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Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple

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.

The Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest Shiva temples of Kerala. This thousand year old temple depicts Pallava architecture.

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.

Guidelines

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.

Nearby Temples

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.

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam

The Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is at Kottayam. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity here. The temple is a must visit to view the exquisite sculptures and paintings of the 1542- 1545 AD. The idol of Lord Shiva is 3 feet tall. There is also a holy tank on the northern side of the shrine which is oval in shape.

ettumanoor-mahadeva-temple-kottayam

History and Legend of Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

This is an ancient temple of Kerala. Hence there are several myths associated with this shrine.

  • The construction of the temple has a long history. As per myths, Saint Kharasura had a pupil named Pingala. Pingala was poor and hence after completion of his education, the saint did not ask for anything from him. Pingala persuaded the saint to ask for something. Kharasura was angry and asked for 180 billion gold pieces from his disciple. Pingala was distressed and the compassionate saint thought of helping him out. Both of them travelled to Harinadweep and worshipped Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. When Lord Vishnu appeared Pingala asked for the 180 billion pieces of gold and offered the same to Kharasura. After that Lord Shiva appeared and Kharasura used all the gold to worship the Lord. Pleased with his worship, Lord Shiva offered the same amount of gold to the saint. The saint then used the gold to worship Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva reappeared and gifted three Shiva Lingas to Kharasura. One of these Shiva Lingas stayed buried at Harinapura. After thousands of years, a woman hit the Linga while digging for edible roots and the Shiva Linga began to bleed. Lord Shiva appeared angry in front of the lady and turned her into a stone. The Shiva Linga was brought at Ettumanoor and the Mahadeva Temple was formed.
  • Another myth states that Saint Lomharsha came to offer prayers at the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple and fell in the tank while bathing. People laughed at him and he cursed that the place will turn into a jungle. It gradually became a jungle until Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar discovered the Siva Linga within the forest. He also reconstructed the temple and established the rituals that are performed at this temple.
  • There are two Dwaarapaalakas at the Sreekovil sanctum. They are the guards of the temple. It is said that these guards used to beat the devotees who came to the temple. Hence to stop them, holes have been placed on their hand and feet.
  • Another myth states that Goddess Parvati stays at the eastern end of Sreekovil. Hence this door is never opened.
  • There are two large Nanni statues at the Mukhamandapam. One statue is made of wood and the other is made of bronze. As per legends, the bronze statue was gifted by the King of Chempakassery after he was cured of stomach pain. This statue was filled with paddy.
  • Another myth states that if a grain from this statue is eaten it can cure stomach ache. There is also a hole in the belly of the statue for this purpose.
  • Adi Shankaracharya wrote Saundarya Lahari on his visit to Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple. He is a famous Indian philosopher.

Significance of the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

The temple bears the rich culture and history of Kerala. Some of the important features of the temple are:

  • Lord Shiva is worshipped in three forms. In the morning He is worshipped as Ardhanareeshwara. In the afternoon He is worshipped as Kirathamoorthi and in the evening He is worshipped as Samhararudra.
  • There are other Hindu gods at the temple. Lord Ganapati, Goddess Bhagavathy, Lord Dakshinamoorthy, Sastha and Yakshi are some of them.
  • The temple is also famous for its mural paintings. The most famous mural of the shrine is that of Nataraja, which is present within the Gopuram. The Ezharaponnana painting is also famous. This painting shows seven and half elephants finished in gold.
  • The other mural paintings of the temple exhibit Anantasayana on the northern wall. The Akhoramoorthi and Pradoshathandava paintings decorate the southern part of the sanctum.
  • The Thandava painting represents Lord Shiva in a dancing pose. This mural represents Lord Shiva with River Ganges and crescent moon on his coppery, matted hair. He also holds a bow and drum in the right hand. While the bow is known as Pinaka, the attached drum is named as Udukku. There is a sword and arrow in another hand. The sword is Khatwanga in local language and the arrow is Varunapaasa. There are bells, fire and a blazing mace in the other hands. This idol depicts the courageous and angry Lord Shiva. This painting is present in the main sanctum. The main gopura is at the western side.
  • The Sreekovil is a circular gopura with wood sculptures. The sculptures narrate stories from Purana which is the mythological book of the Hindu religion. The sculptures show Ashtaaavakra Maharshi, Lord Ganesha with his wife, Raasaleela, Aditya, Vaamana, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva in Tandava pose and Sree Rama’s coronation ceremony.

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple Timings

The Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple opens early in the morning with the first rays of the sun.

