• Vishnu

Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple

Overview


The Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in Thrissur, Kerala. Devotees come here to pray for protection and cure from diseases.


Legend and stories


The name of the temple itself reflects the importance of "Lord Krishna". The surroundings of the temple, the holy pond and the flag post, have become an inevitable part of everyday life of the local people. The local administrator of this area was a respected gentleman called "Moose". In around Sixteenth century, a girl belonging to the Moose family fell in love with a young man of another religious sect. This affair arose lot of tension among the village people. Conflicts between these sects became a part of the village life. Some of the villagers foreseeing communal riot decided to save the idols of the temple from being destroyed and taking the idol of Lord Krishna from the inner sanctum went to Thrissur. They reached "Kandanathu Mana" (also renowned as Kachanappilli Mana) seeking help. At that time only couples were residing there and they were in great sorrow because they didn’t have children. When they saw the idol of Lord Sri Krishna they took the idol itself as their kid and consecrated the idol in a hall within their house premises. The couples were worshippers of Kodungaloor Bhagavathi (Goddess Devi in Kodungaloor temple). Once while they were leaving the Kodungaloor Temple after the usual visit, tears rolled down their cheeks, because they felt that they would not be able to visit the temple again, becuase of the ill health of the Nambudiri. On reaching the Mana, the namboodiri placed "olakkuda" (umbrella made of palm leaves) in the nadumuttam (a vacant place surrounded by rooms called "nalukettu"). Later he found that the 'Spirit' of the Devi has accompanied him on the Olakkuda. He shifted the 'spirit' onto a pillar of that nadumuttam and started worshiping Devi.

Astrologers advised Namboodiri to consecrate Bhagavathi on the left side of the sanctum of Lord Krishna. They did so and since they had no children, they transferred the ownership of the Temple to the public. All the decisions on the temple affairs were taken by a group of local people. Since then people contributed to their utmost capacity, personally and collectively for the upliftment of the temple and its rituals. In the eighteenth century, Sree Ramavarma (Shakthan Thampuran) became the ruler of the state of Cochin. He had a special affection towards Trichur. He cleared the teak forest surrounding Shree Vadakkunnathan temple and decided to place big water tanks made of granite stones to keep water for cows and animals grazing in the meadow. These tanks were made by the labourers in Viyyur, a place 3 Kms north of Trichur Town. Elephants were made to move these tanks from Viyyur to Trichur. While passing through the temple, the elephants suddenly stopped and refused to move the tanks. Upon enquiring, Shakthan Thampuran came to the spot and found a temple totally dilapidated and in a poor condition. Shakthan Thampuran decided to renovate the entire temple structure and suddenly elephants started moving the water tanks to the Thekkinkad ground. Shakthan Thampuran started the world renowned Trichur Pooram and that turned out to be a healthy competition between Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples. Because of the special affection towards Lord Krishna, Shakthan Thampuran decided to place the golden idol of Lord Krishna on the "Kolam" (a placard made of wood decorated with gold templates featuring the idols of Gods and Goddesses for whom the festival is conducted), while the Thidambu was to be of Devi.


Festivals


The temple is one of the two rival groups participating in Thrissur Pooram, which is the biggest local festival in Kerala. The main attraction among the festivals of Thiruvambady temple is the world renowned Thrissur Pooram celebrated in the month of Medam (April to May). The Pooram Festival is noted for the gorgeous parades of fully caparisoned elephants, percussion ensembles like Panchavadyam of Drum concerts and dazzling fireworks. The Divine Durbar on the ramparts of the Southern Gopuram of Vadakkunnathan temple, in the evening hours of the Pooram day when the 15 strong decorated elephants of Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu stand face to face in an ocean of humanity, when the silken parasols on elephants are changed minute after minute, here after here is a sight which nowhere on earth is seen. Annadanam (Prasada Oottu) during the 8 days of Sreekrishna Jayanthi, Thiru utsavam, Vaikunda Ekadasi, Pooram finale, Prathishta Dinam and Vela festival have been a regular sight in the temple. During Bhagavatha Narayaneeya Sapthaha Yajnas also the devotees are provided with food. Now it has been scheduled to start a daily annadanam on a limited scale (for 50 people) from the middle of March 2004. A day's expenses are estimated as Rs.1000. Devotees are free to contribute any amount to the Annadanam fund.

Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated in the month of Dhanu (December-January) on a grand scale. A week long Carnatic music festival precedes the Ekadasi festival. In the month of Dhanu Goddess Bhagavathy is worshipped by celebrating Vela Festival.The consecration day of Lord Krishna is celebrated in the month of Makaram { Jan-Feb}. Eight days long celebrations namely "Thiru Utsavam" to worship Lord Krishna is also being celebrated in the month of Kumbha { Feb – Mar}. Apart from these celebrations Bhagavatha Narayaneeya Sapthahams, devotional discourses, Chantings etc are also conducted.

Sree Krishna Jayanthi

Birthday of Sri Krishna is celebrated in the month of Chingom (August -September). The temple opens at 3.30 am and the last pooja of the day is done by Siveli late in the night. The temple closes at about 1.20 am the next day. Apart from the usual festivities of floral and lamp decorations, between 8.30 am and 11.30 am, there is the Ushassiveli parading 5 decorated elephants and accompanied by Panchari Melam.

Navaratri

Navarathri (Dasra) is celebrated for 10 days in the month of Kanni (September. - October) with music concerts, bhajans, dances etc. in the evenings. Goddess Saraswathy is worshipped in a temporary sanctum for 3 days. Students and devotees bring their books to be placed for the Pooja and propitiate the Goddess of learning. Initiations of children to writing, known as Vidyarambham, are conducted on the morning of the 10th day (Vijayadasami).

Kalampattu

From Ist day of Vrischigom (mid November), for 50 to 55 days, Kalampattu forms an integral part of the daily rituals. Goddess Bhagavathy is depicted, on the floor within the nalambalam, using herbal powders of different colours, the temple oracle dances around the depiction of the Goddess and then blesses the devotees. The culmination of the Kalampattu is called Vela. The Vela procession of the deity with seven fully caparisoned elephants is conducted between 9 pm and 3 am. The procession proceeds with 3 elephants and Panchavadyam ensemble towards the Vadakkunnathan Temple. As the procession reaches the fringes of the Temple maidan, the number of elephants is increased to 7 and Panchavadyam is replaced by Pandimelom, a drum concert. After the concert, the deity returns to the temple. Vela is celebrated in early January every year.

Vaikunda Ekadasi

The Ekadasi day in the Sukla Paksha of the month of Dhanu (December 15 - January 15) is celebrated on a grand scale. Elephant processions, circumambulating the temple, art performances, Oil lamp illuminations, panchavadyam, drum concert etc. mark the day. 10 days long Sangeethothsava (Festival of classical Music) precedes the Ekadasi Festival. Special Poojas sponsored by individuals and organizations start 13 days ahead of Ekadasi; these are called ‘Vilakku rites’.

Thiru Utsava

8 days festival to propitiate Lord Unnikrishna begins on the Pooyam aster of Kumbham (February- March), as the temple flag goes up on the gold covered flag mast. During the last two days the deity is taken out on elephant, with more elephants flanking the idol bearer, to the accompaniment of percussion ensembles. These two days are called Pallivetta & Aarattu.

Sahasrakalasam

The Thiru Utsava is preceded by purificatory rites known as ‘Dravya - Sahasra Kalasa’. The kalasa rites last for a week.

Prathishta Day

The day of consecration of the idol in the sanctum is also celebrated on a grand scale. This day is now on the Punartham aster in the month of Meenam (March - April). The Prathista day will change after every Naveekarana Kalasa, which is prescribed to be conducted once in every 12 years.

Rigveda Archana

Worshiping the Lord with Rigveda manthras and floral decorations , is a 8 day long yagna at the temple every year. Rigveda archana, usually precedes or succeeds Srikrishna Jayanthi, without clashing with Onam.

Lakshaarchana

Worshipping Lord Krishna and the Goddess, chanting the names of the deity one lakh times, is conducted on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month of Thulam (October - November).

