|Thiruvanvandoor TempleAtma Nirvana|
|Paambanaiyappa Perumal Temple; Temple Advisor|
It is one of the 108 Divyadesam shrines of God Vishnu and is glorified in the Divya Prabandham, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. Here. the temple is dedicated to Sri Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, who is worshiped as Paambanaiappan. Consecrated by the sage Bhrigu, the temple on the banks of the Pampa river, is one among the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, having close links with the legend of Mahabharata.
The five Pandava brothers are believed to have built one temple each; Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple by Yudhishthira, Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple by Bheema, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple by Arjuna, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple by Nakula and Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple by Sahadeva.
Great Azhvar Tamil saints - Nammalvar, in circa 800 AD made references to this temple in his devotional hymns. Inside the temples there are stone inscriptions that date back to the Second Chera Empire (800 - 1102 AD).
The two-story Gopuram / tower forms the main gateway with the upper story having wooden trails covering the Kottupura. This part was meant for beating drums during festival time and the sound could be heard in the adjacent areas informing the people of the on-going festival at the temple. The entire shrine is within a rectangular boundary wall around the temple, called Kshetra-Madilluka pierced by the gateways. A common feature in the Hindu temple is the Flag-post called Dwajasthambam. It is normally made of metal copper or brass rarely in gold axially placed to the temple tower leading to the central sanctum. Before the beginning of major festivals, temple flag is hoisted with proper puja and chanting of specified mantra by the priests and there is a Deepastamba, which is the light post. Chuttuambalam forms the the outer pavilion within the temple walls. The central shrine and the associated hall is located in a rectangular structure called Nallambalam, a pillared halls with corridors. The Namaskara Mandapa with a pyramidal roof is a raised platform between the entrance of Nallambalam to the sanctum. Here, devotees prostrate before the deity, signifying total surrender to Him. Of particular importance is the temple kitchen called Thevrapura (also called Madapalli in Tamil), where offering - naivedhyam to the deity is cooked. There is no temple without Balithara which is an altar used for making ritualistic offering to demi-gods and the festive deities.
The most important part of the temple is the main shrine called Garbagraha / Srikovil (Sanctum). It houses the presiding deity. It is an elevated part with a single door and sentinel guards - Dwarapalakas on either side of the entrance. Tradition has it in Kerala only the main priest called Thantri and the second priest called Melshanthi alone can enter the Sree Kovil. Here, the Srikovil has a circular shape with a granite base and superstructure made of laterite. Conical roof is made of terracotta tiles supported from inside by a wooden structure. The lower half of Sree Kovil consists of the basement, the pillar or the wall, the upper half is divided into the neck called griva, the roof tower called Shikhara and the conical kalasam (made of copper). The roof projections in two levels are meant to protect the inner structure, particularly the walls from heavy rains during monsoon.
In many temples the roof and some of the pillars have fine wood and stucco carvings, depicting episodes from epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The outer walls around the sanctum are fixed with rows of wooden frames housing an array of lamps, which are lit on festival days. Here, the temple has paintings on its walls dating back to early 18 century.
The temple is open from 4 am to 11:00 am and 5 pm to 8 pm and is administered by Travancore Devaswom Board of the Government of Kerala.
|Thiruvanvandoor Gajamela’ .thehindu.com/|
The commemoration of saint and poet Nammazhwar, the saint poet of 8th century is part of annual Thiruvaimozhi festival. Yet another great festival celebrated here is commemoration of installation of the idol of Sri Krishna. This 51 long day festival has several great events and ends with Gajamela, characteristic of the parade of 21 caparisoned elephants. Float festival also attracts lots of people. During festival time,
|Gajamela at Thiruvanvandoor Temple | KeralaYouTube|
A traditional `Kudamaattom’ performance by the Paramekkavu team from Thrissur was a major attraction at the Gajamela.