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Tripunithura Poornathrayeesa temple

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Tripunithura Poornathrayeesa temple

By
P.R.Ramachander

Tripunithura is a temple town which is 6 km from Cochin and 20 km from Cochin air port. The palace of the erstwhile king of Cochin is situated in this town. Poornathrayeesa (Lord Vishnu) is the family deity of the cochin kings. The name actually means the “Complete God of the three Vedas”. It could also mean , “Complete God of the holy trinity , Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.”. People believe that the temple is nearly 5000 years old.

The God in the temple is believed to be Santhana Gopala Murthy . It is believed that Arjuna during the Mahabaratha days promised a Brahmin to prevent the death of the yet to be born child of a Brahmin and promised to him that if he was not able to do it , he will commit suicide. When he was not able to do it, Lord Krishna helped him to recover the soul of the baby from the clutches of God of death. After this Lord Krishna gave him his idol in the form of “Santhana Gopala Murthy” . When he neared his death Arjuna gave the idol to Lord Ganapathy and requested him to find a suitable place and consecrate it. Lord Ganapathi came across the “Poorna Veda Puram” and liked it so much that he himself sat there. It seems Arjuna hearing this pushed Lord Ganapathy away and consecrated the idol of the “Santhana Gopala Murthy there”. Due to the push the Ganapathy’s idol fell facing south and even today in this unique Ganapathi temple, the idol faces the southern direction.
Later a temple got built and the Cochin kings adopted it as their family deity . It seems the temple caught fire in the year 1920 and all buildings except the west Gopuram was destroyed. The main idol was saved by covering it with big earthern vessels. All the other idols as well as the main idol were later shifted to “Puthen Bunglavu(New Bungalow) and then Cochin king rebuilt the entire temple with modern building materials under the advice of the great architect Sri Eachara Warrier,. The west Gopuram believed to have been built by divine beings was left as such. It has idols with very unique beauty in a very ancient pristine form.
The Idol of Sanathana Goipalan is again unique. Here Lord Vishnu instead of reclining on Adhisesha is sitting on him, with Adhisesha holding his five faces like an umbrella over his head. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griham) is fashioned after a horse drawn chariot. His devotees believe that he can help us beget children and also help us protect our children from all problems. The Ganapathi idol is kept in a temple near the Palace (Poonithura Kottaram) .Lord Purnathrayeesa is believed to be the elder brother of The Chothanikkara Bhagwathy. He is also believed to have married A numboodiri lady called “Nangema” belonging to the Vadakkedathu Mana.
There are several festivals which are held at this temple. Some of them are:-

Moosari Uthsavam

On the first 8 days of the Malayalam month of Chingam(August septemer ) there is festival commemorating the great one who sculpted the idol of Poornathrayeesa(Moosari is the metal smith in Malayalam)

Atha Chamayam

This is an annual festival celebrated during the onam festival in the month of Chingam (August-September) . Large number of devotees gather here, Apart from the processions there is also Pulikkali(Tiger dance)

Onbathathi Uthsavam

This commemorates the bringing back of the idol from Puthan Bugalavu , where the idol was shifted after the fire. This is celebrated on the 9th of the Malayalam month of Thulam (October-November).Onbathanthi means on date 9th.

Vruschigothsavam

This is the most important festival of the temple and it is celebrated in the month of Vruschigam (November-December) for a period of eight days. Apart from the AAna Seeveli( procession of God on elephants) a golden pot is also kept on a raised platform. People who make offerings to the pot are supposed to become lucky .Large number of programmes involving folk arts of Kerala and classical arts of South India are arranged during this festival. On the fouth day of the festival called “thrikketta purappadu” , it is belived that God himself is in the procession and not inside the temple.

Sankara Narayana Vilakku

This is a festival celebrated in the month of Dhanu(December-January) on the festival day of Thiruvathira. The God Shiva of the nearby “Perumthrikovil” visits the Poornathrayesa during the day.

Para Uthsavam

This is eight day long festival in the month of Kumbham(February-March) , where the god is received by the householders with one (Para –a measuring tin) full of materials which is offered to the God.

Uthram Vilakku

This also is celebrated in the month of Kumbham (February-March) and is considered as the birthday of the God. On this day , Goddess Lakshmi from the nearby temple of Pishari Kovil visits Purnathrayeesa and there is a joint procession.