Monday, January 20, 2020



Dear friends

When I thought of making a posting about Thiruvalla and Sree vallabha temple there, immediately what came to my mind was that my father was given posting as a school peon while serving the Asst Educational officer there as a cook. This would have been during 1930's. The second reason is I was born while my father was working at Tiruvalla. My father was sharing a portion of a house on rent at Mathilbhagam where the temple is located.

Though I have crossed Tiruvalla hundreds of times from my boy hood and while constructing my house at native, I was purchasing Hardware items from Tiruvalla, with all, what to say I could visit Sree vallabha temple in 2003 while I was on an official visit to Tiruvalla.

I hundred % agreed when my friend Sankaranarayanan put up the proposal to visit the temple in a morning hiring an auto, and then start the works (since I would retire in 2004).

In Thiruvalla on passing through MC Road one can see Post office and Telephone exchange side by side. Thiruvalla is the telecom Head quarters of Pathanamthitta District. We had an excellent team of staff at Tiruvalla, who maintained the TAX exchange 98% fault free. The local exchange too was good. Thiruvalla TAX was awarded many times for best performance during my inspection for its appearance and up keeping.

Thiruvalla is place of majority Christians. Salvation Army is having their headquarters there.

For the youngsters, actress Meera jasmin belong to Omallur in Pathanamthitta district. She has studied in Tiruvalla in Balikamatam high school. She is a devotee equality visiting church and temple I have read from news items..

Tiruvalla is a business centre and especially for the spice trade from the Hilly areas of Pathanamthitta. At Thiruvalla bus stand one can get a bus towards Trivandrum in 7 minutes and bus towards Kottayam in 3 minutes. With in minutes buses will be entering and leaving the crowded and small bus stand. The bus stand is slightly a top from the main road.

Gopala Krishnan 30-8-2010

1. About Sree vallabha temple

The temple is located in a sufficiently large complex at Mathil bhagam. The presiding deity is Lord Maha Vishnu and it is considered as one of the most important temple for Vaishnavites all over India. Sree means Lakshmi and Vallabha means husband. Hence the name. Name Thiruvalla came in due course from Sree vallabha.

1.1 Kathakali

Kathakali is performed almost on all days in this temple as offerings by devotes. My mother used to tell me of this. However as an offering it is done.. So the Kathakali did not continue through out night.

1.2 Granite Flag staff

A granite pillar carved out of single piece with an image of Garuda on its top stands in front of the temple. I have seen the flagstaff and worshipped below it. But this speciality I did not know then.

The pillar, which serves as a flagstaff, is 60 feet high and is made of granite. It is believed that its bottom touches the water table. The pillar is said to be erected by Perumthachan. (Along with wood work, as I have seen in a Malayalam film, he knew granite art also)

3. Saranam

For Sabari mala pilgrimage for we people from Pandalam saranam start with

Valiya koyikkal sastha saranam Ponnaiappa…

Kulanada Devi saranam Ponnaiappa…

Chengannur Ammae saranam Ponnaiappa..

Sree vallabha swami saranam Ponnaiappa…

Thirunakkara vasa Saranam Ponnaiappa.. And touch other temples like Ettumannor, Vaikam, Aranmula etc.

4. Temple walls

The temple walls have mural paintings of Dasavatharam. These big paintings no body can miss while visiting the temple.

5. Temple festival
The temple annual festival is conducted in the month of February. Festival last for 10 days. The entire Tiruvalla bears a new look during annual festival.

The Kazcha sree bali with Vela kali is very fascinating. Velakali, a unique temple art form, is held as part of Kazhcha-sreebali in the evening only. ( I do not know why it is not performed in the mornings..)

The normal melams of Sreebali like Nada swaram, Thakil, Chenda etc are not played during Vela. To be like old army men, young men dress neat white cloths and wear turban, and special melam is played . These people move as like soldiers in three or four rows each with 5-7 people while dancing in front of the God .
They go very close to the pachyderm during their performance. The vela is performed on all four sides after the playing of normal Nadaswaram, Thakil and Thayambaka etc. On those days there were a group of people who had special fascination to this art.

I could see the Velakali during our onam parade day also in Trivandrum through TV Channels about a week back.

5.1 Utsava bali

The Utsavabali and Kazhcha-sreebali are part of the annual festival on Sreevallabha in Thiruvalla Temple. Normally utsava bali also called Sri bhootha bali is done on one day in the after noon.

In my local Krishna temple I could see Sree bhootha bali performed once. There being a costly affair it was not a part of festival. From priest to Marar every body wear new cloth. Every body wear the 2nd cloth twisted and wear like upaveetham in the normal manner.

Observing Mathras melam is performed. Rather than manthric Utsavabali is Thanthric in from. This special bali is for satisfying all inferior deities.. Utsavabali is performed in the Balikkals out side the sanctum.( All these later information to me !!)

In the last Utsavbali Chief priest (Tantri) Parameswaran Vasudevan Bhattathiripad of Memana Illom, was assisted by the head priests. I could see this illam. It was on the way to our inspection quarters. I could see a board displaying Tantri. Sree Vallabha temple with the name of Illam.

(Melsanthi) Unnikrishnan Namboodiri and Govindan Namboodiri performed the Utsavabali after Utchapuja in the temple. Hundreds of devotees had UTSAVABALI DARSHAN AT THE TEMPLE AT 4PM .

5.2 Palli vetta

A ceremonial procession in connection with Pallivetta was taken from the temple to nearby Govindankulanagara Althara crossing. As customary, a representative of the family Ancheril Nair, waving the ceremonial sword, accompanies the procession Pallivetta. This festival is on the 9th day.
5.3 Aarattu

The 10-day festival on Sreevallabha temple, considered one of the 108 Tirupatis (old Maha Vishnu temples) in the country, will come to a close with the Arat. Arat The ceremony will be held in the Arat Kadavu on the banks of the Manimala, near Thukalassery Mahadevar Temple. On the arratu day there is no morning sreebali.

While going to Kottayam we have to cross Manimala through a single bus width bridge. The widened Manimala river crossing is a thrill. I am not sure whether a 2nd bridge is there now.

6. Pushpagiri Hospital, and sacred heart college and Balika Matam High school

Thiruvalla is a city and taluk located in Pathanamthitta district . The city is famous for its various religious festivals, schools and colleges etc. Balika matam High school is very old and famous. So the college and hospital. It is the sophisticated Hospital of central Kerala. I could understand from my brother's sons in native that my college mate Gopinathan Nair discontinued Bsc and joined MBBS, is still a doctor there in General medicine.

7. Nedumpuram Palace

Thiruvalla is also the location of Nedumpuram palace and Paliakkara palace. Most of the families in Tiruvalla have two or three members in foreign countries, not to say Thiruvalla is a rich city with best buildings like palaces!!

Reposted on 10-1-2020 R. Gopalakrishnan. Most of the information are compiled from websites. 


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