THIRUVAMBADI SREEKRISHNA TEMPLE

Prathishta / Presiding Deity : Sreekrishna
Upadevatha / Sub Deities : Lord Ganesha, Dharmasastha
District: Thrissur
Thaluk: Thrissur
Panchayath: xx
Thanthri: Brahmasri Sankaranarayanan Namboodiripad - Puliyannur Mana
Trustee: Thiruvambady Devaswom Office


Governed by a Committee elected from the members of Thiruvambady Thattakom, the temple is a public property owned by the members. Unlike other famous temples, since the power for decision making lies with the Committee members, the developmental activities of the temple take place in an admirable speed. Apart from the usual temple activities, The Thiruvambady Devaswom (Devasthanam), as we call the administrative set up, is an integral part of the main stream of the Thrissur Town and is involved in social, educational and charitable activities too. Thiruvambady Devaswom is one of the two partners conducting an annual trade fair come educational, industrial & cultural exhibition under the style ' Thrissur Pooram Exhibition' for 50 days synchronizing with Pooram Festival. Naturally thus the Temple and Devaswom attracts a large number of tourists also.

Histroy
Most of the devotees might get surprised to know that Thiruvambady temple was earlier situated in a rural village called Edakkalathoor, located 20 Kms away in the north west direction of Trichur Town. The name of the temple itself shows the importance of "Lord Krishna". The surroundings of the temple, including the holy pond and Flag Stuff; had become an inevitable part of day today life of the villagers. The local administrator of that particular area was a respected gentleman called "Moose".

Approximately in the Sixteenth century , a girl belonging to the Moose family fell in love with a young man of another religious belief. This made a lot of tension among the villagers. Conflicts between these sects became a part of the village life. Some of the villagers foreseeing communal riot decided to save the idols of the temple from being destroyed. They detached the idol of Lord Krishna from the Sanctum Sanctorum and proceeded to Thrissur. They reached "Kandanathu Mana" ( also renowned as Kachanappilli Mana) seeking help. At that time only a couple were residing there and they were in great sorrow because of not having kids. When they saw the idol of Lord Sri Krishna they took the lord itself as their kid and consecrated the idol in a hall within the premises.

The couple were worshippers of Kodungaloor Bhagavathi ( Goddess Devi in Kodungaloor temple). Once while they were leaving the Kodungaloor Temple after the usual visit, tears rolled down their cheeks, because they felt that they would not be able to visit the temple again; becuase of the ill health of the Nambudiri. On reaching the Mana, the namboodiri (male brahmin) placed "olakkuda" (umbrella made of palm leaves) in the nadumuttam (a vacant place surrounded by rooms called "nalukettu"). Later he found that the 'Spirit' of the Devi has accompanied him on the Olakkuda.

He shifted the 'spirit' onto a pillar of that nadumuttam and started worshiping Devi. Astrologers advised Namboodiri to consecrate Bhagavathi on the left side of the sanctum of Lord Krishna. They did so since there were no children to the couple, they transfered the ownership of the Temple to the public. All the decisions on the temple affairs were taken by a group of local people. Since then people sacrificed a lot, personally and collectively for the upliftment of temple activities.

Shakthan Thampuran
In the eighteenth century, Sree Ramavarma (Shakthan Thampuran) became the ruler of the state of Cochin. He had a special affection towards Trichur. He cleared the teak forest surrounding Shree Vadakkunnathan temple and decided to place big water tanks made of granite stones to keep water for cows and animals moving the meadow. These tanks were made by the labourers in Viyyur, a place 3 Kms north of Trichur Town. Elephants were assigned with the job of drawing these tanks from Viyyur to Trichur. While passing through the temple , the elephants suddenly stopped and refused to draw the tanks. To enquire the reason, Shakthan Thampuran came to the spot and found a temple totally dilapidated and in a poor condition. Shakthan Thampuran decided to renovate the entire temple structure and suddenly elephants started their job of dragging water tanks to the Thekkinkad ground. Shakthan Thampuran started the world renowned Trichur Pooram and that turned out to be a healthy competition between Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples. Because of the special affection towards Lord Krishna, Shakthan Thampuran decided to place the golden idol of Lord Krishna on the "Kolam" (a placard made of wood decorated with gold templates featuring the idols of Gods and Goddesses for whom the festival is conducted), while the Thidambu was to be of Devi.

The Thiruvambady Temple and Thrissur Pooram festival are today almost synonymous to the general public. However the latter is the climax to the sustained round the year activities of divine worship aimed at providing a spiritual avenue for peace, tranquility and mental uplift of thousands of devotees far and near.

