Thriprayar Temple

Thriprayar Temple : The magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Rama at Triprayar to the south of Thrissur has many interesting legends attached to it. 108 Vaishnava Divya Desam temples including the Lakshmana Temple at Tirumoozhikkalam, Bharata Temple at Koodalmaanikkam and Shatrughna Temple at Payammel surround the temple. According to the legend four images of Lord Vishnu believed to be of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna washed ashore here to be discovered by a local chieftan Vakkey Kaimal. It is believed that offering worship at each of these four shrines on a given day is auspicious. The image of the presiding deity Rama is said to resemble Vishnu with four arms, bearing a conch, a disc, a bow and a garland. It is also said to possess some aspects of Shiva while the garland is believed to be suggestive of Brahma, and is thus said to be the embodiment of Holy trinity. The image is richly adorned with necklaces and fine jewelry and is accompanied by idols of Sridevi and Bhudevi, on either side and is portrayed as the victor over the demon Khara.

The other deities that have been enshrined here are Dakshinamurthy in the sanctum facing south, Hanuman, Ganapathi, Sastha or Ayyappan along with others. The temple has 24 panels of woodcarvings and several ancient murals depicting scenes from Ramayana. The ancient temple has passed hands from Zamorin rulers to Dutch to Mysore sultans to finally, the rulers of Cochin. A processional image of the deity is carried around the temple three times a day. The seven-day annual Pooram festival is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Meenam and the day preceding the Ekadashi Festival, there is procession of Saasta marked by a grand and stately procession of Rama flanked by 21 elephants and royal paraphernalia. A local pantomime form known as Angya Koottu is performed as a worship service in the temple. and , inside the temple premises. In the 12 day performance season in the month of Scorpio, episodes from the Ramayana involving Hanuman’s bringing back a ring from Sita to Rama are enacted.