Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple, Kaviyoor
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is another glory in the religious history of Kerala. The temple is also popular as Thrikkaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. Hanuman Temple and Sriparvati Temple are its other names. The temple is at Kaviyoor which is a pilgrimage for the Hindus. Moreover, this village is one of the 64 oldest Brahmin settlements of Kerala. The village is at the Pathanamthitta district. Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple worships Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu is also one of the main deities here. Furthermore, the temple falls under the Thiruvalla Group of Temples. As River Manimala flows by the temple, the environment is both serene and spiritual. Due to its immense historical value, the temple is a heritage monument. The Archaeological Department of India protects the shrine. Locals believe that the shrine is thousand years old. December or January is the best time to visit the temple as many festivals take place during this time.
History and Legend of Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple opens another chapter of the golden history of Kerala.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple was built in the 8th century.
- The Kaviyoor Sasanaas refer to the temple. This Sasanaas is oldest among the sasanaas. There are two inscriptions at the basement which state that the temple was built in the 950 and 951 AD.
- Locals believe that Lord Shiva fulfils desires of devotees who come to pray here.
- As per myth, the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple dates back to the Mahabharata times. When Mother Kunti along with her sons, the Pandava brothers was looking for a shelter during their exile, they built a rock shelter. They also built a Lord Shiva temple and this temple is the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple.
Significance of the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple
The Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is important for its unique built and fine carvings.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple shows the Pallava architectural style. It is triangle in shape.
- The sculptures are the earliest stone architecture we see in Kerala. These also depict stories from the great Indian epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. These sculptures were made in the 17th century.
- Lord Shiva is enshrined in a squared cave. There is a Shiva Lingum inside the cave. The lingum is 3 feet high. It is carved out of a rock.
- The shrine also worships Lord Ganapati, Lord Hanuman, Sreemoola Rajeswari and Maharshi. Sreemoola Rajeswari is Goddess Parvati. There is also another deity in the temple. It is Dakshinamoorthy. This is an idol of Lord Shiva along with Lord Ganapati. There is also a shrine for Lord Krishna.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple also has sculptures of Dwarpalakas. They are the temple guards.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is famous for its wood sculptures. This is Daarusilpas as per local language. These carvings were made in the 17th century. Tourists can see these sculptures at the outer wall of Sreekovil, on the inner roof of Balickalpura and Namaskara Mandapam. These sculptures depict Kerala architecture.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple has a round Sreekovil. It shows the Sandhara construction style.
- The roof of the sanctum is copper. There is a golden flag and 18 entry steps to the shrine.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple also has expensive ornaments which depict intricate designs. The main Sreekovil is covered with 44 rafter shoes. These also feature beautiful designs. The ornaments mainly include golden pots, ezhunnallippu chatams, golden reliefs of deities, golden umbrellas and golden chains.
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple Timings
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple Timings are almost similar to that of other Kerala temples.
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is open from 3.30 am to 11.30 am.
- It remains close at afternoon. It again opens at evening and is open from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple Food Timings
A special rice prasadam is served at the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. Devotees can buy this food item from the temple counter.
Dress Code at Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple
- Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple has a strict dress code. Men need to be in traditional attire. Also, men need to open shirts before entering the temple premises.
- Women also need to be in traditional dress at the temple.
Moreover, temple authorities do not allow photography within the temple.
Festivals celebrated at Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple
The Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple celebrates many festivals.
- Thiruvutsavam: The festival takes place in December or January. It is the Danu month as per Malayalam calendar. The celebration starts with a unique ritual. People call this Thiruvaathira. Utsavabali, Seva, Pallivetta are the other parts of the festival. The festival goes on for 10 days. A fair goes on during this time. People decorate the temple with colourful lights, candles and flowers.
- Shivaratri: This festival takes place every year, either in February or in March. Vilakkezhunnellippu is a unique custom of the festival. In this custom, 8000 oil lamps are lit. Devotees from 8 desam lit the lamps. This is a single day festival. Devotees fast for the day and worship Lord Shiva at four phases.
