The Triprayar Sri Rama Temple is located on the banks of River Sripriya. The name of the place Triprayar, had evolved from the name of the river. It is interesting to find that the river water turns saline in Malayalan month of Vrishchikam (Mid Nov-Mid Dec) while it is normal at the onset of monsoon in June.
The Origin of the Temple:
The legend says that the then chieftain of Triprayar once dreamt that the idols (Sri Rama,Laxmana,
Bharata and Shathrukhna) Lord Krishna had worshipped in Dwaraka washed ashore in the Arabian Sea,4-5 kms from where the temple stands today. He was asked in his dream to find ideal spots for the idols to be installed and consecrated. Thus the Sri Rama Temple installed in Triprayar,
Laxmana Temple in Moozhikkulam,Bharath Temple in Irrinjalakuda and Shathrukhna Temple in Payammel.
Description of Temple:
Facing towards east the temple is on the western banks of the river Sripriya. On the same pedestal as He is,on his right Sri Rama has at His service Sri Mahalaksmi and Bhoomi Devi at his left. He holds in his left hands Bow and Rosary and, in his right Conch and Discus unlikethe other Temples in Kerala dedicated to Sri Rama have idols holding Conch,Chakra,Gada and Padma in his hand and thus making Triprayar temple unique.
In fact, Sri Rama is Parameswara Himself and it is considered inappropriate to see them as two.’Ra’ means Shakthi(Mother) and ‘Ma’ means Shiva(Father). Sounds from the words naRAyana and naMA Shivaya form the name RAMA. Lord Sri Rama thus is the confluence of both Vishnu and Shiva, along with Brahma. The Bow,in the upper right hand of the idol indicates the characteristics of Shiva. Though many other gods have it,it is unique to Shiva. Pinaki (‘the wielder of the Bow’)is no one but Shiva.The Rosary he holds in lower Right hand is a character of Brahma. The Conch and the Chakra in the left hands are traits of Vishnu. The Kavacham(Arvour) made of Panchaloha(an alloy of five metals) is centuries old, and gleams bright even today.
All the five pujas performed in great temples, Sribali and Navakam are performed here everyday. Sribali is offered in the morning and in the evening involves procession on the elephant. Pujas for Lakshmi Devi and Bhoomi Devi are also performed daily.
We have all heard the stories of great warriors and fighters from the Puranas. These warroirs are equally famous for their stories of Valour and Skills,’especially’ with the arrow or ‘Baanam’. The most special among these baanams is the ‘Ramabaanam’. As we can see many including Krishna,Mahabali,Yudhishtir and Harichandra have ruled our country,Yet the best of the reigns is in the name of Sri Rama; The Rama Rajya is the ‘model nation’. Even in Astrological slokas,Sri Rama’s name is quoted. There is no denying that Sri Rama is most unique among the Dasavataras, the reincarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Special Yearly Celebrations :
The auspicious days in Triprayar Temple include ‘Krishnapaksha Ekadasi’ during the month of Vrishchikam(mid Nov-mid Dec),the eight-day-long festival ‘Makairyam Purrapadu’ during Meenam(mid March-mid April),the ‘Prathishtaa Dinam’(Annual Consecration Day) during Medam(mid April-mid May),and the ‘Ramayana Maasam’ the entire month of Karkkidakom(mid July-mid August).
Ekadasi gained importance from the days of King Ambarish.Usually in Vishnu Temples Ekadasi is celebrated on Shukla Paksha but here this one is celebrated on Krishna Paksha,that is because of Sri Rama as he is the Vishnu who has imbibed all the qualities of Shiva.
Brahma is considered the Creator,Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Anihilator. But Shiva,has all the three qualities mentioned above and has the power of the forebears. Normally,Shukla Paksha important for Devas,and Krishna Paksha for forbears.Though the basic colours are,White,Red,Yellow and Green, Black is the most important of them as all other colours dissolve in Black. Mahakala and Mahakali,the creators and destroyers, are dark. All human life originate from the darkness of the womb,and ends in the darkness of death. Black,thus is the eternal colour. By observing Ekadasi at the Triprayar Temple,not only the observer but also his forebears attain salvation.
Celebrations including cultural programmes and embellishments, starts 15 days prior to the Ekadasi day. Elephants with their owners in and around Thrisshur, come to the Triprayar Temple on Ekadasi day or by its eve,with a belief that they will have a great year if they visit the temple on that auspicious day.The Sribali and Ekadasi Vilakku on Ekadasi day and the Dasami Vilakku on its eve are indeed splendid.
