Vadakkunnathan Temple

About Vadakkunnathan Temple:

Vadakkumnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva at city of Thrissur, of Kerala state in India. This temple is a classical example of the architectural style of Kerala and has one monumental tower on each of the four sides in addition to a kuttambalam.

Vadakkunathan! This is the name which has been given to Lord Shiva in the city of Thrissur, Kerala, India. The Vadakkunnathan temple is the first temple which was created by Lord Parasurama. The temple located at the heart of the city of Thrissur is enclosed by colossal walls of stone under an area of around eight acres. The four directions, East, West, North and South in the temple have been indicated by four Gopurams inside the temple premises. In the centre of the temple there is multi shrined complex, besides the four Gopurams. The three key shrines of the temple have been dedicated to the Vadakkunatham or Lord Shiva, Lord Rama and Shankaranarayana. Lord Shiva who in the hunter form called as the Vettekkaran, besides other places is also worshipped in the Nalambalam area.

History of Vadakkunnathan Temple:

This is the first Shiva temple created by Lord Parasurama. Shiva here is more popularly known as Vadakkunnathan. Vadakkunnatha Temple is situated at the heart of Thrissur city. The name Thrissur is derived from 'Thiru-Shiva-Peroor', which literally translates to "The city of the sacred Shiva". Thrissur was also known as Vrishabhadripuram, Vrishachala and Thenkailasam or Dakshina Kailasam(Kailasa of the south) in ancient days.

As per the archaeological findings, Vadakkunathan temple is one of the oldest temples of the Southern India and is the largest temple of the Kerala which is dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva. This religious place is an extraordinary example of the classical Kerala style of architecture featuring outstanding murals of the 17th century echoing the story of Mahabharata. The wood carved vignettes are displayed in the Koothambalam and shrines. One interesting thing about the temple is that it is believed to be the place where Tipu Sultan camped, though this fact has been associated with many disputes and many historians have not supported the idea.

The temple in addition to maintaining a reputation because of its physical structure also has special significance in terms of the rituals and puja and also in the context of the movement of the devotees flocked to worshipping their favourite deity. The temple is unique for being one such temple where your movement from sanctum to sanctum will be highly organized and monitored by the temple’s guards. There is a certain moving pattern inside the temple and everyone is bound to follow the order. The first timers at the temple should ask somebody about this so as not to get confused.

Best Time to Visit:

In the month of November or December, puja in the morning is performed at the Southern compound of the temple. People believe that on this day, looking out towards the South to see his wife, after taking Thrikkartika bath in the Meenachil River, returning procession. It is believe that Vilwamangalam Swamiyar once, gave visit to the temple on the Thrikkarthika day in the morning and he realized that Lord Vadakkunatha is not present inside the Sreekovil. And thus, he finally found the Lord on the wall of the compound. And thus the Puja at the wall of the Southern compound was started by Vilwamangalam.


Towards the Northern side of the temple a circular structure featuring the idol of the deity is located with the deity facing towards the West. There is also the idol of Lord Shiva and Parvati (Hindu god) which faces the East and is located right behind the Shiva idol in the same shrine. In the Southern side there is the double storied Shri Rama’s shrine and it faces west.

Also a third one in between these two Srikolvils, the third one, all in circular shape and featuring double storey, is dedicated to worshipping Sankaranarayan and facing the western direction. Apart from that, in front of these three shrines located in the centre, stands Mukhamandapams. The temple’s majesty is celebrated at such a large scale for it featuring Vrishabha, Simhodara, Lord Krishna (Indian god), Adi Sankaracharya and Dharmasastha.

Timing for Darshan at Vadakkunnathan Temple:

Moring – 3:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Evening – 16:00 PM to 20:00 PM


Located in the city of Thrissur, of Kerala state in India.

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