Vadakkunnathan Temple

Coordinates: 10°31′27.98″N 76°12′51.8″E / 10.5244389°N 76.214389°E

Vadakkunnathan Temple
Vadakkunnathan Temple west nada - 0204
West Nada entrance of Vadakumnathan Temple
Religion
AffiliationHinduism
DistrictThrissur district
DeityShiva
FestivalsMaha Shivaratri
Location
LocationThrissur
StateKerala
Country India
Architecture
Type(Kerala style)
CreatorParashurama
CompletedNot known (believed to be thousands of years old)
Specifications
Temple(s)3
Monument(s)1
Website
http://vadakkunnathantemple.com/

Vadakkunnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva at city of Thrissur, of Kerala state in India. This temple is a classic example of the architectural style of Kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a kuttambalam. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple.[1][2][3] The shrines and the Kuttambalam display vignettes carved in wood. The temple, along with the mural paintings, has been declared as a National Monument by India under the AMASR Act.[4] According to popular local lore, this is the first temple built by Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu. Thekkinkadu maidan, encircling the Vadakkunnathan Temple, is the main venue of the Thrissur Pooram.[1][2]

In the year 2012 the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recommended 14 sites, including Vadakkumnathan Temple and palaces, from Kerala to include in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.[5]

Legend

The story of the origin of the Vadakkunnathan Temple is briefly narrated in Brahmanda Purana and there are references to it in some other works also. Though there are differences between these accounts on the details, all agree on the central fact, namely, that the temple was founded by Parashurama. Parashurama exterminated Kshatriyas twenty one times. In order to cleanse himself and balance his karma he performed a yajna at the end of which he gave away all the land to Brahmins as dakshina. He wanted to retire to some new land to perform tapasya and so he requested the Lord of the seas and oceans Varuna to throw up a new piece of land from the sea.

Sreemoola sthanam
The famous Sri Mula Sthana where for some time the linga of Shiva remained. Later, the ruler of Kochi Kingdom decided to shift the linga to a more convenient place and enclose it in a good temple.

According to another version, some sages approached him at the end of the yajna and requested him to give them some secluded land. Parashurama then made the request to Varuna for their sake. Varuna gave him a winnow (surpa) and asked him to hurl it into the sea, as he did a large territory of land was at once thrown up by the sea; this territory that rose out of the sea was Kerala. It was then known by the name "Surparaka", from the word, "Surpa" meaning winnow.

According to some other accounts, Varuna asked Parashurama to hurl his axe into the sea. Parashurama now wanted to consecrate this new land. So he went to Mount Kailash to his guru, Lord Shiva and requested him to take abode in Kerala and thereby bless the region. Shri Shiva accompanied by his wife Parvati, his sons Ganesha and Subrahmanya and his parashadas went along with Parashurama, to satisfy the desire of his disciple. Shiva stopped at a spot, now Thrissur, for his seat and later he and his party disappeared and Parashurama saw a bright and radiant Shiva linga (aniconic symbol of Shiva) at the foot of a huge banyan tree. This place where Shiva first manifested his presence through the linga is in Smskrth (Sanskrit) known as the Sri Moola Sthana.

For sometime, the linga remained at Sri Mula Sthana at the foot of a huge banyan tree. The ruler of Cochin Kingdom then decided to shift the linga to a more convenient place and enclose it in a temple. Arrangements were soon made to reinstall the deity in the new place. But there was an initial difficulty. The linga could not be removed without cutting off a large part of the banyan tree. While cutting the branches of the tree, there was the danger of a piece of it falling on the idol and damaging it. When the ruler and the others did not know what to do, the Yogatirippadu came forward with a solution. He lay over the deity so as to cover it completely and asked the men to cut the tree. The cutting began and to the wonder of all not a piece of the tree fell anywhere near the deity. The deity was moved with all due rituals and installed in the new place where it has remained till now. Then a temple was built according to the rules laid down in the Shastras. [6][7][8]

History

Plan of the Hindu temple at Trichur
Map of City of Thrissur with Vadakkunnathan Temple prepared by John Gould in 1816.

