600-year-old ‘Vilakkumadom’

Why in News?

  • The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has recently urged the government to conserve the 600-year-old ‘Vilakkumadom’, at the Sree Mahavishnu Temple at Thirunelli, Kerala.


  • The 600-year-old Vilakkumadom structure, made of exquisite granite, is located at the Sree Mahavishnu Temple in Thirunelly, Wayanad district.
  • The ongoing renovation of the temple has raised concerns about the preservation of its heritage.
  • The structure has a rich history dating back to the 15th century AD, and its key elements have not been given due consideration during the renovation process.
  • The potential completion of the Vilakkumadom structure and the destruction of the Chuttambalam (rectangular structure covering the temple) has resulted in a loss of heritage and created a gap in its value and importance that could be forgotten or misinterpreted in the future.
  • The Incomplete structure had stood as a testimony to a rich cultural heritage but has been remodeled in an insensitive way.
  • It Is said that the work was launched by the king of Coorg without the permission of the temple’s custodian, Kottayam Raja.
  • Later, the Kottayam Raja ordered the construction work, and the structure remained untouched afterwards.
  • Thirunelli Temple, also known as Amalaka or Sidha Temple, is a Vishnu temple in Wayanad district, Kerala.
  • The temple gets its name from an idol of Lord Vishnu resting on an amla tree in a valley, which was discovered by Lord Brahma while circling the globe.
  • The Thirunelli temple’s architecture follows the traditional Kerala style.
  • The temple has an inner sanctorum, surrounded by a tile roof structure, and an open courtyard around it.
  • The east entrance of the temple is decorated with a granite lamp post.
  • The outer wall of the temple is bound by granite pillars that are cut in cubicle style, which is not commonly seen in Kerala
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