Thirunavaya Temple, also known as Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple, is a famous shrine located at Thirunavaya
, about 8 km south of Tirur
, in Malappuram District
. It is a famous pilgrim center situated near Ponnani
, on the banks of Bharathapuzha River
- the second largest river in Kerala
. This ancient temple, dating back to the 13th -14th century, enshrines Navamukunda (Lord Vishnu
) as the presiding deity. The deity is portrayed only from above the knee, the rest of the image is concealed within the ground.
The temple has sub shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesh and Goddess Bhagawathi. There is a separate shrine for Malarmangai Nachiyar unlike the other Divya Desams in Kerala.
The base of the temple is built of stone, while the superstructure above is of laterite, stucco and timberwork. The temple is considered an outstanding example of the typical Kerala style of architecture.
It is said that two of the Tamil Alwars - Shri Namm Alwar and Shri Thirumangai Alwar - have sung of this temple.
The ten-day annual festival which begins with Kodiyettam is a major draw. The festival concludes with Aarattu. The last three days of the festival are regarded as the most auspicious days. Classical art forms such as Krishnattam, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam are conducted during the festival nights.
Tirunnavaya Railway Station, on the Kuttipuram-Kozhikode rail route, is the nearest railhead (2 km).