5 Very Popular Temples in Kerala (2021)
Kerala, God’s Own Country, is a famous tourist destination, and tourists flock here from all over the world. The state of Kerala is known for its rich heritage, culture, traditions, brackish backwaters, and the many beautifully sculpted places of worship. In fact, there is a legend that Kerala was created by Lord Parasurama himself, which is why it is aptly called God’s Own Country. The heritage and culture of the state of Kerala are displayed prominently in the many renowned temples, and not only does it attract devotees from all over the country, but also many tourists who come here to see the breathtaking architecture, stunning colors, and the unique mural paintings.
Here are some of the most popular temples in Kerala.
5 Very Popular Temples in Kerala
The Following are 5 Popular temples in Kerala:
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams in India located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state. This temple is in the news for the last couple of years and is famous for the amount of wealth it has accumulated.
The temple is completely embellished in gold-plated covering and is only open to Hindu devotees. The temple is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, who was one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. The temple is also one of the most important centers of Vaishnava worship for those following Vaishnavism.
The temple was initially built as a replica of the Adikesavaperumal Temple in Thiruvattar, and it is even today one of the most well-preserved antiquity in Hinduism. Even though there is a lot of mystery surrounding the origins of this temple, devotees believe that the temple has been in existence since the very first day of the Kali Yuga, which was over 5000 years ago. In fact, this temple even has a mention in the Bhagwad Gita. The scripture details how Lord Balarama, the older brother of Lord Krishna, frequented the temple, took a bath at the Padmatheertham, and also made various offerings to the deity here.
The temple has been in the news for the many vaults it has that have sparked many mysteries. These vaults have been labeled for the purpose of documentation – A, B, C, D, E, and F vaults. All the vaults, except vault B, get opened at least eight times a year. The mysterious contents of vault B have got priests, historians, and even archaeologists have a firm belief that the contents inside vault B are incredibly sacred, and it could be risky to open the vault.
It is essential to know that there is a strict dress code to visit this temple. Women must be wearing a saree, skirt-blouse, or half-saree, or a set-mundu. Younger girls under the age of 12 years can wear gowns. Men are required to wear a mundu or dhoti and keep their upper torso bare. Dhotis are also available to take on rent at the entrance.
These rules have witnessed slight relaxation in recent times to avoid any inconvenience to the devotees, especially ones visiting from outside of India.
The best time to visit the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is from October to November or between April to May.
2. Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple in Makaravilakku
Dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, this is one of the most revered and famous temples in all of Kerala. Being one of the Sastha temples in Kerala, the temple is located on top of the Sabarimala Hill and at the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Over 50 million devotees visit the temple every year. The temple is also famous for its communal harmony with the local Vavar Thara, who is a sub-deity and was a Sufi saint. It is located on the premises of the temple. Makar Jyothi is one of the most important festivals celebrated at the temple.
Visitors of all caste and religion are allowed to visit the temple. Since the temple is situated on the hill, devotees have to trek up to the mountains from Plapalli, proceed onwards to Aangaamuzhi, and then to Muzhiyaar, to finally reach the Sabarigiri Road.
The best time to visit the temple is from November to January.
3. Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur
The Vadakkunnathan Temple is a famous temple in Kerala that is hailed for being an architectural wonder made from wood and stone. It is also one of the oldest temples in Kerala, standing in the middle of a nine-acre walled patch of lush greenery. The temple is centuries old and is a symbol of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The temple has also received the Award of Excellence at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The temple is also famous for its vast collection of awe-inspiring Mural paintings, some of them being over 400 years old. This massive temple structure, over 1000 years old, also has a huge historical structure of the Nataraja Mural located near the main gate.
You can take a walk around the peaceful surroundings of the temple to take in the rich mix of architecture, culture, history, and heritage of the place. The structure still has much of its original colors without the need for much preservation.
The revered shrine of Vadakkumnathan is also located on the premises and covered completely under ghee for many centuries. There has been not even a single incidence of the ghee melting in the last so many years.
The beautiful shrines of Shankaranarayan and Mahavishnu are also situated in the temple. The premise also features one of the biggest dance halls in Kerala, known as Koothambalam, which is made in typical Keralan architecture.
This temple is also open only for Hindus. Any non-Hindus are not allowed inside the premises, but they can stand outside and take photos from there.
4. Ananthapura Lake Temple in Kasargod
The beautiful Ananthapura Lake Temple is a Hindu temple built in the middle of a lake. This unique temple is located in the Ananthapura Village in Kasargod. This holy temple is dedicated to Ananthapadmanabhan Swami, and it is believed that Swami Ananthapadmanabhan settled down at this location first and then moved to Thiruvananthapuram through a cave that is located to the right-hand side of the lake. This cave is believed to be a natural structure that separates the towns of Thiruvananthapuram and Ananthapura. This is why both these temples have the same name of the same deity.
The Ananthapura Lake Temple is the perfect architectural example of nature living in harmony with each other. In fact, there is even a famous crocodile that visits the temple along with humans to offer their prayers and then goes away peacefully. The crocodile, Babiya, is renowned far and wide for never attacking humans when many humans use the tank it lives in for taking a bath. At the same time, the humans who visit this temple also never treat Babiya differently, and both exist peacefully.