Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple

Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple Alleppey
Vital Information for Visitors

Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, State Highway 12, Ambalapuzha, Kerala

Open & Close:

Open on all days

03:00 AM - 12:00 PM

05:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Aarti Time:

04:30 AM

Entry Fees:

No entry fee


1-2 Hours


Chambakulam Moolam & Aarattu

Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, a sacred and highly revered shrine, is one of the pilgrimages of the Hindus in Kerala. Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple in Alleppey is one of the most famous temples of the city. In fact, it is one of the famous temples of Kerala. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The idol of Lord Krishna, holding a whip in right hand and a conch in left one, is carved out of black granite stone. Many Hindu deities are worshipped in various different forms. The idol of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is worshipped here in Parthasarthi form. Another historical and religious importance of Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple is that the idol of Lord Vishnu in Guruvayur Temple was brought here and kept safely for twelve long years to protect the sanctity. Tipu Sultan, a Muslim ruler of Mysore, had raided Guruvayur in 1789 AD. He was notorious for killing innocent Hindus, converting them into Islam by force and destroying and desecrating Hindu temples.

Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, one of the topmost pilgrim centres of the state, was built by Chembakasserry Sree Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan Thampuran, king of the region. This temple was built during 15th to 17th centuries. It is situated at the south of Alappuzha in Kerela, about 14 km from the town. It is one of the five significant temples in Kerala and commonly referred as Dwarka of South. One of the most looked forward things of this temple is the ‘prasad’, called ‘Payasam’. It is given by the priests here to the devotees. It includes a sweet porridge that is made of sugar, milk, and rice.

The distribution of Payasam (called Khir in Hindia) is said to be related with a legend. As per the mythological belief, Lord Krishna once appeared before the king of this region in the form of a sage. The sage challenged the king, a chess (Chaturang) enthusiast, to play chess with him and giving rice in return of the win of the sage. The king agreed for the same. The amount of rice was to be calculated thus: a grain of rice will be put into the first square and in next square double the number of rice in the prior square will be put. Thus, the quantity in ensueing squares will increase in geometric order. As a result, with 64 squares in chess required 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains of rice translating to trillions of tons of rice. Such a huge quantity was beyond production so the king surrendered and asked the sage to suggest wayout to fulfill his commitment.Lord Krishna then asked him to distribute ‘Payasam’ to the devotees till the bet is fulfilled.

Ambalappuzha Arattu is the main festival of temple and celebrated continuously for ten days in the Malyalam month of Meenam (March / April). A unique martial dance form Velakali is performed during the festival. Velakali is a very important feature of Ambalappuzha Arattu festival and devotees look forward to watch it. Another very important ritual of the temple is Ambalappuzha Moolakazhcha, held during Malayalam month of Mithunam on Moolam asterism which also means Mool Nakshatra. Another important ‘muhurt’ (time & date) or auspicious day of the festival is idol installation day which is also called as ‘Prathistha’ day. On Pratishtha day, Champakulam boat race is conducted. Also, once in twelve years, Pallipana Dance is performed by the Velans. The Velans are the sorcerers. Few magicians are also called to perform a magic show in the temple.

The temple is decorated with a lot of beautiful paintings. The paintings of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, also called as ‘Dasavatharam’, are there on the walls of the temples. These paintings of Dasavatharam are on the inner walls of the Chuttambalam. There is a famous art form of Kerala, called as the Ottamthullal, originated from Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple. Famous & legendary Malayalam poet Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar, as people of Kerala believe, gave birth to art form Ottamthullal in the premises of the temple. A big copper drum, used as percussion instrument in performing arts, is called Mizhavu, still preserved in the temple premises. It is used by Kunjan Nambiar. Inside the temple, the translations of Ramayana and Mahabharata, called Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu, was penned down by Thunjathu Ezhuthachan. He is considered as the father of Malayalam language.

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