The temple is located 1 km north of the Vadakkunnathan Temple and 800m from Swaraj Round, on the Shornur Road. It is only 10mts drive from Thrissur Railway Station and Bus stand. The Punkunnam Railway station, which is a C-grade station, is only 250 mtrs from the temple. In physical appearance the temple is a small one; but in quality and immensity of rites of worship, it stands on a par with the Mahakshethras here.

The Deities
The main deity at Thiruvambady is Unnikrishna (Lord Krishna in infant form). Goddess Bhagavathy is consecrated in a shrine just on the left of Lord Krishna and worshipped with equal ardour. Lord Ganesha, Dharmasastha and the founders of the temple are worshipped in separate shrines outside the Nalambalam.

Deities known by Dravidian names – Kukshi Ayyapa, Manikanda, Ghandakarna, Raktheswari and Bhairava are also enshrined here, just outside the walls of the temple.

Advent of Krishna:
The idol of Krishna, now worshipped here, was originally the Parthasarathy idol in a temple at Edakkalathur, a sleepy hamlet, about 15km from Thrissur. The temple had the same name – Thiruvambady – and there were many shrines too, for Bhagavathy, Sastha etc. Some four centuries ago, when life and property in the village were threatened by communal conflagration, some villagers under the cover of darkness, surreptitiously carried the idol to Thrissur and entrusted the same to a pious Namboodiri couple at Kachanappilly Illam, 200mtrs from the present Thiruvambady temple. The childless couple considered it a blessing in disguise from the Almighty and as they fostered the idol for worship, they felt it was their own unborn child. The benevolent Lord who appears before a devotee in the form he wants, opted to cast aside Partha Sarathy’s whip and to pick up the flute in one hand and extended the other to receive the butter of devotion from the ‘foster parents’. A small temple in the form of a ‘sala’ was erected 200mtrs, South of Kachanappally Illam and ‘Unnikrishna’ was enshrined.

Bhagavathy:
The saga of Devi is no less enchanting. The Kachanappally couples were ardent devotees of Kodungallur Devi and the male used to foot a distance of 40km, up and down, every month, to have a darshan of the Devi at Kodungallur. With the passage of time and deteriorating health conditions, per force, he had to bid farewell to the Deity and plod homeward with a broken heart. However, just like a human mother, the Devi could not bear the pangs of separation from her dedicated devotee; her ‘Chaitanya’ followed the Bhaktha to his abode and consequently got enshrined on a granite pillar in the central courtyard within the Nalukettu. It is this consecrated pillar with the Devi ‘Chaitanya’ which is installed in the Sanctum to the left of Unnikrishna and worshipped as the compassionate Balabhadrakali (Kali as a child).

The aura of the divine duo-Unni and Devi – makes Thiruvambady a spiritual beacon of beatitude, like Brindavan, providing solace and succour to thousands of devotees from far and near.

The poojas and other thanthric rites are performed, as envisaged in Thanthra samuchaya, with meticulous care, and this has upgraded the small temple qualitatively to the stature of a Mahakshethra.

Important Festivals



Thrissur Pooram
The main attraction among the festivals of Thiruvambady temple is the world renowned Thrissur Pooram celebrated in the month of Medam { April-May}. The Pooram Festival is noted for the gorgeous parades of fully caparisoned elephants, percussion ensembles like Panchavadyam of Drum concerts and dazzling fire works. The Divine Durbar on the ramparts of the Southern Gopuram of Vadakkunnathan temple, in the evening hours of the Pooram day when the 15 strong decorated elephants of Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu standing face to face in an ocean of humanity, when the silken parasols on elephants are changed minute after minute, here after here is a sight which nowhere on earth can witness.

In the month of Chingam ( August – Sep) Ashtami Rohini- {The birthday of LordKrishna} is being celebrated.

In the month of Kanni ( Sept- Oct ) Navarathri festival is conducted to worship Vidya Saraswathy { Goddess of knowledge }

Every year in the month of Thulam, {November} a special pooja called Laksharchana is conducted. To commemorate the visit of Kuchela; the classmate of Krishna to the royal palace of Krishna at Madurai, Kuchela Dinam is being celebrated (December).

Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated in the month of Dhanu (December-January) on a grand scale. A week long Carnatic music festival precedes the Ekadasi festival.