The temple was built at the time of Perumthachan from Parayi petta panthirukulam. It is said that Perumthachan lived during the seventh century; so the Koothambalam may be 1,300 years old. According to Malayalam historian V. V. K. Valath, the temple was a pre-Dravidian Kavu (shrine). Later, the temple was influenced by Buddhism, Jainism and Vaishnavism. In the early days, Paramekkavu Bhagavathi was also inside the Vadakkunnathan temple. But Koodalmanikyam Temple, Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple and Ammathiruvadi Temple, Urakam is older than Vadakkunnathan temple, according to temple documents.[9] It also had influences from Buddhist temples and Jain temples.

Yogiatiripppads

The Nambudiris who were looking after the temple affairs were called as Yogiatiripppads. When Kerala Nambudiris gained control, the temple also fell into their hands. The Yogiatiripppads were elected from Thrissur desam. Prior to Sakthan Thampuran's reign, the Yogiatiripppad system declined. Later, the Maharaja of Cochin gained presiding authority over the temple.

Adi Shankara

Adi Shankara is believed to have been born to Shivaguru and Aryamba of Kalady in answer to their prayers before Vadakkunnathan, as amsavatara of Shiva. The couple had observed bhajan for 41 days in the temple. Legend has it that Shiva appeared to both husband and wife in their dreams and offered them a choice. They could have either a mediocre son who would live a long life or an extraordinary son who would die early. Both Shivaguru and Aryamba chose the second option. In honour of Shiva, they named the son Shankara.[10][11] According to legend, Adi Shankara attained videha mukti ("freedom from embodiment") in the Vadakkunnathan temple. One tradition, expounded by Keraliya Shankaravijaya, places his place of death as the temple.[12] He also established four Mutts at Thrissur, famously known as Edayil Madhom, Naduvil Madhom, Thekke Madhom and Vadakke Madhom

55Trichur Temple Main Entrance
A rare picture of main entrance of Vadakkunnathan Temple taken in 1913 seen from Swaraj Round from Illustrated Guide to the South Indian Railway, printed by Hoe and Coat the 'Premier Press'.

Invasion of Tipu Sultan

During the invasion of Tipu Sultan, the temple was not attacked by Tipu's Army. Even though Tipu Sultan destroyed many temples in Thrissur district at that time, he never touched Vadakkunnathan Temple. B According to historical accounts when Tipu Sultan was marching towards the Travancore lines locally known as Nedumkotta, he had a short stay at Thrissur city from 14 to 29 December 1789. In order to feed his Army, he had borrowed cooking vessels from Vadukanthan Temple. On leaving Thrissur city, he not only returned the vessels to the temple but presented it a large bronze lamp.[13]

Zamorin of Calicut

During 1750 to 1762, the temple affairs were conducted by Zamorin of Calicut who attacked Thrissur city and took control of the temple and the city. In 1762 with the help of Kingdom of Travancore, Maharaja of Cochin regained control over Thrissur city and the temple.

Sakthan Thampuran

When Sakthan Thampuran (1751–1805), ascended the throne of Kingdom of Cochin, he changed the capital of Kingdom of Cochin from Thripunithura to Thrissur city as the King had a personal relationship with Vadakkunnathan Temple. He later cleared the teak forest around the temple and introduced the famous Thrissur Pooram festival. The King's personal interest in the temple also changed the fortune of the city.

Structure

The temple is situated in an elevated hillock in the centre of Thrissur City and is surrounded by a massive stone wall enclosing an area of nearly 9 acres (36,000 m2). Inside this fortification, there are four gopurams facing four cardinal directions. Between the inner temple and the outer walls, there is a spacious compound, the entrance to which is through gopurams. Of these, the gopurams on the south and north are not open to the public. The public enter either through the east or west gopuram. The inner temple is separated from the outer temple by a broad circular granite wall enclosing a broad corridor called Chuttambalam. Entrance into the inner temple is through a passage through the corridor.

Deities

VadakkumnathanTemple
Interior of Vadakkunnathan Temple and in the right side is the world-famous Koothambalam

.

The main deity of this temple, Lord Shiva, is worshipped in the form of a huge lingam, which is covered under a mound of ghee, formed by the daily abhishekam (ablution) with ghee over the years. A devotee looking into the sanctum can now see only a 16-foot-high (4.9 m) mound of ghee embellished with thirteen cascading crescents of gold and three serpent hoods on top. According to traditional belief, this represents the snow-clad Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva. This is the only temple where the lingam is not visible. It is said that the ghee offered here for centuries does not have any foul odour and it does not melt even during summer.

