Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple, affectionately known as the “Brass Pagoda” due to the copper sheeting adorning its roof, is a renowned Hindu temple situated in the eastern part of Thalassery, Kerala. This temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, is celebrated for its architectural splendor, deep-rooted historical significance, and the annual Thiruvangad Ekadasi festival, which draws devotees and visitors from near and far.
Legends and Historical Importance:
Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple is unique due to its historical and legendary importance. The presiding deity, Sree Ramaswamy, lovingly referred to as “Thiruvangad Perumal,” is considered the supreme force of southern “Thattakam.” Among the five deities of Kolath nadu, this temple holds a special place, known as “Iemperumalidam.” Devotees fervently invoke the deity as “Ente Thiruvangadu Perumale” in their times of need.
The temple’s idol is believed to have been consecrated and installed by the great sage Parasuraman, although legends also attribute its installation to Swetha Muni, a disciple of Agasthya Muni. The Sanskrit translation of “Thiruvangad” is “Swetharanya puram,” originating from the name of Swethamuni, further entwining the temple’s history with this legendary figure. Another belief is that the temple’s origin is linked to Swetha Kethu, the renowned Shaiva upanishath guru.
The temple also holds a unique place in the socio-political history of North Kerala. It was a significant meeting point for the rulers of Kolathiri Kottayam and Kadathanadu. Many agreements with the British East India Company were forged at this temple, and its historical importance is evident in the inscriptions on the temple walls.
Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple, a cherished symbol of heritage and devotion, reveals an architectural marvel set against a backdrop of spiritual significance. The recent restoration of its expansive and crystal-clear blue temple pond adds to the temple’s charm, beautifully mirroring the grandeur of the temple structures.
This temple serves as a confluence of tradition and time-honored customs, with its wooden-adorned temple body and mural-painted walls recounting the poetic narratives of the epic Ramayana. While the years have weathered the wooden structure and the ‘Swarna Thazhika Kutam’ within, the copper-plated Sree Kovil and the sanctum sanctorum, adorned with the finest examples of Kerala’s temple architectural art, ‘vaasthu kala,’ stand as a testament to the enduring craftsmanship of the region.
The temple’s historical importance as one of the five major shrines dedicated to Lord Rama in Kerala, alongside Thrinayamkudam (Vaikom), Triprayar, Thiruvilluamala, and Kadalur, further elevates its cultural and religious significance. Situated on an elevated expanse of 2.75 hectares, the temple is complemented by an adjacent temple tank named “Chira,” extending over a hectare, creating a tranquil and spiritually enriching environment for all who visit.
Annual Festival and Cultural Significance:
The Thiruvangad Ekadasi festival is a major highlight of this temple, commencing on Vishu day in the Malayalam month of Medam. The festival spans seven days and is a grand event for devotees. It features a remarkable procession with elephants and performances of various instruments. Chakyar Koothu, a traditional Kerala temple art form, is also an integral part of the temple’s rituals, with the Mani Chakyar family traditionally holding the right to perform on temple grounds.
The temple welcomes devotees and visitors from 4:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the morning and again from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM in the evening, providing ample time to experience the temple’s spiritual and architectural beauty.
How to Reach Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple:
Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple is located in Thalassery, Kerala, and is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here’s how to reach the temple:
The nearest airport to Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple is Kannur International Airport, located approximately 23 kilometers away.
The nearest railway station to Thiruvangad Temple is Thalassery Railway Station, which is just a few kilometers away from the temple.
If you are traveling by road, you can reach Thalassery by bus or car. If you are traveling from cities like Kannur, Kozhikode, or any other nearby location, you can use local buses or hire a taxi to reach Thiruvangad Temple in Thalassery.