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Thiruvanvandoor Temple Festival – Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple near Chengannur in Kerala

Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple is located around 7 km northwest of Chengannur town in Kerala. The annual festival in the temple is held in Kumbha Masam (February - March). The annual 10-day festival begins on with kodiyettam on Anizham nakshatra in Kumbha Masam and the festival ends with arattu on Uthrattathi nakshatra. 

The festival is famous for melam, caparisoned elephants, pallivetta, ezhunnallathu, utsava bali and other pujas and rituals. Performance of Kerala temple arts and other cultural aspects of the region make the festival unique. The festival ends with arattu. The utsava murti of Bhagavan is taken for ritual bath on the day atop a caparisoned elephant. The festival is famous for Gajamela, Chenda Melam and kudamattam.

The arattu of Thiruvanvandoor Temple is held in front of Eramallikkara Ayyappa temple, which is around 2 km from Thiruvanvandoor.

The temple is associated with Pandavas of the Mahabharata. Thiruvanvandoor Temple was constructed by Nakula, the fourth of the Pandava brothers. The shrine is also one among the 108 Divya Desams – Thiruvanvandoor (108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu as per Vaishnava tradition).

Lord Vishnu worshiped in the shrine is also referred to as Pambanaiappan – meaning lord on the banks of Pampa River. He is also known as Annadana Prabhu.

Legend has it that Sage Narada and Sage Markandeya got the vision of Lord Vishnu in the spot where the present shrine is located.

There is another belief that the murti worshipped in the shrine was originally worshipped by Sage Bhrigu.

The main murti worshipped in the shrine is Vishnu has height of 8 feet including the peedam and is standing posture and faces west. It is made using Krishna Shila. The vatta sreekovil or round sanctum sanctorum is two tiered and is one of the biggest in Kerala.

The main deity has three poojas here in three different forms. At morning Bhagavan is worshipped as Mahavishnu, Kamalanathan at noon and Pambanayappan at night.

Keshadipadam, Pambanayappan pooja are the famous vazhipadu here.

The shrine is a classic example of Kerala style temple architecture with two tier gopuram, dwajasthambam, deepasthambham, mandapam, nalambalam, balikkal pura, temple tank, sevapanthal and compound wall. The sanctum sanctorum is conical in shape. The sanctum sanctorum is conical in shape. The main door on either side has images of Dwarapalakas.

The main subsidiary murti worshipped in the temple is Gosala Krishna Swamy. Other subsidiary deities are Ganapathy, Sastha, Nagaraja and Nagayakshi.