Thrikkakara Vamana Moorthy Temple or Thirukatkarai Vamanamoorthy is the only temple in India dedicated to Sri Vamana Avatar. This Ancient Vaishnava Temple is situated in Thrikkakara, Kochi, Kerala. Thrikkakara Temple has about 18 important stone inscriptions dating back to the 10th to 13th Century AD. The main temple of Vamana also has shrines for Bhagavathi, Sastha and Sri Gopala Krishna. There is also a Siva Temple with shrines for Sri Parvathi, Sri Durga, Bhagavathi Devi, Sri Subramanian and Sri Ganapathi. The temple is around two millennia old and is also listed as one of the 108 Divya Desams.
It is a centre of celebrations and a place of origin for the popular Onam festival. The Onam is observed by all Malayalees as the return of King Mahabali to Kerala. Colorful Boat Races are held on this occasion on the banks of the Pampa River. At present, the temple is under Travancore Devaswom Board.
How the Festival is Celebrated:
The Utsavam begins with Kodiyettu on Atham day and ends with Arattu on Thiruvonam day. Thiruvonam is the birthday of Sri Vamana Moorthy. Those who could not attend this Utsavam celebrate it at home by making beautiful Pookkalams and offering special Nivedyams to Thrikkakkarayappan. This was strictly followed in every household as it was an order given by the then ruler, Cheraman Perumal, the King of Kerala. These special celebrations and offerings to Sri Vamana are now known as Onam.
The famous Athachamayam at Tripunithura was a triumphal march by the Maharaja of Kochi, with or without military intent, from Tripunithura, then the capital of the state of Cochin, to the Vamana temple at Thrikkakara to witness the Kodiyettu ceremony. It is simply a celebration to herald Onam, the feast of peace and equity, remembering the days when everything was abundant. The Onasadya or Onam festival will be held on the day of Thiruvonam in a grand manner at the temple with a large number of people crossing religious barriers and taking part.
Thrikkakara Temple Timings:
Morning: 4:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Evening: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Vamana Moorthy Temple Pooja Timings:
Awakening of the Deity – 4:30 AM
Temple Opens at 5:00 AM
Usha Pooja (Morning Pooja) – 6:00 AM
Ethirtha Seeveli Pooja – 7:00 AM
Pantheeradi Pooja – 8:00 AM
Uchcha Seeveli Pooja – 11:00 AM
Temple Closes – 11.30 AM to 5.00 PM
Temple re-opens at 5:00 PM
Deeparadhana – 6:30 PM
Athaazha Pooja (Evening Pooja) – 7:30 PM
Seeveli Pooja – 8:00 PM
Temple Closed – 8:30 PM
Vamanamoorthy Temple History:
The Bhagavata Purana describes that Sri Vishnu descended as Vamana Avatar to restore Indra’s authority over the heavens, as it had been taken by Mahabali, a benevolent Asura king. Mahabali was the grandson of Prahlada, the son of Virochana. King Bali was generous and undertook severe austerities and penances and won the praises of the world. With praise from his courtiers and others, he considered himself the almighty of the world.
Vamana, in the guise of a small Brahman carrying an umbrella made of palm leaves, went to the Asura king to ask him for three steps of land. Bali acquiesced, against the warning of his guru, Sukracharya. Vamanan then revealed his identity and expanded to gigantic proportions to walk the three worlds. He went from heaven to earth with the first step, from earth to hell with the second. King Bali, unable to keep his promise, offered his head for the third.
Vamanamoorthy then placed his foot and gave the king immortality for his humility. By worshiping Mahabali and his ancestor Prahláda, he bestowed the sovereignty of Rasatala. Some texts also report that Vamana did not enter Rasatala and instead gave his rule to Bali and granted him the boon of becoming the next Indra. In giant form, Vamana is known as Trivikrama. The legend is associated with the temple as well as Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur and Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram.
According to another legend, a wealthy man who owned a banana orchard did not get much out of it. He donated a set of bananas to the temple, after which he started producing golden bananas. The groove became known as Nentiram Palam. The ruling king became suspicious of the change that was his wealth in the garden and tortured a wise man. The sage curses the king. The king was afraid and in redemption, he consulted a group of wise men. They suggested a bamboo straw and created a light with “Koraipul”, an herb that helped him redeem himself from the curse.
Thrikkakara Vamana Temple Address:
Edappally – Pukkattupady Road,
Vidya Nagar Colony,