Nestled in the suburbs of Aluva in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India, lies the Sree Vasudevapuram Mahavishnu Temple, a place of profound spiritual significance and historical importance. This temple, located approximately 9 kilometers westward of the Cochin International Airport, holds a unique allure for devotees seeking the blessings of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi. With a rich history, captivating legends, and a tapestry of rituals and festivals, this temple stands as a testament to faith, devotion, and the enduring power of divine grace.
The Legends and Origins
The history of the Sree Vasudevapuram Mahavishnu Temple is steeped in legend and mystique. According to folklore, Maharshi Parasurama, the mythical sage who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu himself, consecrated the temple’s idol. What sets this temple apart is the unique concept embodied in the idol – Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, is depicted embracing Goddess Mahalakshmi, the embodiment of wealth and prosperity.
The temple’s early history saw a period of prosperity, with local Brahmins entrusted to care for its rituals. Under the benevolent gaze of Mahalakshmi, these Brahmins flourished in wealth and fortune. However, as time marched on, indifference crept in, leading to the decline of the temple’s wealth and glory.
The Arrival of Vilwamangalam Swamikal
In the annals of the temple’s history, the arrival of Vilwamangalam Swamikal marked a turning point. This great disciple of Lord Guruvayoorappan was drawn to the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, where he had a divine vision of Mahalakshmi fervently serving Lord Mahavishnu. Swamikal was astonished by the deteriorating condition of the temple, despite the physical presence of the divine couple.
He approached Mahalakshmi, seeking answers to the temple’s plight. Her response revealed a profound insight – the neglect of temple rituals and the people’s indifference had kept her busy in serving the Lord, leaving her with no time to attend to the prayers of devotees. Swamikal, recognizing the urgent need to rejuvenate the temple’s spiritual life, requested that she grant darshan to devotees.
Ashtalakshmi: Eight Days of Blessings
Mahalakshmi agreed to Swamikal’s request and promised to give darshan to devotees once a year. However, Swamikal desired more than an annual glimpse of the goddess. He beseeched Mahalakshmi to shower her blessings upon devotees in various forms, understanding that people’s needs extended beyond wealth. This led to the institution of Ashtalakshmi, a celebration spanning eight days, starting with Akshaya Tritiya in the month of Vaisakha (April/May).
During these eight auspicious days, Mahalakshmi manifests in eight different forms – Veeralakshmi, Gajalakshmi, Santhanalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Dhanyalakshmi, Adilakshmi, Dhanalakshmi, and Mahalakshmi. This divine presence provides solace and fulfills the diverse desires of devotees, including fame, health, knowledge, success in jobs, and enduring married lives, in addition to prosperity.
Sacred Rituals and Offerings
Central to the temple’s spiritual tapestry are sacred rituals and offerings that hold a special place in the hearts of devotees:
1. Tambula Samarpanam: This sacred ritual can only be performed on the eight days of Ashtalakshmi. Devotees offer betel leaves, areca nut, and money before Lord Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi, praying for the fulfillment of genuine desires, including blessings for a prosperous and harmonious family life.
2. Rice and Turmeric Para: A unique offering where devotees fill two measuring pots (Para) with rice and turmeric while chanting divine mantras. This offering signifies becoming the “maid” of Goddess Mahalakshmi and seeking blessings for a happy married life, children’s well-being, and family prosperity.
3. Tirumadhuram: An offering that includes Kadali bananas, Palpayasam (rice pudding), and Appam, aimed at fulfilling the desires of devotees.
4. Moonnu Uruli Nivedyam: Another unique offering that features Tirumadhuram, Palpayasam, and Appam, served in three different Urulis (Pots) made of Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively. Devotees make this offering with prayers for success in various aspects of life, such as careers, marriages, and family.
5. Muzhukkappu: In this ritual, the idol of Lord Vishnu is adorned with pure sandalwood, symbolizing purity and prosperity.
Festivals and Celebrations
Beyond the Ashtalakshmi celebration, the Sree Vasudevapuram Mahavishnu Temple hosts various festivals throughout the year. Notable among these is the Ashwina Powrnami Mahalakshmi Pooja, held on the full moon day in the month of Aswina. During this festival, special archanas are performed, invoking the blessings of Goddess Mahalakshmi for prosperity and good fortune.
On normal days, the temple opens in the morning at 5:30 AM and closes at 9:00 AM. In the evening, it reopens at 5:30 PM and closes at 7:30 PM. During the Thamboolasamarpanam and Mahalakshmi Pooja, the morning hours are from 5:00 AM to 12:30 PM, and in the evening, it opens at 4:30 PM and closes at 8:30 PM.
How to reach the Sree Vasudevapuram Mahavishnu Temple
The nearest major airport to the temple is the Cochin International Airport (COK), which is approximately 9 kilometers east of the temple. Once you arrive at the airport, you can hire a taxi or use local transportation to reach the temple.
The nearest railway station is Ernakulam Junction Railway Station (approximately 30 kilometers away) or Ernakulam Town Railway Station (approximately 28 kilometers away).
By Road or Bus:
From Angamaly Town (11 kilometers away): If you are starting your journey from Angamaly Town, which is approximately 11 kilometers away from the temple.
From Aluva Town (12 kilometers away): If your journey commences in Aluva Town, located about 12 kilometers from the temple.
The Sree Vasudevapuram Mahavishnu Temple stands as a sacred testament to the enduring devotion and spiritual heritage of Kerala. With its unique concept of Lord Vishnu embracing Goddess Mahalakshmi, the temple offers solace, prosperity, and blessings to all who seek refuge within its hallowed walls. Through its rituals, offerings, and vibrant festivals, this temple continues to be a beacon of hope and spirituality in the hearts of its devotees, drawing them closer to the divine presence of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi.