Vadakkumnathan Temple is among the essential and earliest temples of Kerala. It is positioned in Thrissur, a crucial spiritual town of the state. It is thought about to be the very first amongst the 108 Shiva temples developed by Parashuram in ancient Kerala The temple is dated to be more than 1000 years of ages.
Origin of the Vadakkumnathan Temple
According to the legends and folk tales, this temple was established by Parashurama. He is thought about as the 6th avatar of Shri Vishnu, born to Rishi Jamadagni and Renuka. The couple had actually a cow called Surabhi which satisfies all desires. As soon as a king asked for Rishi Jamadagni to turn over the cow to him however he declined. So, when the rishi had actually gone out for bathing, the king took the cow. Parshuram on learning more about the break-in raged and entered search of it. He needed to battle with the king. Lastly, he eliminated the king and got the cow back to the ashram.
He told the whole occurrence to his daddy, who asked him to change his sin by going on a trip. He returned after the expedition and discovered that the ashram was damaged and his daddy was eliminated by the Kshatriya kings looking for vengeance. In retaliation, he got his ax and eliminated numerous Kshatriya rulers. It is stated that he got rid of the Kshatriya race twenty one times. In order to expiate his sins, he carried out a Yagna and tossed his ax into the ocean. The outcome of which western seaside plain, now referred to as Konkan was recovered from the sea.
According to the regional legend of Kerala, he was asked by different Rishi Munis to provide some remote land after the Yagna as Dakshina. He tossed a Surpa or winnowing fan into the sea and a landmass tossed out of it. The landmass is the contemporary Kerala which was then likewise understood by the name Surparaka. Then he went to Kailasa. Asked For Shiva and Parvati to take his home in the colony and bless it.
It is thought that Shiva together with Parvati, Ganesh, and Kartikeya required him and included him. He selected the area which is now contemporary Thrissur as his seat. Later on Shiva and his household vanished. Parasurama saw a glowing light originating from a Linga at the base of a substantial banyan tree. This is the location where Shiva manifested himself as the primary idol. Now referred to as Shri Moolasthanam, outside the west gopuram of the temple.
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Vadakkumnathan Temple Architecture
The idol was stated to be at the base of the Moolasthanam for several years. Later on the rulers of the Kingdom of Cochin chose to construct a temple and location the idol inside it. The temple is positioned on a little hillock at the center of a circular maidan. In your area called as Tekkinadu (teak forest), ignoring the city. Spread throughout 9 acres, confined by a substantial stone wall with 4 spectacular gopurams in the 4 primary instructions i.e. east, west, north, and south. The primary entryway for followers is through the east and west gopuram. Whereas north and south, gopurams stay closed. The south gopuram is opened just throughout Thrissur Pooram, a crucial celebration commemorated in the month of April.
The gopurams are multi-storeyed structures made with granite and tiled roofing. This structure of the temple is a normal temple structure that is followed in Kerala, with woods and tiled roofing like a pagoda. The primary shrine is focused inside a multi-shrined yard. Together with shrines devoted to Parvati, Shankarnarayan, Sri Rama, and Ganesh, which is surrounded by a wall smaller sized than the external wall. The inner temple complex can be reached from the external complex through a passage called “Chuttambalam”. As one crosses the passage, there is a mural painting of Vasukishayanam (Shiva sleeping on snake king Vasuki, comparable to Vishnu’s Anantshayanam) on the northern wall. It lags the Nandi and Nrithanath, the painting of dancing Shiva with 16 hands. These 2 paintings are likewise worshipped together with the divine beings.
The shrine of Shri Vadakkumnathan is circular fit with one roofing and pillars. The Linga of Vadakkumnathan is not noticeable as it is covered with mounds of ghee due to routine Abhishek carried out over numerous years. It is stated that the ghee never ever melts. Neither in the summertime season nor due to the heat of the Diyas lighted inside the sanctum sanctorum. There is no nasty odor either inside the temple due to the existence of a lot old ghee.
The Linga is decorated with thirteen crescents of gold. It has 3 snake hoods on top. The divine being of Parvati remains in the exact same shrine at the back of the temple. Both the divine beings do not deal with each other. Because this image is made from wood, Abhishek is done just with turmeric. The Vigraha has 3 eyes and is embellished with accessories and silk fabric.
