Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple



History :

Sree Poornathrayesa temple  is situated in Tripunithura, Kochi, the capital of the former Kingdom of Cochin. The temple is considered among the greatest temples in Kerala and was first among 8 royal temples of erstwhile Kochi Kingdom. The deity was also considered as National deity of Cochin and protector guardian of Tripunithura.

The temple is famous for its yearly Utsavams or festivals. The main one is the Vrishchikoltsawam, which is conducted every year in the month of Vrishchikam (November–December), kicking off the ‘Ulsava’ Season in Kerala. And this Vrishchikolsavam is the biggest temple festival in the world followed by the koodalmanikyam ulsavam iringalakkuda ( Thrissur pooram is not an utsavam but it is a pooram so not counted as utsavam ) and one of the biggest majour festivals in the world. The deity in this temple is Lord Vishnu who is in the form of Santhanagopala Murthy. It is well believed that childless couples will be blessed with children on praying Poornathrayesan.
Traditions say that Lord Vishnu offered the idol of Sree Poornathrayeesa to Arjuna (the third of the five Pandava brothers), when he sought the help of the Lord to give rebirth to the ten children of a Brahmin. The ten children and the sacred idol were taken by Arjuna in his chariot and he handed over the children to the Brahmin. In memory of this event, a temple was built with a sanctum-sanctorum in the form of a chariot. Lord Ganesh was sent by Arjuna to search a holy place for the installation of Lord Vishnu. Earlier, the idol was kept in a palace which is situated at the west of the main temple and now it is known as Poonithura Kottaram.

Lord Ganesh, who was attracted by the holiness of the ancient Vedic Village, Poornavedapuram (now Tripunithura), tried to occupy the place for himself. However, Arjuna pushed him away to the southern side of the sanctum and installed his idol there. This is different from the usual custom, where Lord Ganesh has a separate shrine at the south-western side of the inner prakaram. As the place was bounded by mustard fields, Arjuna used some mustard seeds to get oil for lighting lamp. You can see a Valia Vilakku situated in front of the idol. Folks say that the burnt oil of this traditional lamp contains medicinal value.

Legends reveal that Sree Poornathrayeesa is the elder brother of the Goddesses of Chottanikkara and Pishari temples. It is also believed that the Lord was married to a Namboothiri girl, Nangema, from Vadakkedathu Mana. During the annual temple festival occasions, deities from Perumthrikovil (Lord Shiva) and Pishari kovil (Lakshmi) visit here for a combined procession. This is locally called as Sankara Narayana Vilakku (Shiva and Vishnu) and Laksmi Narayana Vilakku (Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu). The Aarattu (the holy bath of the deity) of Sree Poornathrayeesa takes place at the temple pond of Chakkamkulangara Shiva Temple, which is situated north-east of the Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple.

The MOOLASTHAANAM or ‘Origin’ is located in Poonithura Sree Krishna Temple, which is 1.5 km west of Sree Poornathrayeesha temple. The then ruler shifted the deity from the place to the existing location.

Festivals :

1 Ambalam Kathi Ulsavam Is a unique festival which is observed to commemorate this incident.Thousands of devotees gather at the temple on this special day which falls in the month of Thulam. After the evening ‘deeparadhana’, they set fire to camphor arranged around the temple. All the lamps are lit and it gives off a feeling that the entire temple is on fire.

However, this is not the only festival in this temple. The vrishchikolsavam, which is in late November s the main festival at this temple. …

2 VRISHCHIKA ULSAVAM (MAIN FESTIVAL) This festival usually starts in the November–December time frame every year. The festival lasts for 8 days, with events running 24/7. Events feature traditional folk art forms such as Ottanthullal, Kathakali, Thayambaka, Chenda melam, Kacheri, maddalappattu, kombupattu, kuzhalppattu. Stalls are set up in front of and behind the temple selling food and various articles.

Apart from this, the temple also host 2 other main festivals and other small celebrations as well every year. The birthday of Sree Poornathrayeesha falls on “Uthram” Nakshathra of Malayalam month “Kumbham” ( Feb-March), which is preceded by PARA UTSAVAM, where people give special offerings to the temple. Every year in Aug- Sep, there is another festival called “MOOSHARI UTSAVAM” in commemoration of the sculptor who had moulded the divine image of SREE POORNATHRAYEESAN. It is believed the sculptor himself merged with the divine to give life to the amazing mould of Poornathrayeesha which is still used in the sanctum.

Lakshmi Naryana Vilakku, Uthram Vilakku and Ombathanthi Utsavam are other main celebrations every year.

Mythology :

Once upon a time, in Dwapara Yuga, a brahmana’s wife gave birth to a child. Unfortunately, however, just after being born and touching the ground, the child immediately died. The brahmana father took the dead child and went directly to Dwaraka to the palace of the King. The brahmana was very upset because of the untimely death of the child in the presence of his young father and mother. Thus his mind became very disturbed. Formerly, when there were responsible kings, up to the time of Dwapara-yuga, when Lord Krishna was present, the king was liable to be blamed for the untimely death of a child in the presence of his parents. Similarly, such responsibility was there during the time of Lord Ramachandra.

The king was so responsible for the comforts of the citizens that he was to see that there was not even excessive heat or cold. Although there was no fault on the part of the King, the brahmana whose child had died immediately went to the palace door and began to accuse the King as follows.

“The present King, Ugrasena, is envious of the brahmanas!” The exact word used in this connection is brahma-dvisah. One who is envious of the Vedas or one who is envious of a qualified brahmana or the brahmana caste is called brahma-dvit. So the King was accused of being brahma-dvit. He was also accused of being satha-dhi, falsely intelligent. The executive head of a state must be very intelligent to see to the comforts of the citizens, but, according to the brahmana the King was not at all intelligent, although he was occupying the royal throne. Therefore, he also called him lubdha, which means greedy. In other words, a king or an executive head of state should not occupy the exalted post of presidency or kingship if he is greedy and self-interested. But it is natural that an executive head becomes self-interested when he is attached to material enjoyment. Therefore, another word used here is visayatmanah.

Rate and write a review