In the outer temple, there are shrines for Krishna (Gosala Krishna; or Gopala Krishna; Krishna as a cowherd), Shiva's bull vahana (vehicle) Nandikeswara, Parashurama, Simhodara, Ayyappa (Shiva's son, especially venerated in Kerala), Vettekkaran (Shiva as a hunter), Serpent deities and Adi Shankara. Outside the main temple, there are shrines for Lord Subrahmanya and Lord Ganapathi. Located on the verandah of the Nalambalam is a large white bull Nandikeswara. It is in the northern side that the main sanctum, a circular structure with Shiva facing west and behind him, Parvati facing east, denoting their combined form Ardhanarishvara, is made. The two-storied rectangular shrine of the god Rama facing west is located in the south. Between these two sanctums (srikovils) stands a third one, circular and double-storied in shape, which is dedicated to Shankaranarayana, the combined form of Shiva and Vishnu, facing west. There are mukhamandapams (halls) in front of all the three central shrines.[14] The two important murals in the temple, Vasukisayana and Nrithanatha (Nataraja), are worshipped regularly. Ganesha shrine is positioned facing the temple kitchen. The offering of Appam (sweetened rice cake fried in ghee) to him is one of the most important offerings at the temple. Propitiating him here is believed to be a path to prosperity and wealth.

Architecture

Vadakkumnathan plan- Sanctum sanctorum
Layout of Sanctum sanctorums in Vadakkumnatha Temple

Murals

The temple is famous for the rarity of the temple murals, of which the Vasukishayana and Nrithanatha murals are of great importance and are worshipped daily.[15] The temple also houses a museum of ancient wall paintings, wood carvings and art pieces of ancient times.[15] A study done by Archaeological Survey of India on two paintings in the temple has revealed that it is 350 years old. These two rare paintings were a reclining Shiva and a Nataraja with 20 arms.

Koothambalam

The temple theatre, known as Koothambalam, has four magnificent gateways called Gopurams and the lofty masonry wall around the temple quadrangle are imposing pieces of craftsmanship and skill. The Koothambalam is used for staging Koothu, Nangyar Koothu and Koodiyattam, an ancient ritualistic art forms of Central Kerala. According to folk lore, before the new Koothambalam was built, there used to be an old and dilapidated structure. The then Diwan T. Sankunni Menon ordered to demolish the structure and construct a new Koothambalam. He gave this task to Velanezhy Nambudiri, a famous Thachushasthranjan or master craftsman. He prepared a mental sketch and built a beautiful Koothambalam there. Velanezhy Illom is in Venganellur Gramam, Chelakkara town.

Festivals

Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri is the main festival which is celebrated in the temple.[16] Cultural and musical programmes are held in the temple premises. Around one lakh temple lamps (hundred thousand)are lighted in the festival. The idol of Vadakkumnatha is not taken out for procession.

Vadakkumnathan Temple
Vadakkumnathan Temple's Thekke Gopura Vathil lighted up during the Maha Shivaratri festival

.

Aanayoottu

The Aanayoottu of feeding of elephants, is the second biggest festival held in the temple. The devotees refer to elephants as Lord Ganesh's incarnation. The festival falls on the first day of the month of Karkkidakam (timed against the Malayalam calendar), which coincides with the month of July. It has been the regular annual practice at the temple for the last 20 years to conduct a large-scale Ashta Dravya Maha Ganapathy Havana and Aanayoottu on the first day of the Karkidakom month of the Malayalam calendar. It involves a number of unadorned elephants being positioned amid a multitude of people for being worshipped and fed. A large number of people throng the temple to feed the elephants. Gajapooja also is conducted once every four years.

Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram is called the mother of all Poorams in kerala. In Malayalam it's called ( poorangalude pooram). This is conducted in the Malayalam month of Medam. The deities from parmekavu ans thiruvambady temple along with other small poorams come and conduct infront of vadakkumanathan. It's a 36 long hour festival which attracts 1000 from all over the state. The main attractions of Pooram are Madathilavaravu panchavadhyam, Elanjithara melam, kudamattom and Fireworks.its a visual feast for everyone.

Names

Shiva here is more popularly known as Vadakkunnathan (Sanskrit Vrishabhachala -Tamil Vidaikunrunathan Vidai - Vrishabha, kunru - chala ). The Sanskrit Vrishabhachala refers to Nandi represented as a mound or hill. The town of Thrissur thus also derives a name Vrishabhadripuram. The Malayalam Vadakkunnathan literally translated, means The Lord of the North, who resides in Kailasam (The Himalayas) which is in the northern side of India.

