Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

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Timings : 3:00 AM - 12:30 PM and 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, Alleppey Overview

Located in the district of Ambalappuzha, Alappuzha in the state of Kerala in South India, Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Built in the traditional Kerala style architectural pattern, the temple is famous for its delicious rice pudding prepared in sweet milk, popularly known as Pal Payassam. Also called as the ‘Dwarka of the South’, the temple is believed to have been built between 15th - 17th AD by the local king Chembakkassery Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan Thampuran. The main deity presiding the temple called Parthasarathi (another name for Lord Krishna) is carved out of black granite stone and carries the sacred conch (shankh) in the left hand and a whip in the right.

The marvellous pilgrimage centre is brimming with devotees and tourists alike, all throughout the year. The shrine is one of the oldest in the region and the history is associated with the Guruvayur Temple located in the Thissur district of Kerala itself. It is believed that the main idol was brought here from the Guruvayur temple during the raids of Tipu Sultan in 1789 for safekeeping; and it stayed here ever since. The temple also has a majestic collection of paintings depicting the ten avatars (Dasavatar) of Lord Vishnu which add to the all-around rich cultural ambience of the place. A musical instrument called ‘Mizhavu’ is displayed at the entrance of the temple. Besides, it houses a little pond where you can feed the fish and spend a few minutes admiring the rich heritage of the pilgrim centre.

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Legend of Ambalapuzha Paal Payassam

The temple holds an extremely fascinating myth behind the distribution of Paal Payassam Prasad aka the rice pudding. It is believed that once Lord Krishna appeared in the court of the then ruling King in the form of a sage and challenged him to a game of chess. The king being a chess enthusiast happily agreed and both the parties proceeded to decide the prize in case of their winning. The sage wanted a few grains of rice in case he won; the actual number of grains being decided by the number of squares on the chess- board. It was agreed upon that each proceeding square would hold the exponential number of grains of the preceding square, starting with 1 grain and going on to 2, 4, 16, 256 etc.

The game began and needless to say, the sage won. The king began to give out the prize and on calculation it was found that the number of grains as per the rules, hugely exceeding the grains in the royal granary. The sage has very wittingly used the concept of geometric progression and outsmarted the king. The final translated number of the grains equalled many trillion tons of rice. The king could not therefore, keep up with his words and was indebted to the sage. Then the sage revealed his true identity in the form of Lord Krishna and told the king that he could repay over time by serving rice pudding i.e. paal payassam in the temple till the debt was paid off. This is how the temple got to serving paal payassam to its devotees over time.

Festivals at Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

The temple celebrates Ambalapuzha Temple Festival with a lot of zeal and fervour. It marks the day when the idol of Sree Krishna was brought from some other temple for coronation here. Also called as Chambakulam Moolam Water Festival, it is celebrated every year on the Moolam day of Mithunam month of the Malayalam calendar.

Another festival celebrated here is called Aaraattu festival on the Thiruvonam day of the Meenam month of the Malayalam calendar. It is a flag hoisting ceremony on the Atham star.

Pallipana is another activity performed in the temple. It marks the activity of sacrificing humans in ancient days. Celebrated once in every 12 years, the pooja is performed by sorcerers (velans). However, now, cocks have replaced human bodies at the altar.

Dress Code at Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

The temple follows a traditional dress code. As per rules, it is customary for the male visitors to remove to remove their shirts and vests before entering the temple. The women visitors are expected to dress in conventional clothes such as a saree or a suit. Otherwise the entry is restricted.

Best Time To Visit Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

The best time to visit the temple is in the evening at the time of evening aarti. The entire premises are lit with tiny clay lamps which accentuated the beauty of the place. And the in-house authentic south Indian music adds to the charm of the temple.

Tips For Visiting Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

1. As per customary temple rituals, the males have to remove their shirts and vests before entering the temple.
2. The temple follows a traditional dress code so we request the women visitors to dress in traditional Indian clothes (saree or suits), otherwise the entry is restricted.
3. The famous prasad Pal Payassam is a must try at the shrine. However, the devotees have to book it before hand. The temple authorities can be contacted on +91- 477 -2272090.
4. Photography is prohibited.

How To Reach Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

The temple is located 14 kms south of the town of Alappuzha in Ambalapuzha on the National Highway 47 (NH 47). You can drive down to the spot or hire a private taxi cab or even an auto. Alternatively, you can travel in one of the state run buses which are available at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation Bus Stand, Alappuzha.

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