Legend of Temple of Rama and Lakshmana
According to another legend of Temple of Rama and Lakshmana once, the power of the Lord Vishnu increased enormously. The asuras feared that they might be defeated hence one of the demons took the form of a Brahmin and came to the temple. One day he killed many cows and other animals and ate their flesh. Another day he broke open the sanctum and tried to destroy the idol of the Lord. Lord Vishnu then assumed the form of Narasimha and killed the demon. From that day he was revered as Vilwadrinatha.
Architecture of Temple of Rama and Lakshmana
The Temple of Rama and Lakshmana has been beautifully designed and decorated. One of the prominent features of Kerela Temples are flagstaff but this particular feature is absent in the Tiruvilwamala Temple. The beautiful carvings of the temple indicate how ornate the gopurams were. They had seven storeys and were so tall that the lamps lit there could be seen from the platform of the Pipal tree at Tirunavayi Navamukundan temple which is some 40 km. away.
A little to the south of the eastern gateway is the Hanuman shrine. It is a magnificent 5 foot stone image covered with silver raiment. Yet another feature peculiar to this temple is the presence of two equally big and square shaped srikoils, one facing east, with the deity imagined and worshipped as Lakshmana, and the other facing west, dedicated to Lord Rama, though both the idols are that of Mahavishnu, with four arms carrying the conch, the disc, the mace and the lotus.
A striking example of distinct architectural charm, both sanctums are set a little apart from each other though they are to be circumambulating together, not separately. They are quadrangular in shape with rubble basement. The roof is in two storeys, the lower one of truncated pyramidal shape and the upper one pyramidal with a golden stupa and four gabled roofs projecting externally form the top roof. In both the shrines the roof is covered with copper sheet.
The image in the sanctum facing west is Swayambhu or self-born. It is four to five feet tall and is permanently fitted with a gold plated cover for the protection of the image and hence never renewed. The entire courtyard of the temple is paved with stone slabs. On the north side is the temple tank. There is no well inside the temple which is another peculiarity. The water required for daily worship is drawn from a tank situated in the north-east side. Therefore no one is allowed to use this tank. If any pollution is suspected water is brought from the nearby Bharatapuzha.
Festivals of the Temple of Rama and Lakshmana
The important annual festival held in the Temple of Rama and Lakshmana is the Ekadasi in the Malayalam month of Kumbha (February-March). On Ashtami, Navami and Ekadasi days there is vilakku (festival of lights), niramalas (decoration with flower garlands) and elephant processions. Elaborate feasts used to be held in the past, which like other temples have been discontinued with the change of times. On Ekadasi day, of course, hundreds of devotees observe fast and forgo their sleep. They spend their time in temples in prayers and in witnessing a variety of entertainments given freely by famed artistes.