Neyyattinkara Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Kerala - a serene place to pray

Happy Sri Krishna Jayathi 2021.

Sri Krishna swamy temple, Neyyakara, Kerala 

There are many Sri Krishna temples in Kerala and of them seven temples are quite popular; the foremost being Guruvayoor temple. Neyyattinkara Sree Krishna Swamy Temple near Thiruvananthapuram city  is equally a popular Krishna temple where the main deity is in the form of a child. The unique aspect of this temple is its location in a quiet place. Devotees with lot of  worries  will become composed if they spend sometime here, a few people told me about this temple and its location just away from the urban crowds. 

Neyyattinkara Sree Krishna Swamy Temple located 20 km south of the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is a popular temple where the lord is in the form of a child -  Unnikannan (Navaneetha Krishna) as the presiding deity.  Believed to have been built in between AD 1750 - AD 1755, by His Highness Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the then Maharajah of the erstwhile Indian princely state of Travancore, the main offering to the presiding deity is butter ( Venna or Vennai in Tamil), a favorite of child-god. 

Legend has it  when Thirunal Marthandavarma  suddenly confronted his arch enemy "Ettuveettil Pillamar" and his associates, a boy advised him to hide in the hollow of a big Jackfruit tree.  After getting out of near death situation the ruler  looked for the boy who save him; there was no trace of him.  He realized the boy who rescued him was none other than Unni Krishnan. To express his debt of gratitude to the God, the ruler had a temple built dedicated to Shree Balakrishna at the place where he hid in the tree. The huge jack fruit tree  came to  be known as "Ammachi Plavu" (Mother/ jack fruit tree). Presently, the hollow trunk is in a preserved state ( under  Archaeological Department -ASI) Since then the temple has been known as Neyyattinkara Sree Krishna temple. 

Location map, Neyyatinkara, Kerala.

Built in traditional Kerala architecture, the temple has a simple entrance gate with artistic decorations and sculptures. One can see some episodes related to the Bhagavad Gita; one being Lord Krishna teaching Arjuna.

 Unnikrishnan is enshrined in the Kerala-styled sanctum (Srikovil). The entrance door to the sanctum is gold-plated(?). There are fine paintings related to the life of God Shree Krishna and other deities. The main west-facing deity made of panchaloha (an alloy of five metals) is Sreekrishna (Balakrishna) holding butter in both hands. It is said in the early days the idol was made of wood and later  a metal idol was installed. This temple has a tall and impressive  gold-plated Dwajasthanbham - flag-mast. 

Golden flag-mast Sri Krishna swamy  temple, Neyyattinkara,

The popular festival,  an annual event, falls in the Malayalam month of  Meenam. This long-drawn festivity commences with flag- hoisting ceremony as per tradition and ends with an "Aaraatt" on the final day (day of Rohini star),  in the same month.  Like other Kerala temples, the deity is taken out of the temple in a procession  and is reverentially  dipped in water (a sort of Theerthavari) by the temple priest in the nearby village in the Neyyar  river. Then the Utchavamurthy is taken back to the temple. 

Other festivals observed here are Ashtami Rohini, Vishu, Navarathri and  Mandalapooja (dedicated to Ayyappan during Dhanu month).  During Navarathri festival an important event takes place here.  Three deities  - Shri Kumaraswami, from Kumarakoil temple; Shri Munnuutti Nanga; and Shri Sarawathi Devi  will  stay at Sri Krishna Swamy temple overnight on their way to the famous Padmanabha Swami temple, Thiruvananthapuram. This annual  event is celebrated with religious fervor.