Mithrananthapuram Trimurti Temple, Thiruvananthapuram
This temple complex is situated at Kottakkakom in Thiruvananthapuram. The calmness and solemnity of the place remind us of an ashram atmosphere. It is very near to the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple.
The Trinities (Thrimooorthikal) have got separate shrines. At one time in the past the temple complex was under the administration of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Devaswom Board but later it had been made independent.
Under the leadership of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva a large sacrifice was conducted at Mithranandapuram to please the Sun. ‘Mithram’ is another name of the Sun. The place which made Mithram pleased and happy became Mithranandapuram, and it became a holy place. The temple complex is now under the control of the Travancore Devaswom Board. It was Sree Chithira Thirunal Maha Rajah who gave the temple complex an independent status by separating it from the P.S.T.D. Board.
When we enter the temple complex through the main gate we can see on both sides of the pavement, the residence of those priests belonging to Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple. The priests as known a ‘Nampis’ and their residence ‘Nampi Madom’. Since they are performing ritual at the Padmanabha Swamy temple only on alternate months, they made use of the holidays for performing offerings at Mithranandapuram.
From the remote time onwards the Venadu Rajah’s took great care of the temple complex.
The pavement leads to the three temples. The first one is the Vishnu temple. The round shaped shrine of Malta Vishnu is thatched with copper sheets. The four-armed divine bears conch, wheel, bludgeon and lotus. The artistically made black stone idol is comparatively a tall one. No architectural beauty is seen in the case of rectangular ‘mandapam’ which is thatched with tiles. An image of ‘Garuda’, the bird-vehicle of Vishnu, which faces the divine is not so old. Those Nampoothiris who come for ‘Murajepam’, usually reside at this temple complex. Once it had been a place filled with chanting of Vedic hymns and Yaga mantras. The most important festival at this temple is ‘Ashtami Rohini’.
Near the Vishnu temple there situated the Siva temple with a square shaped inner apartment. On the mandapam there remains an idol of Nandi, Siva’s bull, carved in black stone. At the south-western corner one can see the Ganapathi shrine. ‘Sivarathri’ is the important day of this temple on which there will be special rituals. ‘Maharudrajapam’ is regarded as the favourite of this divine.
There is a path behind the Vishnu temple that leads to the shrine of Brahma. The priests of the Padmanabha Swamy temple resides on both sides of the path. On the right side is the temple pool which contains holy water. Divinity is applied to the soil in the pool and its surroundings, because it is believed that the pool was made by Varaha Murthy, at the third incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Since we haven't any record of those periods, all these stories are based on assumptions and perhaps, may contain traces of truth.
Temples that belong to Brahma are very rare not only in Kerala but also in other parts of the country. So this temple attracts devotees from different parts of India. Daily rituals are performed at the temple. The stone image of Brahma has got four arms but only one face.
The shrine is rectangular in shape. The sculptural art work of the small tower is splendid and commendable. There is an outhouse for the members of the Thrissur monastery, which proclaims the close relationship of the temple with it.
Formerly women were not allowed to enter the temple. But later, on certain conditions they were allowed to worship the deity.
In memory of the Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar, who founded most of the temples in Kerala, a temple was constructed at his resting place known as ‘Vilwamangalam Krishna Swamy temple’ under the management of Thrissur Naduvil Madom. Though it is called Vilwamangalam temple, there actually remains the idol of his favourite God Sree Krishna, whom he worshipped till the end of his life.
It is very attractive to see the magnificent Krishna temple with its round shrine and square shaped altar. In front of the stone idol of Sree Krishna, there is another idol made of blended metal. This small idol is the one that Swamiyar had worshipped during his life time and it was his constant companion. Under the placement of this idol, it is believed, is his Samadhi place. The sub-deity Sree Ganapathy is also placed at the north-western part of the temple.
‘Ashtami Rohini’, the birth day of Sree Krishna is celebrated at this temple on a grand scale.
Mithranandhapuram is a holy place, as it was made holy by the presence of the three Gods.