Kudal Manikkam Temple or Koodalmanikkam Temple is situated in , Irinjalakuda, near Thrissur, Kerala. Koodalmanikkam temple is the only known ancient temple in India dedicated to Bharata,brother of Rama. However the moolavar is that of Maha Vishnu or Sangameshwara.
This temple is one of four in Kerala state that form a set called "Nalambalam",(four temples) each temple dedicated to one of the four brothers Rama, Bharata, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. The Sri Rama temple at Triprayar, for Lakshmana at Moozhikalam and Payammal temple for Shatrughna are other three temples.
The Temple :The moolasthanam is round shaped and is covered with copper plates. The moolavar Koodalmanikyam is Vishnu with four arms with Conch, Chakra, Gada and Japamaala in each of his hands. There are no other deities found here. There are no sthala vrikshams (temple tree) and no flowering plants, including the Holy Thulasi. It is customary that only the moolavar should be worshipped here.
This beautiful temple is a marvel in Kerala temple architecture.The gopuram at the entrance is massive and in the typical Kerala style of architecture with tiled roof and white painted walls. Numerous carvings can be seen in the front wall of the gopuram. The temple is situated inside a big compound of nearly ten acre land with attractive gopurams on the East, South and West. The praharams on the eastern and western sides are huge and can accommodate around twenty elephants. The koothambalam (stage) and the carvings in wood and stone on the walls are majestic and beautiful.The Kerala murals on the walls on either side of the eastern side of chuttambalam are beautiful.
The Temple is an important centre of temple arts like Kathakali,Thullal, Koothu and Koodiyattom.
There are four pushkaranis (holy ponds) that are located in and around the temple. The bigger of the four is Kuttan Kulam, located outside the praharam on the eastern side, and Kulipini Theertham, located inside the praharam. Holy Ganga is believed to be in this Kulipini Theertham and only water from this pond is used for rituals in the temple.
Rituals and Pooja
Unlike other temples in Kerala, there are only three poojas instead of five and no seeveli procession is done. The deity is taken out for Seevali procession only during the annual festival. There is no deepa aradhana. Lotus, Tulasi and Viruchi,known here as Thechipoo (Ixora) are the only holy flowers used here at this temple for pooja and offerings.
In the Malayalam month of Karkidakam (mid July to mid August,Adi or Ashada month) thousands of devotees go on Nalambalam pilgrimage to the four temples,Koodalmanikkam, Triprayar, Moozhikalam and Payammal temple
Festivals : Thriputhari on the Thiruvonam day in the month of Thulam (Octoberto November) is an important occasion in the temple. Newly harvested rice is cooked and offered to deity first and then offerred to the devotees as prasadam. On the subsequent day, an Ayurvedic mixture called Mukkudi is offered which is beleived to be a divine medicine for any ailment.
The annual festival of the temple is held for 11 days in April-May. The festival begins one day after the famous Thrissur Pooram and comes to a close on the next Thiruvonam day. Thousands throng the place during the festival to witness the pageant of colour, music, and Fine Arts.
Temple location The temple is situated in the outskirts of Irinjalakuda.
Temple Timings The temple is open from 4:00 AM till 12:00 noon am and from 5:00 pm till 8:00 pm
Dress code Men should remove their shirts inside the praharam. Women can wear Saris, skirts & Salwar Kameez.
How to reach?
The nearest airport is Cochin and Irinjalakuda is the nearest major railway station. There are buses from Thrissur to this place.