Five Pandava Temples in Kerala, Part 5

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BY: SUN STAFF - 31.7 2018

Thiruvanvandoor Temple

Thiruvanvandoor

Our next stop on the parikrama tour of the five Pandava Temples is the tirtha built by Nakula Pandava -- Thiruvanvandoor Temple. It is the fourth stop along the way. Thiruvanvandoor is a village in Chengannur taluk, near Pandanad in Alappuzha district of Kerala. The ancient Pandava temple, known as Thiruvanvandoor Mahakshetram is situated near the Sree Gosalakrishna Temple. In fact, the two temples are in the same large compound.

Nakula Pandava built the original temple here and installed Lord Visnu at the time of the Pandava vanavasam, their self-imposed pilgrimage of penance. The Gosalakrishna Temple is very modern in comparison, having been built just 50 years ago by local villagers.

Sree Paambanaiappan

The presiding Deity at Thiruvanvandoor is Lord Paambanaiappan, Sri Krsna/Visnu's Form named for the Pamba River which flows by the temple.

Like the other four Pandava Temples in Kerala, Thiruvanvandoor Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams, abodes of Lord Visnu worshipped and sung by the 12 Alwars. Earliest references to this temple, like the others, appear in the poems and hymns composed by the great saint Nammalvar, circa 800 AD. Stone inscriptions in the temple date back to the Second Chera Empire (800 - 1102 AD).

Thiruvanvandoor Temple

The major event at Thiruvanvandoor is an annual festival put on by the Gosalakrishna Temple. Called Gajamela, it focuses on a process of the Temple Elephants. In 2010, the event was observed for 51 days, in honor of the 47th anniversary of Shree Gosalakrishna's installation. 21 caparisoned elephants came out on the yatra.

Gajamela