December 3, 2022

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Kerala

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple is a Hindu temple in Kerala dedicated to Krishna. It is located near Ambalappuzha, in the Alappuzha district. The temple is said to have been erected by the local king Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran in the 15th century AD. It is one of Travancore’s seven most important Vaishnava temples.

The idol in Ambalapuzha is modelled after Vishnu’s Parthasarthi form, with a whip in one hand and a conch in the other. The deity of Sri Krishna from the Guruvayoor Temple was transported to the Ambalappuzha Temple for safekeeping for 12 years during Tipu Sultan’s invasions in 1789.

The temple serves payasam, a delicious rice and milk pudding, and it is said that Lord Guruvayoorappan visits the temple everyday to collect the offerings.

The deity Krishna once came in the shape of a guru at the court of the monarch who controlled the region and challenged him to a game of chess, according to tradition (or chaturanga). The offer was enthusiastically accepted by the monarch, who is a chess aficionado himself. Before the game, the reward had to be determined, so the king requested the sage to choose his award if he won.

The sage explained to the monarch that he had a very modest claim and that all he wanted was a few grains of rice because he was a guy with little material wants. The amount of rice will be determined in the following method using the chessboard. Place one grain of rice in the first square, two grains in the second square, four grains in the third square, eight grains in the fourth square, sixteen grains in the fifth square, and so on. Every square will be twice as big as the one before it.

The king was defeated in the game, and the sage requested the agreed-upon reward. The king quickly realised the true nature of the sage’s requests when he began to put grains of rice on the chess board. The royal granary quickly ran out of rice grains. The king realised he would never be able to pay the promised prize since the number of grains increased in a geometric progression, and the ultimate amount of rice necessary for a 64-squared chess board is 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains, which translates to billions of tonnes of rice.

When the sage saw the king’s predicament, he emerged in his actual form and assured him that he didn’t have to pay the loan right now, but could do so over time. The monarch would offer free paal-payasam (rice pudding) to pilgrims at the temple every day until the loan was paid off.

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