A divya desam temple of Lord Vishnu. Vamana moorthy, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the principal deity of the temple. It is to be noted that the temples dedicated to Vamana are very rare.
The temple is very much associated with the Onam festival of Kerala or we can say it starts from this temple!!
The legend is that there was a pious, able and just king named Mahabali, although a demon by birth is a devotee of Lord Vishnu. The devas of Devaloka were jealous of him. They feared that due to his devotion to Vishnu and his just rule he shall be promoted to the post of Devendra. So they wanted to eliminate Mahabali from earth.
They requested the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu went to the palace of Mahabali as a Brahmin boy (“Vaman’’ literally means who is short in appearance). The King Mahabali welcomed the Brahmin boy courteously; asked what he wants as a gift. The boy politely replied he want just three foot step of land. King agreed as giving three foot step of land means nothing to him.
Then the boy suddenly became a giant size Brahmin. He covered the entire earth with his first two footsteps. Then the boy asked Mahabali to show the place to put the third one. Left with no choice the King replied that the Brahmin boy can place his third feet on Mahabali’s head. The boy did the same, due to the weight of the foot; the King was pushed to Pathala loka (ether world).
There after, Lord Vishnu appeared to him, made him the King of Pathala loka. He also granted permission to visit his former subjects once in a year.
According to the legend, Lord Vishnu pushed Mahabali to Pathala at Trikkakara. His annual visit to earth (from pathala) is celebrated as Onam in Kerala. Thus the Onam is the main festival of the temple. The ceremonial procession on the Thiruvonam day attracts a large crowd.
The famous Athachamaya procession from Tripunithura to this temple is an important ceremony on this day.
The many inscriptions from the temple dates back to 10 to 13 AD making this as one of the oldest surviving temples in Kerala.
Trikkakara is about 20 kilometers from Ernakulam.