Beautiful Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, Tripunithura, Kerala

Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, Tripunithura

Sree Poornathrayesa temple dedicated to lord Vishnu is in Tripunithura, Kochi, once the capital of the former Princely state  of Cochin (now Kerala state).  This place is famous for numerous Hindu temples, 
heritage arts and folklore.  The temple was first among 8 royal temples of erstwhile Kochi Kingdom. The deity - Vishnu who is Santhana Gopala Murthy here is believed to be the protector /guardian of the town of Tripunithura. It is strongly believed that childless couples visit this temple to be blessed with a child. Hence, this temple is a famous one. Lots of newly married couples also visit this temple. 

Bottom of the oil lamp, Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple,
A tall oil lamp,Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple,

This is the only temple  in South India where one can see  Lord Vishnu, known as 'Poornathrayeesa' sitting under the shade of five  hooded large  divine serpent, Ananthan or Aadhishesha. It is not like Ananthasayanam pose where the lord is in a reclining posture as we have seen in many Vishnu temples. It is believed to have been established by Arjuna. 

Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple.Alamy

According to the legend,  Lord Vishnu offered the idol of Sree Poornathrayeesa to Arjuna (the third of the five Pandava brothers), when  he requested the Lord to give rebirth to  ten children of a Brahmin. Arjuna took the ten children and the sacred idol in his chariot to a Brahmin. This temple was built in memory of this event. Hence, the Srikovil / Garbagraha (sanctum) here is in the shape of a chariot. Lord Ganesha took the responsibility of choosing a suitable place to install the idol of Vishnu.  Earlier, the idol was temporarily kept in a palace called   Poonithura Kottaram. which is situated on  the west of the main temple. Lord Ganesha has a separate shrine on the southern side of the Sanctum. This place was in the middle mustard  field and Arjuna used Mustard oil to light the lamp called Valia Vilakku (big lamp) which is in front of the idol. It is believed the burnt oil of this traditional lamp  has medicinal value.

The legend has it that Sree Poornathrayeesa,  who is the elder brother of the Goddesses of Chottanikkara and Pishari temples, is said to have married  a Namboothiri girl, Nangema, from Vadakkedathu Mana. The temple tradition has been that during the annual temple festival, the idols (Utchavars)  from Perumthrikovil (Lord Shiva) and  Pishari kovil (Lakshmi) visit here for a combined procession. This is locally known as Sankara Narayana Vilakku (Shiva and Vishnu) and Laksmi Narayana Vilakku (Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu). The ritual of Aarattu (the holy bath of the deity) of Sree Poornathrayeesa is held at the  tank of Chakkamkulangara Shiva Temple. The tank is in the  north-east of the temple.

This temple was rebuilt using concrete instead of traditional wood which is common among Kerala temples.  This redesigning was undertaken after a major fire  mishap in  1920. The sanctum was severely damaged because it was mainly a wooden structure.
Late Sri Eachara Warrier, a well-known expert in temple architecture, took care of the temple design in concrete. The concrete structure is covered meticulously   with copper plates, wooden panels and granite tiles to recreate the traditional temple features.

Thripunithura Poornathrayeesa Vishnu Temple. ePuja

The walls of Srikovil / sanctum sanctorim has heavily decorated  large brass sheets with statutes of gods and goddess, whereas  the roof is covered with copper sheets. A striking feature is  the entrances  to the  sanctum  is gold plated. The gopuram - tower is a two-story structure and the first floor has a small  mandapam / hall with  eight beautifully carved wooden pillars supporting it. 

Poornathrayeesa_Temple Panchari Melam en

Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple festival YouTube

The temple is famous for its annual  Utsavams or festivals. The main one is the Vrishchikoltsawam which is held every year in the month of Vrishchikam (November–December); it is the start of the  'Ulsava' Season in Kerala.  Vrishchikolsavam is a popular  eight day temple festival of Ernakulam District and one of the biggest temple festivals of Kerala. The events go on  24/7 and they include  traditional folk art forms by various groups or individuals such as Ottanthullal, Kathakali, Thayambaka, Chenda melam, Kacheri, etc. During this festival one can see many caparisoned elephants  lined before the temple.