In the month of Dhanu Goddess Bhagavathy is worshipped by celebrating Vela Festival.The consecration day of Lord Krishna is celebrated in the month of Makaram { Jan-Feb}.

Eight days long celebrations namely "Thiru Utsavam" to worship Lord Krishna is also being celebrated in the month of Kumbha { Feb – Mar}. Apart from these celebrations Bhagavatha Narayaneeya Sapthahams, devotional discourses, Chantings etc are also conducted.

Sree Krishna Jayanthi
Birthday of Sri Krishna is celebrated in the month of Chingom (August -September). The temple opens at 3.30 am and the last pooja suffixed by Siveli is conducted late in the night. The temple closes at about 1.20 am the next day. Apart from the usual festivities of floral and lamp decorations, between 8.30 am and 11.30 am, there is the Ushassiveli parading 5 decorated elephants and accompanied by Panchari Melam.

Navaratri
Navarathri (Dasra) is celebrated for 10 days in the month of Kanni (September. - October) with music concerts, bhajans, dances etc. staged in the evenings. Goddess Saraswathy is worshipped in a temporary sanctum for 3 days. Students and devotees bring their books to be placed for the Pooja and propitiate the Goddess of learning. Initiations of children to writing, known as Vidyarambham, is conducted on the morning of the 10th day (Vijayadasami).

Kalampattu
From Ist day of Vrischigom (mid November), for 50 to 55 days, Kalampattu forms an integral part of the daily rituals. Goddess Bhagavathy is depicted, on the floor within the nalambalam, using herbal powders of different colours, the temple oracle dances around the depiction and then blesses the devotees. The culmination of the Kalampattu is called Vela. The Vela procession of the deity with seven fully caparisoned elephants is conducted between 9 pm and 3 am The procession proceeds with 3 elephants and Panchavadyam ensemble towards the Vadakkunnathan Temple. As the procession reaches the fringes of the Temple maidan, the number of elephants is increased to 7 and Panchavadyam is replaced by Pandimelom, a drum concert. After the concert, the deity returns to the temple. Vela is celebrated in early January every year.

Vaikunda Ekadasi
The Ekadasi day in the Sukla Paksha of the month of Dhanu (December 15 - January 15) is celebrated on a grand scale. Elephant processions, circumambulating the temple, art performances, Oil lamp illuminations, panchavadyam, drum concert etc. mark the day. 10 days long Sangeethothsava (Festival of classical Music) precedes the Ekadasi Festival. Special Poojas sponsored by individuals and organizations start 13 days ahead of Ekadasi; These are called ‘Vilakku rites’.

Thiru Utsava
8 days festival to propitiate Lord Unnikrishna begins on the Pooyam aster of Kumbham (February- March), as the temple flag goes up on the gold covered flag mast. During the last two days the deity is taken out on elephant, with more elephants flanking the idol bearer, to the accompaniment of percussion ensembles. These two days are called Pallivetta & Aarattu.

Sahasrakalasam
The Thiru Utsava is preceded by purificatory rites known as ‘Dravya - Sahasra Kalasa’. The kalasa rites last for a week.

Prathishta Day
The day of consecration of the idol in the sanctum is also celebrated on a grand scale. This day is now on the Punartham aster in the month of Meenam (March - April). The Prathista day will change after every Naveekarana Kalasa, which is prescribed to be conducted once in every 12 years.

Rigveda Archana
Worshiping the Lord using Rigveda manthras and floral tributes, is a 8 day long yagna at the temple every year. Rigveda archana, usually precedes or succeeds Srikrishna Jayanthi, without clashing with Onam.

Lakshaarchana
Worshipping Krishna and the Devi, chanting the names of the deity one lakh times, is conducted on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month of Thulam (October - November).

Illamnira
Illamnira is the harvest festival celebrated on the first Sunday after the New Moon day in the Month of Karkitakam (July - August). The newly harvested paddy stems are brought in great reverence, to the temple, placed on a special pedestal and Lakshmi-Pooja conducted praying for prosperity to all. The sanctified paddy stems are distributed among the devotees for taking them to their houses as ‘Prasad’ and keeping them at their households.

Krishnanattom
Sampoorna Krishnanattam is staged at the temple every year. It is a 9 day programme. The days are fixed every year, as per convenience of the performers from Guruvayoor.

Bhagavatha Sapthaham
Two Bhagavatha Sapthahams are conducted under the auspices of the Devasthanam - one in connection with Navarathri and the second in connection with Vaisakhamaasa observance.

