The Kadavallur Shri Rama temple, Kerala with a unique idol - a recognized heritage temple

 The Hindu temples  of  Kerala  are architecturally  and design-wise different from other temples of India. Mostly made of wood easily available in this state,  they have distinctive style suitable to the climatic changes of this region where  it rains a lot; hence they  have  extended sloping roof over the temple to prevent seepage and damage to the exterior walls. Interior of the temple is equally well decorated with nicely carved wooden images. The Sree Rama temple at  Kadavallur is a simple looking beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to God Vishnu.  

The Kadavallur Shri Rama temple also known as Matte Kadavallur Sree Rama temple is in  Kadavalloor, Thrissur District, Kerala. The idol in the Srikovil - sanctum is self-manifested - Swayambhoo’. It is  in  Ugra form Fiery-looking) of Sree  Rama together with his consort Seetha Devi, after killing  demon "Kharasura". It is believed this idol was installed by Khadothkhajan,  warrior son of   Bhima of the Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata and  Vibheshnan  (brother of king of Lanka, Ravana). The latter, being a person of calm disposition,   worshiped the God when the war with Ravana of Lanka was on. 

Sri Rama temple,Kadavallur, Kerala state.

 Inside the Nalambala  are installed the idols of  Lord Shiva, Shri Ganapathi and Shri Ayyappa facing East.  Inside Valiyambala i is depicted giving  blessings to Vidhyarthis (students), etc .,  and poor people. This kind of depiction of blessing the poor is rare in the temples. Normally, the almighty would bless the people irrespective of their financial status - be they poor or rich. 

Sri Rama temple,Kadavallur, Kerala state,

Yet another strange belief is here  Dasaratha Maharajah,  father of Sree Rama and  the ruler of Ayodhya  worshipped the idol of Lord Vishnu.   Sree Rama himself gave the idol of Rama  with blessing to  Vibheeshana, a dedicated devotee of Rama for his daily worship.  The legend further states down the years when Yudhishtira, the Pandava king conducted Rajasooya Yagna  ( ritual to establish supremacy among the rulers), he  deputed  Khadodkacha, son of Bhima,  to Lanka' ruler  to accept the supremacy of Yudhishtira.  Vibheeshana. not only agreed  to the proposal but also  gave the idol to Khadodkacha  so that he could  consecrate  the divine idol at the right place.  While on his way back, Khadodkacha found a serene place what is now called   Kadavallur and decided to have the idol consecrated there.   Hence the Sree Rama temple is popular  and is presently being managed by  the the govt. agency since 1949. Originally, it belonged to Para Mana of Panniyur Desom (in Ottappalan taluk. Later in 1920, the Rajah of Cochin took over the management of the temple and after independence in 1947, the management came under the  state government  control.   Ullanattu Panicker in 1964 handed over the management to the Hindu religious board of the govt. 

Sri Rama temple,Kadavallur, Kerala  keralaculture org

A unique tradition that is being followed even today with great interest is that of the famous Anyonyam - an annual  competition to prove  a persons depth of knowledge or excellence in the Vedas. The competition is between the students of Thrissur Brahmaswa Madam and Thirunavaya Brahmaswa Madam. It means sound knowledge of Sanskrit and also Malayalam. In the old days  64  participants were allowed to prove their competency held over a period of 16 days.  The Cochin Devaswom Board in 1949 stopped it for a long spell of time for political reasons. The competition resumed on a small scale in 1989 despite the dominance of communists  in this state.  I understand,  it is a low-key affair on the temple premises. 

wooden bracket image,  Kadavallur Shri Rama temple, Kerala,


The Kadavallur Shri Rama temple, Kerala 

This temple is popular for a temple feast  held ever Malayalam month - Punartham. Magaram. The temple a declared  monument by the ASI is famous for 29  elegantly carved wooden bracket  figures on the outer wall of the temple. The work is very impressive and is a main attraction in this antiquated temple that is dated back to the 10th-11th century as attested by a Vattezhuthu record inscribed on a stone on the base of the enclosure.