|Thiruvanchikulam Temple or ThiruVanjai Kalam തിരുവഞ്ചിക്കുളം|
|Location||Thrissur district, Kerala, India|
This is the only Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva sthalam in Kerala. Shiva is the family god of the Cochin Royal Family (Perumpadapu Swaroopam after they came to power following the decline of Chera Empire). The temple has very good mural paintings and is a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. The temple has the oldest reference in history in Thevaram Hymns sung by Sundara Murthi Nayanar, one of the four Saiva Acharyas. The images of Sundara Murthi Nayanar, and of Cheraman Perumal Nayanar can also be seen in the temple premises. It is one of the oldest Shiva temples in South India, where Shiva is said to live along with his whole family.It was from here,Sundara Murthi Nayanar reached Kailash by sitting on an white elephant,sent by Lord Shiva on Adi Swathi day (July/August). He was followed on horse back by Seraman Perumal Nayanar. On his way to Kailash, Sundara Murthi Nayanar sang a Padhigam which was sent back to Thiruvanchikulam on his request. The temple is associated with Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu.
The capital city of the Kulasekharas, Mahodayapuram, was built around the temple; it was protected by high fortifications on all sides and had extensive pathways and palaces. This temple was attacked and damaged during Tipu Sultan's invasion of Kerala; the copper roofing and gold and jewels were looted. Tipu's Muslim soldiers fled the temple complex only after the arrival of the Travancore Army of Dalawa Keshavadas Pillai. The temple was rebuilt by Paliath Achan of Kochi/Perumpadappu Swaroopam.
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