Aranmula Parthasarathy

Aranmula Parthasarathy

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is situated in Aranmula, on the banks of holy river Pamba, in Pathanamthitta district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The deity of this temple is fondly known by the name Parthasarathy.

Aranmula Parthasarathy - Temple - Kerala

Lord Krishna has played the role of Arjuna's Charioteer in the epic Mahabharata and hence he got the name Parthasarathy. As per the legends, the idol of Parthasarathy was brought here in a raft made with six (aru) pieces of bamboo (mula), and that's how the temple was known as Aranmula. Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is built in typical Kerala style of architecture. It is regarded as one of the "Divya Desams", the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by the 12 poet saints or Alwars located near Aranmula, a small village in Pathanamthitta District. Aranmula is renowned for its unique metal mirror, Aranmula Kannadi and is also famous for the annual Snake Boat Race held in the River Pamba nearby.


According to the legends, the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple was originally built near Sabarimala. This temple is mentioned in the famous Tamil classic, Divya Prabandha which dates back to the 6th to the 9th century. This temple is believed to be one among the 5 temples built by the Pandava brothers in Chengannur. They are Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple built by Yudhishthira, Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple built by Bheema, Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple built by Arjuna, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple built by Nakula and Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple built by Sahadeva. All these temples house an image of Lord Krishna. These temples were built when the Pandavas arrived at the banks of River Pampa after leaving their capital city, Hastinapur for pilgrimage.

It is believed that Arjuna built this temple as a penance of killing Karna. It is also believed that it is the place where Lord Vishnu provide information to Lord Brahma about creating the world.

The image of Parthasarathy present at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple in the Vishvarupa pose depicts a story from the Mahabharata. The story goes like this, Lord Krishna was angry with Arjuna as he did not want to fight against Bheeshma during the great Mahabharata battle. Being displeased with Arjuna, Lord Krishna took up his discus and seeing this Bheeshma surrendered. This image of Parthasarathy with the discus is known ad Vishvarupa pose. It is also believed that this image of Parthasarathy was brought on a raft which was made of six bamboo pieces. Hence, people call the temple as Aranmula which means six bamboo pieces.


  • Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple shows Kerala architectural style which is similar to the Ettumanor Mahadeva Temple structure. The whole temple stands on a raised platform and the devotees need to climb 18 steps to reach the eastern tower of the temple. And one has to climb 57 steps to reach its northern tower. The deity is enshrined in the Sreekovil which is the main part of the temple.
  • Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is mentioned in the Tamil classics and is one of the 108 Vaishnava temples in India.
  • There is a sub-shrine dedicated to Lord Balarama in the temple complex.
  • The entire structure of the temple is made of laterite and the base of the central temple is of granite. The temple has a conical roof that represents terracotta art. There is a copper kalasam at the temple.


Ashtami Rohini : Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple celebrates Ashtami Rohini, the birthday of Lord Krishna with great pomp and grandeur. This temple is famous for organizing a large feast on this day (Ashtami Rohini), known as 'Vallasadya' which is one of the largest vegetarian feasts in the world. The Sadya contains 64 types of dishes. Aranmula Boat Race, known Aranmula Vallam Kali is another interesting part of this festival. During this festival, a special boat known as Palliyodam, look like snakes sails over River Pampa. Locals believe these boats are vehicles of the deity of Aranmula, hence they worship the boat with flowers before the race starts. 100 rowers and 25 singers take part in the race. As the boats sail on the river in pairs, they sing songs and the people play music.

Procession : During the Meenam month, a large procession on the Garuda Mount to the Pampa River takes place. Lord Parthasarathy of the Aranmula Temple is taken out for the procession and the Goddess Bhagavathy who comes from the Punnamthode temple also participates in the procession.

Khandavanadahanam : This festival is celebrated during the Malayalam month of Dhanu. Devotees create an artificial forest using dried plants, leaves and twigs at the temple front. After building the forest, they will lit a bonfire in the memory of the fire that took place at the Khandavana forest which is illustrated in the Indian epic, Mahabharata.


4 Am to 11 Am. and 5 Pm to 8 Pm.

Dress Code

Devotees are requested to wear traditional wear while visiting the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Men have to be in dhoti and are not allowed to wear shirts while entering the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Women can wear a saree, salwar kameez and half saree.

How To Reach Aranmula Parthasarathy - Temple?

Air : Cochin International Airport and Trivandrum International Airport are the nearest airports to Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple which are at a distance of 124.2 Km and 116 Km respectively. On reaching the airport, one can hire a taxi or bus to reach the temple.

Train : Chengannur Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple which is situated at a distance of 11 Km. On reaching the railway station, one can hire a taxi or bus to reach the temple.

Road : Many state transport buses and private buses are easily available from major cities like Chengannur, Pathanamthitta, and Pandalam to Aranmula.