Temples In Kerala
The temples of Kerala are dedicated to various gods and goddesses from the Hindu mythology. An architectural delights, these temples are carved in the traditional style. Some of the significant temples in Kerala include the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Sabarimala Temple,Vadukkumnathan Temple, Vaikom Temple, Chottanikkara Temple, Mannarshala Temple, Ananthapura Lake Temple and the Ambalapuzha Temple. These temples reflects the religious fervor of people of Kerala. Kerala temples find expression in a mixed medium of stone, brick, laterite and wood this unique approach to temple building resulted in a distinctive form of architecture, laying stress on sanctity, simplicity and a prevailing naturalism which marked the worship in temples. The earlier temples of Kerala were primarily for Shiva and Vishnu or their manifestations (Krishna, Parasurama, Rama, Vamana). Swayampradhana shrines to Ganesha, Kartikeya are of later origin.
Ananthapadmanabhaswami Temple at Tiruvananthapuram (Kerala)
This temple has been sung by the Vaishnavite Alwar Saints. This is the largest temple in Kerala and it exhibits several Dravidian architectural features, particularly the massive Gopuram. Vishnu is worshipped in a reclining pose and is seen through three doors. Much of the structure today is a result of renovations of the 18th century.The mandapams and the corridors have fine works of sculpture and the outtside of the sanctum is decorated with murals. This temple has been sung by the Tamil Alwar Saints and is revered as one of the 108 shrines held sacred in the Sree Vaishnavite tradition.This temple has been patronized by the Travancore royal family and the rulers of Travancore have traditionally ruled over their province, only as subordinates to the Deity Padmanabha. The Royal Composer and King Swati Tirunal has composed several kritis (songs) in praise of this deity.
Ayyappan Temple at Sabarimala near Kottayam (Kerala)
Deities: Ayyappa - Saastha
This shrine attracts millions of pilgrims in Nov,Dec and Jan. Dedicated to Dharma Saastha - in the form of the son of Shiva and Vishnu (Mohini) this is located in the mountains of Kerala.Strict are the austere requirements for the pilgrimage which involves a steep climb and culminates in the 18 steps leading to the shrine.
Kozhikode Tali Temple at Kozhikode (Kerala)
This ancient temple dedicated to Shiva has good stone and wood sculptures. There is also a beautiful image of Krishna in this temple.
Mammiyoor Temple near Guruvayoor Thrissur (Kerala)
Deities: Mahadeva (Shiva)
This is a small temple dedicated to Shiva, whose image is said to have been existing in Guruvayoor, even prior to the installation of the image of Krishna. It is located near the famous Krishna temple.A visit to this shrine is considered mandatory for all those worshipping at the Krishna temple.
Aranmula near Pathanamthitta (Kerala)
Deities: Parthasarathy - Krishna
This temple dedicated to Parthasarathi - Krishna is said to date back to the days of the Mahabharata. The Vaishnavite Alwar Saints have sung its glory. This temple is also associated with water sports involving snake boats.
Purnathrayeesa Temple at Tripunithura near Cochin (Kerala)
This temple is dedicated to Krishna which attracts several pilgrims. The old shrine was destroyed by a fire in 1920 and a new one was erected in its place.
Sree Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha near Aalapuzha (Kerala)
Ancient temple dedicated to Lord Krishna situated 8 miles south of Alleppey. This temple is famous throughout Kerala for the milk porridge, Palpayasam served here. At Karumadi, near by, is an image of the Buddha, a relic of the times when Buddhism flourished in the State. Neighbouring Alleppey, with its beautiful backwaters and canals has a water carnival and Regatta conducted every year as part of the Independence Day celebrations.
Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor near Trissur (Kerala)
Deities: Krishna - Guruvayoorappan
This is one of the most famous sites of pilgrimage sites in Kerala. The temple traces its origins back to antiquity, although the structure that stands today dates back to the sixteenth century. The worship protocol followed here is said to have been established by Adi Sankaracharya the great religious leader. Murals adorn this temple. The flagstaff is made of a single piece of teak wood and is covered by bell metal plated with gold. Millions visit this shrine.
Taliparamba Shiva Temple at Taliparamba near Cannanore (Kerala)
This temple is a magnificient structure covered with brass plates. The current structure dates back to the 16th century.
Tiruvalla Temple at Tiruvalla near Alappuzha (Kerala)
This temple is said to date back to the pre Christian era. It has beautiful corridors made with granite slabs. The flagstaff made of granite is a colossal structure. This temple also has a natural pool in its precincts and it has been sung by the Alwar Saomts.
Vadakkunnathan Temple at Trissur (Kerala)
Deities: Vadakkunnatha (Shiva)
This temple dates back to the time of Adi Sankara the religious leader. The presiding deity Shiva worshipped in the form of a Lingam is covered with mounds of ghee which does not melt despite the lamps nearby, and which has not decayed over centuries.This is a vast temple with lofty towers and is the site of the famous Pooram festival which attracts thousands.
Vaikom Mahadevar Temple at Vaikom near Kottayam (Kerala)
Deities: Mahadeva (Shiva)
This temple is said to have been built by Parasurama. The current structure dates back to the sixteenth century. Vast in construction, it is artistically very impressive. This temple has the tradition of feeding devotees on a mass scale.t is considered to be special to visit Vaikom, Ettumanoor and Kaduthrutti nearby on the same day.