Vadakkumnathan Temple At Thrissur Pooram In Kerala | Inditales

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Vadakkumnathan Temple is without doubt one of the essential and oldest temples of Kerala. It’s located in Thrissur, an essential non secular city of the state. It’s thought-about to be the primary among the many 108 Shiva temples established by Parashuram in historic Kerala The temple is dated to be greater than 1000 years previous.

Vadakkumnathan Temple panorama view

Origin of the Vadakkumnathan Temple

As per the legends and folks tales, this temple was arrange by Parashurama. He’s thought-about because the sixth avatar of Shri Vishnu, born to Rishi Jamadagni and Renuka. The couple had a cow known as Surabhi which fulfills all needs. As soon as a king requested Rishi Jamadagni handy over the cow to him however he refused. So, when the rishi had gone out for bathing, the king stole the cow. Parshuram on studying concerning the theft was livid and went in quest of it. He needed to combat with the king. Lastly, he killed the king and bought the cow again to the ashram.

One of the four towers of the temple structure
One of many 4 towers of the temple construction

He narrated your complete incident to his father, who requested him to amend his sin by happening a pilgrimage. He returned after the pilgrimage and located that the ashram was destroyed and his father was killed by the Kshatriya kings looking for revenge. In retaliation, he picked up his ax and killed many Kshatriya rulers. It’s stated that he eradicated the Kshatriya race twenty one instances. So as to expiate his sins, he carried out a Yagna and threw his ax into the ocean. The results of which western coastal plain, now often called Konkan was reclaimed from the ocean.

Native Legend

As per the native legend of Kerala, he was requested by numerous Rishi Munis to present them some secluded land after the Yagna as Dakshina. He hurled a Surpa or winnowing fan into the ocean and a landmass hurled out of it. The landmass is the present-day Kerala which was then additionally recognized by the title Surparaka. Then he went to Kailasa. Requested Shiva and Parvati to take his abode within the new land and bless it.

Famous Shri Moolasthanam, where Linga of Shiva remained
Well-known Shri Moolasthanam, the place Linga of Shiva remained

It’s believed that Shiva together with Parvati, Ganesh, and Kartikeya obliged him and got here with him. He selected the spot which is now present-day Thrissur as his seat. Later Shiva and his household disappeared. Parasurama noticed a radiant gentle emanating from a Linga on the base of an enormous banyan tree. That is the place the place Shiva manifested himself as the primary idol. Now often called Shri Moolasthanam, exterior the west gopuram of the temple.

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Vadakkumnathan Temple Structure

The idol was stated to be on the base of the Moolasthanam for a few years. Later the rulers of the Kingdom of Cochin determined to construct a temple and place the idol inside it. The temple is located on a small hillock on the middle of a round maidan. Domestically known as as Tekkinadu (teak forest), overlooking the town. Unfold throughout 9 acres, enclosed by an enormous stone wall with 4 magnificent gopurams within the 4 cardinal instructions i.e. east, west, north, and south. The principle entrance for devotees is thru the east and west gopuram. Whereas north and south, gopurams stay closed. The south gopuram is opened solely throughout Thrissur Pooram, an essential pageant celebrated within the month of April.

Gopuram

The gopurams are multi-storeyed buildings made with granite and tiled roof. This construction of the temple is a typical temple construction that’s adopted in Kerala, with woods and tiled roof like a pagoda. The principle shrine is centered inside a multi-shrined courtyard. Together with shrines devoted to Parvati, Shankarnarayan, Sri Rama, and Ganesh, which is surrounded by a wall smaller than the outer wall. The interior temple advanced might be reached from the outer advanced by means of a hall known as “Chuttambalam”. As one crosses the hall, there’s a mural portray of Vasukishayanam (Shiva sleeping on serpent king Vasuki, much like Vishnu’s Anantshayanam) on the northern wall. It’s behind the Nandi and Nrithanath, the portray of dancing Shiva with 16 arms. These two work are additionally worshipped together with the deities.

Linga

The shrine of Shri Vadakkumnathan is round in form with one roof and pillars. The Linga of Vadakkumnathan shouldn’t be seen as it’s lined with mounds of ghee resulting from common Abhishek performed over so a few years. It’s stated that the ghee by no means melts. Neither in the summertime season nor as a result of heat of the Diyas lighted contained in the sanctum sanctorum. There isn’t a foul odor both contained in the temple as a result of presence of a lot previous ghee.

The Linga is embellished with 13 crescents of gold. It has three serpent hoods on high. The deity of Parvati is in the identical shrine in the back of the temple. Each the deities don’t face one another. Since this picture is manufactured from wooden, Abhishek is finished solely with turmeric. The Vigraha has three eyes and is embellished with ornaments and silk material.

