Kerala is famous for its rich cultural heritage, and the state is home to several temples that are not only important religious centers but also architectural marvels. Here are nine important temples in Kerala that are worth a visit:
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, is one of the most famous and ancient temples in Kerala. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is renowned for its intricate carvings, mural paintings, and architectural grandeur. The temple is renowned as the world's richest Hindu temple. The name of the city of 'Thiruvananthapuram' in Malayalam and Tamil translates to "The City of Ananta" (Ananta being a form of Vishnu).
Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple in Thrissur is one of the most popular and significant temples in Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Guruvayurappan, a form of Krishna. Guruvayur Temple is believed to be one of the 108 most sacred Vishnu temples in India. The temple is often referred to as Bhuloka Vaikuntha (Vaikuntha in the earthly realm). The temple tank (pond) on the northern side of the temple is called Rudratheertham. Strict dress code exists for people who wish to enter the Guruvayur Temple. Non-Hindus are prohibited entry within the Guruvayur Temple.
Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in Kerala. The temple complex is located on the Sabarimala hill inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The temple is one of the largest annual pilgrimage sites in the world, with an estimate of over 10 to 15 million devotees visiting every year. The temple is dedicated to a Hindu Brahmachari deity named Ayyappan also known as Sree Dharma Shasta. Women of a certain age are not allowed to enter the temple.
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram is one of the most prominent temples in Kerala. The temple, popularly known as Sabarimala of the Women, is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy, a form of the divine feminine. The temple is famous for its annual Attukal Pongala festival, which attracts millions of devotees from all over the world. Attukal Pongala festival has figured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the single largest gathering of women for a religious activity.
Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple in Ernakulam is one of the most popular Hindu temples of Kerala. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathy, and the temple is believed to have miraculous powers that can cure various ailments and afflictions. The annual Chottanikkara Makam Thozhal is the major festival in Chottanikara Devi Temple. The Divine Mother known as Rajarajeswari (Adiparasakthi) is worshipped here in three forms Saraswathy in the morning, Lakshmi at noon and Durga in the evening.
Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur is one of the oldest and most famous temples in Kerala. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is renowned for its magnificent architecture, murals, and wooden carvings. Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classical example of the architectural style of Kerala . The temple, along with the mural paintings, has been declared as a National Monument by India. The temple is also the first one among the 108 Shiva Temples in ancient Kerala, established by Parasurama.
Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is an ancient Shiva temple in Kottayam, Kerala. The temple is renowned for its exquisite architecture and mural paintings, depicting various mythological stories. It is believed that the Pandavas and the sage Vyasa had worshipped at this temple. There are Dravidian mural paintings on the walls inside and outside of the main entrance. Ezhara Ponnana Darshan, during the annual temple festival, is attracts thousands of devotees from all over Kerala.
Sreevallabha Temple in Thiruvalla is one of the oldest and biggest Temples of Kerala. Thiruvalla Temple is renowned for its intricate architecture, mural paintings, and carvings. The temple is one among the 108 Divya Desams of Vishnu. The temple is dedicated to Sreevallabha, a form of Vishnu. The temple is believed to have a unique energy that can heal various ailments and diseases. Kathakali is played daily in the temple as an offering. Sree Vallabha Temple is also well known for its architectural grandeur and unique customs that can be found in no other temples.
The Sree Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha is a famous temple located in Alappuzha district of Kerala. The idol at Ambalappuzha is likened to Parthasarthi form of Vishnu, holding a whip in his right hand and a conch in his left. Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple is known for its delicious prasadam, a sweet milk-based dessert called Palpayasam. The temple is one of the seven greatest temples in Travancore.
These are some of the most famous and important temples in Kerala that attract millions of visitors and devotees from all over the world.