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Timings : 3:00 AM - 11:30 AM, 5:00 PM - 8:15 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Koodalmanikyam Temple, Thrissur Overview

Lush green trees on one side and beautiful temple ponds on the other, the Koodalmanikyam Temple is one of the most famous temples of Kerala which was built before the 15th century. Dedicated to Lord Bharatha, who was the brother of Sree Rama, this temple is an architectural wonder belonging to the ancient world with fresco paintings on the wall and four massive ponds in the courtyard. The temple consists of an outstanding gateway which depicts the ancient era in which it was built. The unique feature of this temple is that there is only one deity here known as Dhanwanthara Moorthy or Lord Bharatha who is well-known for his ability to cure even the most dangerous diseases of his faithful devotees.

Brinhal Nivedyam is provided to the devotees by the temple after every prayer since it is believed to be very useful to cure the stomachache. All the other temples organise around five Poojas and three Seevelis in Kerala. However, in Koodalmanikyam Temple, only three Poojas and Seevelis are conducted during the arattu festival that is held every year. No other flower except the Lotus, Chethi, and Tulasi is offered to the deity inside.

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History of Koodalmanikyam Temple

The Sanskrit word 'Sangameswara' means the same as its Malayalam translation, i.e. Koodalmanikyam. The name of the temple, however, carries another story. One day, the idol was found radiating an unusually bright light from its forehead. Some people brought Quartz which was possessed by the Raja of Kayakulam to compare and find out the source of the light. While the comparison of the two was going on, it is believed that the stone fell from the hand mysteriously and merged with the stone present on the idol. After the two stones got merged, it got the name Koodalmanikyam.

The same kind of brightness was again seen on the idol in 1907. It is also said that thousands of years ago, Irinjalakuda which was then a dense forest comprised of some rishis under Kulpini Maharishi who were involved in a Yagna that involved offering self-punishment to please Lord Vishnu. Happy with the sincerity of the devotion showed by these rishis, the Lord appeared before him and offered to make their wish come true. To this, the rishis told him that they wanted to have his eternal presence at the place to which the Lord agreed. The rishis then prayed for Devi Ganga to sanctify the yagabhoomi with her presence and as the springs of the river Ganga came up and swamped the area, the rishis immersed themselves into the sacred waters and became one with the Lord.

Architecture of Koodalmanikyam Temple

The Koodalmanikyam Temple belongs to the 9th century and is an architectural marvel. Covering a vast area, it is surrounded by a gigantic wall with exquisite gateways on the South, East, and West. Constructed in the traditional Kerala style of architecture, the Western and Eastern ways to the inner temple comprise enormous porches on which almost 21 elephants can be accommodated. The Eastern gateway, also known as Gopuram, is an outstanding structure with many carvings entrenched into the front wall. Also, the outer quadrangle can be entered into from the Gopuram.

Koothambalam, which is the temple hall for performing Koothu and Koodiyattam, is situated on the Southern courtyard. Murals are present on walls on both sides of the Eastern entry to Chuttambalam. Kuttan Kulam which is located outside the compound on the Eastern side and Kulipini Theertham which is situated inside the compound are the two most massive ponds out of the four beautiful ponds surrounding the temple. As per history, Kulipini Maharshi performed a great ritual sacrifice at the spot where the Kulipini Theertham stands today. The Kudal Manikkam Temple is the centre of temple arts including Koothu, Koodiyattom, Thullal, and Kathakali.

Koodalmanikyam Temple Utsavam

Many festivals are celebrated with enthusiasm and fun in the premises of the temple. One of them includes the Kudalmanikyam Arattu Festival which takes place for 11 days in the Malayalam month of Edavam, i.e. from April to May. This event starts on the day after the Thrissur Pooram ends on the next Thiruvonam day. Many devotees are attracted towards the festival's music, orchestra, colour, and fine arts which cannot be witnessed in any other part of Kerala.

Another famous festival which is celebrated here is the Thriputhari on the Thiruvonam nakshatram in the month of Thulam, i.e. October to November. During this event, newly harvested rice is cooked and first offered to the deity as an offering and then to the devotees. A special offering known as Mukkudi which is an Ayurvedic mixture and a divine medicine to cure all the diseases takes place the next day.

Best Time To Visit Koodalmanikyam Temple

Though Kerala can be visited throughout the year, it is advisable to visit the temple during from April to May or October to November since the two biggest festivals are observed here during this time which is worth being a part of.

How To Reach Koodalmanikyam Temple

The Koodalmanikyam Temple is located 18 km to the west of Chalakudy at Irinjalakuda in the Thrissur district. A number of buses ply to the temple from Kochi. Tourists coming from Kozhikode can take a private bus at Moonnupeedika while those who are coming from NH-17 can board the bus that is plying through the Kodungallur-Thrissur route and get down at Irinjalakuda to reach the Koodalmanikyam Temple.

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