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Bharananganam Sree Krishna Swami Temple – History – Festival

Bharananganam Sree Krishna Swami temple is located at Bharananganam in Kottayam district, Kerala. The shrine is dedicated to Sri Krishna Bhagavan. The annual festival in the temple begins on the Makaravilakku day.

Bharananganam Sree Krishna Swami Temple Story

It is believed that during their exile period in the Mahabharata, Pandavas along with their wife Draupadi stayed at the spot where the present day temple is located. Once during Shukla Paksha Dwadashi, Yudhisthira wanted to perform puja of Bhagavan Vishnu but he was unable to find a suitable murti of Vishnu Bhagavan.

To overcome this difficulty, Sree Krishna gifted a murti to Yudhishtira. The murti was carried to the place by Sage Veda Vyasa and Narada Muni as per the desire of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The murti was placed on the banks of Gauna River (ancient name of modern Meenachil river). Yudhisthira soon discovered the murti and her offered worship and thus the place was blessed with the presence of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

It is said that Bheema, the second of Pandavas, dug a well here using his mace or gada.

Pandavas and Draupadi had ended their Ekadasi fasting (Paranaveedal) in the place on the dwadashi day.

Later this place became famous as Paranaaranyam means forest where Paranaveedal was conducted by Pandavas. Paranakananam is the equivalent Malayalam word and with usage of several hundred years the name got transformed into Bharananganam.

The first abhishekam in a day in the temple is done first with river water and then with the water from the well. This tradition was started by the Pandavas.

Bharananganam Sree Krishna Swami Temple Festival

The 8-day annual festival begins on Makar Sankranti day (January 14 or January 15). Procession of the utsava murti of Bhagavan atop a caparisoned elephant is done to nearby villages during the festival days. Utsava Bali is held for six days of the festival. Traditional temple art forms and music are performed during the eight days. Pallivetta is held a day before arattu. The festival concludes on the eighth day with arattu. The arattu is famous for procession of caparisoned elephants. The elephants carry silken umbrellas and venchamaram. The procession is accompanied by temple drums.