PILGRIMAGE IN ALLEPPEY, KERALA
Ambalapuzha - Sree Krishna Temple:
This Sree Krishna Temple is built in the typical Kerala style of architecture. This temple is famous all over Kerala for Palpayasam, the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge. The Pallipana is also performed by the Velans (sorcerers) once in every twelve years in this temple. The Sree Krishna temple in Ambalappuzha is located about 14 kms from Alleppey. The paintings of the Dasavathanam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) are also displayed on the walls of this temple. The main festival of this temple is held in March-April.
Arthunkal - St. Sebastian's Church:
This church was built by Portuguese missionaries. The St. Sebastian’s Church at Arthunkal is an important Christian pilgrimage centre, near Sherthallai, 22 kms North of Alappuza. The annual festival, Arthunkal Perunnal is celebrated in the month of January in this church.
The Chavara Bhawan is the ancestral home of blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. It is now a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of devotees gather for prayer, receive favours and feel gratified. Chavara Bhawan is situated about 6 kms. from Alappuzha and accessible only by boat. A 250 year old beacon of light is preserved here in its original and primitive form.
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Mavelikkara:
The Kettukazhcha festival at this temple draw large crowds of devotees. This festival is celebrated in February-March. The processions of tall decorated structures on chariots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural performances make a spectacular pageant.
The annual festival is held at this church on the 3rd Sunday of October every year. This Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala and is believed to be one of the seven churches established by the St. Thomas.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple:
This Temple is situated near Harippad, about 32 kms from Alleppey. Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is one of the most important serpent temples in Kerala, under the patronage of a Brahman family, headed by a priestess. This ancient pilgrimage shrine is dedicated to the Serpent God, Nagaraja. It is believed that the deity is given the form of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and the spirit of Lord Shiva. According to the legend, the first priestess of Mannarsala gave birth to a five headed snake, which resides in the ancestral house to safeguard the family. It is also believed that at Mannarsala, the barren women are believed to be blessed with children and a special turmeric paste is available at the shrine which is credited with the powers to cure even leprosy.
This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna as Parthasarthy, the charioteer who preached Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. It is said to be one of the five temples built by the legendary Pandava brothers, along the river Pamba.
This church was established in 1810 and dedicated to St. George. It is believed that prayers offered in this church help to heal all mental disorders and other ailments. The Church is situated about 24 kms. from Alappuzha/Alleppey. Pilgrims from all parts of South India, irrespective of caste and creed, visit this church and seek blessings from the saint during the 3 days feast held on 5th, 6th and 7th of May.