If you want to visit the holy sites in Kerala, you should definitely include the Thiruvairanikulam Temple in your itinerary. This unique temple is located on the banks of the Periyar River.
Thiruvairanikulam Temple has separate shrines for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There are interesting stories associated with this temple. These relate how Shiva came there and why the Parvati Temple is only open for a few days each year. It is located near the town of Alwaye (Aluva).
Thiruvairanikulam Temple History
Here, religious lore and history are intermixed. Akavoor Mana, a prominent Brahmin family, built and maintained this temple. Until 1937, the temple administration and religious rituals were in the hands of the Punalur Manakal Namboodiris. Later, as this family did not have male heirs, the temple administration and religious rituals passed on to the Kunnath West Bhattathiri. Now, the temple is managed by the Thiruvairanikkulam Mahadeva Trust.
Some Interesting Facts About This Temple
Location of the Temple: This Shiva-Parvati temple is located near the industrial town of Aluva (Alwaye). It is very near the Sreemoolanagaram village, on the banks of the Periyar River.
Major Festivals: The Nadathurappu festival which falls on the Malayalam month of Dhanur (December-January is very famous. At this time, the Parvati temple’s doors stay open for Darshan for 12 days. Thiruvairanikulam Temple Nadathurappu 2018 began on December 23, 2018, and ended on January 3, 2019.
Thiruvairanikulam Temple Timings: Generally, Darshan Times are 4:30 am to 11:00 am, and in the evenings from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. During the Nadathurappu Festival, the Darshan times change – 3:00 am to 1:30 pm, then from 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
Thiruvairanikulam Temple Dress Code: Like many temples in Kerala, there is a strict dress code, only tradonal attire – Dhoti for men and sari for women.
Temple Architecture: This temple is built in the traditional Kerala temple style. Beautiful wooden sculptures like yali and elephants decorate the wall and ceilings.
The Deities At Thiruvairanikulam Temple
This is a Shiva Temple, with the main Shrine to Shiva facing the East. Parvati’s Shrine is on the other side, facing west. There are also other minor shrines here, for Ganapathy, Dharmasastha (Swami Ayyappan), Mahavishnu, and Durga Devi.
The Unforgettable Legends Of Thiruvairanikulam Temple
It is believed that the Shiva idol here originally existed in another place called Iranikulam. A Namboodiri (Brahmin) from Sreemoolanagaram used to visit the Iranikulam temple regularly. Akavoor Chathan, a boatman, used to ferry the Namboodiri to the Iranikulam temple and back. However, as he grew older, the Namboodiri became weak and one day cried out to Lord Shiva that he might not be able to visit him again.
Taking pity on his devotee, the Shiva idol left the temple and traveled back with the Brahmin to his place. Chathan was able to see that Shiva had come to this place, but he then vanished.
The next day, a woman who used to cut and gather grass in the nearby forest sharpened her sickle on a granite stone. The stone started to bleed. Later, Chathan identified the stone as the Shiva idol. So, the Akavoor Brahmin family built a temple here.
The Parvati Temple
Another legend says that initially, Parvati herself cooked the Naivedyam secretly in her shrine. One night, however, a temple priest saw her cooking the food. Upset by this, Parvati decided to close her temple doors. However, after the Brahmin apologized, she allowed her shrine to be opened for 12 days each year. Accordingly, this period begins from Thiruvathirai Day in Dhanurmasam (Dec-Jan). This is known as the Nadathurappu festival.
Travel Route to Thiruvairanikulam Temple
You can reach this temple from Aluva, Kalady, Perumbavoor, and Angamaly.
If you are coming from other states, take a train to reach Ernakulam or Trivandrum. From there you have to travel to Thiruvairanikulam.
- Uliyannoor Mahadeva Temple – While in the Aluva Region, you can also visit this Shiva temple.
- Aluva Palace – This small palace on the banks of the Periyar River used to be the summer residence of the Travancore Royal Family. This picturesque palace is now a PWD guest house.
- Sivarathri Manappuram – This long stretch of sandbank is the venue for a grand Shivaratri Puja and Celebration. This festival attracts a huge number of tourists and pilgrims.
Where to Stay to Visit Thiruvairanikulam Temple
Thiruvairanikulam is located near the small village of Sreemoolanagaram. However, the big industrial hub of Aluva is just a few kilometers away. Staying at a hotel near the Aluva Railway Station makes it easy to travel to this temple, the distance is just around 9 km. You can also stay in Kalady and travel to Thiruvairanikulam temple.
Finally, here are a few Thiruvairanikulam Temple 2019 special occasions to look forward to -the temple annual festival which includes the Makam thozhal in Feb-March, and the Ashtami Rohini Sri Krishna Birthday celebrations in Aug-Sep. Book your tickets now to visit the temple during these times. While in this region, a visit to Kalady, the birthplace of Sri Adi Shankaracharya is a must.