The land of Thrikkunnapuzha has been known far and wide since thousands of years for the Sree Dharma Sastha Temple. Experts estimate the age of the presiding deity’s idol to be over one thousand years. That thousands of devotees from around the country visit the temple annually itself is proof its eminence. There are countless anecdotes of how their faith in the Lord has been rewarded by His benevolence and favours. The sanctum sanctorum of this temple and that of Sabarimala lei exactly on the same longitude, suggesting the historical link between these two pilgrim centres. This has earned it the acronym ‘PadinjarePathinettampadi’, (Sabarimala of the west). Many pilgrims visit the Thrikkunnapuzha temple after observing penance and with ‘Pallikkett’, just as they do for Sabarimala. Archaeologists are of the view that the main idol of the temple depicting the Sastha with His wife (Prabha) and son (Satyaka) is unique in its concept and design.
The temple centre was historically known as ‘Sreemoolavasam’ and according to the travel accounts of Hiuen Tsang, Marco Polo and Megasthenes this was the venue of several global religious conventions. As per the manuscript ‘PaliyamSasanam’ the original temple was about a kilometre due west of the current location and it was Lord Parasurama who installed the deity. Legent has it that Parasurama established the temple for the purpose of liberating the souls of the various kings he had killed as well as his own forefathers. In continuation of this, tens of thousands of pilgrims visit Thrikkunnapuzha during ‘KarkidakaVavu’ and perform rites for the departed souls from their families. This tradition has now growm stronger and now pilgrims from far and wide visit the temple daily, especially on Pournami and Amavasi, to perform such rites as ‘Pithrupooja’ and ‘Tilahavanam’ for the departed souls.
The present temple structure constructed by CheramanPerumal, is believed to be about seven hundred years old. The ‘Chuttambalam’ and ‘BalikkalPura’ of the temple are now in a state of deterioration due to their age. It is the collective responsibility of the devotees to arrest this degeneration and renovate the temple for the continued blessings of the Lord. As far as temples go, renovation is considered far more efficacious than reconstruction. A temple’s design is analogous to the human bady.The ‘Sreekovil’ or sanctum sanctorum corresponds to the head of a man in a state of response. The rest of the temple’s elements thus correspond to the various organs of the man. For example, the flag mast (‘kodimaram’) of the temple corresponds to the man’s vertebral column. Following from this, just as if any part of the body develops issues it affects the mind, so if any of the elements of the temple degenerate, it diminishes the power of the deity. It is important for the prosperity of the land and its people that the temple remain free of degeneration and continue to flourish. If it is left to deteriorate, it will affect the land and its people too.
With a view to maintaining and strengthening the divine integrity of our temple a meeting of the devotees was held on the 13th of june 2012 and a Temple Renovation Committee was formed. The Committe proposes to take up the following activities as an immediate priority:
-Renovation of the ‘Balikkalpura’ and ‘Chuttambalam’ and roofing them with copper.
-Paving the ‘Sreebalipatha’ with granite stones
The estimated cost of these activities is Rs 2.5 crores. Obviously, an effort of this magnitude cannot succeede without the wholehearted contribution of a large number of devotees like yoou. You can donate money or sponsor materials like wood, copper, sand, cement and granite slabs. The Committe proposes to display the names of those who contribute Rs.1 lakh or above in cash or kind on a granite plaque to be installed prominently and those contributing Rs.3 lakhs and above will additionally have their 12×10 inch size photos displayed in the Devaswom office, thus ensuring that devotees will thankfully remember them long in to the future.
In the name of Shree Dharmasastha, we call upon devotees to come and support this initiative to help restore the glory of this temple which is the crown jewel of our land. This is a rare opportunity to be part of a historic reconstruction process. Needless to say, this pious gesture will also give you the immense satisfaction of having received the blessing of Lord.
Temple Renovation Committee
Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, Thrikkunnapuzha
Sponsorship rates of select items
Copper sheet – One – Rs.5,000/-
Granite stone – One – Rs.10,000/-
Kazhukkol (Rafter)- One – Rs.25,000/-