1,500-year-old Shri Thrikkaipatta Mahakshetram rises from ruins with largest sreekovil in Kerala

Construction of the temple, which began on January 18, 2009, is being done by using traditional materials such as red laterite bricks, lime, high-quality timber, and copper.
Visitors take a look at the architectural marvels displayed at the newly constructed Shri Thrikkaipatta Mahakshetram in Kozhikode on Friday
Visitors take a look at the architectural marvels displayed at the newly constructed Shri Thrikkaipatta Mahakshetram in Kozhikode on Friday Photo | E Gokul

KOZHIKODE: In the heart of Kozhikode, an ambitious architectural project is underway to restore one of the oldest temples in the country, the Shri Thrikkaipatta Mahakshetram. Known for its storied past, this more than 1,500-year-old temple is being reconstructed in a unique apsidal shape (Gajaprishta) that stands as the largest in the state for a sreekovil dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya.

Construction of the temple, which began on January 18, 2009, is being done by completely avoiding concrete materials. Instead, it uses traditional materials such as red laterite bricks, lime, high-quality timber, and copper, adhering strictly to ancient Vastu Shastra principles. The three-tier structure will feature a circumference of 51.12 m and a height of 18 m, making it the biggest sreekovil of its kind in the state. Inside, the temple is designed with multiple antharalams (inner circles) and carvings, preserving the ancient architectural aesthetics.

The location of the temple, Ponnamkodekunnu, atop a hill on the outskirts of Kozhikode city near the Government Cyberpark, holds significant historical and cultural value. Historical evidence suggests that a shrine had been present at this site for centuries but was destroyed or fell into ruin in 13th century. The region’s name, Kozhikode, is thought to be derived from ‘Kozhi’ (cock), the flag symbol of Lord Subrahmanya, which further underscores the area’s ancient ties to the deity. About 25 years ago, spurred by mysterious incidents and a series of divine intuitions reported by local devotees, a group of young enthusiasts initiated a series of excavations at the hill. These efforts unearthed remnants of earlier temple structures, such as plinths, damaged idols, and pillar bases, known as omakkals. The artefacts were estimated to be over 750 years old, supporting oral histories passed down through generations. The rediscovery ignited interest and led to extensive research and analysis with the help of eminent historians and archaeologists like Dr MGS Narayanan, K K Muhammed, and Dr M G Sasibhooshan. After detailed investigations, it was concluded by a panel of astrologers, Vedic scholars, and tantric heads that the primary deity enshrined here was indeed Lord Subrahmanya.

“This reconstruction not only aims to restore the physical structure but also hopes to rekindle the spiritual and cultural ethos connected with the temple,” said Muralidharan, the general secretary of the temple committee. The site is expected to become a significant spiritual and cultural hub in Malabar, he added.

“This revival and reconstruction of the Shri Thrikkaipatta Mahakshetram represent a significant cultural and religious milestone for Kozhikode and the broader Malabar area,” said noted architect A K Prasanth. The new temple design integrates various traditional architectural features like carved roofing and intricate wood carvings, celebrating Kerala’s rich craftsmanship. The entire structure has been created without a single architecture drawing which is indeed contrary to the modern architecture we propagate. Many architectural students from different parts of the state have shown interest in studying this architectural marvel. The entire project is based on the mathematical calculation of some of the master carpenters, who are believed to be the followers of Perumthachan, he added.

The temple is set to hold a grand installation ceremony of the presiding deity- Lord Subrahmanya. The ceremony starting from May 11 to 23 will not only celebrate the architectural marvel but also the resurrection of a pivotal part of Kerala’s heritage.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com