Aranmula Parthasarathy temple, Kerala, yet another Pancha Pandava shrine built by Arjuna

Aranmula Parthasrathi temple, Kerala
Aranmula Parthasarathy temple near  Mallapuzhassery  Mavelikkara - Chengannur - Kozhenchery Road is  a popular Pandava temple built by Arjuna  on the banks of the river Pampa.  It is also one of the 108 ''Divya Desam'' shrines glorified by the Tamil Azhwar saints ( 6th -7th centuries). It is from here, the sacred jewels, called Thiruvabharanam of Ayyappan are taken ina  procession to Sabarimala  annually from Pandalam, and Aranmula  Also, the Thanka Anki,  an important golden attire of Ayyappa, donated by the erstwhile ruler of Travancore, is stored here and taken to Sabarimala during the Mandala puja season in late December. Aranmula, the venue of well-known   snake boat races held every year during  the Onam festival, takes festive kook during this time. as the festival is held on a grand scale. People in thousands make a beeline to this temple during the festival days.
Wall ounted deepa standAranmula Parthasrathi temple, Kerala Justdial
This popular temple built in Kerala style  with two-story gopuram  has four entrances on its outer wall and is built on an elevated platform that can be reached through a series of steps. The eastern tower is accessed through a flight of 18 steps and the northern tower  through a flight of  57 steps. The upper story in the gopuram has wooden trails and the hall is called Kottupura - from here the drums are beaten during festival time. The layout of this temple is just like other Kerala temples. Common features are  Nallambalam (including Srikovil with a conical roof), Namaskara mandabam, Balihara,  Chuttambalam (outer pavilion within the boundary wall),  etc. Devrapura (Madappalli in Tamil Nadu) is the temple kitchen where the Nivadhya offerings are made. Both the flag-post Dwajasthambam and the Deepastamba (oil light post) are in line with the Garbagriha,-Srikovil.    The Pampa River is on the west side abetting the  entrance steps to the temple.  One of the attractions in this temple is the presence of nice mural paintings on its walls dating back to early 18th century.
Viswaroopam of Sri Krishna.

Here, the main deity in the Srikovil is  Parthasarathy who is actually Sri Krishna who was the charioteer of Arjuna in the Khurukshetra war. The main idol  is 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. Krishna is in 
Arjuna in the chariot. Sri Krishna as Parthasarathy, Kurukshetra war Pinterest

Vishvarupa posture, the unique and rare Darshan Sri Krishna gave to Arjuna  during the Mahabharatha war.  Legend has it  Arjuna is believed to have built the temple in Nilakal Narayanapuram and later, for unknown reason, brought  the idol to Aranmula in a raft made with six pieces of bamboo. He was helped by a poor local boy to cross the river.  Hence the name Aranmula. Arjuna built the temple to get rid of his sin of having killed Karna (yet another son of Kunti Devi) in the great war. At this kshetram, it is said, that God Vishnu revealed the knowledge of ''Creation'' to Brahma, another Trinity God from whom the demons stole the Vedas. In the second prakara, there are shrines of Sastha, Yakshi, Nagaraja and Erangavil Bhagavathy, etc in the lower shrine.
Aranmula Parthasrathi temple  Kerala HolidayIQ
Garuda Vahanam Ezhunellippu is the main event during the ten day annual Utsavam/ festival. It commences on the Atham Nakshatra in the month of Makara and concludes ten days later on the Thiruvonam day.  The 5th day event is an important one called  Anchaam Purappadu. The deity is taken out in a procession  on Garuda Vahana.
Snake boat. Aramula Parthasrathi temple,  temple in the backdrop. Myoksha Travels
The Aranmula Boat Race that falls on the last day of Oonam festival is  a famous event. Annually, it is held on the  Pamba river close to the  temple. Yet another  festival celebrated here is the Khandavana Dahanam . It is  symbolic of the Khandavana forest fire of the Mahabharata. To make this festival interesting, a replica of a forest is created in front of the temple with dried plants, leaves and twigs. Then bonfire is made out of it.