--> Skip to main content

Vadakkumnathan Temple Story

The Vadakkumnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva in Thrissur, Kerala, India. The temple is a classic example of the Hindu temple architectural style of Kerala. Here is a look at the famous story associated with Vadakkumnathan temple.

The Vadakkumnathan Temple's legendary origins are succinctly recounted in the Brahmanda Purana and are also alluded to in other texts. While there may be variations in the details, they unanimously agree on the central theme that the temple was established by Parashurama. According to the folklore, Parashurama beseeched Varuna, the Lord of the oceans, to emerge new land from the waters, which ultimately became Kerala.

With the newfound land, Parashurama sought to consecrate it and turned to his guru, Mahadeva Shiva, on Mount Kailasa. He requested Shiva Bhagavan to take residence in Kerala and bestow blessings upon the region. Accompanied by his wife Parvati, sons Ganesha and Subramanya, and his retinue, Shiva journeyed with Parashurama to fulfill his disciple's request. Shiva eventually settled at a location now known as Thrissur. He and his entourage then disappeared, leaving Parashurama to discover a luminous Shivalinga (a non-anthropomorphic icon of Shiva) at the base of a colossal banyan tree. This sacred spot where Shiva manifested as the Shivling is referred to in Sanskrit as the Sri Moola Sthana.

For a time, the Shivling remained at the Sri Moola Sthana beneath the banyan tree. The ruler of the Cochin Kingdom decided to relocate the Shivalinga to a more suitable location and construct a temple around it. The preparations were underway, but a challenge emerged. Moving the Shivalingam without cutting a significant portion of the banyan tree posed a risk to the deity due to falling branches. Perplexed by this dilemma, the Yogatirippadu devised a solution. He positioned himself over the Shivalinga, completely covering it with his body, and instructed the men to cut the tree. To the astonishment of all, not a single branch of the tree fell anywhere near the deity. The Shivling was then transferred following prescribed rituals and installed in its current location, where it remains to this day. Subsequently, a temple was constructed around the deity in accordance with the regulations outlined in the Shastras.