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Friday, March 18, 2011

Ambalappuzha SriKrishna Temple

Ambalappuzha SriKrishna Temple

The Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple is believed to have been built in the year AD 790 by the local ruler Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran.
The Ambalapuzha Temple is a typical Kerala style built temple, dedicated to Sree Krishna. Ambalapuzha temple is famous for its temple architecture and the milk porridge- Paalpaayasam. One of the legends connected with the origin of this temple is related to the sage Vilwamangalam Swaamiyaar. Devanarayana Raja surrendered his kingdom to Sreekrishnan after the consecration of Ambalapuzha temple and assumed the name Devanarayanan. The idol at Ambalapuzha is likened to Parthasaarathhi with a whip in the right hand and a Shankhu (sacred conch) in the left. It is also in this temple that 'Pallipana' dance is performed by 'Velans' (sorcerers) once in twelve years.

Architecture of the Temple

The beautiful temple was built in 800 A.D. and the best of the workers were called to design the srchitect of the temple. An idol of Sri Krishna in black granite stone was carved out for installation. The Lord Parthsarathy idol was duly installed in the temple at a propitious time on Thiruvonam day in Mithunam in 1613 A.D.

This temple is directly associated to the Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple. The payasam served in the Ambalappuzha Temple is famous among Hindu devotees. This sweet pudding made of rice and milk has an interesting mythological legend behind it

Ambalappuzha Paal Payasam
According to the legend, Lord
Krishna once appeared in the form of a sage in the court of the king who ruled the region and challenged him for a game of chess (or chaturanga). The king being a chess enthusiast himself gladly accepted the invitation. The prize had to be decided before the game and the king asked the sage to choose his prize in case he won. The sage told the king that he had a very modest claim and being a man of few material needs, all he wished was a few grains of rice. The amount of rice itself shall be determined using the chess-board in the following manner. One grain of rice shall be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, eight in the fourth square and so on. Every square will have double the number of grains of its predecessor.
So the game of chess started and needless to say the king lost the game. It was time to pay the sage his agreed-upon prize. As he started adding grains of rice to the chess board, the king soon realised the true nature of the sage's demands. By the 20th square, the number had reached one million grains of rice and by the 40th square, it became one million million. The royal grainery soon ran out of grains of rice. The king realised that even if he provides all the rice in his kingdom and his adjacent kingdoms, he will never be able to fulfill the promised reward. The number of grains was increasing as a geometric progression .
Upon seeing the dilemma, the sage appeared to the king in his true-form, that of lord
Krishna. He told the King that he did not have to pay the debt immediately but could pay him over time. The king would serve paal-payasam (made of rice) in the temple freely to the pilgrims every day until the debt was paid off.

The ten-day annual festival of the Ambalappuzha Sreekrishana temple commences with the Kodiyettu on the Atham day in Malayalam month of Meenam( March-April). On the ninenth day the famous Natakashala Sadya is held . The arattu Ulsavam takes place in Thiruvonam day( tenth day).

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