Kerala Temples and Tourist Attractions

Kerala, also known as the God’s Own Country, has very distinct temple architecture. The Keralite temples are an amalgam of stonework, woodwork, stuccowork and painting – harmoniously blended into a structure vibrant with traditions of the religion. A colorful calendar of festivals, the participation of Elephants in several festivals, and worship protocols are the other distinct features of temples in Kerala.

The Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple dominates Thriruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It is one of the grandest temples in Kerala and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It demonstrates a splendid example of Dravidian architecture. It consist a seven-storey Gopuram, exquisite stone carvings and pavilions and beautifully sculpted pillars. The image of Lord Padmanabha reclining on Anantha is viewed through three doors opening on the sanctum. It is one of the Divya Desam shrines of Kerala.

Varkala, another pilgrim centre, housing the Janardhana Temple is about 55 km north of Thiruvananthapuram. Chengannur Mahadeva Temple in Chengannur, also known as the Chengannur Bhagwati Temple has a circular sanctum. The western side of the sanctum enshrines Shiva, while the eastern side enshrines Parvati. The Shivalingam is gold plated, bearing an image of Ardhanareeswara.

Another very popular pilgrim centres in South India; Sabarimalai enshrines Sastha or Lord Ayyappan. North of Kollam is Haripad, home to the Subramanya Temple. The imposing image of Subramanya at this temple is said to have been worshiped by Parasuram. Near Haripad, Mannarsaala Temple is a centre of snake worship and is dedicated to Naga Devatas.

The Ambalapuzha Temple, a well known Krishna temple in Kerala is located south of Alappuzha. Lord Krishna is worshiped here as Unnikrishna or the infant Krishna, although the image enshrined here is that of Parthasarathi.

The Tirunakkara Mahadeva Temple in Kottayam is built in typical Kerala style. The Ettumanur Mahadevar Temple, one of the most celebrated Shiva Temples in Kerala is about 12 km from Kottayam. It has a circular sanctum covered with a conical with a conical copper-plated roof, crowned with a kalasam. It has some exquisite murals.

Near Kottayam, Kumaranallur is home to a Bhagwati Temple, with elements of Dravidian architecture. The city of Ernakulam is home to the Mahadeva-Shiva Temple and near to it the town of Chottanikkara. The temple here enshrines Bhagawati- the mother Goddess, one of the most popular deities in Kerala. Also in the vicinity is the Poornatrayesa Temple at Tripunittura.

About 33 km south to Ernakulam is Vaikom. The Vaikom Mahadevar Temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an elliptical sanctum here is covered with a copper plated roof, crowned with a golden kalasam. The mukhamandapam in front of the sanctum houses Nandi.

Udayanapuram, near Vaikom, enshrines Subramanya and is closely associated with the Vaikom Mahadevar Temple and the Kumaranallur Bhagawati Temple. Another prominent temple of Kerala, Kodunggallur is home to the Bhagwati Temple. Near to Kodunggallur is Thiruvanchikkalam, the only Shivastalam in Kerala which has been mentioned in the hymns of Nayanmars. It has an image of Nataraj.

Triprayar, near to Irinjalakuda is a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Rama. This temple is closely associated with the temple dedicated to Lakshmana at Moozhikkalam, near Alwaye, Bharata at Irinjalakuda and to Satrugna at Payammel.

About 14 km north east of Irinjalakuda, is Tirukkaatkarai, home to the ancient Vamanamurthy Temple. This is one of the Divya Desams.

Vadakkunnathar Temple, one of the most prominent landmarks of Thrissur has three shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Rama and Lord Sankaranarayana. The massive Koottambalam or theatre hall here is said to be a one of its kind masterpiece, crowned with three kalasams.

About 16 km to Shoranur, en route to Guruvayur, is Tiruvinjikode. This is one of the Divya Dasams and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the four images of Lord Vishnu in this temple were installed by the Pandavas.

Guruvayur, near Thrissur enshrines the youthful form of Lord Krishna. It also has shrines of Durga and Sastha.It is one of the most popular pilgrim destinations of South India.

North to Thrissur is Tiruvilvamala, dedicated to Lord Rama and Lakshamana. To the east of the Temple is the Punarjanani Cave. About half a mile north is River Bharatapuzha, considered to be the Ganges of Kerala. On the bank of river Bharatapuzha, Tirunavaya Temple is considered as important as Varanasi. The presiding divinity here is Navamukundan. There are sub shrines to Ganapati and Bhagavati. Across the river are shrines to Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma.

The ancient temple in Kozhikode is dedicates to Lord Shiva. North to Kozhikode, Tellicherry is home to the fortress-like TIruvangad Rama Temple. In this temple, an image bearing the attribute of Vishnu is considered to be Rama.

The Kanjiragat Shiva – Vaidyanatha Temple, at Taliparamba, near Cannanore is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It regards Shiva as the divine physician or Vaidya and the water from the abhishekam ceremony, offered as prasadam, is believed to have medicinal properties.

The Rajarajeshwara Temple is also locates at Taliparamba. It is believed that Lord Rama, during his victorious return to Ayodhya from Lanka, stopped here to worship Shiva.

The Trichambaram Krishna Temple, located near Taliparamba is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It consist of a two storeyed sanctum of this small temple has beautiful murals and carvings from the 15th and the 16th centuries. You can visit all these temples with Hindu Pilgrimage Tour Packages.

  1. One Response to “Kerala Temples and Tourist Attractions”

  2. By Victory on Aug 14, 2011 | Reply

    That’s relaly thinking out of the box. Thanks!

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