More Bhagavatha Sapthahams, Narayaneeya Sapthahams, Devi Bhagavatha Navahams etc. are conducted when sponsors come forward with such programmes as their offerings unto the Lord.

Ramayana
The Ramayana discourses are conducted for 30 consecutive evenings in the month Karkitakam (July - August).

Annadanam
Annadanam for 100 persons is a daily routine in the temple.

Large Scale Annadanams
Annadanam is considered to be one of the most sacred offering to propitiate the Lord. The Devaswom would like to make Annadanam a bigger daily routine, once necessary infrastructures are available. Devotees are free to partly or fully sponsor daily Annadanam or Annadanam on special occasions. As of now, large Scale annadanams are conducted on

(1) Sri Krishna Jayanthi
(2) Vaikunda Ekadasi
(3) Vela Festival
(4) 8 days of Thiru Utsavam
(5) Prathishta day
(6) Thrissur Pooram.


Kuchela Dinam
The first Wednesday in the month of Dhanu (this would be a day between December 15/16 and 21/22) is observed as Kuchela Dinam. This is a day of remembrance of Sudama’s visit to Sreekrishna, with a little beaten rice. The moment Krishna ate a part of that, Sudama got endowed with all prosperity. Well cooked sweetened beaten rice, in very large quantity, is offered to the Lord at a special Pooja at 3 p.m. and ‘Prasad’ distributed to devotees. Partaking in this offering is supposed to save the devotee from pangs of poverty.



Main offerings



Annadanam
Annadanam (Prasada Oottu) during the 8 days of Thiru utsavam, Sreekrishna Jayanthi, Vaikunda Ekadasi, Vela festival, Prathishta Dinam and Pooram finale have been a regular feature in the temple. During Bhagavatha-Narayaneeya Sapthaha Yajnas also the listeners are provided with food. Now it has been scheduled to start a daily annadanam on a limited scale (for 50 people) from the middle of March 2004. A day’s expenses is estimated as Rs.1000/-. Devotees are free to contribute any amount to the Annadanam fund.

Pooja Timings



Usually the day starts with the blowing of the conch at 4.00a.m. the sanctums are opened by 4.30 a.m. At 5 a.m. We can watch the ‘Vakacharthu’ of Lord Krishna, ‘Vakacharthu’ is the holy oil bath of the Lord. Oil is poured on the idol, followed by spreading of a herbal paste, a mild massage and then water bath and milk bath. After decorations, ‘malarnivedyam’ and ‘venna nivedyam’ are offered (malar is fried paddy and venna is butter) – Usha pooja (early morning nivedya etc.) is done by 7a.m. Usha rites culminates with Seeveli. During Seeveli the ‘Thidambu’, a metal replica of the stone idol, is carried on an elephant which circumambulates the temple nalambalam thrice, while ceremonial offerings of rice to Ashtadikpalakas etc. are duly performed.

The Ucha pooja is normally between 10 a.m and 10.30 a.m and is followed by Seeveli. The temple closes at 11 a.m.

In the evening the temple opens by 4.30 p.m. After the decorations (Alankarams) the Arathi is performed at dusk (between 6.15 p.m and 7 p.m). The Athazha Pooja (Night Pooja) is conducted by 8 p.m and is followed by Seeveli.

After the re-installation of the idol at the new sanctum a new item of Pooja has been introduced at our temple. It is 'Thrippuka' an incense offering, before sleep. unto the Lord.

The temple closes by 8.30 p.m.

This is the only temple in Thrissur which has a gold-covered flag-mast and which conducts Seeveli thrice, all time carrying the idol on an elephant.

The installation of the flag mast and introduction of daily Seeveli took shape less than five decades ago (1965).

Annadanam for 100 persons is a daily routine in the temple. The cost of one day?s Annadanam is Rs.2500.

Annadanam is considered to be one of the most sacred offering to propitiate the Lord. The Devaswom would like to make Annadanam a bigger daily routine, once necessary infrastructures are available.

Devotees are free to partly or fully sponsor daily Annadanam or Annadanam on special occasions.

Address



Thiruvambady Temple, Shornur Road, Thrissur - 22,
Phone: 91 487 233 4354

How to reach



Thiruvambady Temple is located on the Shoranur Road, 1 km north of Swaraj Round. Temple is easily accessible from Bus Station and Railway Station.

Temple Photo Gallery



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Additional Information



Melsanthi is Brahmasri Moothedath Sukumaran Namboodiri.

For more information about this temple visit http://www.thiruvambadytemple.com/