Located at Tripunithura in Ernakulam District, Shri Poornathrayeesha Temple is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is one of the three famous Vishnu temples in Kerala. Here, the deity Lord Vishnu is popularly known as Sree Poornathrayeesa. It was the first temple among the 8 royal temples of erstwhile Kochi Kingdom. Here, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Santhanagopala Murthy and it is believed that childless couples will be blessed with children on praying the Lord.

Location Kerala, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram


According to the legends, the idol of Sree Poornathrayeesa was presented to Arjuna by Lord Vishnu, when he sought the help of Lord Vishnu to give rebirth to the ten children of a brahmin. Arjuna handed over the children to the brahmin. Later a temple was built here in memory of this event and the sanctum-sanctorum (Sree Kovil) of this temple (presently known as Muthukulangara) is in the form of a chariot. Arjuna sent lord Ganesha to search for a holy place for the installation of the idol of  Lord Vishnu. First they kept the idol in a palace, half a kilometer west to the main temple and now it is popularly known as 'Poonithura Kottaram'. Attracted by the holiness of the ancient Vedic Village, Poornavedapuram, (now known as Tripunithura), Lord Ganesha himself occupied the place. Arjuna pushed Ganesha aside to the southern side of the sanctum and installed the idol in that holy place surrounded by mustard fields. He then plucked some mustard seeds and crushed them to get oil for lighting the lamp in front of the idol. Devotees consider the evershining "Valia Vilakku" situated in front of the idol, as the oil lamp lighted by Arjuna. Burnt oil of this traditional lamp possesses great medicinal value. According to some legends, it is believed that Lord Sree Poornathrayeesa is the elder brother of the Goddesses of Chottanikkara and Pishari temples.


The temple is now situated in a 2 acre plot. The structures include Sree Kovil, Namaskara Mandapam, Chuttambalam with agra-mandapam, Valiya balikal, Dhwajam, Pradakshina Vazhi, Aanakottil, Deepastambhams, Malika and Pattayappura, Oottupura and Gopuras. The first dhwajam was installed in 1533 AD by Kuru Swaroopam, and it fell down in 1654 AD. The second dhwajam was installed next year, but it fell down in 1820. The third dhwajam, which was installed in 1827, was destroyed in the fire of 1920. The present dhwajam, the fourth one, was installed in 1932. This is believed to be the tallest dhwajam with a height of 28 kols and 8 angulams. The temple is rich in wood carvings, particularly at the western gopuram. Stone carvings are found on pillars of namaskara mandapam, valiyambalam and agra mandapam. The murals inside the temple were destroyed in the fire.

Picture courtesy :- Preetha Hari


Tripunithura stands for the Kochi Royalty. This is best captured in the ambience of the temple. The majestic past is etched deep into every aspect about the temple.

Darsan Info

The idol is taken out on an elephant for morning and evening Sreebali on normal days and on all Sreebalis during festival days.

Darsan Dresscode

Traditional Kerala dress. Men are not supposed to wear shirt, t-shirt or inner wear on upper torso. All electronic gadgest are forbidden inside the temple.

Temple Rituals

Olapenna is the main ritual at the temple, which is related to the legend about the temple. After moving Lord Ganapati from where he was sitting, Arjuna installed idol of Poornathreyesa, lit a lamp having three layers using the oil obtained by crushing gingelly seeds with his hands, wicks borrowed from a traveller and fire created by churning the Arani. The general belief is that the lamp has been burning for centuries, except for the three year disruption caused by the Great Fire.

Special Rituals

It is believed that once Vilwamangalam Swamy came to pray at the temple, but he could not find the Lord inside the Sanctum Sanctorum. On searching he found the Lord playing with elephants at the aanapanthal. On special request by Vilwamangalam, Lord sat on the elephant and was offered kaanikka. This practice is continued as Triketta-purappad during Vruschika Festival with 15 caparisoned elephants.

Additional Info


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