''Pancha Pandava temples'' of Kerala - some interesing facts we ought to know

Lord Sri Krishna Amazon.i
No other Indian states have the unique distinction of being home to five Sri Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu) temples established by each of the Pandava brothers often referred to as ''Pancha Pandava''  of the Mahabharata. These temples are believed to be sacred and sanctified as they are connected to the legend of Mahabharata. They are located in the MallapuzhasseryMavelikkara  and Chengannurareas, part of Kottayam Allapuzha districts of Kerala, often called God's  own country.

 The legend says that the Pancha Pandavas, upon making  Parikshit, a Kuru king (reign: during the Middle Vedic period -12th or 11th century BCE?) as a king of Hastinapura, undertook a pilgrimage to the South to have  peace of mind in an isolated place during exile. Very much impressed by the quiet and peaceful surroundings with lots of greenery and rivers carrying  clear water suitable for spiritual and meditative life, they decided to settle down there. In order to propitiate Lord Krishna, their mentor and God who gave them moral support during their turbulent time and to express their gratitude to him, each of the  Pandava brothers built a temple dedicated to him.
temples near Chennganur, kerala templesinindiainfo.com
Pandava temples, Kerala. Onmanorama Travel - Malayala Manorama
Legend has it that Kunti Devi, Pandavas' mother, who accompanied them to the south,  had set up a temple in Alappuzha -  Pandavakavu temple in Muthukulam. It is strongly believed that devotees will be truly blessed  only if they visit the Pandavakavu temple to complete the ''five Pandava temples pilgrimage trip''.  Pandavakadu is 12 km  away from Kayamkulam and Haripad - famous for the Serpent temple.

Kunti Devi, mother of Pandavas  wandered around Pandavakavu to find a suitable  and secluded place to worship her 'eshta devita'  in her privacy and, at last, with Bhima's help  she settled down on a spot. Using the clay taken from Kaliyezhathu fields, she made an image of Goddess Durga for her daily worship.  She worshiped the deity  with Thechi flowers locally growing here in plenty and her daily offering to the deity was red banana - Kadalipazham in local parlance. In the later years, a panchaloka idol was made,  enclosing the clay image made by Kunti  from breaking. At  Pandavakavu temple  Kadalipazham  is the main offering, even today,  to the deity and thechi flower is being used for puja.
The following are some facts about the Pancha Pandava Temples of Kerala:

01.The five temples are considered very sacred and are also included in the 108 Divya Desam Shetrams  glorified by the great Tamil saints and poets - Azhawars who mentioned the temples in the Vaishnavite Canon 'Naalayera Divya Prabandham'' (4000 devotional hymns on Sri Vishnu) in Tamil)..

02. Vaishnvite Azhwars' reference to these temples suggests they are ancient temples dating back to 7th to th century, may be much older.

03. None the less, the exact origin of these temple is not known. However, Pancha Pandava Temples of Kerala have unquestionable antiquity, in particular, those close to  Chengannur and Pathanamthitta.

04. All temples are dedicated to Lord Krishna, a form of God Vishnu.

05.  In all these  temples Sri Krishna is depicted in Viswaroopa posture. Arjuna had  this unique darshan of Sri Krishna with all his weapons, etc on the battlefield of Kurushetra.

06. Mahavishnu is never depicted in his Ananathsayanam posture  with his ever present  serpent Adisesha in all these temples.

07. In the temples of Tamil Nadu and elsewhere Mahavishnu's consorts Sr Devi Thayyar and Bhoomi Devi Thayyar can be seen in the sanctum. Here, at the Pandava temples there are no images of Thayyar in Srikovil.

08. The traditional belief has been that  visiting all these Pancha Pandava  kshetram  is quite similar to the pilgrimage undertaken by the Pandavas  in the ancient time.

09. For the devout Hindus, it  is also akin to going on a pilgrimage to Kasi (Varanasi) in UP or Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to get salvation -Mukthi.

10. Devotees are advised to visit the  Pandava  temples in particular order starting with the temple built by Yudistrar, followed by shrines  built by Bhima, Arjuna, Nagula and Sahadeva respectively.

11.The pilgrimage to the Pandava temples in Kerala will not be complete unless you make a  visit to the Pandavakavu temple in Muthukulam, Allapuzha.

The following are the Pancha Pandava temples of Kerala:

Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple  built by Yudhishthira.
Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple  Wikipedia
 Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple established by Bheema,
Thirupuliyoor Templen.wikipedia.org/wiki
Aranmula. Parthasarathy Temple installed by Arjuna.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Pathanamthitta, KeralaGlorious Temples of India
 Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple  built by Nakula.
Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple Pancha Divya Desha Darshan

Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple built by Sahadeva.
Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu TempleFindMessages.com


Above image: Pandavas (meaning sons of ''Pandu'') described in the Indian epic ‘Mahabharatha’ include  five brothers Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. They are the sons of ‘Pandu’ by his two wives, ’Kunthi’ and ‘Madhri’. Yudhishtira, Bhima and Arjuna are the sons of Kunthi. Remaining are the sons of Madhri. It is described in Mahabharatha, that five brothers were married to ‘Draupathi’, a true Krishna devotee. Lord Krishna was Pandavas' mentor and Guru and had close links with them during the great Kurukshethra  war, guiding them and offering advice then and there with respect to war strategy.  Sri Krishna was close to Arjuna  and had immense affection for him,  Besides, Sri Krishna himself became Arjuna's charioteer, hence his other name is Parthasarathy 
.Pandu's brother  Dridhrashtra, who was blind by birth. had 100 sons, together they are referred to as  Kauravas. Kauravas, unlike Pandavas, were vicious, evil-minded and dishonest to the core. Their bad qualities were further fueled and blown beyond the limit by their Machiavellian and despicable uncle by the name of Shaguni.  Succession to the throne became a serious issue after the death of king Pondu. Legally the kingdom should go to Yudhishtira, the eldest son of Pandu. But Duryodhana, the eldest son of Kauravas did not like it and and claimed his stake in the kingdom. This led to perpetual confrontations between Kauravas and Pandavas .Kauravas, cunning as they were,  played dirty trick on them and made the eldest brother gamble away his kingdom and everything. Finally succeeded in  sending them out of country on exile for a pretty long time. After their long exile, with the help of Sri Krishna,  the Pandavas got their kingdom back from the surreptitious Kauravas who later were perished in the great war of Kurushetra.  This epic symbolizes the victory of the good over the evil. Though the evil forces may have an upper hand in the beginning, at last, they will be pushed deep into the abyss.
Moral from the Mahabharata. Pinterest