Kerala Tourism – Kerala Temples – Vadakkunnathan temple
Vadakkunnathan Temple – Thrissur
Vadakkunnathan Temple is situated in the district of Thrissur, in the state of Kerala, in Southern India. It is an ancient Hindu temple largely dedicated to Lord Shiva. This particular temple is an example of the classic architectural pattern and style of Kerala. It has a Kuttambalam and monumental towers on all four corners. The mural paintings in the temple’s interior largely depict several episodes from the epic Mahabharata. The temple and its Kuttambalam display perfectly sketches carved in wood. The shrine, along with its mural paintings has been rightly declared as a National Monument under the AMASR Act by India. As per famous local lore, this is the initial shrine built by Parasurama who is regarded as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The main venue of the Thrissur Pooram is the Tekkinkadu Ground that encircling this Temple. It is to be remembered that Non-Hindus aren’t allowed to directly or indirectly enter into the shrine. It is to be highly noted that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the year 2012 has largely recommended fourteen sites, comprising Vadakkumnathan Temple plus palaces, from the state of Kerala to contain in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
History of Vadakkunnathan Temple
At the time of Perumthachan from Parayi petta panthirukulam, the shrine was built in a successful manner. It is cited that Perumthachan largely lived during the seventh century; therefore the Koothambalam might be approximately 1,300 years old. As per Malayalam historian named VVK Valath, the shrine was a pre-Dravidian temple. Later, the shrine was largely influenced by Vaishnavism, Buddhism and Jainism. As per the local legends, in the early days, Bhagavathi Paramekkavu was also perfectly inside the Vadakkunnathan shrine. According to temple documents, Koodalmanikyam Temple, Ammathiruvadi Temple, Urakam and Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple is much older than Vadakkunnathan temple.
Structure of Vadakkunnathan Temple
In an elevated hillock, the temple is rightly situated in the centre of Thrissur district. It is spread across an area of approximately 36,000 m2 or 9 acres. The shrine is surrounded through a massive stone wall perfectly enclosing it. Inside this tight fortification, there are only four gopuras that are facing towards four cardinal directions. It is to be highly noted that just between the outer walls and the inner temple, there is a compound of spacious area, the entrance to that is through gopuras only. The inner shrine is largely separated from the outer shrine by a broad circular granite wall perfectly enclosing a broad corridor known as Chuttambalam. It is to be remembered that the entrance into the inner shrine is directly through a narrow passage through the fixed corridor.
Festivals in Vadakkumnathan Temple
The main festival of this temple is Maha Shivaratri, Aanayoottu and Thrissur pooram. A large numbers of visitors, pilgrims and devotees from within the nation and abroad visit this temple on all auspicious, religious and festive days with dedication and commitment.
How to reach Vadakkunnathan Temple
By road: The shrine is located nearby Thekkinkadu Maidan. This famous spot is well-connected through regular bus services from nor and corner of the district and rest of Kerala.
By train: The nearest railhead is situated at Thrissur railway station.
By air: The closest airhead is located at Kochi international airport.