The Thrikkakara Temple Complex
Today, the Thrikkakarai temple inclusive of its outer walls and outer courtyard has an area of eleven acres. The temple lacks a gopuram as compared to other keralite temples. Even the padipura, the main entrance is relatively small as compared to other temples. There is an elephant shed towards the front of the temple. A dwijam was constructed between the elephant stable and Balikalpura only in 1982. A garudavahanam has been instead on top of it. The temple does not have a Nalambalam or Vilakumadam. The Sreekovil, constructed out of granite stone is of circular shape. The facing mandapa is fairly large. A Yakshi has been installed in it. The Sreekovil or the Sanctum Sanctorum does not have a vimana. The idol is set on a platform which is 4 or 5 feet in height.
Towards the northwest of the Sanctum lies the shrine of Lakshmidevi, towards the southwest is the shrine of Shasta and the southeast houses the idol of Goshala Krishna. Beyond the Nalambalam, a Brahma rakshas shrine too has been set up.
There is a pond on the southern side of the temple which does not have proper walls as if now. The temple pond is called Kapila Theertham. According to legend Kapila Maharishi who founded the temple collected the water used for the consecration of the deity in this pond.
The Siva shrine situated towards the north could have been the family shrine of the Kalkarainadu Chieftains. If some of the rock inscriptions are closely studied, one can find that some of the grants by the chiefs are for the Shiva temple.
Passing through the annals of temple chronicles and other records, we can catch a glimpse of the former glory and magnificence of the temple. In its heydays the temple had almost twenty seven sub shrines in it. Every shrine had a separate priest, well, gopurams on all four sides, a gold dwijam, an agraharam, a feeding hall, a granary, a stage for performance arts, a arsonary, bhajanamadom, Vilakumadam, Sangeethashala, Manimeda etc. In short it was a nerve center of cultural activities and community life.