Kerala, being God's Own Country, not only harbours natural places but also hosts several ancient beauties in the form of temples, palaces and forts. Tiruvanaya Temple is one amongst these ancient beauties which is believed to have been in existence for millenniums. If you are a history lover and love exploring places from ancient India, then Thirunavaya Temple is your calling this weekend.
Not only does it attract Hindu devotees but also several curious tourists who come here to listen to the interesting stories of gods and goddesses and how this beautiful temple captured the frame and came into existence. Read on to know more about Thirunavaya Temple and how to reach it.
Best Time To Visit Thirunavaya Temple
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As the summers remain hot and humid, it is not advisable to visit Thirunavaya Temple during the summer season. If you are looking to explore the temple and its surroundings comfortably, then the best time to visit Thirunavaya Temple is from October until the end of April.
A Little About Thirunavaya Temple
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Located on the banks of river Ponnani in the Malappuram district of Kerala, Thirunavaya Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu where he is worshipped in the form of Navamukunda as the idol placed in the sanctum of the temple is believed to be the ninth idol. The first eight idols vanished into the earth, however, the ninth idol was forcibly stopped from sinking.
Hence, this ninth idol of Lord Vishnu was finally installed and worshipped in the temple. During the Medieval Period, the temple was the major site for celebrating Mamankam Festival, a trade-cum-religious festival, which used to be celebrated once in 12 years and was the most prominent temple in the state of Kerala.
Today, the temple is visited only by Hindu devotees and hence, has become a significant pilgrimage destination in Kerala amongst Vaishnavites. Thirunavaya Temple is also believed to be the site where Goddess Lakshmi along with Lord Gajendra worshipped Lord Vishnu and since then, it has been an important religious site in the region.
The Beauty Of Its Structural Formation
The current architecture of the temple is in indigenous Kerala style like other temples in the state as the original building of the temple was destroyed by several attacks during the invasion of Kerala by Mappila rebellion and Tipu Sultan. The temple complex is built of wood, granite, laterite and terracotta tiles and is surrounded by a rectangular wall.
Even though the major part of the temple is rebuilt in the aboriginal style of Kerala architecture, the setting of the temple on the bank of river Ponnani distinguishes it from other temples in Kerala.
The major thing which attracts thousands of devotees every year is the idol of its presiding deity, Navamukunda, which is buried in the ground until its knees, as a result of forcibly stopping the idol from getting vanished inside the earth. Would like to visit this unusual temple and witness the strange idol of Lord Vishnu?
The Significance Of Tirunavaya Temple
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Thirunavaya Temple is of great historical as well as religious significance. Being located on the bank of Ponnani river and a major site for Vaishnavites, it is also known as the Kashi of Kerala. Therefore, you can find several people here performing prayers for the departed souls and offering their ashes to the holy waters of river Ponnani.
It is also said that a dip in the waters of river Ponnani can rid anyone of their sins. So, how about taking a bath in river Ponnani this weekend?
How To Reach Tirunavaya Temple
By Air: You can take a direct flight to Kozhikode airport and then from there you can hire a cab to Thirunavaya Temple which is located at a distance of around 43 km.
By Rail: The nearest major railway station to Thirunavaya Temple is at Tirur at a distance of around 11 km. Once you have reached the station, you can take a cab to Thirunavaya Temple.
By Road: Thirunavaya Temple is easily accessible by road. You can either catch a direct bus from the nearby cities or towns or take a cab to Thirunavaya Temple.