Pureprayer extends warmest greetings the devotees for the occasion of Deepavali and Karteekmaas. Wishing this Deepavali bring a lot of cheer to your life, let us embark on Spiritual Journeys during this holy occasion to temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Pureprayer take you on a SpiRitual Journey to Thrikkakara Vamana temple situated in the suburbs of Kochi in the state of Kerala dedicated to Lord Vishnu on the occasion of Dhan Trayodashi.
Where is Thrikkakara Vamana Temple?
Thrikkakakara or Thirukaal karai or Thrikkatkara Vamana temple is located about 10 km from centre of Kochi (Cochin) City in Kerala.
Thrikkakara Vamana temple is believed to be a very ancient temple and said to have existed for more than 20 centuries. This is one of the 108 Divyadesams visited by Vaishnavas.
What is the Puranic background of Thrikkakara Vamana Temple?
Sage Parashuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu is said to have consecrated the image of Vamana here, when he reclaimed this region from the sea.
Mahabali was a pious and powerful demon king and grandson of Prahlad. Prahlad was the son of Hiranyakashipu who was given salvation by Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha. Maha Bali unseated Lord Indra and took over the reins of heaven, earth and netherworld.
He decided to perform a Yajjna and started giving alms to everyone without discrimination.
Lord Vishnu, came in the form of a dwarf Vatu and expressed his desire to Mahabali. He explained the need for three paces of land to continue performing religious practices. Mahabali readily agreed and offered to fulfil the Vatu’s request. Shukracarya, the Guru of demons in the netherworld tried to prevent his king from promising this offer. He informed the king that, Vamana was none other than Lord Vishnu himself in disguise who had come to thwart Mahabali’s grand plans. Mahabali disagreed to step back from his promise.
As the king offered the three paces of land as per practices of tradition, Vamana showed his real form. He occupied all the earth in one pace and the entire space in the other. He asked Mahabali to show the third pace of land. Mahabali, who realized his ego offered his head as the place for the third step in order to complete his vow.
Lord Vishnu used this opportunity to push Mahabali to the netherwrld called ‘Patal Lok’.
What is the historical background of Thrikkakara Vamana Temple?
Thrikkkakara region was in its prime during the regin of Kulashekharas. These kings were supported by local chieftains called Naduvazhis numbering six hundred. This dynasty was very powerful and ruled in 10th Century CE. Thrikkakara temple has about 18 stone inscriptions from this time period.
Nammalwar has referred this region as Thirukkatkarai in his Pasurams. Lord Vamana as Sri Kaatkarai Appa Perumal and Thayar (Mahalakahmi) as Perunselva Naayaki or Vaathsalya valli. Old temple portions described by Nammalvar as ‘kodimathil’ can still be traced beneath the present structure.
Main deity is Lord Vishnu, who incarnated as Vamana. Vamana is preparing to place his foot on the demon king Mahabali.
Bhagavati, Shastha, Gopalakrishna, Naga, Brahmarakshasa and Yakshi are the other deities installed in the temple-complex.
A banyan tree outside the temple is said to be the residence of a sage who became a Brahma Rakshas (Devil). Deepams line all the corridor walls known as Chuttu Vilakku. Thousands of oil lamps lit gives a great aura to the temple. Two theerthams are associated with the temple complex. Kapila Teertham is used for all the religious activities of the temple used by the priests. The outer Theertham is for the use of devotees.
Lord Shiva has been consecrated in the form of Shivalingam in the adjacent shrine. Durga, Ganesha and Kartikeya have also been installed.
A theatre complex called Naimisharanyam is part of the temple and used for the purposes of cultural performances.
What is the legend about Thrikkakara Vamana Temple?
Once, a farmer made a made a vow to Lord Thrikkakarayappa, that if his plantation produced good yields, he would present a bunch of golden bananas to the temple. As the yields were good by the grace of god, the farmer who made good profits kept his promise by presenting the bunch of golden bananas. As told by the priest, he left the present outside the temple.
The priest returned after his daily cleanse to the temple and was shocked to find that present made by the farmer was missing. His suspicion turned on a recluse who was residing in the temple. He complained to the village authorities about the loss and the recluse was imprisoned.
On the next day, when he was performing Abhishekam to lord, he noticed that, drain hole was blocked. When he found out that, it was the same present of golden bananas that had clogged the passage and caused the blockage, he felt very sorry about his complaint against the recluse. He immediately ran out to the prison. He informed the authorities and apologized to the sage.
However, the recluse who was put to shame by one and all cursed the village lose all its wealth and ended his life. He became a spirit and started tormenting the villagers. They constructed a small shrine under the banyan tree for the recluse. A practice followed here to this day here is, Naivedyam is offered to the spirit after Naivedyam is offered to Vamana (Thrikkakarayappa).
What is the importance of Onam in Thrikkakara Vamana Temple?
One of the inscriptions in the temple mentions the celebrations of the Onam festival. This was when all the local chieftains assembled to pay respect to Kulashekhara Chakravarti. It also mentions that the festivities began in the star of Thiruvonam (Sravana star) in the Malayalam month of Karkatam (Katakmaas) and continued till the star of Thiruvonam in the month of Chingam (SImhamaas).
When is the best time to visit Thrikkakara Vamana Temple?
Onam is a ten-day color filled celebration period in Thrikkakara Vamana temple. Celebrations take place in the Malayalam month of Chingam. This occurs in the month of August or September. This is the best time to visit the temple since you can witness the occasion. Other festivals observed are, Vishu, Navaratri, Diwali and Makara Sankranti.
Main deity is decorated using sandal paste, ornaments and clothes with Dashavatar of Vishnu as theme. Festival begins on the first day (Atham) with the Kodiyettu (Flag hoisting) ceremony. Several cultural arts such as Chakyar Koothu, Ottamthullai, Kathakali and Patakam. A highlight of the festival is the grand banquet, or Sadya, held on the last two days of the festival at the temple campus. Ninth day celebrations are called Pakalpooram. Utsav Murthy is carried on an elephant accompanied by many other caparisoned elephants. This procedure is similar to festival celebrations at Guruvayoor.
However, the temple is visited throughout the year. During the winter from months of November through February are said to be pleasant. The visit may be clubbed with Ayursoukhyam for a personal health treatment in the monsoon season to get the best of the spiritual journey.
What are the nearby temples?
Chottanikkara Bhagavati Temple:
Chottanikkara Bhagavati temple dedicated to Maha Lakshmi is a very famous temple in the suburb of Kochi.
Chottanikkara Devi Temple is famous Lakshmi Devi known as Sri Bhagavati. Both Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped here. Bhagavati temple is located at Chottanikkara, a southern suburb of the city of Kochi. Sri Mahamaya Bhagawati (Aadiparashakthi) is one of the most popular deities in Kerala and the supreme goddess.
Chottanikkara Devi is worshipped in three different forms at the temple: As Maha Saraswati in the morning, draped in white; Maha Lakshmi at noon, draped in crimson; and as Maha Kali in the evening, in blue.
‘Chottanikara Makam thozhal’ is an important religious temple festival.
Sri Poornatrayeesha temple-Tripunitra:
Sri Poornatrayeesha temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is in Tripunitra of Kochi. This was first temple among the eight temples adopted by the royal family. Vrischikotsavam is a famous festival celebrated in the second month of Malayalam calendar. Santana Gopala is the main deity. It is believed that, Arjuna consecrated an image given by Lord Vishnu. He prayed to Vishnu save the lives of ten children that belonged to a Brahmin.The place Tripunitra was earlier known as Poornadevapurm.
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