Sree Poornathrayeesha and Tripunithura Temple

Sree Poornathrayeesha

Poornathrayeesha – the lord of ‘Tripunithura’ is believed to be an unique appearance of the Santana Gopala Moorthy. Legend has that in Dwaparayuga when Sreenarayana, the lord of Vaikunta, wished to see Arjuna and Krishna (the Nara and Narayana) together he made an extremely poor and pious brahmin an instrument. When Arjuna, having failed to rescue the brahmin’s children from death proceeded to sacrifice himself, Krishna took him to Vaikunta. There they beheld the glorious scene of the Lord with his consorts (Sree ad Bhoomi) playing with the brahmin children on his Ananthasimhasanam

Sree Poornathrayeesha Temple

The Manifestation

This sight was manifested as an idol in Anjana stone and entrusted to Arjuna who worshipped it till his end. It is believed that the idol was then passed on to Ganapathy to be consecrated at the holiest place ‘Tripunithura’. Ganapathy when saw the holy place fell in love with it and he himself sat there. When Arjuna heard about this he came and pushed Ganapathy aside and gave the lord his rightful place. This resulted in the Ganapathy idol facing south at the temple. This was done on 51st day after Kaliyuga had started.

Benevolent Lord

Sree Poornathrayeesan who is worshipped in his various forms such as Vaikunta Nathan, Yoganarayanan, and Santana Gopala Moorthi is considered to be the Yagnapurusha – ‘the supreme expression of the three Vedas’. Sree Poornathrayeesan is the Vaikuntanathan, granter of all wishes, all comforts and supreme attainment in future. The temple enshrines only Poornathrayeesha and Ganapathy, there are no other upadevatas.


The Poornathrayeesha idol is biggest panchaloha idol in India on which daily poojas are performed. The temple has gained popularity not only for its unique deity forms but also for its festivals. Poornathrayeesha temple has many festivals.

Atha chamayam festival

Though a festival, it has more to do with Tripunithura town than the temple.

Erstwhile rulers had a custom of visiting the subjects on atham in the month of chingam. This was a joyous occasion and was done with fanfare, elephants drums etc. When royalty became history this practice had ceased. Later it was restarted by the local governance and has now become one of the major attractions in the state. 


Groups from different part of the state take part in the procession of floats depicting socially relevant themes and messages. The procession goes through the town and marks the beginning of the festivities of Onam.
Onpathanthi (9th day) ulsavam:
The temple was made up of wood and had caught fire around 1920.

The idol was rescued by covering it with utensils and taken to Puthen bunglow. The temple was then rebuilt in concrete and the idol

reinstated on 9th of the tulam month. During the festival there would be numerous lamps and huge amounts of camphor are lighted in remembrance of the fire.

Para Ulsavam

Legend says when the temple faced difficulties there was an asriri from the deity that he will ask his devotees. That was the beginning of paraulsavam wherein the god visits different parts of the town and the devotees offer para to the lord.

Sree Poornathrayeesha
Uthram vilakku

Uthram of month kumbham is the birthday of Poornathrayesha. On this day pishari kovil deity who is considered to be his sister comes visiting him. Chottanikkara Devi is also considered to be his sister but Poornathrayeeshan and Chottanikkara Devi had some differences of opinion so are not in talking terms. For the uthram vilakku devotees from faraway places come and partake in the feast.

Mooshari ulsavam

It’s believed the mooshari (metal smith) who made the idol became one with the deity. This is celebrated during the first days of the chingam month.


The main festival in splendor and celebration. The whole town wears a festive look and every household gears up to receive guests from far and wide. The 8 days have numerous programs ranging from art forms like Chakiyarkoothu, Nangiyar koothu, Ottamthullal etc in the day time and Kathakali, vocal recitals etc during the evenings.


Pandi melam during daytime and Panchari melam during late nights are a sight to be beholden. The enthusiasm of the crowd which stays with the melam till wee hours of the morning is to be seen to be believed.