Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple - Kerala

Introduction :

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple is one of the most popular Lord Ganesha temples in Kerala. This temple is located at East Fort in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram. Sri Maha Ganapathy or Lord Ganesha is the presiding deity of this temple. The idol of Lord Ganesha at this temple is in a seated posture with the right leg in a folded stance. 32 different forms of Lord Ganesha are sculptures inside the temple complex. The breaking of Coconuts is the main offerings of this temple. One can offer Modak to the Lord as it is the favourite dish of Lord Ganesha. Ganapathy Homam is another important offering of this temple. Lord Ayyappa, Goddess Durga, Nagaraja, and Brahmarakshas are the sub-deities of this temple.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

History of the Temple:

The history of the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple goes like this; When the headquarters of the Travancore Kingdom was at Padmanabhapuram, which is now part of Tamil Nadu, the soldiers who were on guard of the fort were continually disturbed by a Yakshi, a relentless demon, during night time.

One soldier among the regiment was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha. One night, he was given the duty to guard the fort. He believed that Lord Ganesha will take care of him, hence he was fearless and went to have a bath in the river. When he went near the river, he stumbled upon an idol of Lord Ganesha and he took that and kept it with him at all times. Since then, the entire army of Travancore was left undisturbed and unaffected by the Yakshi forever.

At that place in Padmanabhapuram, a temple was built for the idol and the soldiers worshipped the Lord there. And when the capital of Travancore was changed to Thiruvananthapuram in 1795 A.D, the garrison was also shifted, and the idol was installed at its present place at Pazhavangadi by the then ruler Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal. While the majority of the temples in Kerala are managed by the Devaswom Board and some are private, the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple was maintained by the Indian Army.

Speciality of the Temple

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple is adorned with a remarkable blend of South Indian as well as Dravidian architecture.

This temple is a religious as well as a historical landmark of Trivandrum.

The temple has two idols of Lord Ganesha, one is entirely made of gold and the other made of pure granite.

Another unique feature in this temple is the idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on the serpent Anantha. This idol is made up of a blend of Kudusarkara, herbs and Salagramam and is ornamented with gold jewels and other expensive stones.

The main ritual or the 'vazhipadu' of this temple is breaking a coconut. The devotees believe that breaking a coconut at a designated spot will help them to overcome all the obstacles that they are facing and also fulfil their innermost desires. More than 2500 coconuts are cracked at this temple every day.

Another important ritual of this temple is that once in every 6 years, a 56-day long Murajapam is performed to please Lord Ganesha. During this festival, many priests gather at a yagna and perform Vedic chants through days and nights. This festival comes to an end by lighting over one lakh lamps which float through the night sky like countless twinkling stars.


  • 4:30 AM to 10:45 AM.
  • 5 PM to 8:30 PM.

Festivals in the temple

Vinayaka Chaturthi: Vinayaka Chaturthi, also known as Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It mainly occurs during the Hindu month of Bhadra that falls from mid-August to mid-September. Depending on the place and tradition, the duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days.

Varad Chaturthi: Varad Chaturthi, also known as Varad Til Chaturthi, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It occurs on the fourth day of the Shukla Paksha of Magh month that falls from January to February. It is believed that observing Varad Vinayak Chaturthi Vrata will bring prosperity, happiness and fulfilment of desires. As per the legend narrated by Nandi to the Sanatkumara sages, Lord Krishna was charged with stealing as he saw the moon on Magha Shukla Chaturthi – which was prohibited and, on this day, he observed fasting and got rid of the accusation of stealing. The fast observed on this day is believed to enhance the name and fame of the individual.

Sankashti Chaturthi: Sankashti Chaturthi is an auspicious day in a Hindu lunar month dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The Sankashti Chaturthi that falls on Tuesday is considered highly auspicious and it is known as Angarak Sankashti.

Dress Code to visit the temple:

Traditional wears are the most preferable attire while visiting the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple. Men are not allowed to wear shirts inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. For ladies, dupattas are compulsory. Footwear is strictly prohibited inside the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple.

Best Time To Visit

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple can be visited throughout the year. But mid-August to mid-September and January to February is regarded as the best time to visit this temple as you can take part in the Vinayak Chaturthi and Varad Chaturthi festivals.

Way to reach :

 By Air - Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport to Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple which is situated at a distance of 5.4 Km. On reaching the airport, one can hire a cab, bus or an autorickshaw to reach the temple.

 By Rail - Trivandrum Central Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple which is just 600 meters away. On reaching the railway station, one can hire a cab, bus or an autorickshaw to reach the temple.

 By Bus - Several state transport buses and private buses are easily available to reach Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple.