Vadakkunnathan Temple

Vadakkunnathan Temple also known as Thenkailasam and Vrishabhachalam, is one of the largest and ancient Shiva temples in Kerala and India. It is located in the heart of Thrissur city. This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture with beautiful murals delineating graphically, various episodes from the Mahabharata. The shrines and the Koothambalam display exquisite vignettes carved in wood. According to popular lore, the temple was built by Parasurama. The sprawling Thekkinkadu maidan, encircling the Vadakumnathan temple, is the main venue of the Thrissur Pooram. Vadakkunnathan temple is surrounded by a massive stone wall enclosing an area of nearly 9 acres (36,000 m2). Inside this fortification, there are four gopurams each facing north, south, east and west directions. Apart from these four gopurams, there is a multi-shrined complex in the centre with three principal shrines dedicated to Shiva or Vadakkunnathan, Shankaranarayana and Rama.

In the northern side, there is a circular structure with the deity facing west. The figure of Shiva-Parvati faces east and is just behind Shiva in the same shrine. The two-storied shrine of Sri Rama facing west is located in the south. Between these two srikovils stands a third one, circular and double-storied in shape, which is dedicated to Sankaranarayana and facing west. There are mukhamandapams in front of all the three central shrines.