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108 Dhivya Desam - Thiruvallavaazh

Location :  Thiruvalla near Kottayam
Perumaal :  Vallabha, Kolappiraan
Thaayaar :  Vaathsalya Devi
Theertham : Pampa Nadi
Paasuram :  NammAzhwar, ThirumangaiAzhwar
Vimaanam : Chaturankola Vimanam
Travel Base : Kottayam

Description: This is an ancient temple, enshrining Sri Vallabha at Thiruvalla near Kottayam. It has been glorified by the Tamil hymns of ThirumangaiAzhwar and NammAzhwar of the 1st millennium CE. The name Thiruvalla originates from the presiding deity Vallabha.

Thiruvalla is an ancient town with a hoary past. It has been referenced in 7th century Sanskrit literature of Dandin the Sanskrit poet of Kanchi. The Thiruvalla plates contain inscriptions regarding the administration of the temple in ancient times.

 

The Temple: The plinth and the wall of this temple are of granite while the rest of the structure is of timber and sheet roof. The shrine has a vritta (circular) vimanam. Carvings of Dakshinamurthy and Shiva - Yogiswara are seen in this temple. In front of the sanctum are a namaskaramandapam, a mukhamandapam a gopuradwaram and an agramandapam. There is a subshrine to Vishwaksena, in the North East corner of the inner prakaram, facing South.

 

Vallabha is portrayed as bearing a conch, a discus and a lotus.

 

The Sudarshana Chakram seen through the West cardinal door of the sanctum is held in worship and is believed to have been installed in the 13th century. Much of the present form of the temple dates back to the 14th century.

 

Sandalwood paste is offered as the prasadam in the Vallabha shrine, while vibhooti or the sacred ash is offered as prasadam in the Chakra sign on the other side of the sanctum.

 

The flagstaff of this temple is a monolithic structure of black granite 50 feet in height. At the top of this staff is an image of Garuda.

 

Interestingly, devotees offer to sponsor kathakali performances as their offering to the temple. Those whose prayers are answered offer to have a performance arranged here, as a token of acknowledgement and as a gesture of support of the arts.

 

Festivals: A one day festival is conducted in the month of May when images of deities (Bhagawati)  from the Kavil, Padappaad and Alamthurathu temples are brought in decorated palanquins to this temple and brought in through the Northern entrance of the temple in great splendor and are given offerings of new clothes and the likes prior to their return to their respective temples. It is only on this day that the Northern entrance is opened.