Koodalmanikyam Temple

I understand very few people would have known about a Temple is there for Sri Bharathazhvar in Kerala. But, I have read about this Temple in some Magazines before. So I was particular to visit the Temple of Bharathazhvar in Koodalmanickyam this time when we took a Pilgrimage to Guruvayur and other Temples in Trissur District.

We drove to Koodalmanicyam from Trissur after visiting the famous Vadakkunnathan Temple there. It was just 21 Kms. drive from Trissur. The road was good. We reached Irinjalakkuda by about 10.45 AM . This town I am told is known for its cleanliness in Kerala. Yes I agree with that statement. Seems to be a prosperous place with lot of shops and good market area, filled up with all the modern things.

Koodalmanickyam Temple is in the western part of the Town, walkable distance from the main Bus stand. The Temple welcomes you with its impressive eastern Gopuram (gate way) built in Kerala style. But only when you enter the gateway you understand how big the Temple is. It is a Magnificent Temple, situated inside Ten acres site with tall compound walls built all around. It has an outer quadrangle. And the Sanctum-sanctorum (Garbagruha) of Main Temple is a huge round shaped conical structure covered by copper plates. The six foot Kalasa (called Tazhikakudam in Malayalam) on the top adds to the majesty of the Gopuram.

This Temple is known for its art and architectural beauty. There are old paintings (murals!) on the walls. There are wood and stone carvings on the walls and pillars. We were there after mid-day Pooja. We could see Huge" Uruli" type of old bell metal containers full of "Payasam" and other prasadams being sent out for distribution which were offered to the main and only deity Sri Bharathazhwar. The deity itself is small in size glistening in the light of numerous oil lamps surrounding it and is popularly known as Koodalmanikyam of Sangameswara, supposed to be the Para Brahma moorthy in meditation waiting for the return of Sri Rama.Though the name of the place suggests confluence of two rivers, the Kurumali river and Chalakudy river have changed course and Irinjalakuda is no longer on any river bank, But the Arattu the holy dip of the idol at the close of the Annual Festival, is still held alternatively in these two rivers suggesting a previous connection with these rivers.

There is vast area of open space for Elephants and for conducting various Temple Arts like Kathakali and Koothus in the Temple.There is a big Tank within the Temple. This Temple is really great. I would request the readers not to miss this place when they visit Guruvayur or Trissur.


Regards,
Brahmanyan,
Bangalore.

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