Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Kshetram, also known as Adbhuta Narayanan Temple, is a famous temple located at Thrikodithanam, about 2 km from Changanacherry
in Kottayam District
. It is one of the five Pancha-Pandava temples in Kerala, dating back to the 9th century. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu
, and is considered among the 108 Vishnu temples in India. The chief deity is Adbhuta Narayanan, made of an unusual black stone called Aanjana-kallu, along with his consort Karpagavalli, in standing posture. Apart from this, the temple houses the images of Lord Krishna
. Idols of Lord Shiva, Ganapathi, Nagadevas, and Kshetrapala are also there in this temple. Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple, also famous as Sahadeva Pradishtai, is associated with Sahadeva, one of the Pandava
brothers, who is believed to have done penance at this place.
Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple is mentioned in the poems and hymns composed by the greatest of Alwar saints, Nammalvar, in the year 800. The temple is noted for the mural paintings and stone inscriptions. Circular walls are adorned with beautiful mural paintings and the scenes from the popular pot dance and umbrella dance. These paintings also give an idea of the bygone era. The main attraction is the 16 panels of beautiful mural paintings in the circular wall around the sanctum.
The double storied sanctum is famous for its architectural excellence. Aadhisthaana, the base of the sanctum, is made of three ft high rounded granite stones. These base stones bear about 13 ancient inscriptions in the Vaatezutthu Tamil script. Copper tile plates are used to cover the sloping roof. The main entrance of the
shrikovil is reached by four steps of polished black granite.
Nalambalam, the space around the sanctum, has a sacred platform called Beli Kallu. Dwaja Sthamba, the ceremonial flag mast is another draw.
The boundary wall of this temple is believed to have been raised in AD 700. There is a beautiful pound close to the eastern entrance of the temple. Kazhivetti-kallu, a strange granite statue is positioned between the eastern entrance and the pond, and attracts a large number of devotees. This granite statue is of a man flat on his back, held up stiff and straight on a stone pillar about six ft high. Only his waist rests on the pillar, rest of the body is unsupported. Sri Subramanya Temple is the nearby attraction.
The annual festival is the 10 day celebrations during the lunar month of Vrishchigom (mid November - mid December). Sri Krishna`s birthday is also an important festival celebrated in grand manner.
Various cultural activities are regularly held at the temple. The temple compound houses numerous trees including the famous Ammachi-Plavu (Jackfruit tree).
Kottayam is 25 km from this temple. Regular buses are available from Changanacherry and the nearest railhead is Changanacherry Railway Station.