Beautiful Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple, Kerala established by one of the Pancha Pandavas - Nakula

Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple Pancha Divya Desha Darshan
Sri Nammazhwar at Malleswaram

Abvve image:  Saint ''Nammazhwar'' idol at Malleswaram Sri Venugopala Krishnaswamy Temple.  According to traditional scriptures, Nammazhwar was born in 3059 BCE in Alwarthirunagiri, Tamil Desam.  Legend has it that he remained speechless from his birth and his parents left him under a Tamarind tree at Adhinathar temple, Azhwarthirunagari.  How he remained there for 16 long years  was a miracle. More mysterious was how he gained speech and  mastery over Tamil. Great Vaishnavite saint  Madhurakavi Azhwar, through  divine power,  spotted this boy where he was residing. Nammazhwar's works  were compiled by Madhurakavi Azhwar.  He, after his long service to the lord, reached the lotus feet of Sri Vishnu on  Vaikunda Ekadasi  day at Srirangam, TN. ''Nammazhwar Moksham'' is part of Vaikunda Ekadasi celebration at Sri Ranganathar temple,  where the Araiyar Sevai,_ dance-song recital of Nalayeera Divya  Prabandham is held during the second half of 10 days, called Ra Pathu - the recital will go on for the whole night in the second half.  Here, the true devotion and Nammazhwar's cherished ascent to heaven are enacted  preferentially during the annual Vaikunda Ekadasi festival time ................................................................. 

At Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple, one of the Pancha Pandava Kshetrams,   the main deity is Paambanaiappan/Gosala Krishna, an avatar of Sri Vishnu. It is yet another Divya Desam Kshetram as the ancient saints and poets Azhwars, who lived between 6th and 9th centuries made reference to this temple in their work ''Nalayeera Divaya Prabandham'', The annual festival  Thiruvaimozhi festival is a major colorful fete here. This temple is close to Chengannur railway station, Alappuzha District, Kerala

The presiding deity of this temple is  in a standing posture facing west. The temple was
built by Nakula,  the most handsome and the fourth of the Pancha Pandavas in the Kuru Kingdom (the present states of Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand and western part of Uttar Pradesh). Believed to have been consecrated by one of the Saptha Rishis (sages) Brighu who first compiled the predictive Astrology, the name of the deity is derived from  the near-by river Pamba. It is also an ancient temple as stone inscriptions (dating it back to the Second Chera Empire (800 - 1102 AD) in the temple and the works of Azhwar saint Nammazhwar ( in circa 800 AD) bear testimony to its antiquity. 

Built in Kerala style of architecture, the layout of this temple is in line with the Kerala tradition and has  two-story gateway gopurams.  The annual Thiruvaimozhi festival is held on a grand scale to   commemorate  Nammazhwar, the reputed saint who composed Thiruvoimozhi, a great devotional work on Vishnu in chaste Tamil.  The annual 51-day festival is held to celebrate the installation of the  idol of Sreekrishna  and it  concludes with Gajamela, which is a parade of 21 caparisoned  and decorated elephants.The fete includes several  colorful  floats depicting  important Puranic episodes  accompanied by  a galaxy of music players performing various instruments - mostly percussion. The highlight of this festival is the playing of  Pancharimelam  by a group  of professional performers. Yet another great event in the same evening is the fascinating Kathakali dance performance by artistes who take themes from our ancient Puranas. Lots of people and devotees attend this festival that is held with true religious fervor.
Gajamala procession, Thiruvanvandoor Gajamela’
Annual Festival – January/February,Chithirai Tiruvonam – April/May, Janmaashtami – September, Vaikunda Ekadasi – December/January, Thiruvaimozhi Festival are celebrated here.