  • At 4.00 am Sreekovil sanctum temple opens.
  • Within 4.00 to 4.30 am Nirmalyam takes place.
  • From 4.30 am to 5.00 am Abhishekam takes place.
  • Madhavippalli Pooja, also you can call as Usha Pooja, is between 5.00 am to 6.00 am.
  • Ethruthu Pooja takes place within 6.00 am to 6.30 am.
  • Pantheeradi worship takes place between 8.00 am to 8.30 am.
  • At 10.00 to 10.30, Dhaara and Navakom rituals takes place.
  • Ucha Pooja takes place between 11.00 am and 11.30 am.
  • From 11.30 am to 12.00 pm Ucha Sree Bali worship takes place.
  • The temple closes during afternoon.
  • The temple again opens at 17.00 pm.
  • Deeparadhana is between 18.30 pm and 19.00 pm.
  • Athaazha Pooja takes place between 19.30 pm to 20.00 pm.
  • Athaazha Sree Bali worship is the last phase of ritual which takes place on a day. This is performed between 20.00 pm and 20.30 pm. The temple closes after that.

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple Food Timings

After the daily worship at the temple, devotees can have prasadam.

Dress Code at Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

Though there is no specific dress code at the temple, people prefer traditional dressing. Men have to remove shirt before entering the temple. Also, tourists need to remove shoes.

Festivals celebrated at Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

This temple celebrates all the rituals associated with Lord Shiva.

  • Ezharaponnana Ezhunallathu Festival: This is the most famous festival at the shrine. The festival goes on for 10 days. It is during February or March. The month name is Kumbha as per Malayalam calendar. Araat is a significant part at the festival. This falls on the Thiruvathira day. Also, on the 8th day, the idols of seven and half elephants are brought outside the temple. There is a great procession during the festival.
  • Shivaratri: This is also celebrated with great pomp and show at the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple. The festival generally takes place during February or March. Thousands of devotees gather here to bath Lord Shiva with milk and offer flowers, fruits and sweets.

Poojas and Rituals at Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

There are some special rituals at this temple.

  • The temple has a golden idol of Akhoramoorthi. This idol is placed before Lord Shiva every morning and is removed from the place the next day, after Nirmalya Pooja. The idol of Akhoramoorthi is two and a half feet tall.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is famous among the devotees of Lord Shiva. Hence easily accessible from all parts of Kerala.

By Air: The Cochin International airport is the nearest airport to Kottayam. This airport is at 77 km from the place. There are private cars available from the airport which takes tourists directly to the shrine.

By Rail: The Ettumanoor railway station is the nearest railway station to the temple. The railway station is at 2 km from Kottayam. The other nearby railway station is the Kottayam railway station. This main railway station is at 11 km from the temple. Local vehicles are available outside the railway station which can directly take you to the temple.

By Road: The temple is near the MC road and 10 km from the main Kottayam city. besides bus, you can hire private cars to the temple.

Hotels in Kottayam: Where to stay

There are both budget and premium hotels near the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple. The Palakunnel Residency is a budget hotel at 0.7 km from the temple. The Abad Whispering Palms is a luxury hotel at 18.7 km from the shrine. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Cocobay Resort and Lakesong Resort are the other options.

Where to eat

Due to the immense popularity of the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, several eateries have developed round it. The Astoria and Annapurna restaurants are just 2 km from the shrine. These eat outs serve also serve non vegetarian dishes.

Nearby Temples

Kottayam is a famous pilgrimage in Kerala. The place is famous for Hindu, Christian and Muslim pilgrim centres.

  • Vaikom Shiva Temple: This is another famous Shiva temple of Kerala. The temple is at 31 km from Kottayam. The temple is also legendary as associated with Parasurama. It is a beautiful temple featuring Kerala style of architecture. Also, the temple is the Kasi of South. Several elephant pageants and art performances takes place at the temple complex. The Vaikathashrami is the largest festival here. The festival takes place during November or December.
  • Thangalppara, Kottayam: This is a Muslim pilgrimage. Thangalppara is the mausoleum of Sheikh Fariduddin. The mosque is also a major tourist destination as located near the Kurathikallu hill station.
  • Kurisumala, Kottayam: This is a popular Christian pilgrimage of Kerala. During the Christian holy months, numerous devotees climb the hill with wooden cross in their hands. Also, there is a monastery at the hill top. The serenity of the place brings out prayer from the deep core of your heart. Moreover, as you travel to Kurisumala, the scenic beauty enthrals you.
  • Muruganmala Temple, Kottayam: Near the Kurisumala church, there is an ancient shrine. God Murugan is the presiding deity at this temple. Murugan is the son of Lord Shiva.
  • Vavarambalam, Erumeli: This mosque has strong connection with Hindu worship. Here devotees worship Vavar. As per myths, He is the companion of Sree Ayyappa. Hence before worshipping Sree Ayyappa at the Sabarimala Temple, devotees need to worship here. The Erumeli Pettathullal is the major festival here. It is generally during January.
  • Mortal Remains of Saint Alphonsa, Bharananganam: The church has mortal remains of Saint Alphonsa. Thousands of pilgrims visit this church every year. The Feast of the St. Alphonsa is a major festival. This festival takes place during July.
  • St. Mary’s Church, Manarcad: This church is just at 8 km from the Kottayam main city. Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christians worship at this church. The Ettunompu is a major festival. During the festival, devotees fast 8 days. The festival takes place from 1st to 8th September.
  • Alapra Thacharikkal Bhagavathi Temple, Alapra: This shrine is amidst dense forests. The deity is Goddess Bhagavathy. Furthermore, it is the only place in Kottayam to perform Padayani ritual. The place is also a tourist hotspot. It has several caves, waterfalls and muniyaras.

