For the devotees of Lord Shiva, it is a blessing to visit Vadakkunnathan Temple. This temple is situated in the Keralite City, Thrissur. As per the legends, this temple was founded by Parasuram, who was a great follower of Lord Shiva. It is purely a Hindu temple and the main deity is Lord Shiva as already mentioned. The main deity is situated here in the form of a Great Lingaa.
Vadakkunnathan temple is situated just in the heart of Thrissur city. Thrissur derived its name from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur” which literally means the sacred city of Lord Shiva. It is the first temple created by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the oldest temples in the whole state of Kerala.
Vadakkunnathan Temple – Architectural beauty
Vadakkunnathan temple is the classic and brilliant example of Kerala architecture. The temple is surrounded by a mass wall of stone. It encloses an area of around 8-9 acres. Exclusive murals bearing designs of Mahabharata decorates the walls of this great temple. The Vasuki Shayana and Nrithanatha mural are given great importance and are worshiped daily. The temple due to its originality and architectural beauty is declared as National Monument of India. It is also listed in the World Heritage sites of UNESCO.
Another architectural grace of this place is its huge theatre which they call “Koothambalam”. It is one of the greatest examples of craftsmanship in the world! The four magnificent “Gopurams” which means gateways and the majestic masonry wall surrounding the quadrangle of the temple presents the great pieces of art.
Rage of Worship
Majorly, in Vadakkunnathan temple, Lord Shiva is worshiped in his huge lingam form. The idol is not visible as it is covered under the mount of pure ghee or clarified butter. This mount is formed daily by the priests as a process of ablution or say abhishekam over the years. A small portion of this ghee is distributed among the devotees, which is believed to a miraculous medicine to cure all diseases. A devotee can only see a 13 feet huge mound of ghee with three serpents hooded on the top.
Outside the main temple, there are shrines of Lord Krishna, Shiva’s vehicle “Nandi Keshwar, Adi Shankara, Parasurama and Ayappa (said to Shiva’s son in Kerala). In the northern verandah, there is shrine of Shiv-Parvati facing each other’s back and looking east and west. This is a form of “Ardhanarishvara” form of Lord.
A devotee, who has the belief on all the Gods, can worship many Gods at one place. Vadakkunnathan temple is a great example of that.
Rage of Festival
It is a place famous for the famous annual celebration of “Pooram festival”. It is celebrated in the month of April-May. This festival is famous for its excellent firework presentation.
The main festival celebrated at the temple is Shiva Ratri which is one of major festival of Lord Shiva across the country. In the occasion, more than one lakh lamps are lighted around the temple. Many musical and cultural programmes are organized inside temple premise.
Another big festival which is celebrated in the temple is feeding of the elephants, which is called “Aanayoottu”. In India, elephants are referred as a incarnation of Lord Ganesha. This festival is practiced for above 20 years.
Vadakkumnathan Temple Timings
The Vadakkunnathan temple is open from worship from 3am to 11 am in the morning, and 4.45 pm to 8.30 pm in evening. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter into the temple. No particular dress code is to follow but yes, devotees are expected to wear decent dresses inside temple premises.
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