|Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple youtube.com|
|Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Templedeccanchronicle.com|
The presiding deity is in the form of Parthasarathy – an aspect of Lord Krishna who was a charioteer for Arjuna in the great Kurushetra war. The idol of Krishna is made of black granite with right hand holding a whip iand a conch in the left.
About the palpayassam, there is an interesting legend behind it. Once God Krishna, in the guise of a sage, challenged the local king for a game of chess ( Dhayam /chaturanga) in the court. The ruler, being an expert, agreed to the challenge. About the prize, the self-contended sage made a modest request - a few grains of rice to be be determined as follows using the chess-board: One grain of rice shall be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, eight in the fourth square, sixteen in 5th square and so on. Every square will have double of its predecessor. King, having lost the game, wanted to stick to his word and then realized the true nature of the demand. As the number of grains was increasing in a geometric progression and the total amount of rice required for a 64-squared chess board is 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 translating to trillions of tons of rice, the king realized his futile attempt to meet the demand of the sage. Sri Krishna appeared before the ruler who was in a precarious position and asked him to serve paal-payasam in the temple freely to the visiting pilgrims every day and this way his debt would be cleared for good.
The popular festival is Ambalapuzha Arattu - a 10 day festival held during the Malayalam month of Meenam (March - April). A unique martial dance form is performed during this time and it is called Velakali. The festival called Ambalapuzha Moolakazhcha held during the Malayalam month of Mithunam on the Moolam asterism (Mool Nakshatra) also draws lots of devotees.
An interesting fact about this temple is its close association with the famous performing art form of Kerala – Ottamthullal. It was first introduced here by the legendary Malayalam poet Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar and was played on the Ambalappuzha Temple premises. The Mizhavu (a big copper drum used as a percussion instrument in performing arts) used by Kunjan Nambiar is still preserved in an enclosure in the temple.
The popular Champakulam Snake Boat Race is held on the Prathista day (idol installation day) of Ambalapuzha Sree Krishnan idol in the temple.
The Amabalapuzha Temple Festival has been around since 15th AD. That point of time Travancore was ruled by the Chembakassery Devanarayana Dynasty. whose members were highly religious.They wanted idol of Lord Krishna to be brought to the Amabalapuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple from the Karinkulam temple. The celebration related to the bringing of this idol of Lord Krishna is the origin of the Amabalapuzha Temple Festival, also referred to as the Chambakulam Moolam water festival. This festival is held every year on the Moolam day of the Mithunam month of the Malayalam era. The Aaraattu festival takes place on the Thiruvonam day in March–April.
On 17 April 2017 robbery took place at this temple, A necklace of 11.5 sovereign, worn by god on certain occasions,which is a part of ‘Thiruvabharanam’, the sacred jewellery of the deity was stolen. Following May 2017, it was recovered but the chain and locket were found separated. But the robber had sold the precious stone on the locket. This temple has a history of such incidents. A decade ago, a precious accessory on the 500-year-old golden umbrella weighing over 400 sovereigns had disappeared. That incident came to light after the devaswom officials draped the rib of the umbrella with rag to cover up the missing of the ornaments. The Travancore Devaswom Board ended the investigation after concluding that the ornament had ‘worn off.’ A lady administrative officer was found guilty. However, the case was put in the cold storage. In August, 2010, a division bench of Kerala High Court came down heavily on the tainted officials holding key post. Such gold ornaments are taken out on festival days. The officials still have no clue about the whereabouts of the missing golden accessory.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambalappuzha_Sri_Krishna_Temple