Virtual Puja

This is a small temple devoted to Lord Vitobha situated about 1 km to the east of the Cochin Gosripuram Tirumala Devaswom temple, the hub of the GSB Community at Cochin. This temple was built by Sri Ambu Baliga, a great devotee in the year 1909 AD. Lord Vitobha is considered an ardent lover of Music. The Lord is worshipped at this temple as Naada Murthi, the Lord of Music. A noteworthy activity has been starting of Bhajana Saptaham (7 days continuous bhajans) in 1952. During the annual "Akhanda Bhajana Saptaham", on the occasion of Aashada Ekadashi, performance by an eminent artist is a regular event. The Lord is adored with Bhajans every day at least for an hour. Preparations are on to celebrate the centenary in 2009 AD.

The temple

At a special meeting of the devotees held on the sacred day of Vijaya Dashami, 5th October 2003, a decision was taken unanimously to carry out suitable alteration and additional construction encompassing the sanctum sanctorum to provide more space to accommodate the vast gathering that always assembles during bhajans and during Saptaham and other festivals conducted within the temple. The foundation stone was laid by Srimad Samyamindra Thirtha Swamiji on 21st February, 2005 and the construction started immediately. The  Puna-Prathishta of Lord Vitobha in the newly constructed temple was performed by Srimad Samyameedra Tirtha Swamiji on Sunday, 30th April 2006.

The new temple building (Oct 2006)


The old temple

Artist's view of the new temple


Sri Ambu Baliga, a great devotee of the Lord, established this temple in 1909 AD, in the erstwhile state of Cochin. He was born in a business family at Cochin in 1871 AD. In childhood, his mother used to narrate to him stories from the puranas and the stories of great saint poets like Namdev, Tukaram etc. This made him to gradually turn to the Bhakti cult. On growing up, he found that the family business is coming in the way of his devotion to the Lord, and he sold most of his properties and used the proceeds for religious purposes and founded the Sri Krishna Vilas Bhajana Mutt. In the year 1907 AD he proceeded on a pilgrimage  along with his family and Bhajan Mandali to Pandharpur in Maharashtra to the abode of Lord Panduranga. One day of their stay at Pandharpur, Ambu Baliga had a dream of Lord Panduranga. In the dream, Lord Vithoba told him that a shilpi is waiting with an image of Lord Vithobha, carved in Krishna Shila and that he should get the image from the shilpi, and install in Kochi. Next day morning, Ambu Baliga and his wife, along with other members of the Mandali, went near to the temple and as told by the Lord in the dream, a shilpi was waiting for him to hand over the image of the Lord. The image was carried over on heads of members to Kochi accompanied by Bhajans. A Temple was then  constructed in the Nagara style of Hindu Temple Architecture. Pratishta of Lord Vithoba by Ambu Baliga was performed on 10th February 1909 AD.  

After Ambu Baliga's death, the temple remained in a despair condition and it remained as if the temple was closed. In the year 1952, Hindus in the locality joined together and formed a Bhajan Mandali, named Sree Ram Bhajana Mandali to look after the affairs of the temple. Eminent persons such as Sri. U P Mallaya, Sri.Achutha Shenoy, Sri.H Devarsa Bhandari, Sri Rathansi Kalyanji, Sri Yashwant Rao, Sri.Ranjodas Monji Parekh and Sri. Jamnadas Keshavji were the founder members of Sree Ram Bhajana Mandali. Sree Ram Bhajana Mandali was instrumental in conducting the annual Akhanda Bhajana Sapthaha in the temple during the month of Ashada.  When Sri U P Mallaya left Cochin, the reins of Sree Ram Bhajana Mandali came into the hands of Sri Venkatesha Nayak, an eminent Tabala Artist and Hindusthani Musician. During his tenure, repair work was done to the temple. He arranged music programmes in the Vithoba temple by renowned artists during the annual Sapthaham. After serving the temple as president for nearly twenty five years, he handed over the charge to the committee headed by Sri Haridas Bhandari in the year 1990. During his tenure, the Bhajana Mandali was registered as a Trust.