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The Great Vadakkunnathan Temple In Thrissur, Kerala

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By Author: Neenu K.A
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The significant heritage and legend are immersed in the wind of Kerala. The eminent Vadakkunnathan Temple is located in the heart of Thrissur town. This ancient Vadakkunnathan Temple is dedicated to lord shiva. The temple possesses a calm and serene atmosphere and becomes an ideal destination to spend some quiet time in the temple complex. The Archeological Survey of India selected twelve places in Kerala to be included in the world heritage site of UNESCO in the year of 2012. The Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur is one of the lists of world heritage sites.
The Vadakkunnathan Temple stands on a hillock amidst the city and allures every attention with great pride. A massive stone wall surrounds the temple complex.

The Architectural Design of the temple

The architectural design of the Vadakkunnathan temple follows a classic style of the state. The four corners of the temple have four towers. Along with this, there is a sacred stage for performing art forms and rituals. Every inner wall of the temple is embellished and sketched with dictating episodes of the great Mahabharata, and mural paintings. The vignettes and shrines are articulated out of wood. Every year when the moon is seen with the 'pooram star' the massive and flourishing Thrissur Pooram is being celebrated with jollification and revelry. The Thrissur Pooram festival is held in the Thekkinkadu Maidan.

Legend Behind the Vadakkunnathan Temple

You can explore the Vadakkunnathan Temple in an even more beautiful way if you know the bygone history of the temple. According to the Brahmanda Purana, the temple was uncovered by Parashuram. According to Hindu mythology, Parashuram is believed to be the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. And he was born to bring an end to the evil Kshatriya warriors. After killing the Kshatriyas Parashuram felt himself down, so to clean himself and balance his deeds he performed ‘yogya’. Yogya is referred to performing puja in the presence of Agni or fire that also includes offerings to Brahmins and he donated all his land in the offer and decided to retire to some unknown place. Appropriately he got a favor: a piece of land rising up through the sea. This piece of land is God's Own Country called Kerala. When the Parashuram requested Lord Shiva in Kailash to once become visible on the land raised above. As per this request, Shiva with his family stopped in Thrissur and then vanished leaving behind Shiva lingam under a banyan tree. At this particular place divine, Shiva lingam was worshipped and it is known as Sri Moola Sthana. Later the king of Kochi decided to build a temple and shift the lingam to the temple. And this temple is none other than the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur.

The main deity Shiva lingam is prepared and covered with ghee. The ghee has covered the idol as a 16 feet high mound. The idol is ornamented with gold and there are serpents at the top. This particular idol resembles the snow-covered mount Kailash. The ghee in the idol had not been cleaned for years. Gradually it accumulated and took this shape. The surprising factor is that it never melts in summer and there is not any foul smell. Lord Rama, Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, and Nandi are the other idols that are worshipped in Vadakkunnathan Temple.

From 4 AM in the early morning till 11 AM and then again from 4:30 PM to 8:20 PM in the evening are the visiting hours of the temple. The people who do not belong to the Hindu religion are not allowed to enter the temple. Rituals are performed on a daily basis. The idol of Lord Vadakkunnathan is not taken out for any possessions. During the Mahashivratri, a lot of great rituals are held at the temple with many cultural programs. A plethora of lamps is lit during the Mahashivratri festival. Along with the Thrissur Pooram, Aanayoottu at the Vadakkumnathan Temple is a ritualistic feeding ceremony of elephants.

Reaching Vadakkunnathan Temple

The Vadakkunnathan Temple is located 2-kilometers away from the main city of Thrissur. Thrissur Railway Station is also located near to the temple. Along with the Vadakkunnathan Temple, there are a lot of palaces and heritage spots in Thrissur city. Thrissur city is connected with all other cities. Both KSRTC and private buses are available to Thrissur.

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