Temple timings

The temple opens daily at 04:00 AM, closes at 11:00 AM, reopens at 04:30 PM and closes at 8.20 PM after 'Trippuka', the last rite of the day.[3] Three poojas are performed daily. No deities are taken outwards to procession. Everytime the nada opens, there is niyamavedi (timing fire).

Order of Darshan in the Temple

Traditionally, the devotees follow a special order for praying in the inner and outer sanctums of the temple.

Order of Darshan in the outer sanctum

  1. Sreemoolasthanam
  2. Goshalakrishnan
  3. Nandikeshwara
  4. Parashurama
  5. Simhodara
  6. Kashivishwanatha- to be viewed from the altar placed a little to the north of Simhodara
  7. Sambhukumbham
  8. Bow to Chidambaranadha at the small platform at the south-east corner.
  9. Bow to Sethunadha of Rameshwaram looking Eastwards.
  10. From the south gopurma bow to Kodungallur Bhagavathi.
  11. From the platform at the south- west corner look south and pray to Sangameshwara of Koodalmanikyam
  12. From the same platform bow to Oorakathamma Thiruvadi
  13. Look at the domes/ thazhikakkudam of Vadakkunnadhan, Shankaranarayanan and Sri Rama and bow
  14. The one comes upon a flat granite slab called Vyasashila on a platform on which one must write 'Hari Sree Ganapathaye Namah'
  15. Ayyappa or Shastha
  16. Vettekkaran (Relocated in 2006)
  17. Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya marked by a Shankha and Chakra
  18. Adi Shankara.
  19. Vrishabha
  20. Vasukishayanam painting. Also known as Phanivarashayana. One of the rarest murals in which Lord Shiva is depicted resembling Lord Vishnu's Ananthashayana form.
  21. Nruthanadha painting
  22. Subrahmanya at Manikantanaal (Optional)

The order of Darshan in the inner sanctum of the temple

  1. Lord Vadakkunnadhan (1)
  2. Devi Sri Parvati (1)
  3. Lord Ganapathy (1)
  4. Lord Shankaranarayana (1)
  5. Lord Sri Rama (1)
  6. Lord Shankaranarayana (2)
  7. Lord Ganapathy (2)
  8. Devi Sri Parvati (2)
  9. Lord Vadakkunnadhan (2)
  10. Lord Ganapathy (3)
  11. Lord Shankaranarayana (3)
  12. Lord Sri Rama (2)
  13. Lord Shankaranarayana (4)
  14. Lord Sri Rama (3)
  15. Lord Shankaranarayana (5)
  16. Lord Ganapathy (4)
  17. Devi Sri Parvati (4)
  18. Lord Vadakkunnadhan (4)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Vadakkumnathan Temple". Thrissur District. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Thrissur Pooram". Kerala Tourism. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Vadakkumnathan Temple:". DTPC Thrissur. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Alphabetical List of Monuments - Kerala". Archaeological Survey of India. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Kerala: Vadakkunnathan temple may be UNESCO's world heritage site". ibnlive.in.com. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  6. ^ "History of Vadakkumnathan Shiva Temple". Hindu Devotional Blog. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  7. ^ "Dakshina Kailasam Thrissivaperoor Sree Vadakkunnatha Temple". Vaikhari. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Temples of Kerala- Vadakkunnathan Temple". New Kerala.com. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  9. ^ V V K Valath (1992). Keralathile Sthalacharithrangal: Thrissur Jilla, p.217. Kerala Sahithya Akadamy, Thrissur.
  10. ^ Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. p. 14.
  11. ^ Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. p. 17.
  12. ^ Tapasyananda, Swami (2002). Sankara-Dig-Vijaya. xxv–xxxv.
  13. ^ History of Tipu Sultan. Mohibbul Hasan. 2005. ISBN 9788187879572. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  14. ^ [1] Archived 26 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine Kerala-History
  15. ^ a b "Murals of reclining Shiva, Nataraja with 20 arms found at Thrissur temple". Archaeology Daily. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Sivaratri celebrations at Vadakkumnathan temple". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 6 February 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
Aanayoottu

The Aanayoottu (feeding of elephants) is a festival held in the precincts of the Vadakkunnathan temple in City of Thrissur, in Kerala. The festival falls on the first day of the month of Karkkidakam (timed against the Malayalam calendar), which coincides with the month of July. It involves a number of unadorned elephants being positioned amid a multitude of people for being worshipped and fed. A large number of people throng the temple to feed the elephants.

