Sri Subramanya Temple in Peralassery in Kannur district is home to the largest step well in Kerala. Located 14 km from Kannur town, it is located in the neighbourhood of Peralassery, just metres off state highway 38 (Kannur-Kuthuparamba road).
Local myth has it that Ram and Lakshman halted at Peralasseri temple on their way to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita. (The tale of Ramayana for the uninitiated). The temple in itself isn’t what makes Peralassery famous. The reason for its fame is a massive step well just outside the temple.
I was at Peralasseri temple one weekend for a cousin’s wedding. The bride’s family wanted to conduct the wedding ceremony (garland and thaali exchange) inside the temple premises.
But in all (religious) seriousness, the snakes represent ‘Sarpam/Nagam Dosham‘ (Sarpam = snake). Devotees visit the temple to shed themselves effects of ‘serpent curses’ based on their individual horoscopes.
Stepwells were built deep where groundwater was abundant and the steps make it easy for people to reach the water especially when water levels fluctuate throughout the year. The steps also make it easier to maintain the well, as supposed to a traditional cylindrical well which is harder to clean over time — unless you want to risk going down one.
It wasn’t the best weather to shoot photos but I’ll probably come back some other day when it is sunny and try to get some better photos and update this blog.
Peralassery temple is an impressive sight and one of Kannur’s best attractions. Best come here during weekdays — and obviously when there is no rain. Stepwells are more common in states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, so it’s quite unique that Kannur, Kerala has one.
Getting to Peralassery temple
From the Kannur city bus stand, or any other stop in the city, board any bus going to Kuthuparamba (കൂത്തുപറമ്പ്). Just ask for a ticket to Peralassery.
By car, it’s an easy drive from Kannur city as it’s one straight road. Once you reach the Peralassery bus stop, take a left turn towards the temple. Ask any local, they can guide you.