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Azheekal Sree Varaha Temple – Ratholsavam Festival – First GSB Temple In Kerala

Azheekal Sree Varaha temple is located at Pallippuram near Cherai in Kochi, Ernakulam district, Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Varaha form of Bhagavan Vishnu. The annual festival famous as the Cherai Ratholsavam is held in Meena Masam. The shrine belongs to the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins (GSB) of Kerala and this is the first GSB temple in Kerala. The shrine was established in 1565 CE.

Azheekal Sree Varaha Temple is a nagara type temple and it is the only complete temple of this type of architecture in South India. Seven deities are worshipped in the temple.

The chariot or ratham in the temple is famous for its architecture. It was built in 1909 CE. The temple also has a chariot path or ratha veethi.

The upa devatas worshipped in the temple are Venkateshwara, Hanuman, Ganapati, Goddess Lakshmi, Garuda, Mahadeva (Shiva) and Goddess Durga.

The annual Ratholsavam festival is held twice year on Rohini Nakshatra day in Vrischika Masam (November – December) and Meena Masam (March – April). Magnificently decorated chariot is pulled through the ratha veethi during the annual festival. There is also a temple structure in the middle of the pond and it is accessed using a traditional boat to do rituals during the annual festival.

Varaha Jayanti and Makayiram nakshatra in Medam month (April – May) are the other auspicious days in the shrine.

The temple also observes various other important days in a Hindu calendar including Vinayaka Chaturthi and Navratri.