Vadakummnathan temple

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Label : Top Attraction

Tags : Temple

Timings : 4:00 AM - 11:00 PM ; 5:00 PM - 8:20 PM

Located in : Thekkinkadu Maithanam

Creator : Parashurama

Deity : Shiva; Parvati; Shankaranarayana; Vishnu (As Rama); Ganesha

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Vadakummnathan temple, Thrissur Overview

The Vadakkumnathan Temple, a monumental structure dating back a thousand years, stands as a living testament to Kerala's rich cultural and religious heritage. This ancient temple, adorned with magnificent mural paintings, some of which are over four centuries old, boasts a remarkable collection of artistry and history. Among its prized possessions is the famed Nataraja Mural near the main gate, a masterpiece that captivates visitors with its timeless beauty.

One of the most remarkable features of the Vadakkumnathan Temple is its pristine preservation, with the original colors of its architecture still vibrant after centuries. The shrine of Vadakkumnathan, enshrined within the temple, is a site of profound reverence, with a unique tradition of being completely covered in ghee for centuries without melting—an awe-inspiring testament to divine grace.

The temple complex also houses shrines dedicated to Mahavishnu and Shankaranarayan, adding to its spiritual significance. One of its most notable architectural marvels is the Koothambalam, one of the largest dance halls in Kerala, adorned with intricate carvings and designs. Here, traditional performances such as Nangyar Koothu showcase the region's rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions.

Adjacent to the temple complex stand the Thiruvambadi Krishna Temple and Paramekkavu Devi Temple, considered sister temples to Vadakkumnathan. Together, they form a sacred ensemble that embodies the essence of Hindu spirituality and devotion.

While the Vadakkumnathan Temple strictly restricts entry to Hindus, non-Hindu visitors are welcome to admire its splendor from outside the complex, where they can view photographs and appreciate the temple's architectural and artistic grandeur. With its rich history, spiritual significance, and architectural beauty, the Vadakkumnathan Temple continues to inspire awe and reverence among devotees and visitors alike.

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History of Vadakkunnathan Temple

The history of the Vadakkunnathan Temple can be traced back to 1,000 years when the great scholar of Kerala, Guru Adi Shankaracharya was born to the Shivaguru-Aryamba couple of Kalady after a lot of prayers made by them to God Vadakkannathan. As per legends, Lord Shiva came in the dream of both husband and wife and offered them two choices- the first being that they could have an ordinary son who would live a long and healthy life or an extraordinary son who would die early. The couple chose the second option and named their son Adi Shankara to honour Lord Shiva. It is also believed that Adi Shankara got freedom from the embodiment, also known as Videha Mukti in the Vadakkunnathan Temple.

Architecture of Vadakkunnathan Temple

Vadakkunnathan Temple follows the traditional architectural style of Kerala. Situated on the hillock which is surrounded by a vast stone wall encompassing an area of 9 acres, it comprises four gopurams which face north, south, east, and west inside the fortification. There are four massive gateways known as gopurams and tall masonry wall around the quadrangle of the temple that showcase the craftsmanship and skills put in constructing the place.

In the centre, there is a multi-shrine complex also known as Nalambalam or Chuttamabalam with three main shrines including Vadakkunnathan, Lord Rama, and Hari-Hara or Shankaranarayana. The left of the entrance has a beautiful structure and sloping roof of copper plates along with a theatre known as Koothambalam. Some old ritualistic art forms of Kerala are preserved in the theatre. An old museum is present inside the temple as well which consists of old wall paintings, wood carvings, and art pieces belonging to the ancient times.

Vadakkunnathan Temple Festivals

The main festival celebrated in the temple is Maha Shivratri with numerous cultural as well as musical programmes held inside the complex. During this time, the temple attracts visitors from all parts of the country to be a part of this grand celebration. Thrissur Pooram is another very colourful festival which is celebrated in the month of Medam which takes place from mid-April to mid-May. Also known as the 'pooram of all poorams', its celebrations last for about 36 hours and also include parasol displays along with firework shows. Anayoottu Festival which involves the feeding of elephants is another major festival celebrated in the temple. During this festival, many unadorned elephants are placed in the middle of people where they are fed and worshipped by devotees who come here from all parts of the world.

Best Time To Visit Vadakkunnathan Temple

This place has a tropical climate and can experience hot summers with heavy monsoons while the winters usually have a quite pleasant climate. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great pomp with thousands of lamps lit all around the temple. The Thrissur Pooram which is held from April to May is the perfect time to visit the temple.

Tips For Visiting Vadakkunnathan Temple

The temple follows a strict dress code according to which all the men need to be shirtless and wear a dhoti while entering the temple.

How To Reach Vadakkunnathan Temple

The temple is located in the middle of the city and can easily be reached via cabs and auto rickshaws. The railway station is situated 2 kilometres away from the temple while the airport is located at a distance of 50 kilometres and is well-connected to all the major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.

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