Thirukkuralappan temple, Aranmula

About the temple

The temple is among the 108 divyadesams of Sri Vaishnavas and comes under Kerala based/Malai naatu/chera naatu divyadesams. The presiding deity here is Thirukkuralappan or Parthasarathy in standing posture and thayar is known as Padmasana valli thayar. The temple is among the most important Krishna temples of Kerala and part of the Anju ambalam near Chenganoor.

Anju ambalam means five temples where the Pandava brothers installed deities and worshipped Lord Vishnu in different forms. Yudhistara worshipped at Chengannur temple, Bheema worshipped at Thirupuliyur, Arjuna worshipped at Aranmula, Nakula at Thiruvamundur and Sahadeva at Thirukadithanam.

Aranmula is a big temple built like a fort with four towers on each side. On one side is the main entrance with 18 steps while on other there are steps to get down to the Pampa river that flows besides it.

Arjuna is said to have constructed this temple to be relieved from the sin of slaying an unarmed Karna in the battle. The deity is said to be brought by Arjuna from Nilackal near Sabarimalai in a raft that was built with six pieces of bamboo and so named Aranmula. Aranmula is popular as the place for snake boat race during Onam festival and Lord Ayyappan's jewels are taken from here to Sabarimala for the Makara jyothi festival.

How to reach

The temple is around 20 kms from Thiruvalla and 6 kms from Chenganoor. The nearest railway station is Chenganoor and nearest airports are Cochin and Trivandrum.
One can hire a vehicle for half a day trip and cover all the six divyadesams in this region.

Temple tank and pushkarni

The temple tank is Vedavyasa Saras   and the vimanam is called Vamana vimanam.

Temple timings
The temple is open in the mornings from 5 am to 11 am and in the evenings from 5 pm to 8pm.

Temples in proximity

Thirukadithanam, Thirupuliyur, Thiruchittaru, Thiru vavandur, Thiru Vallabha kshetram

Additional information by Sri Sankaran Nampoothari

1. The presiding deity here is Parthasarathy perumal. (Triplicane in Chennai being the other Parthasarathy)

2.The difference between this and the 'Tiruvallikeni' Parthasarathy being the 'Bhava' of Lord Krishna- here he has his Chakra ready for use against Bheeshma- yes Bheeshma. Remember that scene when Bheeshma, like a samhara Rudra Himself, single handedly destroys the pandava army and the entire pandava Army looks on helplessly, with Arjuna in a state of stupor and absolute inaction? It was then that Krishna tells Arjuna that if he did not act now, Krishna would himself slay Bhishma... this is the scene here.

3. The name 'Aranmula' finds it origin from Six Bamboos (Six= Aru, bamboo= Mula), as you've pointed out,(I am just adding the actual meaning)

4. The famous Snake 'Boat race' of Kerala originates from here- this is little known elsewhere! The 'Boat race' we see nowadays are the Tourism Department show- the original was/ is an 'offering' to Lord, and is played among various neighboring villages.

5. The 'Vallasadya' (Boat Feast) is an integral part of this. It is said that every single boatman is treated to the feast- there are hundreds for EACH BOAT- remember!

6. And they have to be served ANY FOOD? DELICACY they ASK FOR during the feast! Therefore this valla sadya is the single feast in Kerala that serves almost EVERY IMAGINABLE DELICACY/ FOOD ITEM in Kerala!

7. ONE of these boats' Oarsmen is always believed to be Lord Sri Krishna Himself! HE would be there in one boat, among the several ordinary people! It is perhaps this belief that makes Vallasady such a grand event!
Visiting ALL the FIVE Temples in this circuit is considered a great blessing. With proper planning, this is eminently possible.

Sri Adi keseva perumal temple - Thiruvattaru

About the temple

The temple is among the 108 divyadesams of Sri Vaishnavas and comes under Malai/Chera naatu divyadesams. The presiding deity is Sri Adi Keseva perumal in reclining posture and thayar is Maragatavalli thayar. The temple has been built in pure Kerala style and is popular as Dakshina Vaikuntam.  Thiruvattar temple is older than Trivandrum Anantha padmanabha swamy temple and there are lot of similarities in the structure of the two temples.

The Lord is huge at 22 ft with more than 16000 saligramams and bigger than Anantha Padmanabha swamy. There are three doors on the single stone mandapam from where one can have darshan. The temple is huge and has been built like a fort. It is interesting to note the differences too - while Adi Keseva perumal's feet is on the left side and head on the right, its the reverse in Anantha Padmanabha swamy temple. There is a Shiva lingam right below Anantha Padmanabha swamy's hand on the left side and the same remains in the left side in Adi Keseva perumal temple besides the Lord's feet. Lord Brahma emerges from the navel in Thiruvananthapuram while he is not present in Tiruvattar. There is also a Krishnar sannadhi in the prakaram.

Thanks to Sri Sankaran Nampoorthiri for the additional information as below -

1. The two temples are located at where The Great sage Vilvamangala Swamiyar had seen the Lord Vishnu resting on Anantha, the first time. Anantha was HUGE then, with one end at where the Padmanabhaswamy temple is and the other end where Tiruvattar is located.

2. Vilvamangala Swamiyar requested Lord to reduce his size so that he could actually see Lord in a 'managable' size! He then gave darshanam in a smaller size, (still quite large compared to Anantha-sayanams elsewhere) at BOTH these locations.

3. At Tiruvattar, Lord is shown Padaadi Kesam (Feet first, left to right), while at Padmanabhaswamy Temple Lord rests in Kesaadi Paadam (Head first)

Lord is known as "Kesava' because of His saving the world from an Asura called 'Kesa', who somehow wrangled a boon of Immortality. The entire episode of Kesa and Kesi etc. (another story!) happened here. To cut a long story short, Kesa is still alive and placed forcibly under Lord, between Him and the Anantha!

Anyway, this being the place where Lord got his name FIRST, here He is known as 'Adi (First) Kesava.

‎'Yathokthakari temple' (SONNAVANNAM SEITHAN PERUMAL)at Kanchipuram has one similarity with Tiruvattar that maybe worth noting here- it is also in the 'Padadi Kesham posture'! Originally it was not so. but a series of events lead Lord to leave the temple, and the request of an Alwar' He returned.. but changed His position to let the World know that he had gone an returned- to ensure that the set of events are remembered!

How to reach

The temple is near Kanyakumari/Nagercoil/Trivandrum and the nearest railheads are Trivandrum and Nagercoil junctions. The nearest airport is at Trivandrum.

Pushkarni and vimanam

The temple tank is called Vattar theertham and vimanam is called Ashtanga vimanam.

Temple timings

The temple is open in the mornings from 5 am to 12 noon and in the evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Temples in proximity

Thiruvanparisaram, Thiruvananthapuram Anantha Padmanabha swamy temple, Thirukurungudi Nambi temple, Vanamamalai divyadesam, Kanyakumari amman temple, Suchindram temple

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