The most famous Lord Shiva temple in Kerala; just like the Nataraja temple at Chithambaram to the Shaivite worship in Tamil Nadu.
Legend is that Lord Parasuram, after creating the Land of Kerala, requested Lord Shiva to take abode at his newly created Land. He requested the Lord to choose a suitable place on his own. Lord Shiva agreed; sent Nandi and his close aid Simhodara to select a suitable place for Lord Shiva to take abode. The legend tells us that they selected this spot.
Lord Parasuram consecrated the temple here.
The Linga of Shiva is covered with the ghee offered by the devotees for centuries. The wonder is that the ghee does not melt even at the high temperatures in summer. The story behind this offering is related to the story of Kiratham of Mahabharata, when Arjuna had a tussle with Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva got injured on his shoulder; the doctors advised to pour Ghee on the wound.
It is believed, the parents of Sri Sankaracharya- the Hindu reformer and philosopher, prayed to Lord Shiva at this temple. The Lord gave them to choose from a mediocre son who lives many years or a bright one who is short-lived. The parents chose the second one.
The majestic temple is the classic example for Kerala temple architecture. The temple complex spans about nine acres fortified with thick walls. Since the idol is facing West, West gopura is the main entrance to the temple.
Besides Shiva shrine, there are shrines to Lord Sri Ram, Sri Sankara Narayana, Lord Parasuram and Sri Sankaracharya and many other Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
The famous Trissur Pooram held in March – April is closely associated with this temple. It is the gathering of many gods and goddesses around Trissur to meet Sri Vadakkunatha of this temple. The Pooram is famous for its colourful display of elephants.
The temple is located on the heart of Trissur City.