On the Auspicious Karkidakom raasi on Makaiyram in the month of Meenam starts the historically famous Pooram Purrapadu(when the lord sets out of the temple in and around Triprayar to enquire about the welfare of his people). Rarely,it starts a day prior to Rohini,depending on the position of the stars. Pooram Purrapadu can also fall in the month of Kumbham(mid Feb-mid March)during the seven days of Pooram Lord sets out of the temple,just after the Usha pooja in the morning.The rest of the daily rituals carry on in the evening when he is back on end of the day.It is only this Triprayar Temple where we can see that all the rituals are carried out even on the Pooram day. Arattupuzha Pooram, is done on the eighth day of Pooram Purrapadu. The Lord’s procession starts late that day,only after the Athaazha Puja and Sribali.It is no one else but Triprayarppan who spearheads the ‘Devamela’;a coming together of 61 Gods,in Arattupuzha Sree Sastha Temple.
The Prathisthaa Dinam(Annual Consecration Day) is celebrated on Punartham nakshtra in the month of Medam. Sarppabali and Dravyakalasham are performed on its eve. On this day offerings like Payasahomam,Special Procession and Dravya-Kalashaabhishekam and Prasadam Uuttu are carried out.
The Ramayana Maasam from Karkkidakom 1 to Chingam 1(Ramayana month from mid July-mid August)is of supreme importance. Devotees from across India,come to Triprayar during the month and visit the four Lords-in the order of Sri Rama in Triprayar,Laxmana in
Mooshikkulam,Bharath in Irrinjalakuda and Shathrukhna in Payammel-on this single day during this month which is cosidered auspicious. Hence,the Triprayar Temple needs to be visited first,the temple premises and the roads that lead to it are swarmed by devotees as early as 3 O’clock in the morning.
Other Upadevatas in the Temple:
Ganapathy and Dakshinamoorthy reside to the right of Sri Rama in a corridor inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.Outside the walls surrounding the Sanctum Sanctorum,on the South resides the Sastha and North resides the Goshala Krishnan. Those seeking blessing of Chatan should first visit Triprayarappan and offer Dravyasmarppanam before heading to Avanamcode.
Main Offerings in the Temple:
Apart from Pushpanjali, Maala and Vilakku,important offerings here include: Vedi,Avil Nivedyam,Meenoottu,Kalabham,Sundarakanda Paaraayanam,Udayasthamya Puja and Anna Daanam. Nowhere else is Vedi as important as in Triprayar Temple and it stands for ‘Sabda Brahmna’. Even modern science says sound clears atmosphere. Offering Vedi fulfills wishes quickly and is not hindered even during a heavy down-pour.
The first form of Dasaavatarams was in the form of Fish,and also the idol of Sri Rama itself has remained underwater for a while and thus gains importance for Meenoottu(fish-feeding). Just as a heated body cools off with tho application of sandal paste,the body and soul equally finds peace and prosperity and every wish granted by offering Kalabham to the Lord.The same can be offered to Goshala Krishnan and Sastha.
Sundarakandam,in Ramayana, is the favourite of Rama and Hanuman. Hence the rendition of it is considered the special offering. Koothu Purrapadu is performed only during the Mandalam Season(mid Dec-end Jan),this offering grants wishes of marriage and child-bearing.The Chakyar(performer),dressed as Hanuman performs Anguleeyanakam Koothu in the Mandapam of the Temple.
Ulsavam is equally favourite to Devas and Humans. But it cannot be made an offering. An individual,can however,receive all the blessings of offering an ulsavam by offering Udayastamaya Puja.
Way to Triprayar Sri Rama Temple:
The Triprayar Sri Rama Temple is situated in the cultural capital of Kerala,Thrissur,25 kms south-west of the town.The temple is Half-way between Guruvayur (towards north) and Kodungallur (towards south) on NH17,just 500 mtrs of the highway,from where the elegant gate tower can be seen at the entrance of the road leading to the temple.Though there are other Sri Rama Temples elsewhere, The Triprayar Sri Rama Temple, is the premier in the whole of Kerala,India for the rituals and the pattern of Idol here are concerned.
Nearest Railway Station: Thrissur
Nearest Airport: Nedumbaserry(Kochi)