The temple is believed to have been built during 15th century AD
Ambalappuzha in Alappuzha district of Kerala. The temple is believed to have been built during 15th century AD by the local ruler Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran.
It is one of the seven greatest Vaishnava temples in Travancore.
The Swami at Ambalapuzha is likened to Parthasarthi form of Vishnu, holding a whip in his right hand and a conch in his left.
According to the legend, the god Krishna once appeared in the form of a sage in the court of the king who ruled the region and challenged him for a game of chess (or chaturanga).
The king being a chess enthusiast himself gladly accepted the invitation. The prize had to be decided before the game and the king asked the sage to choose his prize in case he won.
The sage told the king that he had a very modest claim and being a man of few material needs, all he wished was a few grains of rice. The amount of rice itself shall be determined using the chess-board in the following manner.
One grain of rice shall be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, eight in the fourth square, sixteen in 5th square and so on. Every square will have double of its predecessor.
The king lost the game and sage demanded the agreed-upon prize. As he started adding grains of rice to the chess board, the king soon realised the true nature of the sage’s demands.
The royal granary soon ran out of grains of rice. The king realised that he will never be able to fulfill the promised reward as the number of grains was increasing as a geometric progression and the total amount of rice required for a 64-squared chess board is 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains, translating to trillions of tons of rice.
Upon seeing the dilemma, the sage appeared to the king in his true-form and told the king that he did not have to pay the debt immediately but could pay him over time. The king would serve paal-payasam (pudding made of rice) in the temple freely to the pilgrims every day until the debt was paid off.
Source : Facebook/Venkatagiri Ravichandran
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