Vadakkunathan Temple

Activity Charges / Entry Fee: No entry fee.
Time Required
Two to three hours
4:00 AM to 10:30 AM*
Difficulty Level
Best Suited For
Religious people.

Quick Info

Vadakkumnathan Temple is one of the ancient and most immaculate structures in Kerala. It was supposedly constructed by Lord Parsurama who, as per legends, recovered Kerala from ocean. The usual Kerala style architecture, murals, and carvings portraying pictures from the legendary epic Mahabharata, alongside several other very old art relics, make it a must-visit the site for archaeologists and historians alike.

Rankings & Ratings

A temple with rich tradition.
Editor's Rankings

#8 in 3 Things to Do in Thrissur
#8 in 3 Sightseeing Spots in Thrissur

TripAdvisor Ratings

Editor's Review

Step in and you will instantly be aware of the rich tradition of the temple, vigilantly protected in its walls till today. The temple is also the venue for the yearly pooram festival known as Thrissur Pooram. This festival is popular for its cultural value and magnificent fireworks show.


  • Must visit for spiritual and religious significance
  • UNESCO recognized heritage site
  • Well-maintained


  • There is a strict dress code that has to be followed to enter the temple
  • Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple

Detailed Info

Vadakkunathan Temple History

According to the Legend in Brahmanda Purana, Parasurama who eradicated Kshatriyas for 21 times played out a Yajna to get relieved from the Sins and gave every one of his properties to Brahmans as a Dakshina. He asked for Lord Varuna (Rain God) to throw a land from the ocean to retire and proceed with his atonement.

God Varuna gave him a winnow (surpa), which transformed into a land. Another variant is that Varuna requested that Parasurama throw the axe into the ocean which transformed into a land. It was then known by Surparaka which originated from the word Surpa. This is the present day Kerala according to the legends.

Later, he went to Mount Kailash and asked for his spiritual guide, Lord Shiva to make Kerala as his home. On his follower's demand, Shiva with family followed his devotee and vanished as they reached Thrissur. Parasurama saw the self-made Shiva Linga under the colossal Banyan Tree. This is simply the primary spot where Lord Shiva showed himself and this place known as Sri Mula Sthana.

When King of this area chose to develop the temple, Yogathiripad (chief priest) preserved this Linga while the tree was cut. The Shiva Linga was then moved to the present area and a lovely temple was constructed.

Detailed Info

Vadakkumnathan Temple or Vadakkunnathan Temple, in Thrissur district is a standout amongst the most prominent temples in the state of Kerala. This is considered to be one of the primary Shiva temple made by Parsurama who is also the 6th embodiment of God Vishnu. The Vadakkunnathan temple is a UNESCO heritage site. This temple is otherwise called Thenkailasam or Vrishabhachalam.

The temple is made in classic Kerala style architecture, situated on a hillock in the centre of Thrissur city. Located in the centre of land spread across 9 acres, the temple attracts the attention of the people walking by. There are 4 gateways known as gopurams to the temple facing West, East, South, and North respectively.

It is likewise fascinating that Thrissur gets its name from this temple. Thrissur is an abbreviated type of 'Thrissivaperur' which signifies 'The town with the name of Lord Shiva'.

Dress Code at Vadakkunathan Temple

Men – White Pancha, Dhoti

Female – Saree with blouse/ Half saree/ Suit with Dupatta / Chudidar with Dupatta

Children below 1 year will not be allowed inside the temple

Festivals celebrated at Vadakkunathan Temple

There are no particular festivals of the temple. Nevertheless, the temple is lit up with one lakh lamps during Shivaratri. This is called "Lakshadeepam" which is the most important offering here during Shivaratri. The feeding of elephants (also known as Aanayoottu), is another main festival celebrated here.

How to Reach Vadakkunathan Temple

·         By Air

Kochi International airport at Nedumbassery is at a distance of 53 km

·         By Train

All trains to Kerala go via Thrissur Railway station, which is 3 km from Temple

·         By Road

Thrissur is well connected with all parts of Kerala, major cities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka state

*Timings: 4:00 AM to 10:30 AM and 05:00 PM to 08:30 PM