is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharatam. (Chengannur -
Yuddhishtra, Thiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Thiruvamundur - Nakula and Thirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It is located
near the town of Changanacheri near Kottayam. This ancient temple has been glorified by the Tamil hymns (Thiruvaimozhi)
it that this temple was built by Sahadavan of the Pandavas. It is also believed that this village was ruled by Rukmangatan,
a king of the Solar race.
The Temple: This temple has a vritta (circular) vimanam. Several murals (possibly
from the 17th century) adorn the walls of the sanctum, portraying images of Shiva Tandavam, Karatarjuniyam, Vinayaka, Sasta,
Yoganarasimha, Rama Pattabhishekam, Mahisasuramardhini, Mohini, Venugopala, Anantasayanam etc. The temple structure dates
back to the 11th century. There are subshrines to Narasimha and Dakshinamurthy here.
The Narasimha image is said to date back to the Vijayanagara period. The wood carvings and murals date back to the
16th through 18th centuries. Inscriptions from the period of Bhaskara Ravivarman (10th century) are seen in this temple.
High walls surround it and give it the grandeur of a fort. Stones are so carefully chiseled and joined
that it is impossible to distinguish joints. There is a large 2-3 acre tank outside the temple. On the bank of the tank, near
the temple gate, there is a big pillar on top of which is kept hanging a human figure in granite stone, with a crown, sacred
thread and a conch. This image is related to a historic story of petty feudal
warfare. Stone inscriptions found here are of significance .
Festivals: A unique custom of sprinkling rose water along the circumambulatory
path is seen in this temple. Deepa Mahotsavam is celebrated in the month of Vrischikam
(Nov 15 - Dec 15). This festival is said to commemorate the self immolation of Madri the mother of Sahadevan. In this unique
festival, plantain leaves are arranged in the form of a pyre, and torches are inserted and lighted to the accompaniment of
unique percussion instruments.