History

CHERUMUKKU SREE MAHAVISHNU TEMPLE A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE

 

          The renowned Cherumukku  Sree Mahavishnu Temple is situated in Chembukkavu area in Trichur Town Kerala State. This Temple came into being  years ago by a strange coincidence. The plot of land where the temple is now located belonged to the respectable ‘Chukrath’ family.  While the owners of the land demarcating the vacant plot for their own residence  observed a ‘Garuda’ hovering over the sky and observed a ‘Balipeedam’. The family consulted an astrologer.

          The astrologer after ‘Prasnam’” pronounced that an earlier temple flourished there  centuries ago, until the vagaries of time led to its destruction and disappearance. It was also stated that a beautiful idol of Lord Mahavishnu in  his Chathurbhabu pose carved out of ‘Vishista Sila’ could be found in an unused neighboring well. This was stated to be the idol installed in the extinct temple.

          Excavation started and the remnants of an old temple were dug out from the area. A search was made for the idol and the same was found in the well which is presently the temple well. As only half of the idol above the waist could be traced, further ‘Prasnam’ revealed that the remaining portion could be traced from nearby tanks of wells situated around the temple. Thus the remaining portion of the idol together with thatof the  Devi in the form of Sila and Ganapathy were also recovered.

           Although the idol is in Chathurbahu, the sangalpam at the time of Prathista as pronounced by the astrologers decades back is ‘Goverdhananudharana’ depicted in Srimath Mahabhagavatham in Chapter 25 to 27 of Dasama Skantam.  This was subsequently corroborated in the Prasnam conducted in 1981.

          The owners then discarded the idea of constructing a new residential building  and instead resolved to reconstruct the temple. With the generous help of the local people the owners built a new temple at the original site and the deities were installed and consecrated. Arrangements were also made for regular daily Pujas and the observance of annual festival, ‘Bhima Ekadasi’ falling in Suklapaksham in the month of Magham (Makaram according to Malayalam Calender). This function starts 2 days earlier prior to Ekadasi and culminates on the last day. During this period special rituals to the various deities in the temple and cultural programmes connected with Hindu mythology are also conducted. On the last day i.e. on Ekadasi day three caparisoned elephants in a procession with various types of percussion and wind instruments elephants in a procession with various type of percussion and wind instruments are taken around the temple locality. As the procession moves the local devotes pay their obeisance to the diety by keeping lighted oil lamps in front of their residences with various offerings such as paddy, Jaggery, flowers, fruits etc. either singly or in combination separately in a particular vessel/vessels called ‘para’ by custom, according to their wishes.  This is again repeated at night and terminates at the temple about midnight.

          An instance worth mentioning here is that, while the local people were trying to plant a banyan tree in front of the temple on the eastern side, an old Brahmin who could walk only with the help of a stick approached them and told them to plant it on the western side at the back of the temple. He also said that as this tree grows the entire area will prosper. Thereafter, the old man disappeared and no one has since seen him. The prophecy has no doubt come true in the sense that the Banyan trees has grown up magnificently covering the entire western court yard of the temple and along with that multistoreyed structures have also spurted all around the temple which were once deserted and desolated. Most of the settlers are from other parts of Trichur district.

          In the year 1980, when Chukrath family found it difficult to run the temple, they transferred the legal rights of the temple together with about 60 cents of land  to a committee comprising the local elite. After that there has been a steady increase in the number of devotees attending the temple. The committee is conducting the daily poojas  and temple administration by enrolling members to pay regular montly subscriptions, donations etc. Several valuable gold ornaments and silver Golaka for the main idol as well as Ganapathy with various types to on metal lamps and vessels possessed by the temple were also taken over and kept in safe custody. The Sreekovil of the temple and the Chuttambalam which were in a dilapidated condition were  renovated .

          In the Deva Prasna, it has also been stated that this temple is the exact replica of Guruvayoor Temple as the idol of Mahavishnu and Devi in the form of Durga Ganapathy and Lord Ayyappan.Although the idol of Lord Ayyappan could not be traced, it has been stated in the Prasna Charthu that during Mandalam period comprising of 41 days, special Poojas for Lord have to be performed every year.

          Gopuram, Nadapura, Chuttambalam, Office building, Agrasala, vazhipadu counter  were also constructed in a time bound manner.