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Sree Vallabha Temple

Sree Vallabha Temple

When it comes to the oldest and highly revered temples in the state of Kerala, Sree Vallabha Temple, located at Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta District, draws a huge number of tourists from all over the world. This 400 year old temple is located on the banks of the River Manimala and is dedicated to Sree Vallabha, a form of Lord Vishnu. A large tank or lake, which is believed to have formed naturally near the temple, adds some more beauty to the place.


Significance
It boasts of being the only temple in Kerala where Kathakali is performed as a ritual offering every night. Apart from that, Sree Vallabha Temple one among the eleven Divya Desam temples of Kerala.


Architecture
Sudarsanamoorthy and Sree Vallabha are the main deities of this 14th century temple. The marvellous 8 ft high idol of Sree Vallabha in the sanctum sanctorum is depicted as bearing a conch (shanghu), a discus (chakra) and a lotus. Apart from that, the unique Garuda Stambha – a 54 ft flag mast made of a single block of granite – is believed to be made by the legendary architect Perunthachan. Even the pedestal and the temple walls are constructed with granite stones.

The remaining part of the temple is made up of timber and sheet roof. A circular vimana, a Namaskaramandapam, a Mukhamandapam, a Gopuradwaram and an Agramandapam add extra beauty to the temple architecture. The carvings of Dakshinamurthy and Shiva, and an idol of Garuda (the vehicle of Lord Vishnu) in a single piece of granite pillar are some other fascinating features of the temple.


Festivals
The 10 day annual festival in February-March attracts thousands of devotees in the temple. On the very first day, around 12,000 bunches of padatti pazham (a variety of bananas) are offered to the deity. Besides this, the Uthra Seeveli festival is celebrated on the Makayiram asterism in Meenam (March - April).

The 'prasad' (holy food) offered in the temple is sandalwood paste and Vibhooti (the sacred ash).

 

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