Thirupuliyoor Pandava Temple dedicated to Sri Vishnu, Kerala built by Bheema!

Thirupuliyoor Temple
Thirupuliyoor Temple, one of the 108 Divya Desam Shrines is at Chengannur in Alapuzha district and the presiding deity is Mayapiran - Mahavishnu who is armed with traditional weapons in his four arms. The deity  is found in Nindra Thirukkolam and is  around 3 to 4 feet tall..His consort is Lakshmi (Porkodi Thayyar).  It is a temple  of great antiquity because Namazhwar, a great saint and Tamil poet made references to this temple. It means  the temple had been in existence before his time in  the 6th century or early part of 7th century. He composed 10 pasurams on this deity.  Yet another Saint Thirumangai Azhwar is said to have visited this temple during his period. So, this temple was quite popular in ancient time, attracting many pilgrims from far-off places in the south. There are  small shrines  to other Gods like Sastha, Shiva, Nagaraja, Nagayakshi, etc.
Gada used by Bheeman. Thirupuliyoor Temple
According to the legend, Sapta Rishis ( seven sages) - Atthri, Vasishtar, Kaasyapar, Gouthamar, Bharadwajar, Vishvamitra and Jamadagni  were saved by the lord - Emperuman  with the help of Indira from impending death. Virukshadharbi, the son of Sibhi Chakravarthy got angry when the Sapta Rishis refused to accept Dhaanam (free gift) from him. Infuriated king  had set the demon on them to finish them for good. Since the lord saved their lives,  they  did seva (service) here to the lord and, at last,  got salvation - they reached the lotus feet of Sri Vishnu.  Thus, they were free from rebirth. Bheema, physically  the most powerful among the Pandava brothers, it is believed,  got his powerful weapon Gada from Sri Vishnu here and with it he destroyed many of his adversaries  who were off the path of righteousness. 

The Srikovil  has  the main deity enshrined in it. The temple is built in Dravidian style. This  temple is one of the important  pilgrimage  centers in Kerala and is being visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. An interesting feature is you can also find the mighty weapon of Bheema, Gada, kept  on a raised platform in the temple premises  for public view. As to the authenticity of this weapon Gada, purportedly used  by Bheema, there are no clear  records either temple inscriptions or archaeological records  to confirm it and it is a contentious matter. 

Thirupuliyoor Templen  ePuja
In the outer prathakshna path there is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Bhuveneswari.  Every year Sapthaham is  held from Malayalam month Medam 13th (Usually it falls on April 26th) for Seven days. Annadanam is offered hereto  all devotees who  attend  the Bhgavatham recitation.  The annual festival is kavadi mahaotchavam.. Makara Samkramam day is a festive day for the people of this  area. On this day about six or seven hundred devotees  carrying  Kavady' on their shoulders come to Puliyoor Temple before noon. The Kavady Procession starts from the Pazhayattil Temple which is about 2 km  east of Puliyoor. It is a colorful one to watch. As for offerings (nivaidhyam) to the deity, 'Chathussatham' is the most important one here. An interesting fact is in the worship -Vazhipadu here due importance is given to number  101 hence offering is done in that number -  rice required is 101 Nazhi (a local measurement,  equal to 250 gms), 101 coconuts, 101 Kadali pazham and 101 Nazhi molasses, etc. Using  these ingredients a sort of liquid pudding is prepared for distribution  among the devotees. As in many temples of Tamil Nadu, nivaidhyam is made in the Madapalli - temple kitchen by specially appointed brahmins;  palpayasam (milk and rice boiled together with sugar). Aravana, Appam etc, are also offered as ''Nivaidhyam'.