Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna

Ambalapuzha temple
Sree Krishna Temple entrance

Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is on the banks of Ambalapuzha river,14 kms from Alapuzha town. Also known as the ‘Dwarka of the South’, the temple is believed to have been built between 15th and 17th century AD by the king Chembakkassery Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan Thampuran.The Palpayasam (milk kheer made of rice and milk),known as Ambalapuzha Palpayasam is very famous throughout Kerala.

It is said that the main idol was brought here from the Guruvayur temple during the raids of Tipu Sultan in 1789 and it stayed here ever since.

According to one of the legends,the King of Ambalappuzha was a great chess player. One day a sage challenged him to play chess with him. The King offered any reward that the sage could name if he won. The sage modestly asked just for a few grains of rice, from a single grain of rice on the first chess square and double it on every consequent one. The king thought that to be a silly request and accepted it. Eventually the king lost the game and ordered a bag of rice to be brought to the chess board. He started placing the grains according the reward asked by the sage. The king was shocked to see their number grew exponentially to trillions of grains.

To teach humility to the King, the sage appeared to the king in his true form, that of Lord Krishna. He told the King that he need not have to pay the debt immediately but could pay him over a period of time. The king would then serve paal payasam (made of rice and milk ) in the temple freely to the pilgrims every day until the debt was paid off.

Till this date,Paal payasam is being served to the devotees as the prasadam in limited quantities,but not throughout the day as was done in olden days.

Temple pond
Pond in front of the temple

The temple is built in Kerala Temple Architecture style in a large area in picturesque surroundings, on the banks of Ambalapuzha River.The pond in front of the temple is huge and looks very beautiful.

The Sree Krishna idol carved out of dark granite,here looks like Parthasarathi with a whip in the right hand and a conch (sangu) in the left. But the deity is worshipped as Unnikrishnan. There are sannidhis for Ganapathy, Bhagavati, Sastha, Gopalakrishna, Brahmarakshasa and Yakshi. Surrounding the inner complex walls are many murals depicting the Dasavatharams.


The main festival of the temple is the 10 day Arattu Utsavam in the month of Meenam (March/April). Processions by several caparisoned tuskers accompanied by Chenda melam and performances of Velakali, a traditional Kerala style martial art form, are the main attractions. The procession ends with fireworks. During the festival devotees are offered a feast and the diners are treated with utmost honour. It is believed that Lord Krishna will dine along with the devotees.

Temple location Ambalapuzha temple is 14 km south of Alappuzha town.

Temple Timings The temple is open from 4:00 AM till 12:00 noon and from 5:00 pm till 8:30 pm

How to reach? The temple is around 14 kms from Alapuzha,plenty of state run buses,taxis and cabs are available.

Where to Stay? There are no big hotels here. Alapuzha is the best place for staying.
Contact Ambalappuzha Dewaswam,
Alappuzha - 688561
Phone: 0477-2272090

Useful data
State: Kerala
Famous for: Pilgrimage
Languages: Malayalam
Best Season: Throughout the year.
Weather: Summer 33-39°C, Winter 16-28°C . Heavy seasonl rains from June till August
Altitude: Sea level