Sri Ram Shrine

There’s a two-storeyed Sri Ram shrine situated contained in the courtyard that faces west route. The wall of the temple is embellished with lovely mural work. Between these two shrines is situated a round shrine devoted to Shri Shankarnarayan which faces the identical route as the opposite two shrines. The Vigraha of Shankarnarayan is a mixture of each Shiva and Vishnu. It has 4 arms that carry a trident, a hatchet on the appropriate aspect, and a conch shell, a Gada on the left aspect. The partitions are lined with murals depicting the story of Mahabharat. The structure of those three shrines is alleged to be of “Vritta” or a round plan with a conical roof. There are three wood Mukhamandap’s in entrance of those three shrines.

Mahaganapati Shrine

Between Vadakkumnathan and Shankarnarayan is the shrine devoted to Mahaganapati going through the east route. That’s in direction of the temple kitchen, which is located behind the Shankarnarayan shrine. The Vigraha is four-armed. In the direction of the northern aspect is one other deity known as Vettakkorumakan (Shiva in hunter kind) which is meant to be the guardian of the temple. Bali stone manufactured from brass and stone pictures of prostrating males might be seen in every single place on the bottom.

The temple compound between the outer wall and the interior wall homes numerous shrines. There are numerous peepal timber scattered contained in the outer courtyard. The compound has a Pradakshina path. There’s a explicit laid down course of to be adopted whereas doing the Pradakshina across the temple.

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Shrines and buildings within the outer compound

The totally different shrines and buildings current within the outer compound are:

Koothambalam or Natyagriha

It’s a big wood construction the place the traditional dance and artwork types of Kerala like Koothu, Koodiyattam, and NangyarKoothu are carried out yearly.

Gopalkrishna or Gosalkrishna

Devoted to Krishna as a cowherd. It’s stated that there was once a Goshala too.

Shara Teertham

There’s a deep nicely on the northern aspect. A legend says that after killing Jayadratha within the Mahabharat battle, Arjun got here right here for penance. He created the nicely by taking pictures an arrow and crammed it with water from River Ganga.

Vrishabh or Nandikeshwar

This temple is devoted to Nandi, the Vahan of Shiva. It’s located on the North Westside. The deity is in a sleeping place. Therefore it needs to be woken first by clapping our arms. Devotees provide a thread from their gown as a follow.

Parashuram

On the northeast nook is a platform devoted to Parashuram. It’s stated that he disappeared from this place after finishing his duties. A Diya is lighted there.

Simhodara

He is without doubt one of the Gana of Shiva who was assigned the responsibility to discover a appropriate place for Shiva to reside after Parashuram requested him to reside in Kerala. Simhodara discovered an acceptable place and was taking relaxation when Shiva got here and kicked him out of the interior courtyard. Since then it’s stated that he’s residing at this place. Devotees decide some small stones from the bottom and place it on one other stone domestically known as Balikallu, on the northern aspect of this temple. This stone is related to the legend of an previous and poor Brahmin visiting Kashi with the assistance of Simhodara. There’s a small triangular gap on the interior wall by means of which devotees can see the temple of Vadakkumnathan.

Shastha Temple

On the southeast nook, a small shrine has been constructed for Shastha or Shri Ayappa. Behind the temple, there’s a place filled with grass. It’s believed that some components of the soil from the Sanjeevani mountain fell down right here whereas Hanuman was carrying it to Lanka.

Vyasa Shila

Underneath a peepal tree is a platform with the shrine of Vyasa Rishi, the creator of Mahabharata. Devotees write “Om Shri Mahaganapataye Namah” on the platform with their finger as a pen.

Adi Shankaracharya

There’s a shrine devoted to Adi Shankaracharya, who had spent some days right here. There’s a legend about his start related to this temple.

Sambuthara

There’s a platform on the southeast nook from the place one can worship Shri Chidambaram whereas going through east and Shri Rameshwaram going through south. It’s stated that the “Nataraja” dance of Shiva within the Chidambaram Temple will get mirrored in Rameshwaram too. It’s stated to have been considered by Anantha, the 1000 hooded serpent from this level.

Ammathara

From this platform, one prays to “Oorakathamma”. Stated to be one other type of Kamakshi, settled in Oorkam, 10 KM’s from the temple. Shri Koodalmanikyaswamy (Bharata, brother of Shri Ram), whose Murthy is put in at Irinjalkuda, 20 km south of the temple. It’s believed that they each go to this platform to wish to the deities contained in the temple.

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The process of worshipping contained in the Temple

Many devotees comply with a sure process for circumambulation or Pradakshina as laid down by Adi Shankaracharya whereas visiting the temple. There are two totally different procedures for worshipping in each the outer and the interior courtyard.

