June 25, 2010

Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Vadakkunnathan temple aka Vadakkumnathan temple is one of the largest and ancient Shiva temples in Kerala state of India, located at Thrissur. Thrissur is referred as the cultural capital of Kerala - the God's own country. Vadakkunnathan temple, situated on a small hillock, is believed to be 1000 years old. There is a legendary belief that this temple was built by Parasuram, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There is also a belief that the Hindu reformed Adi Shankaracharya was born after his parents prayed to Vadakkunnathan in this temple.

Vadakkunnathan temple aka Vrishabhachalam or Thenkailasam (meaning South Kailash) is a huge temple built in typical Kerala style of architecture. The temple has a lot of mural paintings depicting the incidents from Hindu epics and puranas.The venue of the famous Pooram festival is located well next to the temple.

The highlight of the temple is that the idol of Vadakkunnathan which is in the form of Shiv Linga is not visible outside. It is covered under the mount of ghee.This is formed by daily abhishek over the years. The idols of Shiva and Parvathi are seen behind the Shiv Linga. Near the main shrine of Vadakkunnathan, there are two main shrines - one for Rama and another for Hari Hara or Shankara Narayana (a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva). There is a separate shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a hunter (vettaikkaran).All these four shrines are located in the center mandapa.

Outside the mandapa, there are shrines for Krishna, Parasurama, Vrishabha, Simhodara, Adi Shankaracharya, and Dharma Shasta. There is also a huge Nandi statue in the verandah of the temple. You can also find the samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya in this temple. I am not sure why the samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya is located in this temple, as one is located in Badrinath too. Apart from that, there are some people who believe that Shankarachary attained samadhi in Kanchipuram town of Tamil Nadu state.

The temple, surrounded within a massive stone wall, has a huge area of around 9 acres. There are four temple towers in four directions. There is also a museum withing the temple for ancient wall paintings, wood carvings, and other forms of art pieces.

This is a great temple which you shouldn't miss to visit.

Happy travelling.

Site Name: Vadakkunnathan Temple
City Name: Thrissur
1) One of the famous Shiva temples of Kerala
2) Shiva idol covered with mount of ghee
3) 1000 year old temple

4) Adi Shankaracharya's samadhi is located

Location: 70 kms from Ernakulam, Kerala state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Thrissur
Nearest Airport: Cochin (around 50 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in the city

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1 comment:

  1. Shankaracharya and St. Thomas have some thing in common. - Samadhis. There is another Samadhi at Kalady.