The Vilwadrinatha (Sree Ramabhadraswamy) temple is one of the most famous shrines of Lord Sree Rama in Kerala. Lord Lakshmana (Lakshmanaswamy) is also worshipped with almost equal importance. The entire structure of the temple is founded on the solid rock of the Thiruvilwamala hill on the banks of the mighty River Bharathappuzha.
Unlike in the case of the treasures of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, there is no way of knowing about the treasures the cellar at the Vilwadrinatha temple could be holding. Some Thaliyolas (palm leaf manuscripts) at the temple could contain indications in this regard but these have never been studied properly.
However, legends say that the golden bow of Lord Rama and other such things of divinity are kept in this cellar. Aged people in the locality – devotees visiting the temple regularly – say that there could be invaluable articles kept in the cellar by the former rulers of the Kingdom of Kochi under which Thiruvilwamala came.
The entrance to the secret room leading to the cellar is on one side of the stone walls of a deep and wide pit in the western flank of the Chuttambalam surrounding the sanctum sanctorum. The entrance is closed with a heavy wooden board. The entire area holding the ante-room to the cellar has remained closed for the past several years. The secret room has a huge granite block four feet long and two feet wide on its floor “which by its look itself will need several men to move it even a bit. “But attempt had been made to remove it sometime in the past as there were scratches made perhaps with metallic tools on its sides.
The Kerala Police has proposed strict security arrangements for the 600-year-old Sree Vilwadrinatha temple at Thiruvilwamala in Thrissur district following reports that the underground secret cellar in the shrine could be holding invaluable treasures like the chambers of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
An effort made earlier jointly by the Cochin Devaswom Board (temple administration body) and the Department of Archeology to open the cellar had not succeeded. The room leading to the cellar has been left undisturbed since then.
District Superintendent of Police Debeshkumar Bahara recently visited the temple and reviewed the security at the complex. A vigilance official of the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB), which manages the temple, had also inspected the structure following reports of a treasure trove in the temple, CDB sources said.
Thiruvilwamala Vilwadrinatha temple is located (near Lakkidi, a rural village on the banks of Bharathapuzha) in Thalapalli Taluk in Trichur District of Kerala State. It is at a distance of 29 Kms from Trichur town and 20 Kms from Palghat and is well served by frequent bus services. As the name implies, Thiruvilwamala is a hillock of incredible serenity and unimaginative tranquility. The presiding deities are Sri Rama aka Vilwadrinathan and his brother Lakshmana. Sri Hanuman is also worshipped in this temple.