Illamnira

Illamnira is the harvest festival celebrated on the first Sunday after the New Moon day in the Month of Karkitakam (July - August). The newly harvested paddy stems are brought in great reverence, to the temple, placed on a special pedestal and Lakshmi-Pooja conducted praying for prosperity to all. The sanctified paddy stems are distributed among the devotees for taking them to their houses as ‘Prasad’ and keeping them at their households.

Krishnanattom

Sampoorna Krishnanattam is staged at the temple every year. It is a 9 day programme. The days are fixed every year, as per convenience of the performers from Guruvayoor.

Bhagavatha Sapthaham

Two Bhagavatha Sapthahams are conducted under the auspices of the Devasthanam - one in connection with Navarathri and the second in connection with Vaisakhamaasa observance.

More Bhagavatha Sapthahams, Narayaneeya Sapthahams, Devi Bhagavatha Navahams etc. are conducted when sponsors come forward with such programmes as their offerings unto the Lord.

Ramayana

SampoornaThe Ramayana discourses are conducted for 30 consecutive evenings in the month Karkitakam (July - August).

Annadanam

Annadanam, food for 100 persons is a daily routine in the temple.

Large Scale Annadanams

Annadanam is considered to be one of the most sacred offering to propitiate the Lord. The Devaswom would like to make Annadanam a bigger daily routine, once necessary infrastructures are available. Devotees are free to partly or fully sponsor daily Annadanam or Annadanam on special occasions. As of now, large Scale annadanams are conducted on

(1) Sri Krishna Jayanthi
(2) Vaikunda Ekadasi
(3) Vela Festival
(4) 8 days of Thiru Utsavam
(5) Prathishta day
(6) Thrissur Pooram.

Kuchela Dinam

The first Wednesday in the month of Dhanu (this would be a day between December 15/16 and 21/22) is observed as Kuchela Dinam. This is a day of remembrance of Sudama’s visit to Sreekrishna, with a little beaten rice. The moment Krishna ate a part of that; Sudama got endowed with all prosperity. Well-cooked sweetened beaten rice, in very large quantity, is offered to the Lord at a special Pooja at 3 p.m. and ‘Prasad’ distributed to devotees. Partaking in this offering is supposed to save the devotee from pangs of poverty.


Arti/Pooja/seva


Usually the day starts with the blowing of the conch at 4.00a.m. The sanctums are opened by 4.30 a.m. At 5 a.m. We can watch the ‘Vakacharthu’ of Lord Krishna, ‘Vakacharthu’ is the holy oil bath of the Lord. Oil is poured on the idol, followed by spreading of an herbal paste, a mild massage and then water bath and milk bath. After decorations, ‘malarnivedyam’ and ‘venna nivedyam’ are offered (malar is fried paddy and venna is butter) – Usha pooja (early morning nivedya etc.) is done by 7a.m. Morning rites culminates with Seeveli. During Seeveli the ‘Thidambu’, a metal replica of the stone idol, is carried on an elephant which circumambulates the temple nalambalam thrice, while ceremonial offerings of rice to Ashtadikpalakas etc. are duly performed.

The Ucha pooja is normally between 10 a.m and 10.30 a.m and is followed by Seeveli. The temple closes at 11 a.m. In the evening the temple opens by 4.30 p.m. After the decorations (Alankarams) the Arathi is performed at dusk (between 6.15 p.m and 7 p.m). The Athazha Pooja (Night Pooja) is conducted by 8 p.m and is followed by Seeveli.

After the re-installation of the idol at the new sanctum a new item of Pooja has been introduced at the temple. It is 'Thrippuka' an incense offering, before sleep to the Lord. The temple closes by 8.30 p.m.


Accessibility


Thiruvambady Temple is located on the Shoranur Road, 1 km north of Swaraj Round. Temple is easily accessible from Bus Station and Railway Station.


Address


Thiruvambady Temple,
Shornur Road,
Thrissur - 22,

Significance

Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Freedom from diseases
  • protection
Shlokas

Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey

Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.

Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum

Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.

Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram

Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.

Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami

Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.

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