Sri Ram Shrine
There is a two-storeyed Sri Ram shrine situated inside the yard that deals with west instructions. The wall of the temple is embellished with stunning mural paintings. In between these 2 shrines is found a circular shrine devoted to Shri Shankarnarayan which deals with the exact same instructions as the other 2 shrines. The Vigraha of Shankarnarayan is a mix of both Shiva and Vishnu. It has 4 arms that bring a spear, a hatchet on the ideal side, and a conch shell, a Gada on the left side. The walls are covered with murals illustrating the story of Mahabharat. The architecture of these 3 shrines is stated to be of “Vritta” or a circular strategy with a cone-shaped roofing. There are 3 wood Mukhamandap’s in front of these 3 shrines.
In Between Vadakkumnathan and Shankarnarayan is the shrine devoted to Mahaganapati dealing with the east instructions. That is towards the temple kitchen area, which is positioned behind the Shankarnarayan shrine. The Vigraha is four-armed. Towards the northern side is another divine being called Vettakkorumakan (Shiva in hunter type) which is expected to be the guardian of the temple. Bali stone made from brass and stone pictures of prostrating guys can be seen all over on the ground.
The temple substance in between the external wall and the inner wall homes a variety of shrines. There are numerous peepal trees spread inside the external yard. The substance has a Pradakshina course. There is a specific put down procedure to be followed while doing the Pradakshina around the temple.
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Shrines and structures in the external substance
The various shrines and structures present in the external substance are:
Koothambalam or Natyagriha
It is a substantial wood structure where the ancient dance and art kinds of Kerala like Koothu, Koodiyattam, and NangyarKoothu are carried out every year.
Gopalkrishna or Gosalkrishna
Committed to Krishna as a cowherd. It is stated that there utilized to be a Goshala too.
There is a deep well on the northern side. A legend states that after eliminating Jayadratha in the Mahabharat war, Arjun came here for penance. He developed the well by shooting an arrow and filled it with water from River Ganga.
Vrishabh or Nandikeshwar
This temple is devoted to Nandi, the Vahan of Shiva. It is positioned on the North Westside. The divine being remains in a sleeping position. For this reason it needs to be woken initially by clapping our hands. Enthusiasts use a thread from their gown as a practice.
On the northeast corner is a platform devoted to Parashuram. It is stated that he vanished from this location after finishing his responsibilities. A Diya is lighted there.
He is among the Gana of Shiva who was designated the task to discover an ideal location for Shiva to live after Parashuram requested him to live in Kerala. Simhodara discovered an ideal location and was taking rest when Shiva came and kicked him out of the inner yard. Ever since it is stated that he is living at this location. Enthusiasts choose some little stones from the ground and location it on another stone in your area called Balikallu, on the northern side of this temple. This stone is related to the legend of an old and bad Brahmin checking out Kashi with the assistance of Simhodara. There is a little triangular hole on the inner wall through which followers can see the temple of Vadakkumnathan.
On the southeast corner, a little shrine has actually been built for Shastha or Shri Ayappa. Behind the temple, there is a location loaded with yard. It is thought that some parts of the soil from the Sanjeevani mountain dropped here while Hanuman was bring it to Lanka.
Under a peepal tree is a platform with the shrine of Vyasa Rishi, the developer of Mahabharata. Enthusiasts compose “Om Shri Mahaganapataye Namah” on the platform with their finger as a pen.
There is a shrine devoted to Adi Shankaracharya, who had actually invested some days here. There is a legend about his birth related to this temple.
There is a platform on the southeast corner from where one can praise Shri Chidambaram while dealing with east and Shri Rameshwaram dealing with south. It is stated that the “Nataraja” dance of Shiva in the Chidambaram Temple gets shown in Rameshwaram too. It is stated to have actually been seen by Anantha, the 1000 hooded snake from this point.
From this platform, one hopes to “Oorakathamma”. Said to be another type of Kamakshi, settled in Oorkam, 10 KM’s from the temple. Shri Koodalmanikyaswamy (Bharata, bro of Shri Ram), whose Murthy is set up at Irinjalkuda, 20 km south of the temple. It is thought that they both see this platform to hope to the divine beings inside the temple.
