The Sree Balakrishna Swamy Temple, nestled in the quaint village of Kuzhuppilly on Vypeen Island, Ernakulam district, Kerala, India, is a sacred abode of worship and cultural heritage. This temple holds a special place in the hearts of the Goud Saraswat Brahmin (G.S.B.) community and has a rich history dating back centuries. Dedicated to Lord Balakrishna, a cherished child form of Lord Krishna, this temple is not only a place of devotion but also a testament to the enduring spirit of a community that settled in this picturesque coastal region.
The temple’s history is intertwined with the 16th-century exodus of Goud Saraswat Brahmins from Goa, seeking new horizons and homes. Among those who sought refuge in the welcoming embrace of Cochin was Venkateswara Pai, known as Vensu Pai. He found his haven in the tranquil village of Kuzhuppilly, granted to him by the benevolent Raja of Cochin. It was Vensu Pai’s son, Anatha Pai, whose pilgrimage to Tirupathi would set in motion a remarkable chapter in the temple’s history.
During his pilgrimage, Anatha Pai acquired several metal idols and dolls, including one of Balakrishna. Initially, these idols served as playthings for his children, who, inexplicably, began to suffer from recurring illnesses and misfortunes. Recognizing the need to treat the idols with reverence, the elders commenced rituals, albeit irregularly and not in accordance with sacred traditions. Yet, the children’s ailments persisted, and the family mourned the loss of some of their young ones.
In search of a solution, a concerned Anantha Pai turned to the wisdom of the astrologer Sri Adoor Chakrapani. His prasnam (astrological consultation) unveiled a profound revelation – a separate temple dedicated to the Balakrishna idol was imperative, and regular poojas (rituals) had to be performed. Considering Balakrishna as their own child, Anantha Pai made a profound decision to divide his properties between his children and the divine child, Balakrishna. In 1895 A.D., a modest temple was erected on the land assigned to Balakrishna, and the prathista (consecration) was solemnly executed.
However, as the years passed, familial discord within the Vensu Pai family and the growing number of GSB families in the region led to the realization that a more inclusive community temple was required. Thus, the Balakrishna temple was transferred to the community, with the Vensu Pai family retaining a special role in the temple’s affairs. The samaj (community) members recognized the need for a new temple in a more accessible location.
Generously, about one and a half acres of land were offered by A. Govinda Shenoy, providing the foundation for a new temple. The progress of construction was initially sluggish, marred by non-cooperation and a lack of initiative. It remained incomplete for over three and a half decades.
Then, a group of impassioned youth formed a Seva Samithi and took charge of the temple’s future. Through their dedicated service, they completed the Garbhagraha (sanctum sanctorum) and relocated the Murti to the new temple in 1964 A.D., with the deity facing east. In the late 1980s, the construction of an Aanapandal with ornate pillars marked further progress. The temple committee’s ambitious efforts also extended to the construction of a shopping complex and a Kalyana Mandapam, a hall for marriage ceremonies.
Inside the temple, the walls are adorned with intricate paintings depicting the Daśāvatāra, the ten divine incarnations of Lord Vishnu. A significant milestone was achieved on January 18, 1991, with the Dhvaja pratishta (flag installation), and the centenary of the pratishta was celebrated with great fervor in 1995 A.D.
The Sree Balakrishna Swamy Temple of Kuzhuppilly stands as not only a place of worship but a symbol of community, culture, and unwavering dedication. It warmly welcomes members of the G.S.B. community and visitors from diverse backgrounds to partake in its spiritual ambiance and embrace the echoes of history that resonate within its sacred walls.
How to reach
To reach the Sree Balakrishna Swamy Temple in Kuzhuppilly, here are the common transportation options:
The nearest major airport is Cochin International Airport, which is approximately 34 kilometers away from Kuzhuppilly. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other modes of transportation to reach the temple.
The closest railway station is Ernakulam Junction (also known as Ernakulam South) or Ernakulam Town (Ernakulam North). These railway stations are well-connected to major cities in India. Once you arrive at the railway station, you can take a taxi or use local transportation to reach Kuzhuppilly.
Kuzhuppilly is accessible by road and is well-connected to the nearby towns and cities. You can use private vehicles, taxis, or public buses to reach the temple. The temple is located on Vypeen Island in Ernakulam district, which is part of the Greater Kochi region.
Before planning your visit, it’s advisable to check the temple’s timings and any specific instructions or guidelines for visitors. This will ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to the temple in Kuzhuppilly.