Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple Festival
Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple is a famous Lord Krishna temple situated 14 km South of Alappuzha District Head Quarters. The idol in this temple is ‘Parthasarthi ‘ with a whip in the right hand and a Shankhu (sacred conch) in the left. The ‘Ambalapuzha Palppayasam’ and ‘Ambalapuzha Velakali ‘ associated with this temple are world famous. The Temple was built by the erstwhile ruler of Chembakasserry Sree Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan Thampuran during 15th – 17th AD (790 M.E.). He offered his state to Sree Krishna and ruled the country as his regent after assuming the name of Deva Narayana.
The annual 10 days long ‘Arattu festival ‘ commences with the flag hoisting ceremony on the Atham day in Malaylam month ‘Meenam’ (March-April) and ends on ‘Thiruvonam’ day in Meenam. Many rituals like ‘Uthsavabali’, ‘Seva’ and ‘Pallivetta’ are held in the temple during the festival. Witnessing these rituals are believed to be auspecious. ‘Kulathil Vela’ and Thirumumbil Vela ( a martial art form performed in rememberance of the performance of Nair warriors) and ‘Seva’ held during this festival are famous. During ‘nataka shala sadya’ , a feast on the 9th day of the festival , it is believed that ‘Lord Krisha in his child form ‘Kannan’ ‘ comes and serves ghee to the diners. The procession to Erattakkulangara Mahadeva Temple for ‘Arattu’ (Holy bath) and return are auspecious and spectacular .
The delicious payasam (Sweet pudding) better known as ‘Ambalapuzha Palppayasam’, offered in the Temple is so famous that it is believed that Lord Guruvayoorappan reaches Ambalapuzha temple every day during the ‘Ucha Pooja’ ( during which the deity is offered lunch[‘naivedyam’]. This sweet pudding made of rice, milk and sugar has an interesting mythological legend behind it.
It is believed that the idol of Sree Krishna of Guruvayoor Temple was brought here for safekeeping during the raids of Tipu Sultan in 1789.