Sri Krishna Swamy Temple is situated at Ambala Puzha in Alapuzha district of Kerala. Here, Bhagwan Krishna is worshipped in the form of Sri Partha Sarathy. The place was earlier called as Champakassery.
The temple is said to be built by Chembakassery Puradam Thirubal-Deva Narayan Thamburan in 15th Century A.D. The temple is also called as Sri Partha Sarathy Temple.
Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna temple is one of the most famous seven Vishnu temples maintained by Travacore Dewasam Board. It is said that the temple is built in line with the structure of Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple.
As per the legend, once Sri Krishna had visited the Court of the King in the guise of a Sanyasi. The King welcomed Him warmly. The King was also a chess (chathurangam) enthusiast.
The Sadhu had asked the King to play chess with Him. The King was elated and offered the Sadhu to ask for any prize if the Sadhu won. The Sanyasi said that He was the man of simple means and that a few grains of rice put on the chess board in geometric progression was enough for Him.
The order of putting rice grains was suggested in geometric progression. One rice should be put in first square; two grains in second square; four grains in third square; eight grains in fourth square; sixteen grains in fifth square; thirty-two grains in sixth square; and so on. The formula was the geometric progression of multiplication by two.
The game progressed and it so happened that for the 64th square, the sum of grains needed was 9223372036854780000. The King realized that he did not have the stock of so many grains in his Kingdom. He prostrated before the Sanyasi for taking Him for granted.
The Sanyasi then appeared as Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna told the King that he is indebted to Him for the promised number of grains and that he would alleviate his debt by giving rice payasam as prasadam to His devotees.
Sri Krishna holds whip in His right hand as the Sarathy of the chariot and has the conch in His left hand.
The events of Dasha Avatharam of Sri Maha Vishnu are depicted in the precincts of the temple as paintings.
It is believed that the moolavar vigraham was brought from Kurichi village. In commemoration of this event, a festival is held on the Moolam Star-day of Mithunam month. This festival is called as Chembakkulam Moolam water festival. The Aarattu festival is held on the Thiruvonam day.
As per the legend, the King Pooratam Thirunal Thamburan and Sri Vilvamangalam Swamiji were travelling near the temple site by boat. They heard the divine flute from the south-east side of the site.
Swamiji had surmised the divine presence there and asked the King to build a temple there. When they went to the place of flute sound, they saw a vigraha of Sri Krishna which was a bit damaged. Swamiji had then asked the King to bring another vigraha from Kurichi, which was ruled by the King of Thekkumkoor.
However, Thamburan and the Thekkumkoor Kings were not on good terms. The Minister of Thamburan got the permission from the vigraha maker for moving the idol. On Moolam star-day, the soldiers of Thamburan had moved the divine idol through boat from Thekkumkoor. On starting the boat, they had beaten the drums and announced that they are moving the idol. The soldiers of Thekkumkoor did not protest.
Thus, the moving of idol is celebrated on Moolam star-day of Mitunam month. Boat races are done on this day in memory of that event.
The idol was then said to be consecrated on the Thiruvonam Star-day of Mithunam month.
The event of pallipaana is held every twelve years by sorcerers who are called as Velans.
At the arch on the main road, Bhagwan Krishna and other Deities are depicted. After walking a while, we come to the entrance of the temple.
On entering the temple premises we can see the thatched roof structure which contains a pot in an enclosure. The divine significance of this has to be ascertained.
At the left side, there is a park area which has the statues of elephant and conch.
Beyond the park, we can see the sthala vruksha of the temple.
After Deepasthambam, we get into the main sanctum by worshipping the Dwajasthambam.
On nearing the sanctum by going around the front mandapam, we get the darshan of Bhagwan Krishna who blesses us as Sri Partha Sarathy.
The pillars in the sanctum have sculptures depicting Sri Vishnu stories. The outer walls of Sri Krishna Sannidhi have several paintings.
On perambulation, we get the darshan of Sri Shiv, Sri Ayyappa and Sri Bhagawathi Devi.
The outer wall of the main sanctum is decked up with lamps which are lit during special pujas. At the turn of the parikrama path, we can see the temple tank.
On completion of the perambulation, we feel the serenity and divinity.
All Ekadashi, Dwadashi, Krishna Janmashtami and other related festivals are celebrated grandly at this temple. Religious discourses on various puranas are regularly held at this temple.
The special pal payasam (sweet milk pudding) is offered as Neivedyam to Sri Krishna and given to devotees as prasadam. It is believed that Sri Guruvayurappan visits the temple daily to partake of the payasam.
The temple is open at 03.00 A.M in the morning and darshan is allowed upto 12.00 Noon. The temple re-opens at 05.00 P.M in the evening and darshan is allowed upto 08.00 P.M. The payasam counter is open from 12.00 Noon to 01.00 P.M and the prasadam is subject to availability of stock.
Ambala Puzha is easily reachable from Alapuzha town. Local buses are available. Taxis can also be booked.