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The treatment of worshipping inside the Temple
Numerous followers follow a particular treatment for circumambulation or Pradakshina as put down by Adi Shankaracharya while checking out the temple. There are 2 various treatments for worshipping in both the external and the inner yard.
For the external yard: The treatment to be followed is composed near the Koothambalam in English and Malayalam. The order is as listed below:
- Shri Moolasthanam: outside the west gopuram.
- Kashivishwanatha: to be hoped by dealing with north from Simhodara shrine.
- Sambhukumbham: turn towards the inner wall and through the space on it see the Kalash of Shri Vadakkumnathan.
- Sambhuthara: hope to Chidambaram and Rameshwaram.
- South Gopuram: hope to Kodungaloor Devi dealing with south.
- Ammathara: hope to Oorakathamma Devi and Koodalmanikya Temple.
- Look towards the Kalash of Vadakkumnnathan, Shankaranarayanan, and Sri Rama.
- Vettakkorumakan: the searching Shiva.
- Vyasashila and compose ‘Om Shri Ganapathaye Namah’.
- Ayyappa or Shastha.
- Behind the temple, at the location where Sanjeevani soil had actually dropped.
- Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya
After the parikrama or Pradakshina of the external substance, one gets in the inner yard through the “Chutambalam” and hopes to:
- Vasukishayanam painting. Likewise referred to as Phanivarashayana. Among the rarest murals in which Lord Shiva is portrayed looking like Lord Vishnu’s Ananthashayana type.
- Nrithanath painting
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Worshipping Series in Inner yard
The series to be followed for worshipping inside the inner yard is as follows. Keep in mind that repeat sees belong to the series:
- Shri Vadakkumnnathan
- Shri Ganesh
- Shri Shankarnarayan
- Shri Ram
- Shri Shankarnarayan
- Shri Ganesh
- Shri Vadakkumnnathan
- Shri Ganesh
- Shri Shankaranarayana
- Shri Ram
- Shri Shankaranarayana
- Shri Ram
- Shri Shankaranarayana
- Shri Ganesh
- Shri Vadakkumnnathan
Legends related to the Vadakkumnathan Temple
There are numerous legends related to the temple. One such legend is gotten in touch with the birth of Adi Shankar. Sivaguru and Aryamba of Kaladi were childless for an extended period of time. They went to Vadakkumnathan in Thrissur and invested their days in puja and meditation. One day, Shiva appeared in their dreams and blessed them. However he had one condition– to select in between a discovered and smart child who would live a brief life and an average child who would live a long life. They selected to have the previous one. Within a year a kid was born to them. Whom they called “Shankar” as a mark of regard for God. A structure has actually been constructed as Shankar’s Samadhi in the external complex of the temple.
Mural painting of Nrithanath
Another legend has to do with the mural painting of Nrithanath or Nataraja inside the temple complex, near the Chuttambalam. A fan of Shri Vadakkumnathan was a popular mural painter and painted a stunning photo of Nataraja for 3 months. However on the next day, a Namboothiri fan cleaned the photo with the water from his Kamandal that he was bring for puja. This occurrence occurred for the 3rd time when the painter chose to grumble to the temple authorities.
When the Namboothiri became aware of it, he consoled him stating that I can paint a much better photo in one day and you all would be amazed to see what occurs afterwards. Everyone pertained to enjoy him paint his work of art. When the photo of Nataraja was finished, it entered life and individuals saw him moving his eyes and dancing. The painting ended up being fixed after a minute. For this reason, the painting is worshipped ever since.
Bless the Enthusiast
Shri Vadakkumnathan is stated to “bless the fan as he hopes”. As soon as such an event occurred with an old and week Brahmin. He heard that a Namboothiri was going to Kashi. He had a deep desire to go to Kashi. So, he requested him to take him together with other individuals, who were accompanying him. Because in those days, travel to Kashi was on foot and extremely unpleasant, the Namboothiri declined his demand. The old Brahmin hoped to Shri Vadakkumnathan and it is stated that God himself purchased Simhodara to take the Brahmin to Kashi.
He took him through a tunnel to Kashi. The next day, as the Brahmin was bathing in among the ghats, the Namboothiri saw him and asked him how he handled to reach Kashi. He responded that he hoped to Shri Vadakkumnathan and by his grace just he might reach here. There is a stone kept the area of the tunnel as Devi Parvati purchased Simhodara to close it. Enthusiasts keep some stone on top of it as a practice.
