The temples of Kerala are dedicated to various gods and goddesses from
the Hindu mythology. An architectural delights, Kerala temples are carved in
the traditional style. Some of the significant temples of Kerala include the
Padmanabhaswamy temple, Vadukkumnathan Temple, Vaikom Temple, Chottanikkara
Temple, Mannarshala Temple, Ananthapura Lake Temple and the Ambalapuzha
Temple. These Kerala temples reflect the religious fervor of people of Kerala.
Architecture of Kerala Temples:
Kerala temples find expression in a mixed medium of stone, brick, laterite
and wood this unique approach to temple building resulted in a distinctive
form of architecture, laying stress on sanctity, simplicity and a prevailing
naturalism which marked the worship in temples. The earlier temples of
Kerala were primarily for Shiva and Vishnu or their manifestations (Krishna,
Parasurama, Rama, Vamana). Swayampradhana shrines to Ganesha, Kartikeya are
of later origin.
Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim
center atop the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This holy temple in Kerala is
dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The Village of Sabarimala is named after Shabari
who did severe penance in order to meet Rama who granted her wish for her
devotion and faith during her penance.
The Main Festival:
There are two main pujas called
the Mandal Puja and the Makara Sankranti Puja, which are celebrated from
November to Middle of January in Kerala, during which time the devotees
perform austerities and penance. Devotees wear black 'dhotis' and are
bare-chested as they prepare for the pilgrimage to Sabarimala. The temple is
at the top of the Neeli hills and the devotees have to climb the treacherous
route carrying their meager provision in a bundle called "Iru Mudi"
meaning in "two folds".
Guruvayoor, where the famous
Sree Krishna Temple is situated, is one of the most sacred and important
pilgrim centers of Kerala. The walls of the sanctum are inlaid with
exquisite mural paintings and carvings. Only Hindus are allowed inside the
Sri Padmanabh Swamy Temple (Trivandrum):
Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is an
awe-inspiring structure that has a 100 feet high 'gopuram', built in
Dravidian style. The temple, known for the Mural paintings and stone
carvings is one among the 108 temples dedicated to Vishnu in India.
Vadukkumnathan Temple (Trichur):
a prominent Shiva temple, in downtown Thrissur (Trichur), Kerala. This is
one of Kerala's most ancient shrines, which also houses a museum of ancient
wall paintings, wood carvings and art pieces of immense historical value.
The 'Pooram' festival, falling in April/ May, attracts devotees and tourists
from all over the world.