Thriprayar Sree Rama Temple is located at Thriprayar in Thrissur district of Kerala. The temple is one of the most prominent temples dedicated to Lord Rama. The deity here is known as Thriprayarappan or Thriprayar Thevar.
The idol here is believed to be worshipped by Lord Krishna in Dwaraka, after the time of Krishna the idol was immersed in the sea and was later brought out by the fishermen, which was handed over to the local ruler who constructed the temple and installed the idol.
Unlike other Rama temples, the idol here has four arms with each arm holding a conch, disc, bow and a garland. The temple is located on the banks of the river Theevra. The temple used to be owned and administered by three well-known Namboothiri families: Cheloor Mana, Janappilly Mana and Punnappilly Mana, before the Cochin Devasom Board took over it.
Apart from the main deity Rama, there are shrines dedicated to Hanuman, Ganapati, Dakshinamoorthy, Sastha and Goshala Krishnan.
Details On The Temple Architecture
The shrine is filled with carvings on wood. The sanctum sanctorum is circular in shape, which sports a conical roof covered with copper plates. The sanctum boasts of several sculptures, which depict scenes from the Ramayana and its walls are painted with murals that are well preserved.
Mural paintings is an art form, which slowly is disappearing, hence preserving these paintings would showcase the detailing that has gone into these ornate paintings.
The Namaskara Mandapam has many sculptures, and notable amongst them is the representations of the Navagrahas or the Nine planets in 24 panels of wood carvings.
Legends Associated With The Temple
The fishermen had found four idols, one amongst them was the idol of Rama which is considered to be the most important. A local feudal lord named Vakkayil Kaimal decided to install the idol.
The celestial voice informed Kaimal that a peacock would come and mark the exact time for installation of the idol. Kaimal and his men waited for a long time and there was no sign of the said peacock; in due course, the chief priest installed the idol when he saw a devotee bearing peacock appeared.
Soon after the installation of the idol, the said peacock made its appearance, which saddened the priest and Kaimal. To make up for the mistake, the peacock is said to have made a mark where the sacrificial stone or Vailya Balikkalu was installed, hence the sacrificial stone is said to have the same amount of importance as the main deity.
Another legend here is connected to the closure of the western doors. Vilwamangalam Swamiyar was a holy man, who could see deities in their true form. Once Swamiyar came to Thriprayar to offer prayers to Lord Rama.
During his pooja, he found that Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi were entering the temple from the western entrance of the temple, instead of the eastern one. In order to set right the fault, he requested the two goddesses to remain inside the sanctum sanctorum on either side of Rama, to which they obliged.
After the installation of the goddesses, Swamiyar closed the western doors of the temple and left. The western doors of the temple still remain closed till date.
How To Reach?
By Air: The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, which is approximately around 57 km away from here. The airport receives flights from major cities within the country as well as to a few abroad.
By Train: The nearest major railway station is Thrissur, which is approximately around 24 km from here. The railway station is well connected to all the major towns and cities across the state and to a few places across the country.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach Thriprayar is by road. There are plenty of buses which operate within the state of Kerala and also from Bengaluru, Chennai, etc.