, and who are considered
as an incarnation of the Lord while they are in that dress. People will
often confide in them their concerns and worries, and while in that
state, what they speak is believed to come true. Devotees seek blessings
form the Theyyam.
This particular temple in Virar, Mumbai, has been done in complete
traditional Kerala style construction, with beautiful wood carvings on
the main entrance door, life size and near-perfect statues of the
various divine figures, and with a small well in the courtyard of the
You will find many dogs in and around this
temple - dogs serve as the vehicle of choice for Lord Muthappan, and also as
You can find some pictures of the temple