Every year of Aanayoottu, gaja pooja, is conducted. It is believed that offering poojas and delicious feed to the elephants is a way to satisfy Lord Ganesha—the god of wealth and of the fulfillment of wishes. The Vadakkunnathan temple, which is considered to be one of the oldest Shiva temples in southern India, has hosted the Aanayottoo event for the past few years.

Culture of Thrissur

Thrissur pronunciation (Malayalam: തൃശൂര്‍) formerly known as Trichur, is a city in the Kerala state of India. It is the headquarters of the Thrissur District. It is known as the 'Cultural Capital of Kerala'. The culture of the city can be termed as predominantly South Indian. Residents of Thrissur are known as Thrissukkar; they are an important part of the South Indian weltanschauung. Thrissur, the cradle of culture of Kerala is decorated with Vadakkunnathan Temple, from where the name derived. The old name was 'Thrishivaperur' derived from "Thiru Shiva Perur" or "Land of Lord Shiva". The Thrissur Pooram, celebrated during April–May is top on the list of cultural attraction of South India.

Thrissur is referred to as the cultural nerve center of the state of Kerala. Representing the rich cultural heritage and traditional legacy of the state of Kerala, Thrissur houses several literary and cultural societies that impart training in performing arts of the region. Thrissur celebrates numerous religious and social festivals with much pomp and glory. Onam, Pooram and Pulikkali are some of the prominent festivals of the local population of Thrissur. The unique culture of the beautiful place of Thrissur is reflected through the various festivities of the place. During the Onam festival, the artists of Thrissur perform the traditional dance of Kathakali. The cultural hub of Kerala, Thrissur maintains a harmonious balance between traditional arts and modern values.Thrissur is widely acclaimed as the land of elephant lovers.

Hinduism in Kerala

Hinduism is the largest religion in Kerala and Hindu castes together make up 54% of the population of the state according to the 2011 census.

Several saints and movements existed. Adi Shankara was a Hindu philosopher who contributed to Hinduism and propagated philosophy of Advaita. He was instrumental in establishing four mathas at Sringeri, Dwarka, Puri and Jyotirmath. Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri was another Brahmin religious figure who composed Narayaniyam, a collection of verses in praise of Krishna.

Various practises of Hinduism are unique to Kerala. Different cults of Shiva and Vishnu are popular in Kerala. Lord Krishna is worshipped widely in all parts of Kerala, Guruvayur being one of the most famous temples in the state. Malayali Hindus also worship Bhagavathi as a form of Shakti. Almost every village in Kerala has its own local guardian deity, usually a goddess. Hindus in Kerala also strongly believe in power of snake gods and usually have sacred snake groves known as Sarpa Kavu near to their houses.

Some of the most notable temples are: Guruvayur Temple, Thrissur Vadakkunnathan Temple, Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, Thiruvananthapuram Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Chottanikkara Temple, Chengannur Mahadeva Temple, Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Mannarasala Temple, Chakkulathukavu Temple, Thiruvalla Sreevallabha Temple, Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple, Parumala Panayannarkavu Temple, Sree Poornathrayesa Temple, Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple, and Rajarajeshwara Temple. Temples in Kerala follow elaborate rituals and only priests from the Nambudiri caste can be appointed as priests in major temples.But in 2017 as per the state government's decision, the priests from backward community was appointed. These priests are assisted by a caste known as Ambalavasis.

Malayali Hindus have unique ceremonies such as Chorunu (first feeding of rice to a child) and Vidyāraṃbhaṃ.

Ilanjithara Melam

Ilanjithara Melam is an assembly of percussion performance artist held at Ilanji (known as Bullet Wood tree Mimusops elengi) tree at the courtyard of the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur city during the Thrissur Pooram. It is considered as one of the best platforms for traditional Kerala music and the largest assembly of percussion artistes in any other Poorams. The Melam in technical exactness and instrumental discipline are the best example of Pandi Melam.

Kalady

Kalady or Kaladi is a census town located between Angamaly and Perumbavoor, east of the Periyar river, it is also a village in Aluva Taluk, Ernakulam district of Kerala, India, not far from Cochin International Airport. It is notable as the birthplace of 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian Adi Shankara and is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims.Kalady came to prominence only after its rediscovery in the late 19th century by the then Shankaracharya of Sringeri and the subsequent consecration of an Adi Shankara temple in 1910. The centenary of Kalady was celebrated in May 2010, and the story of its re-discovery a hundred years ago has been documented in a film by the Sringeri Sharada Peetham.

