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Panmana Ashram, Kollam Overview

Better known as the Mahasamadhi Peedom of Sree Chattampy Swamikal, the Panmana Ashram is reputed all across the country for being an excellent centre of learning and service. The Ashram is blessed with the divine presence of Sree Vidyadhiraja Parama Bhattaraka Chattambi Swamikal and Sree Maha Thripurasundari Devi.

This unique sacred place is located just 18 kilometres to the north of the Kollam City, and witnesses a large footfall each day due to the vast number of people who visit the ashram in the quest for spirituality. The location of the Ashram among paddy fields and coconut palms adds to the simplicity and serenity of the place and enhances its overall appeal tremendously.

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About Sree Chattambi Swamikal of Panmana Ashram

Sree Chattambi Swamikal was a great scholar and saint who belonged to Kerala and was born in 1853. He is respected for being religious, humble and loving to all creatures, which inspired awe amongst his followers. He strictly practised the essential virtues that define an ideal sage, such as Ahimsa or Non-violence, Satya or Truthfulness, Asteya or Non-stealing, Brahmacharya, also known as Celibacy, and Aparigraha or Non-Acquisition. Such a controlled and simple lifestyle set an example for his followers, and he ended up influencing and widening the vision of people, thereby leaving a mark in the religious world.

He even braved the narrow and restrictive conventions that existed during his times and was successful in mastering many branches of art and learning. He also studied Tamil and Sanskrit from competent scholars outside Kerala, which gave him excellent command over Vedanta. Swamikal strove to educate the masses and to enlighten them and also desired to liberalise the traditional religious ritual practices that people followed by means of his writing and own personal life example. For this purpose, he travelled miles and miles on foot in search of knowledge; and when he finally acquired that knowledge, he wandered again as the inspirer of people.

200-hour Yoga Training at Panmana Ashram

The Panmana Ashram offers an exclusive training programme in yoga that lasts for over a month and includes in all 200 hours of extensive training in yoga and related fields. Even though the course is quite challenging, it helps the students to realise their true potential and to refine and improve their yoga asanas. The course completely alters a person's perceptions and way of living.

A typical day in this programme starts at 5:45 AM with nasal cleansing and meditation. What follows is 5 hours of asana and pranayama classes, and 2 to 3 hours of yoga philosophy, anatomy or Ayurveda classes. Sometimes, the day ends with chanting or singing bhajans. On days off, the students are taken on excursions to scenic and cultural destinations.

Accommodation at Panmana Ashram

The Panmana Ashram comprises of 12 well-furnished rooms that are available for accommodation for those who wish to stay here for spiritual practices. One must take care that he or she books the room well in advance since rooms are granted on a first cum first served basis.

Tips For Visiting Panmana Ashram

  • The Panmana Ashram does not have much for tourists who wish just to click photographs and have a good time. It is more inclined towards the spiritual side, so plan a trip to the ashram accordingly.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes when you visit the Panmana Ashram.

How To Reach Panmana Ashram

The nearest town to the Panmana Ashram is Karunagappalli, whose bus station is 8 kilometres away from the Ashram. One can easily reach Karunagappalli by buses or train, and then hire an auto, car or cab to reach the Ashram, which is located on the Thevalakkara-Kuttivattom Road.

More Details about the Ashram

The Ashram was founded by the late Sri Kumbalathu Sanku Pillai, who was not only an ardent devotee of Swamikal but was also a great freedom fighter, political face as well as an influential social reformer of the state of Kerala. The atmosphere of the ashram is imbued with the divine presence of Paramabhattara Sree Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swamigal, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Renowned personalities have also visited the ashram and lived there in the enlightening atmosphere. In fact, the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, himself has visited the ashram and stayed there for two days. Presently, Brahmacharins and Sannyasins live together peacefully in the ashram and undergo training in indo-logical studies and research, in the fields of Sanskrit language and literature, Ayurveda as well as religious literature such as Vedas and Puranas.

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