(Last Updated on : 22/12/2015)
Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thiruvananthapuram
. The temple can be reached in a minutes walk from the southern gate of Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple
. The temple was constructed in the year 1898 and is dedicated to Sri Venkatachalapathy. It is known by many names like Srinivasar kovil, Perumal Kovil, Iyyengar Kovil or Desikar Sannidhi. This is the only temple in Kerala that is dedicated to Vaishanavite Vadakalai Sambradayam.
History of Venkatachalapathy Temple
According to history the idol of the temple, Sri Venkatachalapathy was found in a pond by Ranga Iyengar of Veeravanallur. He saw the idol near his house around 100 years ago. The idol was installed in the temple by Sree Ranganatha Satagopa Yateendra Mahadesikar, the 40th Azhkiya Singar according to the 'Paadmasamhitai') of the 'Paancharathra Agamanam'. The chief priest of the temple was the eldest son in Ranga Iyengar's family. He also shouldered the responsibility of the administration of the temple. The daily rituals in the temple are being carried out according to the Vadakalai System.
Architecture of Venkatachalapathy Temple
The Venkatachalapathy Temple has been beautifully decorated and designed by the architects. The origin of the temple can be traced to Tamil Nadu
. Like other temples, this temple does not have a 'Gopuram'. Its Sreekovil is simple in design and is devoid of any elaborate carvings or any other architectural work. It is however, adorned with a terrace. The main deity of the temple, Sri Venkatachalapathy Perumal is installed in the garbhagriha
or sanctum sanctorum. It also houses other deities like Alamelu Mangai Thayar and Padmasini Thayar. There are also shrines for the Hindu deities like Navaneetha Krishnar (Santhana Gopalan), Peria Thiruvadi, Garudar.
The Venkatachalapathy Temple also has the idol of Kulasekhara Alwar installed. He is said to have rules the place many centuries ago. He was a pious Vaishnavite and a very religious man. A sannidhi has been constructed in his honour.
Festivals of Venkatachalapathy Temple
The Venkatachalapathy Temple celebrates many festivals on a grand scale. During this time the temple is decorated beautifully with lights and flowers and is visited by many devotees. Most of the Vaishnava festivals like the Vaikunta Ekadasi
, Thiru Aadi pooram and Aadi Swathi, Janmashtami
, Alwar Thirunakshtram are celebrated here. Besides these many other national and religious festivals like Pongal
, Vishu and Onam are also celebrated.
Every year in the month of Purattasi Brahmotsavam is conducted here that beings 10 days before the Thiruvonam day. During this festival special Abhishekams is done for all the Moolavar and Utsavar deities. In the evening Vedam and Divya Prabhanda Parayanam is conducted here. The festival terminates with Theertha Vaari for Venkatachalapathy Perumal and Vedanta Desikar.
During the festival the main deity of the temple is placed on Garuda
and taken out for procession in a beautifully decorated palanquin. This looks like the one on which Lord Vishnu
is taken out during the Theerthavari at the Padmanabhaswami Temple
. Apart from this the Garuda Vahanam is taken out on all the Saturdays of the Purattasi month.
In the month of Maargazhi, i.e. December another important festival is celebrated which is the recital of Thirupavai. The poems were composed by "Andal" an ardent devotee of Lord Perumal. The vaikunda ekadasi is the next festival that is celebrated in the temple. In this perumal is seen in Sayana alangaram.
The deity of the temple is given several offerings like Puliyogare (Tamarind Rice), Dhadhyonam (Curd Rice), Pongal, Chakkarai Pongal, Ellodarai (Sesame Rice), Kheer, Amrutha Kalasam and Chakkarai Sundal.