Payyanur is very famous for Astrology and its well-known Astrologers. Payyanur being the land of Astrology is linked with the Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple. In Hindu puranas, Lord Subrahmanya is believed to be the God of Astrology. Lord Subrahmanya is considered as the lord of sun, moon, planets and all the stars in Hindu mythology. So absolutely there is no doubt why Payyanur , the Subrahmanya Puri ,has become the land of Astrology.
There were many well known astrologers who had proved their expertise and knowledge in astrology and Sanskrit.
The first name comes to the picture is Pothera Ezhuthachan, whose real name is unknown. He is believed to be the contemporary of Thunjath Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam language. He is the author of the well known “Soorya Sthuthi”.
Sankaranathan Unithiri was another famous astrologer of Payyanur. He was the chief advisor of the royal durbar of Rana Ranjith Singh ,lion of Punjab. He also served as the chief advisor to the Maharaja of Travancore. Anidil Ezhuthachan who wrote many books like Kalasa Pattu, Thottam Pattu, Poorakkali Pattu, Kalam Pattu was another noted astrologer and he was a good scholar also.Vidwan Tiurumumbu, Madamana Ezhuthachan and Trippanikkara Poduval were some of the other well-known astrologers of the past. The golden era of Jyothisham (Astrology) of Payyanur is considered as the second half of 19th century and 20th century.
Payyanur is maintaining this tradition today also. People from different parts of Kerala as well as Karnataka daily visit the astrologers of Payyanur to seek advice, to know their future and to get their horoscopes analyzed. The number of people visiting Payyanur to get the astrological calculations made by the astrologers with the help of cowry and the position of the planets, is the proof for the expertise and honesty of this science. Some of the present day astrologers serve as family astrologers to many of the leading politicians, film stars and other VIPs. The epicenter of this is Jyothisadanam, Payyanur.
Today, the first name comes to the picture is of VPK Poduval who has acquired reputation all over India. He got many title of recognition from various institutions all over the country. “Pandit” from Government of India, “Ganitha Jyothisha Chakravarthy” from Kanchi Kamakodi Sankaracharya.,”Jyothirbhooshanam” from Sanskrit Parishad of Ayodhya, “Jyothisha Thilakam” from Guruvayoor Devaswom are some of the titles he received. The school for Jyothisham founded by him called ” Jyothi Sadanam” is a unique institution of this kind, which offers traditional teaching in Astrology and Sanskrit.
Another feature of the Payyanur’s tradition of Sanskrit, Astrology and Mathematics are the two “Panjangams” published from this small town ,namely ,Uthara Malayala Panjangam by Pundit VPK Poduval and Desamitram Panjangam by Kanapram Narayanan Namboothiri. The mostly circulated calendars of Malayalam like Mathrubhoomi, Malayala Manorama, Deshabhimani, etc are prepared by none other than VPK Poduval. The Jyothirbhooshanam also prepares the Malayalam version of National Panjangam published by Govt. of India and the ‘Jyothisadanam’ calendar published by him is much popular in North Malabar.
There are a lot of books written by these astrologers which serve as the guide and reference for the new generation. “Jyothisha Manjari “by Mambalam Govindan Gurukal, “Ganitha Prakasika” by KVA Rama Poduval, “Suddha Ganitham” and “Bhasha Gochara Phalam” by VPK Poduval , “Bhasha Chamatkara Chintamani” by CP Kunhirama Panikar are some among them.
The Payyanur Regional Center of Kaladi Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University offers BA and MA course in Jyothisham (Astrology).