|Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, Tripunithura BlessingsOnTheNet.com|
Sree Poornathrayesa temple dedicated to lord Vishnu is in Tripunithura, Kochi, once the capital of the former Princely state of Cochin (now Kerala state). This place is famous for numerous Hindu temples, heritage arts and folklore. The temple was first among 8 royal temples of erstwhile Kochi Kingdom. The deity - Vishnu who is Santhana Gopala Murthy here is believed to be the protector /guardian of the town of Tripunithura. It is strongly believed that childless couples visit this temple to be blessed with a child. Hence, this temple is a famous one. Lots of newly married couples also visit this temple.
|Bottom of the oil lamp, Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, gounesco.com|
|A tall oil lamp,Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, gounesco.com|
|Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple.Alamy|
According to the legend, Lord Vishnu offered the idol of Sree Poornathrayeesa to Arjuna (the third of the five Pandava brothers), when he requested the Lord to give rebirth to ten children of a Brahmin. Arjuna took the ten children and the sacred idol in his chariot to a Brahmin. This temple was built in memory of this event. Hence, the Srikovil / Garbagraha (sanctum) here is in the shape of a chariot. Lord Ganesha took the responsibility of choosing a suitable place to install the idol of Vishnu. Earlier, the idol was temporarily kept in a palace called Poonithura Kottaram. which is situated on the west of the main temple. Lord Ganesha has a separate shrine on the southern side of the Sanctum. This place was in the middle mustard field and Arjuna used Mustard oil to light the lamp called Valia Vilakku (big lamp) which is in front of the idol. It is believed the burnt oil of this traditional lamp has medicinal value.
The legend has it that Sree Poornathrayeesa, who is the elder brother of the Goddesses of Chottanikkara and Pishari temples, is said to have married a Namboothiri girl, Nangema, from Vadakkedathu Mana. The temple tradition has been that during the annual temple festival, the idols (Utchavars) from Perumthrikovil (Lord Shiva) and Pishari kovil (Lakshmi) visit here for a combined procession. This is locally known as Sankara Narayana Vilakku (Shiva and Vishnu) and Laksmi Narayana Vilakku (Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu). The ritual of Aarattu (the holy bath of the deity) of Sree Poornathrayeesa is held at the tank of Chakkamkulangara Shiva Temple. The tank is in the north-east of the temple.
This temple was rebuilt using concrete instead of traditional wood which is common among Kerala temples. This redesigning was undertaken after a major fire mishap in 1920. The sanctum was severely damaged because it was mainly a wooden structure. Late Sri Eachara Warrier, a well-known expert in temple architecture, took care of the temple design in concrete. The concrete structure is covered meticulously with copper plates, wooden panels and granite tiles to recreate the traditional temple features.
|Thripunithura Poornathrayeesa Vishnu Temple. ePuja|
The walls of Srikovil / sanctum sanctorim has heavily decorated large brass sheets with statutes of gods and goddess, whereas the roof is covered with copper sheets. A striking feature is the entrances to the sanctum is gold plated. The gopuram - tower is a two-story structure and the first floor has a small mandapam / hall with eight beautifully carved wooden pillars supporting it.
|Poornathrayeesa_Temple Panchari Melam en .wikipedia.org|
|Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple festival YouTube|
The temple is famous for its annual Utsavams or festivals. The main one is the Vrishchikoltsawam which is held every year in the month of Vrishchikam (November–December); it is the start of the 'Ulsava' Season in Kerala. Vrishchikolsavam is a popular eight day temple festival of Ernakulam District and one of the biggest temple festivals of Kerala. The events go on 24/7 and they include traditional folk art forms by various groups or individuals such as Ottanthullal, Kathakali, Thayambaka, Chenda melam, Kacheri, etc. During this festival one can see many caparisoned elephants lined before the temple.