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Thrikkakkara Temple
Thrikkakara Temple Entrance
Thrikkakara Temple Entrance
Thrikkakkara Temple is located in Kerala
Thrikkakkara Temple
Thrikkakkara Temple
Location within Kerala
Proper name Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthy Kshethram
Coordinates 10°2′8″N 76°19′48″E / 10.03556°N 76.33000°E / 10.03556; 76.33000Coordinates: 10°2′8″N 76°19′48″E / 10.03556°N 76.33000°E / 10.03556; 76.33000
Country India
State Kerala
District Ernakulam
Location Thrikkakara
Primary deity Vamana(Vishnu), Thrikkakarayappan
Consort Perunchelva Nayagi
Shrine Pushkala
Architectural styles Dravidian architecture (Kerala style)

Thrikkakara Temple is one of the few temples in India dedicated to Lord Vamana. It is situated in Thrikkakara, a village panchayat near Kochi (formerlyCochin) in the state of Kerala, South India. It is located 10 km north east of Ernakulam between Thrissur-Ernakulam highway (NH 47), Seaport-Airport Road, Cochin University of Science and Technology and Model Engineering College. The temple houses lithic records of historic significance, and it finds mention in many of the hymns sung by the Tamil Vaishnavite Alwars, particularly Nammalvar of the 7th-9th century CE. It is also one of the 108 Divya Desams (divine places).[1][2]

The temple complex, which is enclosed in a large area in picturesque surroundings, holds the main sanctum dedicated to Lord Vamana. The sanctum sanctorum of the main shrine houses the idol of Maha Vishnu. The temple is under the administration of the Travancore Devaswom Board. The Temple festival is during Onam season, which falls on the month of August or September. The most important event of the religious calendar here is Onam. The Onasadya or the Onam feast is held in a grand manner in the temple with a large number of people cutting across religious barriers participating in it. In earlier times the Onam festival was jointly organized by the 61 Naduvazhis (or local rulers) under the leadership of the Maharaja of Travancore. Communal harmony continues to be the hallmark of the celebrations, with people belonging to different faiths and religions turning out in large numbers for the Sadya in keeping with the spirit of the festival.[3][4]


The Bhagavata Purana describes that Vishnu descended as the Vamana avatar to restore the authority of Indra over the heavens, as it had been taken by Mahabali, a benevolent Asura King. Bali was the grandson of Hiranyakshipu, the son of Prahlada. King Mahabali was generous, and engaged in severe austerities and penance and won the praise of the world. With the praise from his courtiers and others, he regarded himself as the all powerful in the world. Vamana, in the guise of a short Brahmin carrying a wooden umbrella, went to the king to request three paces of land. Mahabali consented, against the warning of his guru, Sukracharya. Vamana then revealed his identity and enlarged to gigantic proportions to stride over the three worlds. He stepped from heaven to earth with the first step, from earth to the netherworld with the second. King Mahabali, unable to fulfill his promise, offered his head for the third. Vamana then placed his foot and gave the king immortality for his humility. In worshiping Mahabali and his ancestor Prahláda, he conceded sovereignty of Pátála, the netherworld. Some texts also report that Vamana did not step into the netherworld, and instead gave its rule to Bali. In giant form, Vamana is known as Trivikrama. The legend is associated with the temple and also with Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur and Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram.[5][6][7]

Onam festival[edit]

The celebration of the Onam festival is the main religious event in the temple. The festival is celebrated over a period of ten days in the Malayalam month of Chingam. The temple is considered to be the centre of Onam celebrations over the world, as Thrikkakara is considered to have been the abode of the King Mahabali.[4] The temple houses the main deity Lord Vamana.[8][9] During the Onam celebration period, a pyramidal statue symbolizing Lord Vamana is installed as a symbol of honour at all other sites of the celebration, and named Onathappan or Thrikkakara-appan. The temple is the site at which the king Mahabali is said to have been sent to the underworld Patala by Lord Vamana with his foot, hence marking the genesis of the Onam festival. The etymology of the name Thrikkakara ('place of the holy foot') is also derived this way.

During the period of 10 days, the temple showcases performances in several cultural arts such as Chakyar Koothu, Ottamthullal, Kathakali and Patakam [9] as well as dance and musical performances such as Panchavadyam and Thayambaka. Each day also has its own ceremonial significance, and the temple authorities perform several ceremonial rites which involve the main deity and the other deities housed at the temple (namely Lord Ayyapa, Devi, Lord Krishna and Rakshassu). The Shiva temple located beside the main temple is also involved in these rites.

