Vishu festival is celebrated with great passion in the Indian state of Kerala and by Malayalis worldwide to commemorate the commencement of the Malayali New Year. The inaugural day of the Hindu lunar month of “Medam,” following the lunar Hindu calendar, is celebrated as Vishu. According to the Gregorian English calendar, Vishu is commonly commemorated in mid-April. The ascension of the Sun to the zodiac Mesh rashi occurs on Vishu day. Some of the best places to visit this Vishu in Kerala are –
1. Guruvayur Temple
The ancient Sree Krishna Temple, known as the Dwaraka of the South, is in Guruvayur. Guruvayoor combines Guru and Vayu, which translates to the temple’s name. It is one of the most renowned and visited pilgrimage sites in Kerala in the entire country. The temple’s architectural style and individual characteristics are magnificent illustrations of history. The marvellous idol of Sri Unnikrishnan Guruvayur is made of a unique mixture called Padala Anjanam rather than metal or stone, a material that was more prevalent in the past. Millions of worshippers flock to the temple on the evening of Vishu, Kerala’s harvest festival, to see the Vishukani – a presentation of auspicious goods such as gold, konna flowers, grains, and new cloth.
2. Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple
The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is devoted to Lord Krishna, who is honoured here as Parthasarathy, the chauffeur of Partha, King Arjuna. This temple is thought to have been among the five temples constructed by the Pandavas. The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is located on the banks of the Pamba River in the Aranmula, Pathanamthitta region. The temple, built in the Kerala style, is described in the Divya Prabandha, the early mediaeval Tamil scripture of the Azhwar priests from the 6th to the 9th centuries AD. The temple’s walls are lavishly decorated with 18th-century artwork. Many festive activities are hosted in the town, including the famous snake boat race down the river during Onam. In Vishu, the temple and town witness a beautiful fireworks show for the entire city to enjoy collectively.
3. Thirupalkadal Sree Krishna Temple
Thirupalkadal Sree Krishna Temple, located in the hamlet Keezhperoor in Kerala, is among the oldest Hindu temples devoted to Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is built in the style of ancient Dravidian architecture, with Brahma and Shiva appearing on the outer wall of the circular-shaped Garbhagriha, which constitutes the appearance of Parabrahma. Krishna was the family deity of the Ay Kingdom, which ruled over the area during the Sangam period and was eventually turned into the Venad Kingdom, Keezhperoor swaroopam. The idol of Lord Krishna is four-armed and standing, holding the conch – Panchajanya, Kaumodaki, Sudarshana Chakra, and a lotus with a Holy basil garland. The Thiruparkadal Sreekrishnaswamy temple has indeed been designated as one of the 108 Divya Deshams or sacred residences by the great Tamil Alvar saints, and worshipping at this temple is regarded as an ideal method to commemorate Vishu.
4. Sree Narayanapuram Mahavishnu Temple
Ezhupunna is in the Alappuzha district of Kerala. The Sree Narayanapuram Mahavishnu Temple is a historic and well-known Vishnu temple in Kerala. Legend has it that the idol adored in Sree Narayanapuram Mahavishnu Temple is around 1500 years old. In the Srikovil, Lord Mahavishnu’s deity faces east, holding Chakra, Shangu, Padmam, and Gada in each of his four arms. This temple has a circular Sreekovil with copper-gilded Anappanthal, Balikkalpura, Nalambalam, and Chembudhwajam. During the Vishu celebrations, regional community members visit the temple to pray and seek divine blessings for the new year. The Sree Narayanapuram Thrikkayil shrine is ideal for a calmer and less populated experience.
5. Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple
Located in the Ambalapuzha Alappuzha city, Sree Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple that honours Lord Krishna. The Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple is claimed to be constructed between the 15th and 17th centuries AD by the local emperor Chembakasserry Thampuran Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan. This temple, built in the traditional Kerala architecture, is well-known throughout India for its daily prasad of delicious milk porridge. Pal Payasam is a popular name for this dish. Lord Krishna’s idol is sculpted out of black granite stone, holding a conch in his left and a lash in his right hand. The figurine is believed to have been transferred to the Guruvayur temple to protect it from Tipu Sultan’s 1789 invasion. The temple is particularly well-known for Velans’ annual performance of Pallipaana (sorcerers). The grandeur of this shrine is stunning; there are wonderful sculptures of Vishnu’s 10 incarnations, and the temple hosts various festivals throughout the year. The temple is frequently visited during Krishna celebrations, such as Vishu.
Summers are an excellent time to attend one of Kerala’s famed festivities. Vishu is another summer festival in Kerala to kick off the New Year. Vishu is an important Kerala holiday observed in April or May, and unlike other festivities, it is done soberly. The Sadhya, or traditional dinner, is the main attraction. While Vishu is traditionally a domestic event, various Sri Krishna temples throughout the state observe the festival in a lively manner. These temples are magnificent in and of themselves, and Vishu marks one of the year’s best experiences to see them.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1. Where is Vishu celebrated?
Vishu is a spring festival Malayali Hindus celebrate in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, India.
2. What is the significance of the Vishu festival?
Vishu (Sanskrit for “equal”) marks the winter solstice when the durations of day and night are about equivalent. Even though the astronomical winter solstice occurs in late March, the Vishu celebration happens on the very first day of the Malayali month of Medam, which falls on either April 14 or 15 on the Lunar calendar.
3. What is the age of Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple?
Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is a historical temple built in the 18th century.
4. What makes Guruvayur Temple unique?
The temple is devoted to Krishna, who is idolised as Guruvayurappan, the deity of Kerala’s prominent Krishna Temple in Guruvayur Town.
5. What is the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple’s history?
According to legend, Arjuna built this temple on redeeming for his sin of killing Karna on the battleground, which defied the dharma of executing an unarmed warrior.