For the outer courtyard: The process to be adopted is written close to the Koothambalam in English and Malayalam. The order is as under:

  1. Shri Moolasthanam: exterior the west gopuram.
  2. Goshalakrishnan
  3. Nandikeshwara/Vrishabha
  4. Parashuram
  5. Simhodara
  6. Kashivishwanatha: to be prayed by going through north from Simhodara shrine.
  7. Sambhukumbham: flip in direction of the interior wall and thru the hole on it view the Kalash of Shri Vadakkumnathan.
  8. Sambhuthara: pray to Chidambaram and Rameshwaram.
  9. South Gopuram: pray to Kodungaloor Devi going through south.
  10. Ammathara: pray to Oorakathamma Devi and Koodalmanikya Temple.
  11. Look in direction of the Kalash of Vadakkumnnathan, Shankaranarayanan, and Sri Rama.
  12. Vettakkorumakan: the looking Shiva.
  13. Vyasashila and write ‘Om Shri Ganapathaye Namah’.
  14. Ayyappa or Shastha.
  15. Behind the temple, on the place the place Sanjeevani soil had fallen down.
  16. Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya

After the parikrama or Pradakshina of the outer compound, one enters the interior courtyard by means of the “Chutambalam” and prays to:

  1. Vrishabha
  2. Vasukishayanam portray. Also called Phanivarashayana. One of many rarest murals wherein Lord Shiva is depicted resembling Lord Vishnu’s Ananthashayana kind.
  3. Nrithanath portray

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Worshipping Sequence in Inside courtyard

The sequence to be adopted for worshipping contained in the interior courtyard is as follows. Be aware that repeat visits are a part of the sequence:

  • Shri Vadakkumnnathan
  • Parvati
  • Shri Ganesh
  • Shri Shankarnarayan
  • Shri Ram
  • Shri Shankarnarayan
  • Shri Ganesh
  • Parvati
  • Shri Vadakkumnnathan
  • Shri Ganesh
  • Shri Shankaranarayana
  • Shri Ram
  • Shri Shankaranarayana
  • Shri Ram
  • Shri Shankaranarayana
  • Shri Ganesh
  • Parvati
  • Shri Vadakkumnnathan

Legends related to the Vadakkumnathan Temple

There are numerous legends related to the temple. One such legend is linked with the start of Adi Shankar. Sivaguru and Aryamba of Kaladi have been childless for an extended time period. They visited Vadakkumnathan in Thrissur and spent their days in puja and meditation. In the future, Shiva appeared of their goals and blessed them. However he had one situation – to decide on between a discovered and clever son who would stay a brief life and a mediocre son who would stay an extended life. They selected to have the previous one. Inside a 12 months a son was born to them. Whom they named “Shankar” as a mark of respect for God. A construction has been constructed as Shankar’s Samadhi within the outer advanced of the temple.

Mural portray of Nrithanath

One other legend is concerning the mural portray of Nrithanath or Nataraja contained in the temple advanced, close to the Chuttambalam. A devotee of Shri Vadakkumnathan was a well-known mural painter and painted a stupendous image of Nataraja for 3 months. However on the following day, a Namboothiri devotee washed the image with the water from his Kamandal that he was carrying for puja. This incident occurred for the third time when the painter determined to complain to the temple authorities.

When the Namboothiri heard about it, he consoled him saying that I can paint a greater image in someday and also you all can be stunned to see what occurs thereafter. Everyone got here to observe him paint his masterpiece. When the image of Nataraja was accomplished, it got here into life and folks noticed him transferring his eyes and dancing. The portray turned static after a minute. Therefore, the portray is worshipped since then.

Bless the Devotee

Shri Vadakkumnathan is alleged to “bless the devotee as he prays”. As soon as such an incident occurred with an previous and week Brahmin. He heard {that a} Namboothiri was going to Kashi. He had a deep need to go to Kashi. So, he requested him to take him together with different individuals, who have been accompanying him. Since in these days, journey to Kashi was on foot and really painful, the Namboothiri rejected his request. The previous Brahmin prayed to Shri Vadakkumnathan and it’s stated that God himself ordered Simhodara to take the Brahmin to Kashi.

He took him by means of a tunnel to Kashi. The following day, because the Brahmin was bathing in one of many ghats, the Namboothiri noticed him and requested him how he managed to succeed in Kashi. He replied that he prayed to Shri Vadakkumnathan and by his grace solely he may attain right here. There’s a stone stored on the spot of the tunnel as Devi Parvati ordered Simhodara to shut it. Devotees preserve some stone on high of it as a follow.

Equally, there are various extra legends within the honor of Shri Vadakkumnathan.

