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Thiruvilwamala Sree Rama Temple Festival – Sri Rama Navami - Thiruvilwamala Temple Story

Sri Rama Navami, which falls on Shukla Paksha Navami in Malayalam Meena Masam in Kerala, is an important festival at the Thiruvilwamala Sree Rama temple. Special pujas and rituals are observed in the temple on the occasion.

Bhagavan Sri Rama is worshipped in the temple as Vilwadrinatha. Vaishnava pujas and rituals are part of the annual festival day.

The temple consists of two double-storeyed square-shaped sreekovils (sanctum sanctorum) and two anakkottils (platform for elephants). The murti of Bhagavan Sri Rama is around 5 ft tall, and is made up of a rare kind of stone, called Pathalanjana Sila.

The murti of Sri Rama here provides sin redemption. The origin of the murti is associated with Parashurama who wanted to do penance for killing Kshatriyas. It is said that Shiva gave Parashurama a murti of Sri Rama that he used to worship in the Mount Kailash. This murti was consecrated at Thiruvilwamala by Sage Parashurama. He performed penance and got redemption. This murti of Bhagavan Sri Rama is worshipped in the east nada in the temple.

Amalaka Maharishi son of Kashyapa Maharshi started a severe penance at Thiruvilwamala in ancient times. As this Maharishi lived by eating only Gooseberry fruit (Nellikka). He was known by the Sanskrit name of the fruit i.e. Amala in Sanskrit. So intense was his penance that Indra, the king of Devas, felt threatened. Apsara, the heavenly damsel, was deputed to disturb the penance and break the penance of the Rishi but she failed in her attempt.

So Devas approached Kashyapa Maharshi about the intention of his son Amalaka Maharishi. Kashyapa Maharshi told the Devas that his son is not interested in the pleasures of the world or the pleasures of heaven. His intention and aim is to please Vishnu Bhagwan by his Bhakthi (devotion).

It is said that later Asuras tried to disturb the penance of the Rishi. He opened his eyes and reduced the asuras into ashes. The ashes of the demons formed a mount and this is now known as Rakshasa Para (hillock of demons). Parakkottukavu is located at the base of this hill.

Pleased with the devotion of Vishnu Bhagwan gave darshan to Amalaka Maharishi along with Sridevi, Bhudevi and Ananta Sesha. As boon, the Rishi asked Vishnu Bhagavan to permanently reside at Thiruvilwamala. To satisfy and please his ardent devotee, Vishnu Bhagavan thus resides along with Sridevi, Bhudevi and Ananta Sesha at the west nada of the temple.