Sree Kuladevata Mandir complex, Ambalamedu, Cochin
The Kuladevata mandir complex at Ambalamedu houses eight kuladevata temples in a single complex adjacent to the Kashi mutt ashram. The concept of eight family deities in one compound is a rare one and thus the complex attracts pilgrims not only from Kerala but from other parts of India as well. Ambalamedu is situated at about 15kms from Ernakulam town and is about 5 km from Tripunithura. One can have regular city buses plying between Ernakulam and Ambalamedu. The construction of the complex was started in 1989 and completed in 1993. The complex is next to the Sree Varadendra balakasram at Ambalamedu.
The temple complex
The Vigrahas are made of krishna sila and were brought from Tamilnadu.
Temple style is predominantly Goan with fusion of Gothic and Jain architecture. Sri Chennas Narayanan Namboodiripad and Sri. A.R.S.Vadhyar, an architectural expert of the Kerala Chapter of Vasthushastra were the persons involved in the design of the complex.
The difficult topography had been tamed through split-level planning. With well manicured greenery amidst sylvan surroundings, the temples blend into the picturesque setting. The complex also includes a garden or Tapovan within the complex. The garden which nurtures Tulsi, Athi, Ithi, Arayal, Peraal, Ashokam, Chempakam, Parijatham, Elanji, etc., thus provide flowers and leaves essential for temple rituals.
The pagoda of Devaki Krishna Temple is the tallest at 16 mts above the ground level and the next is that of MahaGanapathi temple at 14 mts. The basements are designed as cellars and there is a Pradakshina Vazhi for circumambulating the deities. Marble flooring adds to the luster of the temples. Dwara Palakas as mentioned in scriptures - Gopakumar, Pusthi, Thrishti, Nandi, Shringi, Jaya-Vijayas are also installed in the complex. There is a special enclosure for Navagrahas as well.
The GSBs from early times worshipped their own family deities or Kuladevatas in Goa. While migrating to South , many carried these deities with them. After embracing Vaishnavism and establishment of Ventachalapathy community temples, these Gods and Goddesses lost their prominance and were neglected. Srimat Sudheendra Thirtha Swamiji told the community in Kerala that their welfare is likely to be affected if they forgot their roots, in a meeting of prominent members of our community on 9-5-1988, while camping at Sree Venkatachalapathi Temple at Karnakodam. He identified eight deities and insisted that temples be built for them. The Kuladevathas lay scattered but here they could all be accommodated in one complex. Eleven acres of the land lying adjacent to the Balakashram and Vriddhashram (old age home) run by the community in Ambalamedu was procured. The Kashi Mutt Ambalamedu is situated in the adjacent plot.
The Swamiji conducted the Bhoomipooja at the temple site on 7th June 1989. Shilanyas of Sree Mahalakshmi Temple was conducted on 21-6-1989. Shilanyas of Sree Damodar, Sree Nagesh and Sree Ramanath Santheri Kamakshi temples on 10-10-1989. When the construction of the 5 temples undertaken was fairly completed by Sept 1991, a word advice and direction came from Swamiji that it would be desirable to start the work on the rest of the 3 temples viz., Sree Mahaganapathi, Sree Mahamaya and Sree Devaki Krishna, and Navagraha Mantapam and take up the construction of Quarters and Guest Houses later at the second stage. Swamiji conducted the Shilasthapanam for these temples on 28-11-1991.
The Prathishtas of the Kuladevatha deities have been conducted by our Swamijis, Srimad Sudhindra Thirtha Swamiji and Uttaradhikari Srimad Raghavendra Thirtha Swamiji, in the midst of Vedic recitals and devotional songs during the auspicious muhurtham between 12.50 p.m. and 1.03 p.m.