|Parthasarathy Temple, Aranmula, Kerala, Snake boat in the foreground. www.tripadvisor.|
|Parthasarathy Temple, Aranmula,tmple folks.com|
Parthasarathy is an incarnation Sri Krishna, who rode the Chariot for Arjuna, a great archer during the Kurushetra war when Pandavas were pitted against the Gauravas. He donned an important role by being Arjuna's Charioteer and saved his life from near death.
It is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area and has hoary past. An historical aspect of this temple is its close links with the Mahabharata. After Parikshit had become the Raja of Hastinapura, the five Pandava brothers went on a pilgrimage and came down to the present day Chengannur area. Attracted by the serene and soul-stirring surrounding, on the banks of the Pampa river, it is believed, each had installed a tutelary idol of Lord Vishnu / Sri Krishna and later they became places of veneration and worship and they are: Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu temple by Yudhishthira, Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple by Bheema, Aranmula temple by Arjuna, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu temple by Nakula and Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu temple by Sahadeva. It was here Lord Mahavishnu gave darsan to Lord Brahma and sage Vedavyasa and, further, he revealed the knowledge of creation to Bhrama, from whom the demons Madhu and Kaitabha stole the Vedas.
In the long-drawn Kurushetra war when Bheeshma on the Gaurava side was gaining an upper hand, Krishna asked Arjuna to fight tooth and nail and defeat him. Upon Arjuna's refusal to do so against a revered person, his own relative, enraged Krishna took up his war weapon - mystical discus. Taken aback by Sri Krishna's mesmerizing and fearful appearance, Bheeshma, realizing his divinity prostrated before him. Hence Bheeshma was spared. The idol of lord enshrined here has his war weapon - Chakra - disc in one hand.
The temple, built in crisp, impressive Kerala style architecture, on a raised platform, has four towers in different directions over the entrances. The Eastern tower is accessed through a flight of 18 steps and the Northern tower entrance through a flight of 57 steps from the banks of the Pampa River. The temple has impressive murals on its walls dating back to early 18 century. It is said that the idol was brought here in a river - raft made with aaru ( meaning six) pieces of mula (meaning bamboo; in Tamil moongil) which gave the town its name, Aranmula.
|Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Aranmula,Kerala,anudinam.org|
The temple, under the management of Travancore Devaswom Board of the Government of Kerala, is open from 4 am to 11:00 am and 5 pm to 8 pm. The nearest railway station to the temple is located in Chengannur. Aranmula is about 128 km from Trivandrum and is close to Kozhenchery.
01. With a view to preserving and passing on to next generation the ancient traditional arts, several cultural societies at Aranmula run training programs in Kathakali, classical dances, classical music and Kalaripayattu. Lots of tourists evince interest and gain a basic knowledge of the culture of Kerala.
02. Aranmula is also popular for snake boat race held every year during Onam festival and is linked to the legends of the Mahabharata.
03. During the Mandala season (late December), the Thanka Anki, golden attire of God Ayyappa, is taken to the Sabarimalai. It was donated by the Maharajah of Travancore and is kept in this temple here. Likewise this temple is also a stop-over when the sacred jewels, called Thiruvabharanam of Ayyappan are taken in procession to Sabarimala each year from Pandalam.