- Sahasra Kalasam: This festival goes on for 10 days. In this festival, Abhishekam is the main custom. Devotees do Abhishekam with 100 pots. 1 is a gold pot, 10 silver pots and the rest are copper pots.
Poojas and Rituals at Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple
The Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple has its own way to worship Lord Shiva.
- Dhara, Muzhukkappu and Chatussatham are the main offerings made to Lord Shiva.
- Also, daily different offerings are made to Lord Shiva. Devotees can offer Aval Nadyam and Vada Mala to Lord Shiva.
- The temple is also famous for its Mangalaya puja.
How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air
Kaviyoor is a famous pilgrimage for the Hindus. Hence the place is well connected via rail, road and air. Pathanamthitta, Thiruvalla Changanachery and Kottayam are the nearest towns to the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple.
By Air: The nearest airport is the Trivandrum International Airport. It is 119 km from the place while the Cochin International Airport is another option to reach Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. It lies at 160 km from the place.
By Rail: The Thiruvalla railway station is nearest to the shrine. It is 5 km from Kaviyoor. The Chengannur railway station is 82 km from the temple while Kottyam railway station is 120 km. You can also reach the temple easily via Kollam Junction railway station. It is about 129 km from the place.
By Road: Thiruvalla and Chaganachery are the easiest routes to reach Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. There are direct buses from Kozhencherry, Pathanamthitta, Kottangal, Ranni, Thottabhagom which take you to the temple.
From Thiruvalla: Moreover, there are two ways to reach Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple from Thiruvalla.
- From here you can board a bus to Mallappally. These buses generally come via Kalloppara. Then tourists can get down at Njalikandam Junction. The temple is 700 metres from the junction.
- You can also get a bus to Kozhenchery. This place is at Pathanamthitta. From here travel till Thottabhagom Junction. There are buses and auto rickshaws that take you to Chaganachery from the Junction. These vehicles will directly take you to the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple.
Hotels in Kaviyoor: Where to stay
The best hotels near Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple are at Pathanamthitta. Mannil Regency, Hey Day Hotel, Mariam Lodge, Mannaas Veedu and Hotel Hills Park are some of the good hotels near the temple. Also, these hotels serve good food.
Where to eat
Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is a popular tourist spot. Hence several eat outs are near the temple. Joyces Baker, Hotel Sehion Restaurant, Anjali Restaurant, News Star, Uday Bakery and Biryani Centre are very near to the temple.
As Kaviyoor is popular for its temples, you will have lot to see here.
- Hanuman Swami Temple: This temple is also in the temple complex. The shrine worships Lord Hanuman. As per Indian mythology, Lord Hanumana helped Lord Rama win the battle against demon Ravana. This is the great Indian epic, Ramayana. The temple is also important for its unique construction. It represents gable architectural style, which is rare in Kerala. Hanuman Jayanti is the main festival. This is the birth anniversary celebration of Lord Hanumana.
- Malayalapuzha Bhagavathy Temple: Only 8 km away from Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple, this temple is very famous. Goddess Bagavathy is the main deity here. Also, as per locals, the goddess can grant wishes. The temple is famous for its wall paintings and sculptures.
- Njaliyil Bhagavathy Temple: Another important temple of Kaviyoor is Njaliyil Bhagavathy Temple. This temple also worships Goddess Bhagavathy. Makaram is the main festival here. People also come here to see the old folk drama. Padayani is the drama name.
- Sabarimala: This is a very famous temple of Kerala. The temple worships Lord Ayyappa. The temple is on a hillock and offers breath taking beauty of the surroundings. November to Mid- January is the best time to visit the temple as this time the temple celebrates Mandalapooja and Makaravilakku. Also, the temple is close the rest of the year. Besides the first five days of Vishnu month. This is a Malayalam month which is generally April as per English calendar.
Hence, visit Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple for a peaceful holiday. Moreover, this trip can be a gift to your family. Feel refreshed at the serene climate and feel divine.