July 24, 2010

A 8th century temple of Lord Krishna - Ambalappuzha, Kerala, India

Ambalappuzha is a small town located near Alappuzha in Kerala state of India. Ambalappuzha is famous for its ancient and beautiful Krishna temple. Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna temple was built by the local ruler named 'Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran' in 790 AD. This temple is associated with the famous temple of Guruvayurappan. During the raids of Tipu Sultan in the year 1789 AD, the idol from Guruvayurappan temple was brought to Ambalappuzha Krishna temple for safe keeping.

The 'paayasam' (a kind of sweet pudding made of rice and milk) served in this temple is very famous among the devotees, and it has an interesting legend behind this. Once, Lord Krishna appeared in the form of a sage and challenged the local king on chess game. It was decided that whoever loses the game had to pay rice to the winner. The amount of grains (rice) would be determined using the chess board in the following manner. Once grain of rice would be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, and so on. Every square would have double the number of grains of its predecessor. The king lost the game to the Lord, and he had to pay trillions of tons of rice to the Lord, as the number of grains were geometrically increasing for every square and the chess board had 64 squares. The king didn't have enough grains in his kingdom to pay the Lord. Hence, it was agreed that the kind would server paayasam to the devotees everyday till the debt is paid off.

Ambalappuzha Krishna temple is big and built in a typical Kerala style. However, there are no other shrines or idols found in the temple except for Krishna in the main shrine. As usual, the Krishna idol is beautiful. You cannot find the entire body of Krishna idol in this temple. Krishna idol is found only till the neck similar to that of Bhagavathy idol in other Kerala temples.

Visit this temple to taste the sweet paayasam.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Sri Krishna Temple
City Name: Amballapuzha
Highlights:
1) 8th century temple
2) One of the important and oldest temples for Lord Krishna in Kerala

Location: 13 kms from Alappuzha, Kerala state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam
Nearest Airport: Cochin
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Alappuzha
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Kottayam/Cochin
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Alappuzha/Amballapuzha



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