In need of divine justice? Head to Kerala's 'Judge Uncle' shrine

Cheruvally Devi temple in Kottayam district of Kerala has a shrine in the name of a Judge. Why is it famous? People believe the deity, commonly known as Judge Uncle (Judge Ammavan), can offer you solutions for your legal tussles.

The temple came into news when celebrities, who were caught up in legal cases, started visiting the shrine. The list of visitors include former Indian cricketer S Sreesanth, ex-minister R Balakrishna Pillai, actress Lissi (director Priyadarshan’s ex-wife) and relatives of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha.

The latest high profile visitor at Judge Uncle’s shrine was Malayalam film actor Dileep’s brother Anoop. The visit came immediately after Dileep was arrested in the 'Malayalam actress abduction case'.

Judge Uncle is only one of the presiding deities in the 1100 year old Devi temple.

There are many stories around the history of Judge Uncle. According to Unnikrishnan Cheruvally, author of Chanthattam, a book on Judge Uncle, the most popular story goes this way:

Govinda Pillai (Judge Uncle) was a judge in the court of King Ramavarma Karthika Thirunal in the 18th century. Pillai was famous for his fair judgements and his knowledge of Sanskrit. In a case where his nephew was the accused, Pillai gave him the death penalty.  Later, Pillai was impelled by guilt when evidence surfaced about the innocence of his nephew, to appeal to the king for punishment.

The king faced with this dilemma, asked Pillai to pronounce the judgement on himself. Pillai ordered his own execution. His soul is supposed to be installed in the shrine in the Devi temple.

The frequent visits to the judge's shrine, from celebrities have led to more visitors, often from neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 17:32 PM

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