Kanimangalam Sastha Temple

Kanimangalam Sastha Temple is Hindu temple situated in Kanimangalam, Thrissur City of Kerala. Lord Ayyappan is the main deity of the temple. Kanimangalam Sastha is the main participant of the famous Thrissur Pooram. Kanimangalam Sastha is the first Pooram entering the Vadakkunnathan Temple. Kanimangalam Sastha is the protector of all goddesses who take part in Thrissur Pooram.

List of Hindu temples in Kerala

This is a list of famous Hindu temples in Kerala ordered by district.

List of Shiva temples in India

Shiva is a Hindu deity worshipped by Shaivaites in India as the destroyer of ignorance spread all across the universe. As one of the three main gods in the Hindu pantheon, there are temples dedicated to his worship in India (and abroad). The most prominent of these are the Jyotirlinga temples and Mellacheruvu Swayabhu Shambhulingeshwara Swami. In Shaivism, Shiva is the god of all and is described as worshipped by all, including Devas (gods) like Brahma, vishnu and Indra, Asuras (demons) like Banasura and Ravana, humans like Adi Shankara and Nayanars, and creatures as diverse as Jatayu, an eagle, and Vali, an ape. Deities, rishis (sages), and grahas (planets) worshipped Shiva and established Shivalingas in various places.

List of tourist attractions in Thrissur

Thrissur pronunciation (Malayalam: തൃശൂര്‍), formerly known as Trichur, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. Thrissur city is built around a 65-acre (260,000 m2) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan, which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple. This area is the city's cultural and spiritual centre, offering, in addition to religious experiences, an array of festivals and historical and natural sights.

Thrissur is known for the Thrissur Pooram festival, the most colourful and spectacular temple festival in Kerala. The festival is held at the Thekkinkadu Maidan in April or May. Thrissur has a large number of well-known temples including Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Vadakkumnathan temple and Paramekkavu temple, as well as two famous churches, the Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral and the Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours (Puthan Pally). The city is also the venue of Pulikali during Onam celebrations in August or September.

Mahadeva Temple, Kalanjoor

Mahadeva Temple, Kalanjoor popularly known as Thrikkalanjoor Sree Mahadeva temple is a Hindu temple. It is 80 kilometers to the south-west of the Sabarimala temple on the Punular-Muvattupuzha highway in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India. A majestic banyan tree, flanked by an Althara that is visible from a distance for any traveler on the main road, announces the presence of the temple to the devotee.

A Mandapam artistically etched with magnificent mural paintings announcing the prowess of artists and artisans of yore surrounds the banyan tree. Inside the Mandapam there is an idol of Nataraja, the dancing manifestation of Lord Shiva, facing the east.. From this Mandapam towards the west, a 60 feet high Gopuram (artistically carved towering arches) could be seen on the eastern side. The 18 ascending steps from the Gopuram lead to the sacred idols of Indiliyappan (Sastha) and the Mahasiva idol, which is the presiding deity of the Mahadeva temple.

Due to the presence of Mahadeva and Sastha idols in the temple, there are two Dhwajas (towering flag posts coated with copper) adjacent to each other which is a rare spectacle seldom seen in other temples. The Mahasiva idol and the Sastha idols are installed facing each other in this temple. The real name of the temple is Sankarapurathu Mukkalvattom Devaswom, but is popularly known as Thrikkalanjoor Sree Mahadeva temple.

Municipal Corporation Building, Thrissur

The Municipal Corporation Building, Thrissur, is the seat of the Thrissur Municipal Corporation and is situated in the middle of Thrissur city, Kerala, India.

Puli Kali

Pulikkali ("Puli" = Leopard/Tiger & "Kali" = Play in Malayalam language) is a recreational folk art from the state of Kerala. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival, celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Kerala. On the fourth day of Onam celebrations (Nalaam Onam), performers painted like tigers and hunters in bright yellow, red, and black dance to the beats of instruments like Udukku and Thakil. Literal meaning of Pulikkali is the 'play of the tigers' hence the performance revolve around the theme of tiger hunting. The folk art is mainly practiced in Thrissur district of Kerala. Best place to watch the show is at Thrissur on the fourth day of Onam, where Pulikkali troupes from all over the district assemble to display their skills. The festival attracts thousands of people to the Thrissur city. Pulikkali is also performed during various other festive seasons.

