|Description This is an
ancient temple, enshrining Sri Vallabha at Tiruvalla near Kottayam. It has been glorified
by the tamil hymns of Tirumangaialwar and Nammalwar of the 1st millennium CE. The name
Tiruvalla originates from the presiding deity Vallabha.
Tiruvalla is an ancient town
with a hoary past. It has been referenced in 7th century sanskrit literature of Dandin the
sanskrit poet of Kanchi. The Tiruvalla plates contain inscriptions regarding the
administration of the temple in ancient times.
The temple: The plinth and the wall of this temple are of granite
while the rest of the structure is of timber and sheet roof. The shrine has a vritta
(circular) vimanam. Carvings of Dakshinamurthy and Shiva - Yogiswara are seen in this
temple. In front of the sanctum are a namaskaramandapam, a mukhamandapam a gopuradwaram
and an agramandapam. There is a subshrine to Vishwaksena, in the north east corner of the
inner prakaram, facing south.
Vallabha is portrayed as bearing a conch, a discus and a lotus.
The Sudarshana Chakram seen through the west cardinal door of the sanctum is held in
worship and is believed to have been installed in the 13th century. Much of the present
form of the temple dates back to the 14th century.
Sandalwood paste is offered as the prasadam in the Vallabha shrine, while vibhooti or
the sacred ash is offered as prasadam in the Chakra sign on the other side of the sanctum.
The flagstaff of this temple is a monolithic structure of black granite 50 feet in
height. At the top of this staff is an image of Garuda.
Interestingly, devotees offer to sponsor kathakali performances as their offering to
the temple. Those whose prayers are answered offer to have a performance arranged here, as
a token of acknowledgement and as a gesture of support of the arts.
Festivals: A one day festival is conducted in the month of May when
images of deities (Bhagawati) from the Kavil, Padappaad and Alamthurathu temples are
brought in decorated palanquins to this temple and brought in through the northern
entrance of the temple in great splendor and are given offerings of new clothes and the
likes prior to their return to their respective temples. It is only on this day that the
northern entrance is opened.