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam is just not a pilgrimage for devotees for Lord Shiva, but a holy abode for people seeking some respite from the hassle and bustle of daily life.

Tali Temple

Tali Temple, Kozhikode- The Exhibition of Rich Keralite Culture and History

The Tali temple is the oldest temple of Kozhikode. The temple is in the middle of Kozhikode town and was built during the 14th century. The temple worships Lord Shiva. The deity is a blended form of Goddess Uma and Lord Shiva. It is known as Uma Maheshwara. This temple is also remarkable with a perfect blend of wood and laterite. Also, brass has been used largely to decorate the shrine. Moreover, the serene environment brings out prayers from the heart.

Tali Temple

History and Legend of Tali Temple

This 400 years old temple paints the picture of religious India.
• The shrine was constructed at the end of Dwaparayuga. Saint Parasurama built this temple. Saint Parasurama is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
• As per another myth, the Tali Temple was a small temple in a village. 50 Namboothiri families looked after the temple.
• The temple gained importance 1500 years ago. It was under the Zamorins. The Zamorins executed the Namboothiri families and took over the temple. They were also called Sailabdheswara. Sailabdheswara means the lord of the mountain and the sea. Swamy Thirumulpad made the temple within his palace complex. After sometime, another Zamorin, Manavikraman gave the temple its present shape. The temple is still looked after by them.
• The temple was almost damaged when Tipu Sultan invaded Kozhikode in the 18th century. Again the shrine was renovated in 1964.
• Revathi Pattathanam function started at this temple. Eminent people and philosophers came to this function. Bharatha Meemamsa, Prabhakara Meemamsa, Vedanta Meemamsa and Vyakarana were discussed at the functions. During 15th and 16th centuries eighteen poets came to this function. This function also takes place at present.
• Moreover, the temple is a God gift to locals. They believe that the temple has brought richness to Kozhikode.
• Some historians believe the temple was made even before the city was built.

Significance of Tali Temple

The Tali Temple is historically important. It is a treasure house with numerous deities and beautiful built.
• This is a two storied sanctum. It is in the chariot form and is decorated with mural paintings.
• The temple is protected by large walls on all sides, which are in the form of an elephant belly.
• Also, there are fine granite sculptures within the temple complex. These sculptures show Lord Shiva. Also, birds and animal sculptures are present. These portray different stories from the Puranas.
• Moreover, there is a Jyotirlingam in the sanctum. Umamaheshwara, Tali Ganapathy, Thevarathil Ganapathy and Thrumandhakunnu Bhagavathy are also there within the inner walls. The outer walls have deities of Lord Ayyappa, Thevarathil Bhagavathy and Lord Naga.
• There is a separate Lord Vishnu temple within the complex. The temple also has its own Dwajastambam.
• The idol of Sreevalayanad Bhagavati is also present in the Lord Vishnu temple.
• There is another small temple. The presiding deity is Narasimha Moorthy. This temple is at the southern part of the Vishnu Temple.
• The northern part has the Eranjipuram. It is also beautiful with lights from all sides.
• The main temple has four main parts. The Dwajastambam refers to the flag poles. People also believe these are connections of heaven to earth. The Anakottil is the flag staff platform. It was built for the elephants. The gopurams are large. These gateways are another treat to eyes with intricate carvings, while the Deepasthambhum are the beautiful lighting pillars.
• The various temples within the complex are Sivakshetram, Nalambalam and Krishnakshetram.

