Sree Poornathreyeesa Temple, Thripunithura

This temple is located at Thripunithura town. Sree Poornathreyeesan is the family deity of Cochin royal family. The glorious devine rests under the five hood of Ananthan.

While Arjuna was in Vaikundom, the adobe of Vishnu, an idol was presented to him. Vishnu wanted it to be installed on the earth. Arjuna put it in his quiver (Pooni in Malayalam). It was and idol of Maha Vishnu. After reaching on the earth, as desired by Sreekrishna, Arjuna gave the idol to a Brahmin. The brahmin was none other than the Brahnin described in the story of ‘Santhana Gopalam'. He installed the idol in a ‘thura' (a place where people gather) observing all ‘tantric' rituals. Hence the place is known as ‘Thripoonithura'. After the Brahmin's death, his ancestors (the Puliyoor family) have been performing all ‘Poojas' at this temple.

The scholars say that the word ‘threyee' means Veda and so the devine who knows the whole veda is known as ‘Pooranthreyeesan'. It is compulsory that the priest who perform poojas at this temple should have thorough knowledge of Vedas.

This temple has got a reference in the ‘Sukasandesa' and old poem in the form of a message. The reference of a ‘Fullayaru' and Vishnu temple in the poem are actually the ‘Pazhupuzha' and the thripoonithura Vishnu temple. In those days it was considered as a village temple and was the only temple for those who belong to the villages chowvara. Peruvanom, Irinjalakuda and Vedanadu.

It was a time when the Vaishnava movement was at its zenith in South India . As a result the Thulu Brahins were attracted to the temple and they tried their best for the progress of the Poornathreyeesa temple along with the local Nampoothiris. The Thulu Brahmins sought help and advice from the Nampoothiris as and when needed and in duel course took over the charge of the temple. The priests performed all temple rituals. Today the Vaishnava Brahmins from the Uduppi village in Mysore are the chief priests of the temple.

During the reign of Sakthan Thampuran the administration of the temple was taken over by him and when the Indian Union came into existence, the management was handed over tot eh Cochin Devasom Board.

In 1096 M.E. a huge fire consumed the temple buildings leaving the idol and the shrine unhurt. Later under the supervision of the architect Mr.Echara Warrier, the temple was renovated as we see it today.

There are three gate towers (Gopurams) of which the east and west are the most important. The southern gate tower is closed and there is no tower on the opposite side where there is located only a mess hall.

The idol of Poornathreyeesa, having four arms, in about 4” tall under the five hoods of Amanita. It is placed on a separate pedestal.

There is an ever-burning oil lamp at the shrine. It is believed that Arjuna had placed it after the placement of the idol. The favourite offering of the divine is lighting the oil lamps and it is known as ‘Olpenna'. There is no sub-deites at the temple except Sree Ganapathy.

There are four major festivals at the temple. They are thulam festival (October/November), Vrichikom festival( November/December), Moosari festival (August-Septemebr) and festival of ‘Nagappennu' (February/March). Among them Vrichikom festival is the most important one. On the day of ‘Chothi' (Star) flag is hoisted with ‘tantric' ceremonies and on the ‘Thiruvathira day' the festival ends with ‘arat' (divine bath). On each day of the festival the Lord accompanied by 15 elephants and ‘Panchari melam' goes round the temple. Variety entertainments add flavour to the festival. The people of Thrippunithura, forgetting their cast or creed participate in all these festivals and it can rightly be called a ‘Unity in diversity'.