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Purakkad Sree Venu Gopala Swamy Temple

Sree Venu Gopala Swamy Temple is located at Purakkad in Alappuzha district, Kerala. The main murti worshipped in the temple is Venu Gopala Swamy form of Vishnu Bhagavan. The deity is flanked by Goddess Lakshmi and Bhu Devi.

The Upa Devatas worshipped in the temple are Goddess Lakshmi, Ganapathy, Hanuman, Garuda, Naga Kanyaka, Brahma Rakshas, Bhairavan and Shiva. There is also a samadhi of Yogeeswaran – Kundalagosayi.

Purakkad Sree Venu Gopala Swamy Temple History

The original temple was built between 1660 and 1665 CE. The construction was performed by a businessman named Janardhana Pai.

The temple was renovated in 1706 CE – Makayiram nakshatra in Makaram month – with the help of Ambalapuzha king. The jeernodhara prathishta was done on this day.

A Gowda Saraswat Brahmin, Baruda Bhatta had left Goa at a time of Portuguese persecution, for Moodbidri, in Dakshina Kannada district with a murti of Venugopala which he had secured from Kelosi-Kushasthali in Goa. After a short sojourn there, Baruda Bhatta set on a pilgrimage to Manjeshwar with the murti.

One day, while bathing in the sacred Sesha Tirtha he saw the resplendent figure of Goddess Naga Kanya who after expressing her desire that she should be worshipped along with his Venugopala murti, suddenly vanished. Soon after, he saw a murti of Naga Kanya on the bank of the sacred tank, which he picked up. Since then, he began to worship both the deities. At the request of one Krishna Kudua, a grain dealer of Manjeshwar, Baruda Bhatta settled in Manjeshwar with his two images. With his death, the images passed down through two generations into the possession of Ananda, a scion of the family.

Once, Ananda set on a pilgrimage to South. On his way to Rameswaram with the two murtis, he happened to halt at Purakkad. As if the two murtis were destined to have their permanent abode at Purakkad, the Adhikari or the headman of the Gowda Saraswats had in his sleep a vision of Vishnu Bhagavan, who told him of the impending arrival of the two murtis and his desire to stay at Purakkad. With this prospect in view, the Gowda saraswats had a temple built and kept ready for the installation of the murti. When it turned out as pre-sensed, the Gowda Saraswats of the place told Ananda, on his arrival, of the revelation of Bhagavan and requested him to install the murtis in the temple built for the purpose.

Ananda agreed, and on his return journey from Rameswaram, installed the murti of Venugopala in the temple and that of Naga Kanya in another temple nearby. This was in 1654 AD. As a mark of respect to the memory of Ananda, a pair of sandals used by him with his name inscribed thereon in Kannada, is preserved in the temple. This deity has brought prosperity to Purakkad and it became a major sea trade centre. Convinced by the power of the deity, the Raja of Chempakassery, became an ardent devotee of Venugopala and granted a rent free plot of land for the perpetual use of Ananda and his successors.