The Chuttu-Vilakku (surrounding lamps) lit up during Onam at Thrikkakara temple
Vamanamoorthy idol in the Aarattu procession at Thrikkakara temple

The temple festival begins on the first day (Atham) with the Kodiyettu ceremony, which is a flag-hoisting ceremony common in festivals in temples in Kerala.[10] Parallel to this, the festival is flagged off all over Kerala by a grand procession beginning at Thrippunithura near Kochi called Athachamayam. In olden days, the Kochi Maharaja would head a grand military procession in full ceremonial robes from his palace to the Thrikkakara temple.[11]

The festival ends on the 10th and final day, which starts off with a symbolic welcome of the Asura king Mahabali.[3] The closing of the festival is marked with the lowering of the flag and bathing of the idol, referred to as Aarattu.[10] A main highlight of the festival is the grand banquet, or Sadya, held on the last two days of the festival at the temple campus.[3][8][9] The feast has grown significantly in magnitude each year, and is currently attended by about 10000 people. People belonging to different faiths and religions turn out in large numbers for the sadya in keeping with the spirit of the festival.[3][8][9]

Seeveli at Thrikkakara temple

The Chaarthu is a form of decoration of the Vamana idol using mainly sandalwood paste, ornaments and clothing. On each day, the idol is decorated in the form of one of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu, including the Matsya (fish), Kurma (Tortoise), Varaha (boar), Narasimha (half-man half-lion), Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna, Kalki and Trivikrama (another form of Vamana).

The Pakalpooram is a grand procession held on the penultimate (9th) day of the celebrations. A similar procession, called Seeveli, is also held on the final day.[3] The procession involves leading the main deity Vamana on a ceremonial elephant around the temple campus, along with a group of about eight caparisoned elephants and accompanying Panchavadyam. The procession pauses at each of the gates of the temple (East, West, North and South), and proceeds to return the idol back to its inner sanctum. The procession is similar to the one held in festivities at the Guruvayur temple.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nammalvar : Poems and Biography". Poetry-chaikhana.com. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  2. ^ Elayavalli, Venkatesh K. "108 Divya Desam: A Virtual Tour". 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Grandeur marks Onam celebrations at Thrikkakkara temple". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2011-09-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Thiruvonam celebrated with enthusiasm". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2011-09-11. 
  5. ^ Parmeshwaranand, p. 1337
  6. ^ Hoiberg 2001, p. 217
  7. ^ "Sri Thiruvikrama swamy temple". Dinamalar. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  8. ^ a b c "5,000 partake of onasadya at Thrikkakara". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2005-09-16. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Ritual lunch marks Onam at Thrikkakara". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2010-08-24. 
  10. ^ a b "Aranmula temple festival begins with Kodiyettu ceremony". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2010-01-08. 
  11. ^ PTI (2010-08-14). "‘Athachamayam’ Festivities held at Tripunithura". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrikkakara_Temple — Please support Wikipedia.
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10 news items

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Sun, 05 Jul 2015 14:50:51 -0700

'Chenda' practice for 'Arangettam' in progress under Bijumon K Marar and Shekharan at Vaamanamurthi Vadyakalapeedom at Thrikkakara temple, in Kochi on Sunday | Suresh Nampoothiri. KOCHI: With the onset of monsoon and arrival of the month of ...
Times of India
Tue, 13 Aug 2013 02:41:32 -0700

KOCHI: The sanctum sanctorum of Siva at the ancient Thrikkakara temple is set to undergo a complete renovation. Works on making it a separate temple is progressing at a fast pace. All the upadevathas (sub-deities) will also be moved out of the present ...
Economic Times
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 21:30:00 -0700

The main centre of festival is at Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara Temple within Kochi City, believed to be the ancient capital of King Mahabali. All set to celebrate? FEATURED ARTICLES. 10 best tax-saving investments · What central government employees can ...
Economic Times
Wed, 18 Jun 2014 21:30:00 -0700

Festivals have gathered together millions of people on the streets, strengthen bonds with family and friends and made us believe in the triumph of good over evil. Religious festivals, melas, fairs create memorable moments and everlasting friendships.

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sun, 15 Sep 2013 20:50:36 -0700

Festivities at the Thrikkakara Vamana temple were in full swing with Pakal Pooram drawing a huge crowd on Sunday, Uthradom. The temple authorities are expecting around 15,000 people for the Thiruvonam feast on Monday. It will be the culmination of the ...
The Hindu
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 23:37:59 -0700

The nine-day Onam festival at Thrikkakara temple, seat of the Onam legend, ended on Wednesday with more than 10,000 people participating in the traditional Onasadya. The Thiruvonam day rituals and festivities started at the temple in the early hours ...
The Hindu
Wed, 25 Aug 2010 07:21:56 -0700

On the Thrikkakara temple premises, where the event was on, the fun element was infectious. Here was a policeman, in full uniform, waving a caricature of himself and an elderly woman, waiting patiently for her turn, as Sajjive sat, marker pen in hand, ...
koimoi (blog)
Thu, 24 Nov 2011 22:34:18 -0800

We are happy to see OUR CUSAT ADM & THRIKKAKARA TEMPLE IN THAT MOVIE. But i can't clearly grasped the Negative charactor & slang of Kearalite Heroine. we are expecting much more from YOU>>> thank yoou…………………… Muralee krishnan

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