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Temple Festivals

The most important festivals celebrated within the Vadakkumnathan Temple are as follows:

Shivaratri

It’s the foremost pageant of the temple that’s celebrated within the month of Feb-March. Many cultural and musical applications are organized within the temple premises. All the temple advanced is lit with lights on at the present time. The temple is open all through the evening. Steady Abhisekha is finished with coconut water and ghee. The deity shouldn’t be taken out for any procession.

Well lit dusk view of the temple during Thrissur Pooram
Effectively lit nightfall view of the temple throughout Thrissur Pooram

Aanayoottu

One of many largest festivals held within the temple, the place elephants are ate up that day. It falls on the primary day of the Malayalam month Karkkidakam i.e within the month of July. A Mahaganapati Homa is organized on that day. Many individuals go to the temple to worship and feed numerous elephants, gathered for this pageant. That is since elephants are related to Shri Ganesha. A Gaja pooja is carried out as soon as each 4 years interval.

Aanayoottu, feeding elephants during festival
Aanayoottu, feeding elephants. Picture courtesy Shutterstock

Thrissur Pooram

It’s the mass gathering of various deities of the close by temple yearly within the temple floor. It’s held within the Malayalam month of Medam that falls in April. This pageant is the grandest of all Pooram’s which might be held within the state. Pooram denotes the Nakshatram or star of the Malayalam month wherein the pageant is well known. On at the present time, the temples in central Kerala maintain their annual pageant of honoring their deities by conducting processions on caparisoned elephants and an ensemble of percussions. It begins within the month of November and extends as much as Might. Though there are various festivals celebrated throughout this era, crucial one is the Thrissur Pooram.

Shakthan Thampuran

It’s stated to be about 200 years previous. Stated to be the brainchild of Raja Rama Verma popularly often called Shakthan Thampuran, who was the king of Cochin. He unified all of the ten temples located across the Vadakkumnathan Temple. And took numerous steps to rejoice it as a mass pageant. All the process of the Pooram celebration was deliberate by him. It’s adopted until at this time with none change.

He labeled the temples into two teams – the japanese and western group of temples. All these temples ship their processions to Shri Vadakkumnathan to pay their respect. It’s a seven days pageant that begins with the flag hoisting at respective temples and show of fireworks to announce the graduation of the pageant. Each the teams of temples show their ornaments and caparisons of their respective elephants on the fourth and fifth day previous to the Pooram.

Neithikavvu Bhagavathy Devi

On the day gone by of the pageant, Neithikavvu Bhagavathy Devi from the western group of temples reaches the Vadakkumnathan Temple. Pays her obeisance to Shiva opens the south gopuram, after which goes to the Moolasthanam. There she is obtained by the Cochin Dewaswom Board consultant. Then a conch is performed thrice to announce the Pooram.

36-hour lengthy Pooram follows a strict schedule and route by means of which the deities come to pay their obeisance to Shri Vadakkumnathan of their caparisoned elephants. The day begins with the ceremonial entrance of every of the deities as per their schedule. The Pageant ends with the ultimate show of fireworks. That’s such a spectacular sight. Folks come from far off locations and are awake the entire evening to witness the grand finale of the occasion.

Decorated Elephants parade at Vadakkumnathan Temple Pooram festival
Adorned Elephants parade at Vadakkumnathan Temple Pooram pageant. Picture courtesy Shutterstock

One other attraction, organized since 1964, is without doubt one of the largest commerce gala’s of South India. Right here each Central and State Govt put up pavilions and stalls to show their numerous merchandise.

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Tricks to go to

  • A strict gown code is adopted. Males to put on dhoti and enter shirtless. Girls can put on saree, lengthy Kerala skirt, and high or salwar kameez.
  • Vadakkumnathan Temple timings are Four to 10 am. Then from 4:30 to eight:30 pm.
  • There are numerous resorts close to the temple, so lodging shouldn’t be an issue.
  • KSRTC bus providers run from numerous components of the state and few interstate places.
  • Pictures is strictly prohibited contained in the Vadakkumnathan temple advanced.
  • The most effective time to go to is throughout Thrissur Pooram. Ebook resorts beforehand as there are many guests throughout this pageant.
  • Thrissur has a railway station nicely linked with essential cities.
  • Kochi and Calicut are the closest airports.
  • Different essential locations close by which you’ll be able to go to are Kalady, Guruvayur, and many others.

This can be a submit by Shruti Mishra underneath Inditales Internship Program. Until credited all the pictures on this article belong to the writer.


Shruti Mishra

Shruti Mishra is knowledgeable banker. She likes to journey and discover the wealthy heritage of various locations and luxuriate in their native delicacies. She is a guide lover. And in addition likes to cook dinner a heat meal for the household. She presently lives in Bangalore. Has goals to extensively discover this lovely nation utterly and write a guide on the roads much less traveled.

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