Koodalmanikyam Bharata Temple

Koodalmanikyam Bharata Temple

This temple, known as the Bharata temple of Bharat, is about a kilometer west from Irinjalakuda town in Thrissur. Irinjalakuda sits between the Chalakudy and Kurumali rivers. It is believed that Nandigram, where Bharata worshipped the footwear of his elder brother Rama, was here.

Koodalmanikyam Bharata Temple
Koodalmanikyam Bharata Temple pond. Photo: Onmanorama

The myth is that Bharata was the avatar of the conch shell of Vishnu. His duty was to rule the country while Rama was in exile. The idol portrays a joyous Bharata on receiving news of Rama's return. There are not sub-deities here. But there are sculptures of Kali and Durga on the temple pillars, and Hanuman is believed to be present in the 'Tidapally.'

There are four big ponds around the temple. The one inside the temple compound, called Kuleepani Theertham, is believed to be where the sage Kuleepani held his yajna. Its water is considered to have medicinal properties as the Ganges is believed to be present in it. Its water is also used for the temple rituals.

Koodalmanikyam Bharata Temple
Koodalmanikyam Bharata Temple. Photo: Onmanorama

You can find only fishes in the Theertham. They are believed to be rishis, devas and ancestors who have taken on the body of fishes, and are fed by devotees. It is also believed that taking the Mukkudi naivedyam for a year will help cure all diseases.

The rituals of the Koodalmanikyam Temple are different from those of other temples, in that there are only three pujas a day, and perfume sticks and camphor are not used.

The temple festival starts on the Uthram star of Medam and ends on Thiruvonam day.

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