Koodalmanikyam Temple in Kerala is one of the oldest temples in India. Located at Irinjalakkuda in Thrissur district, it is one of the most important Hindu temples in Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Lord Bharatha.
One of the distinct features of the Koodalmanikyam Temple is that it is one of the 4 temples that belong to the holy set of temples 'Nalambalam'. These temples are dedicated to the 4 brothers in the epic Ramayana. The other three temples are dedicated to Rama, Lakshmana and Shatrughna.
Traces Of The Temple's Existence
There is no evidence of the exact period of the temple's construction. Interestingly, there is a stone inscription found in the temple that dates back to 854 AD, during the reign of the Chera King Stanu Ravi Varman. It states that the King had donated vast areas of land for the temple. This also can mean that the temple existed much before that.
The Architecture Of Koodalmanikyam Temple
As per the Kerala style of architecture, the temple is considered as a Maha Kshetram (a temple that meets all the requirements in terms of its architectural elements). The temple compound consists of various sections like Koothambalam, Nalambalam, Vilakkumadam, Sreekovil, etc. which are significant to every temple.
A Centre Of Arts
Koodalmanikyam is not only famous for its significance as one of the temples belonging to 'Nalambalam', it is also known for the traditional art forms showcased here. Some of the art forms you can enjoy here are Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Koothu and Thullal.
The temple complex has 4 big ponds, one of which is within the temple structure itself. The fishes here are believed to be ancestors and you can see devotees feeding them.
Rituals Of The Temple
Unlike other temples in Kerala, the rituals and poojas done here are slightly different. There are only 3 poojas that take place in the temple. Another peculiarity is that incense sticks and camphor are not used for the poojas here.
Festivals At Koodalmanikyam Temple
The 11-day annual festival of Koodalmanikyam takes place in the month of Medam (April/May). The festival starts on the day of Uthram and ends on Thiruvonam.