Lord Vilwadrinatha Temple is one of the ancient temples in India, consisting of two shrines side by side-one dedicated to Rama and the other to his brother Lakshmana. It is a mountain shrine easily accessible by road on the west side. The eastern side consists of a series of mountains which one has to trek to reach the temple. To the north of Tiruvilwamala, about one km away, is the famous Bharata River (Bharatapuzha), the Ganges of Kerala, which adds to the scenic beauty of the place.
Another striking feature of the temple is the huge peepal tree in front of the shrine on the east. It is a rocky place, the rocks extending right up to the srikovil inside. No soil is visible around, yet the peepal has grown majestically with its roots spreading all over the place. The tree stands as though welcoming the visitors.
A little to the south of the eastern gateway is the Hanuman shrine. It is a magnificent 5-foot stone image covered with silver raiment. Yet another feature peculiar to this temple is the presence of two equally big and square-shaped srikovils-one facing east, with the deity imagined and worshipped as Lakshmana, and the other facing west, dedicated to Sri Rama, though both the idols are that of Mahavishnu, with four arms carrying the conch, the disc, the mace and the lotus.
A striking example of distinct architectural charm, both sanctums are set a little apart from each other though they are to be circumambulated together, not separately. They are similar in’ style, quadrangular in shape with rubble basement.
The roof is in two storeys, the lower one of truncated pyramidal shape and the upper one pyramidal with a golden stupi and four gabled roofs projecting externally form the top roof. In both the shrines the roof is covered with copper sheet.