Ambalappuzha , literally means Temple River. This village is very near Aleppy town and
is 75 km from the city of Cochin. There is very famous temple of Krishna in this village.
Once when the Vilwamangalam Swamiyar (a very famous sage of Kerala) and the
king of Chempagassery were travelling in a boat, they heard the flute being played on the
shores of the back waters . Vilwamangalam could see Lord Krishna sitting on a branch of
a banyan tree and playing flute. This tree was in the middle of water. They bought the
land from the owner, filled up that area and built a temple there. (This Banyan tree still
exists in the back of the temple and is called Ganapathi Banyan tree). The king wanted to
consecrate Lord Krishna as the cowherd in the temple. But once the idol was made, it was
found to be defective , by a famous Namboodiri. He showed it by tapping the hand of the
idol which broke. They then bought an already available idol from Kurichi. Since the
king of Kurichi was the enemy of the Chempagassery king, this idol was smuggled from
there with a help of a Panikkar. This Panikkar’s family has the post of Chief of the temple
(koyma). While bringing it from Kurichi, during the day time, the idol was hidden in the
house of a Christian called “Itty thoman.” for a day. Even to day the room in which the
idol was kept is considered as a holy place and a lamp lit there.
While consecrating the idol, it was shaking in its position and was not stable. Then a
sage came and asked them to keep the idol on a betel leaf. Then it stood firm. Because of
this the place was called Thamboola Puzhai.. This name later got corrupted and became
the present day Ambala puzhai. It is believed that this idol was one of the three idols
given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.
Once when sage Vilwamangalam visited this temple, the king expressed a desire to see
Lord Krishna in person. When he was shown Lord Krishna in person by sage
Vilwamangalam, the king dedicated his country to the temple and took the name of Deva
Narayanan. Even today the eldest member of the king’s family is called Deva Narayanan,
The Pala payasam (about 100 liters) prepared daily in this temple is very famous. It is
believed that Lord Guruvayurappan and the Thiruvarpu Krishna daily come here to eat
this Payasam. It is divinely tasty and no one will ever forget its taste, if he is lucky to
taste this, Payasam. The required milk with four times water is boiled for five hours.
Then the required quantity of rice is added and boiled for another 45 minutes. During the
six hours, the payasam has to be constantly stirred. After six hours Khandasari sugar is
added and boiled till it dissolves. Before putting the sugar, the cook shouts, “Vasudeva”.
The idol of the temple is really in the form of a driver of a chariot but, he is worshipped
in the form of a cowherd. It is believed that during the conquest of Tippu Sultan, the idol
of Guruvayurappan was brought to this temple and worshipped here.
Krishna’s birth day (ashtami Rohini ) is celebrated here in a gala way. There are many
other festivals in this temple. The temple is open from 3 Am to 12.30 PM and then from 5
to 8,30 Pm.