28 krishnaarchana april 2023 FEATURE By Aravind Menon Trichambaram Krishna Kshetram Nestled among verdant undulating hills lies Taliparamba, a town in the Kannur district of Kerala. About half a kilometer to the south-east of Taliparamnba is the ancient Trichambaram Krishna Kshetram, also known as the ‘Northern Guruvayoor’. The main deity of the temple is Krishna after “Kamsavadham”, sitting in Raudra posture (ferocious posture). The sanctum sanctorum is double storied and has a pyramid shaped copper roof with a golden stupa (pinnacle) at the top. The sanctum has carvings and murals from the 15th and 16th centuries depicting Dasavatharam, Krishnavatharam, Rasakreeda, Kaliyamardhanam and so on. The beautiful statues, mural paintings and the wood carvings, adorning the temple walls testifies to the craftsmanship of the bygone days. There is a Spanish Cherry tree - ‘Ilanji’ tree in Malayalam – to the south of the temple which does not bear any fruit wherein lies an interesting story. A devotee, suffering from severe abrasions and cuts all over the body came and sat on the raised platform around the tree. Dislodged by a sudden gust of wind, some fruits fell on the bhakta, causing him severe pain. The devotee cried out to the lord to let him pray in peace and it is said that the tree stopped bearing fruit since that day. The wounds soon healed, and the devotee returned with all his ailments completely cured. During the ‘Utsava’ days there is ritual of a brahmin dancing around the tree with the Lord’s idol on his head and at that time, devotees place a ring on the ‘ilanji’ leaf and pray to the lord for fulfilment of wishes. To the north of the temple is a temple pond and in the middle of the pond sits a Durga temple. The diety represents the ‘Yashodagarbhasambhava” Durga and is one of the 108 Durgalayas of ancient Kerala. To the north-west of the temple there is a small Shive temple, with a Shastha temple nearby. Adjacent is the samadhi of Shree Shambara Maharshi who established the Trichambara temple. Ayiram appam of Trichambaram Temple, a special kind of sweet offering made in thousands, is quite famous. This is the only temple in Kerala where women from Namboothiri families prepare the offering. One story is that of a wealthy Muslim who purchased a beautiful elephant and decided to parade the elephant in front of the temple. Against the advice of everyone he mounted the elephant and took it near the temple on the eastern side. Suddenly the doors of the sanctum which were closed opened and a thunder was heard. The elephant’s front legs buckled, and it fell down throwing off the mahout. He realised the power of the Lord, repented his action and made amends by making offerings. The annual temple festival (Utsavam) is a fortnight-long event beginning on Kumbham 22 of Malayalam calendar (which generally falls on 6 March) every year with the Kodiyettam (hoisting of a religious flag) and ends on Meenam 6 (which generally falls on 20 March) , with Koodipiriyal (ending