Triprayar Sree Rama Swami Temple
Triprayar Sree Rama Swami Temple, located in Thrissur district of Kerala is one of the important temples dedicated to Lord Rama.
The diety Lord Rama in the Triprayar Temple is popularly known as Triprayarappan or Triprayar Thevar. The idol of Lord Rama was initially worshipped by Lord Krishna at Dwaraka. After the swargarohana of Lord Krishna the idol was immnesed in the sea. Later some fisher men got the idol from the sea near Chettuva region of Kerala and the local ruler Vakkayil Kaimal constructed a temple at Triprayar and installed the idol. The image of Rama (Triprayar Thevar) resembles the Chaturbhuja Vishnu form with four arms, bearing a conch(Panchajanya), a disc (Sudarsana), a bow (Kodanda) and a garland respectively. It is believed that the deity worshipped here possesses some of the aspects of Shiva too. It was after killing the asura, Khara that Sri Rama got both the Shaiva and Vaishnava aspects. Thus Triprayar Thevar is also called Khara Samhara Moorthy. It is also believed that the portrayal of Rama with a garland held in the image's hand is also suggestive of aspects of Bhrahma and hence the deity is said to be a manifestation of the Trimoorthis. The image is adorned with necklaces and other fine jewelry. Images of Sreedevi and Bhudevi are on either side. There is an image of Dakshinamoorthy, in the sanctum facing the south. Dakshinamoorthy is commonly found in Shiva temples. There is also a lamp behind the image which is kept burning all the time. Because of these and also because of the fact that people got relief when troubled by evil spirits chathan-the deity is believed to have a Shiva aspect also.
The original idol of Rama was subject to severe wear with the passage of time. Astrological investigations however revealed that the Lord did not desire to have change of the vigraha. Therefore a raiment was made in Panchaloha and the same now covers the original stone image.
Upadevathas - Sub Dieties
Though there is no separate idol for Rama's best devotee Hanuman, it is believed that his presence is always there at the Namaskara mandapam(in front of the Sreekovil) of the temple. Devotees generally bow before the mandapa imagining the presence of Hanuman there before worshipping Sree Rama. The offering of flattened rice (avil) made from dried paddy is meant for Hanuman.
There are two Ganapathy prathishtas inside the Nalambalam. Devotees can see a Ganapthy prathishta(facing south) in the garbhagruha(near south door) of Sree Rama's Sreekovil. Another Ganapathy prathishta(facing east) in a small sreekovil is located at south west corner of the Nalambalam.
Dakshinamoorthy is worshipped in the garbhagruha(near south door) of Sree Rama's Sreekovil. The idol of Dakshinamoorthy is in Shiva Linga form adorned with Rudraksha garlands, crescent moon etc.
Outside the nalambalam, in the southern side of the courtyard there is an Ayyappa (Shastha) shrine. It is believed that the Shastha shrine is ancient than the Rama Temple. With the arrival of Sree Rama idol, a new temple was constructed near the Ayyappa shrine. Thriprayar Thevar is the presiding deity of the Arattupuzha Pooram, one of the important festivals of central Kerala. Lord Ayyappa of this temple also participated in this pooram before the installation of Lord Rama. Except Triprayar Thevar, all other participants in this pooram are Sasthas and Bhagavathys of different temples. This also points to the prominance of Shastha shrine
- Gosala Krishnan
Near the main temple, in the northern side of the courtyard, there is a shrine of Gosala Krishna. The temple have a nalambalam in traditional gosala form. The idol of Lord Krishna faces east. There is mention about this Gosala Krishna temple in earlier sandesa kavyas.
Triprayar temple is rich in wood carvings. The sreekovil is circular in shape with a copper covered conical roof and is surmounted by a golden Thazhikakkudam. The circular sanctum has several sculptural representations of scenes from the Ramayana with a dynamic and lively vitality of design and form a lavish decoration and an integral part of the architectural edifice of the temple. Its walls are decorated with beautiful mural paintings. The namaskara mandapa, which is copper-plated, is profusely sculptured -having 24 panels of woodcarvings representing navagrahas.