Religion in Kerala

Hinduism is the most widely professed religion in Kerala, with significant Muslim and Christian communities. Kerala has a reputation of being, communally, one of the most religiously diverse states in India. According to 2011 Census of India figures, 54.73% of Kerala's population are Hindus, 26.56% are Muslims, 18.38% are Christians, and the remaining 0.33% follow other religions or have no religion.Various tribal people in Kerala have retained the religious beliefs of their ancestors. Hindus constitute the majority in all districts except Malappuram, where they are outnumbered by Muslims. As of 2016, Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others account for 41.88%, 42.55%, 15.35% and 0.22% of the total child births in the state, respectively. Consequently, Kerala's religious landscape is set to diversify further in the future.

Sakthan Thampuran

Rama Varma Kunhjippilla Thampuran (1751–1805), or Rama Varma IX, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran (Sakthan meaning powerful), was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin. He was the King of the present-day southern Indian city of Kochi and his palace was in Thrissur City. The city of Thrissur is referred to as the Cultural Capital of Kerala owing to its many traditional festivals and historic temples. Sakthan Thampuran is considered the architect of the city of Thrissur. The festival Thrissur Pooram is considered to have been first started by him.

Swaraj Round, Thrissur

Swaraj Round or Thrissur Round is the local name for circular road in the centre of the City of Thrissur in The Heart Of Kerala, India, surrounding the 65-acre (260,000 m2) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan Temple. Swaraj Round is the biggest Roundabout in South Asia. It is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centers in Kerala. Seventeen roads are joining to the Swaraj Round. Encircling the Thekkinkadu Maidan, Swaraj Round surrounds the small hillock on which the Vadakkunnathan Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is built. It is the largest circular road surrounding a ground in India.It is the second largest roundabout in the world.

Swaraj Round is one of the biggest commercial centers and busiest shopping areas of Thrissur city which houses Malls, shopping centers, retail outlets of jewelers, textiles. It is also the prime location for shopping in Thrissur for gold and textiles. It is one of the main central business district (CBD) area of Thrissur City. There are two pedestrian subways in the Swaraj Round. One near Paramekkavu temple and other at M.O. Road Junction. The Swaraj Round is the venue of a grand Pulikali on the fourth Onam day. On this day Pulikali troupes from different parts of the district come here to perform.

Thechikottukavu Ramachandran

Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran (born 1964) is a captive elephant owned by Thechikottukavu devasom, a temple in Kerala. Ramachandran is the tallest captive elephant in India, and the second tallest in Asia, behind Nadungamuwe Raja, a tusker in Sri Lanka. Ramachandran is fondly known among elephant lovers as Raman and enjoys a huge fan following across Kerala.Ramachandran has killed a record 13 people and injured many in its lifetime and is branded as the most dangerous captive elephant in the state. It has also killed three other elephants. The partly blind elephant plays a key role in several Pooram festivals but was banned from public display on multiple occasions due to its violent behaviour.

Thekkinkadu Maidan

Thekkinkadu Maidan (മലയാളം: തേക്കിൻ‌കാട് മൈതാനം) is situated in the middle of Thrissur city of Kerala state in India. This hillock which seats the Vadakkumnathan Temple, is an open ground in the centre of the Thrissur city which is under the custody of the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB). It hosts the spectacular cultural festival Thrissur Pooram, which is considered the Mother of all Poorams in Kerala.

Thrissur

Thrissur ((pronunciation ), also known by its former name Trichur) is a city and capital of the Thrissur district in Kerala, India. It is the third largest urban agglomeration in Kerala after Cochin and Calicut urban areas and the 20th largest in India. Thrissur is also known as the "cultural capital of Kerala" because of its cultural, spiritual and religious leanings throughout history. The city is built around a 65-acre (26 ha) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple. Thrissur was once the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin. It is located 300 kilometres (186 mi) towards north-west of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. One of the main cultural events in Thrissur is the Thrissur Pooram, which attracts quite a number of tourists and travellers.

Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram (Thrissur Puram) is an annual Hindu festival held in Kerala, India. It is held at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur every year on the Pooram (pronounced [puːɾam]) day - the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam. It is the largest and most famous of all poorams.

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