Likewise, there are much more legends in the honor of Shri Vadakkumnathan.
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The significant celebrations commemorated in the Vadakkumnathan Temple are as follows:
It is the primary celebration of the temple that is commemorated in the month of Feb-March. Numerous cultural and musical programs are arranged in the temple facilities. The whole temple complex is lit with lights on this day. The temple is open throughout the night. Constant Abhisekha is finished with coconut water and ghee. The divine being is not gotten for any procession.
Among the most significant celebrations kept in the temple, where elephants are eaten that day. It falls on the very first day of the Malayalam month Karkkidakam i.e in the month of July. A Mahaganapati Homa is arranged on that day. Lots of people go to the temple to praise and feed a a great deal of elephants, collected for this celebration. This is considering that elephants are related to Shri Ganesha. A Gaja pooja is carried out when every 4 years period.
It is the mass event of various divine beings of the close-by temple every year in the temple ground. It is kept in the Malayalam month of Medam that falls in April. This celebration is the grandest of all Pooram’s that are kept in the state. Pooram signifies the Nakshatram or star of the Malayalam month in which the celebration is commemorated. On this day, the temples in main Kerala hold their yearly celebration of honoring their divine beings by performing processions on caparisoned elephants and an ensemble of percussions. It starts in the month of November and extends approximately May. Although there are numerous celebrations commemorated throughout this duration, the most essential one is the Thrissur Pooram.
It is stated to be about 200 years of ages. Said to be the creation of Raja Rama Verma widely referred to as Shakthan Thampuran, who was the king of Cochin. He merged all the 10 temples positioned around the Vadakkumnathan Temple. And took different actions to commemorate it as a mass celebration. The whole treatment of the Pooram event was prepared by him. It is followed till today with no modification.
He categorized the temples into 2 groups– the eastern and western group of temples. All these temples send their processions to Shri Vadakkumnathan to pay their regard. It is a 7 days celebration that begins with the flag raising at particular temples and display screen of fireworks to reveal the start of the celebration. Both the groups of temples show their accessories and caparisons of their particular elephants on the 4th and 5th day prior to the Pooram.
Neithikavvu Bhagavathy Devi
On the previous day of the celebration, Neithikavvu Bhagavathy Devi from the western group of temples reaches the Vadakkumnathan Temple. Pays her obeisance to Shiva opens the south gopuram, and after that goes to the Moolasthanam. There she is gotten by the Cochin Dewaswom Board agent. Then a conch is played thrice to reveal the Pooram.
36-hour long Pooram follows a rigorous schedule and path through which the divine beings pertain to pay their obeisance to Shri Vadakkumnathan in their caparisoned elephants. The day begins with the ritualistic entryway of each of the divine beings according to their schedule. The Celebration ends with the last display screen of fireworks. That is such an incredible sight. Individuals originate from away locations and are awake the entire night to witness the grand ending of the occasion.
Another tourist attraction, arranged considering that 1964, is among the most significant trade fairs of South India. Here both Central and State Govt set up structures and stalls to show their different items.
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Tips to go to
- A rigorous gown code is followed. Guy to use dhoti and get in shirtless. Ladies can use saree, long Kerala skirt, and leading or salwar kameez.
- Vadakkumnathan Temple timings are 4 to 10 am. Then from 4:30 to 8:30 pm.
- There are numerous hotels near the temple, so lodging is not an issue.
- KSRTC bus services range from different parts of the state and couple of interstate areas.
- Photography is strictly forbidden inside the Vadakkumnathan temple complex.
- The very best time to see is throughout Thrissur Pooram. Reserve hotels in advance as there are great deals of visitors throughout this celebration.
- Thrissur has a train station well gotten in touch with essential cities.
- Kochi and Calicut are the nearby airports.
- Other essential locations close by which you can go to are Kalady, Guruvayur, and so on
This is a post by Shruti Mishra under Inditales Internship Program. Unless credited all the pictures in this post come from the author.
Shruti Mishra is an expert lender. She enjoys to take a trip and check out the abundant heritage of various locations and enjoy their regional food. She is a book fan. And likewise likes to prepare a warm meal for the household. She presently resides in Bangalore. Has dreams to thoroughly explore this stunning nation totally and compose a book on the roadways less took a trip.