Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple, Kerala built by the last Pandava brother Sahadeva

Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu temple , Kerala

At Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple, one of the five ancient shrines in the Kottayam-Alappuzha-Pathanamthitta area of Kerala,  the main deity is Mahavishnu in standing posture - in Vishvarupa pose facing east. The  presiding deity is 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. Here, he is called Athpudha Narayanan, (also known as as "Amirutha Narayanan").  His consort is Karpagavalli. The main deity is  made of an unusual black stone  locally called Aanjana-kall. This temple is glorified in  the Nalayira Divya Prabhandam (4000 devotional hymns), the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by saint-poets Azhwars. A well-known  Vaishnavite saint-poet  Nammazhwar wrote 10 Pasurams on the deity here. This  temple has a two-story gopuram (tower), the top one having wood trails covering Kotturpara, a hall  meant for beating drum during festival period.

Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu temple , Kerala TemplePurohit

As in other temples,  the flag-post/ Dwajasthambam and the Deepstambh fall in the same axis with the main temple that has a rectangular plan. The sanctum has a conical roof set with terracotta tiles with a granite-base  and the Nalambalam connected to the sanctum has pillared halls and corridors. The temple has excellent wood carvings on pillars, etc depicting various Puranic episodes. The two levels of this temple have projected slanting tiled roofs to drain out  excess rain water during the rainy season, a common feature of many Kerala temples. The advantage is rain water won't enter the inner parts and the wooden  structures will be safe. The  temple features are similar to those in another temples of Kerala.  The second prescient  has shrines dedicated to Sri Shasta, Nagaraja, Yakshi,  Erankavil Bhagavathy, Balarama, etc.
The unusual feature at this temple is  Kutakkuttu, a unique dance form native to this place,  where ladies hold an umbrella while dancing  during worship.

Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu temple , Kerala

Kazhuvetti Kallu,Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu temple.

Above image:  The small rectangular column with a human body is an addition in the past. It is a rare feature in any temple and may increase your curiosity.  It is a symbolic warning to people who want to enter the temple at night once it is closed after the last puja (prayer) - Ardhajamma puja. It means the deities in the temple are put to rest and the temple will be opened only in the morning. Once an arrogant  ruler got into serious problem after entering the temple  when the temple was closed upon completion of the last puja to the deity.  In the wake of it, the gatekeeper was beheaded and the king who wronged fell ill and later died. This stone is a warning to the devotees not to trouble the deities once the temple is closed for the day.

This temple is in Kottayam district and the nearest railway station is Changanassery.