Sree Vallabha Temple is also called as Sri Kolapira Perumal Temple and Sree Vallabha Maha Kshetram located at Thiruvalla town in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. This temple is revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also named as ‘Thiruvallavaazh’. Sree Vallabha Temple was believed to be built 2998 BC. And it was said to be rebuilt in 59 BC by Sreedaevi Antharjanam. And then it was intricately built by Queen Cherumthevi.
The legend says that when Lord Brahma, the god of creation, was in a deep meditation. Purusha (cosmic man) appeared before Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma understood the holiness of Purusha, who was none other than Lord Vishnu and He started worshiping the idol of Purusha, which was created by Vishvakarma, the Principal Architect of the Universe. The idol was created by energy focused out of extreme power and passion of Purusha.
Upon the request by Samudradeva, the god of water, to Lord Brahma for the idol of Purusha, Lord Brahma presented the idol of Purusha to Samudradeva by advising him the worship procedure for the idol. Years passed, and Goddess Adi Parashakti (the Supreme Being) was born as a daughter to Samudradeva and She was named as Sreedevi (Lakshmi). Sreedevi also started worshiping the same idol of Purusha. And Lord Vishnu was said to have appeared to Sreedevi and promised Sreedevi that He would marry Her while she comes out from Thiruparkadal (Ocean of milk) during churning of the sacred ocean of milk to attain immortality, which took place in Satya Yuga, the Golden age or era.
As promised by Lord Vishnu, He married Sreedevi (Lakshmi) hence the Lord here is called as Sree Vallabhan (sree denotes Lakshmi and Vallabhan denotes husband). And it was said that Goddess Sreedevi incorporated Her power to the idol of Purusha. It was believed that the sage Durvasa was totally distressed by his own enraged behavior which led to a bad incident during the churning of milky ocean by all the devas for the attainment of immortality. Durvasa was advised by his father to pray Lord Shiva, who directed Durvasa to worship Lord Brahma to attain the knowledge of Parabrahmam (beyond all conceptualizations).
Lord Brahma advised the sage Durvasa to worship Lord Vishnu. Durvasa along with 63 disciples came to earth to found a suitable place to worship Lord Vishnu. And they found a spot and named the place as Mallikavanam, the forest of Jasmin (where Mallika means jasmine and Vanam means forest). The sage Durvasa created mango trees and sacred deciduous Old World trees and performed deep meditation beneath the trees. Pleased by the devotion of the sage Durvasa, Lord Vishnu appeared before him in the form of Sree Vallabhan. As Lord Vishnu appeared, water started rushing out from the earth.
Durvasa washed the sacred feet of Lord Vishnu with the water rushing out from the earth. And he requested Lord Vishnu to stay at the spot forever and he would worship Lord Vishnu whenever Lord Vishnu takes His form as a deity and worshipped by all the devotees. Even today, the temple follow its own peculiar procedure of worship which is believed to have followed in no other temples. And it is said that the sage Durvasa and Saptarishi visit Sree Vallabhan temple every night to worship Lord Vishnu as said by the sage Durvasa previously. And the water which raised out from the earth when Lord Vishnu appeared before the sage Durvasa is now turned into a tank (temple tank) called Jalavanthy.
The presiding deity of this Sree Vallabha Temple is Lord Sree Vallabhan (Lord Vishnu). And the deity Lord Sree Vallabhan found facing towards the east direction and Sudarshana Chakra (Sudarshanamoorthy) is found facing towards the west. No other temples places Lord Vishnu and Sudarshana Chakra under the same roof. The deity Lord Sree Vallabhan is found holding lotus flower in His lower right hand, chakra in His upper right hand, sankha in upper left hand and His lower left hand is placed on His waist. The idol of Lord Sree Vallabhan is about 7 feet height and located at a height of 10 feet and the top and bottom of the Lord cannot be seen.
One of the special feature of this Sree Vallabha Temple is that Kathakali dance is performed as a ritual offering to the Lord of this temple. Sri Kolapira Perumal temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, a Vaishnava canon, and mangalaasanam (devotional songs) were sang by the twelve azhwar saints. Lord Vishnu in this Sree Vallabha Temple is worshiped in His cosmic and real spiritual form called ‘Purusha’. The sanctum-sanctorum is built in such a way that the top and bottom of the deity cannot be seen. This is because Viratpurusha has no origin and end. They use different manthras for the different facets of Lord Purusha, unlike only single manthras are used in all other temples.
Peetha Pooja which is considered as the compulsory ritual is not performed to the Lord Purusha, as He has no origin and end. Dressings to Lord Purusha is done only with white or saffron clothes, in contrary all other temples use yellow clothing for Lord Vishnu. The rituals in this Sree Vallabha Temple follow all Shaiva, Vaishnava, and Shakteya type of worshiping as Lord Purusha being the ultimate. The other deities of the temple are Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Murugan, Lord Ayyappan, Lord Dakshinamurthy, Lord Varaha, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Bhoodevi, Lord Narasimha, Vamana, Sudarshana, Parashurama, Sree rama, Purusha sukta, Balarama, SreeKrishna, Venu Gopala, etc.
The important offerings of this Sree Vallabha Temple are Paala Namaskaaram, Kathakali, Pantheerayiram and Kesadipaadam Garland. The mango trees and sacred fig which Durvasa created and worshiped underneath are still found in the temple complex. The special attribute about this temple is the Garuda dhvaja sthambam (flagstaff) of Garuda, the eagle mount of Lord Vishnu. The flagstaff is made out of black granite and stands at a height of 53.5 feet above the ground. And a 3 feet idol of Garuda is placed on the top of the flagstaff, which faces the main sanctum of Lord Sree Vallabhan. This temple was said to have had governed one of the biggest educational institutions in ancient time and contributed a lot to the cultural and educational developments of Kerala state.
- Palli Unarthal – 4.00 AM
- Nirmalya Darsanam – 4.30 AM
- Abhishekam – 5.00 AM
- Malar Nivedyam – 6.00 AM
- Usha Pooja – 6.30 AM
- Sreebali – 8.00 AM
- Pantheeradi Pooja – 9.00 AM
- Ucha Pooja – 10.45 AM
- Ucha Sreebali – 11.30 AM
- Temple closes at 12.00 Noon
- Deepa Araadhana – 6.30 PM
- Pantheeradi Pooja – 7.00 PM
- Athazha Pooja – 7.30 PM
- Sreebali – 8.00 PM
- Thiru Uthsavam – February/March
- Uthra Sreebali – March/April
- Thiruvonam – August/September
- Thirunaal – October/November
- Thirunaal Chirappu – November/December
- Ardra – December/January
- Vishu – April/May
- Nira Puthari – July/August
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provide buses connecting to and from Tiruvalla to major cities. KSRTC operates daily Interstate Airbus service to Bangalore and to other major cities from Tiruvalla.
The nearest railway station to reach the temple is Tiruvalla railway station. The other nearest stations are Chengannur railway station and Kottayam railway station.
The nearest International airports to reach the temple are Cochin International Airport (105 km) and Trivandrum airport (126 km).
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