Tali Temple Timings and Poojas

Like any traditional Hindu temple, the Tali Temple opens during the early morning. It opens at 4.30 am and is open till 11.00 am. The temple again opens at 5.00 pm and closes at 8.30 pm. Furthermore, there are five different religious programs that take place every day at this temple.
• Nadathurakkal Abishekam is the first puja. It starts at 4.30 am. This puja takes place at Sivakshetram.
• Dhara Usha pooja takes place at Sivakshetram. This worship is at 5.30 am.
• Ganapathihomam puja is at 6.00 am. It takes place at the Nalambalam temple.
• Ravilathe worship is at 6.30 am. The puja takes place at Sivakshetram.
• At 7.00 am and 7.15 am, Seeveli Pooja takes place both at Sivakshetram and Krishnakshetram.
• Navagraha Pooja along with Mrithyunjaya Homam takes place at 7.30 am. It is at Sivakshetram temple.
• Pantheeradi Puja is at 8.00 am and 9.00 am.This is first at Krishnakshetram shrine and then at Sivakshetram. Lakshminarayana Pooja also takes place at Krishnakshetram but at     8.30 am.
• Ucha Pooja takes place at 9.45 am and then at 10.00 am; first at Krishnakshetram and then at Sivakshetram.
• Seeveli worship takes place at 10.30 am and then at 10.45 am; first at Krishnakshetram and then at Sivakshetram.
• Nadayadaykkal worship is at 11.00 am. It takes place at Nalambalam.
• Nadathurakkal occurs at 5.00 pm. This takes place at Krishnakshetram and Sivakshetram.
• Dheep Aaradhana is at 6.30 pm. This takes place at Krishnakshetram and Sivakshetram. This is a sacred moment as the priests worship with traditional towered oiled lamps and to the beats of drums.
• Umamaheshwara Puja and Bhaghavathi Seva take place at 7.00 pm. It is both at Sivakshetram and Nalambalam.
• Athaazha puja is at 7.30 pm. It is first at Krishnakshetram and then at Sivakshetram.
• 8.00 pm is the time for Seeveli at Sivakshetram.
• The day ends with Trippuka, Nadayadaykkal at 8.30 pm. It takes place at Krishnakshetram and Sivakshetram.
• Vazhipadu is a special puja. It takes place on special requests of the devotees. People interested in performing this puja need to book 3 days before the date. Also, worshipers can book for Vazhipadu online.
• Appam, Vilakku, Maala, Nei Vilakku, Pin Vilakku, Ganapathi Homam, Ashtadravya Ganapathi Homam, Mrithyunjaya Homam, Dhara, Karuka Homam, Koovala mala, Uma Maheswara pooja and Ada are some of the special worships.

Food Timings

Appam is a tasty snack available at the temple after worship. This is popular as Prasadam.

Dress Code

Devotees need to come in traditional wear. People with jeans and western dress cannot enter the temple. You can hire traditional dress (Mundu) from the temple counter. Also, men cannot come within the temple with shirts. They can drape a Veshti instead of a shirt.

Festivals celebrated at Tali Temple

Locals call festivals as Utsavam at the Tali Temple.
• Revathi Pattathanam: This festival still takes place at the temple. This cultural program is a seven days function. It is during October or November. As per myth, the Zamorins started the festival as a penance of killing the Namboothiris. The performing scholars also get rewards.
• The largest festival is during the Malayalam New Year. The festival is for seven days. People worship Lord Shiva during this time.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

As the temple is at the center of the town, it is easily accessible from all parts of Kerala. Kozhikode is 184 kms from Kochi, 191 kms from Coimbatore, 232 kms from Mangalore, 359 kms from Bangalore and 378 kms from Trivandrum.

By Air: Kozhikode is just 23 km from the Calicut International Airport. This airport is connected to the various Indian metropolitan cities and gulf countries. There are private cabs available from the airport area which can take you directly to the temple.

By Rail: Kozhikode has own railway station. Therefore, there are regular trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore to the place. Mngla Lksdp Exp, Kerala S Kranti, Ypr Cannanore Exp, Mangalore Exp Ypr Cannanore Exp are some of the express trains travelling on a daily basis to Kozhikode.

By Road: There are several tourist buses that travel from Karnataka and Kerala to the Tali Temple. Besides these private air conditioned buses, you can also avail buses from KSRTC. The buses connect important cities like, Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore and Trivandrum to Kozhikode. Both luxury and semi-deluxe buses are available. If you are travelling via road on your own private car or bike, you can opt for the routes like, Lakkidito, Nilamburto, Thalasseryto, Pattambito, Tholpettyto, Bandipur National Park to Kozhikode.

Where to stay

The Tali Temple has great importance in the religious life of the people in and around Kerala. Hence there are several hotels near the shrine for people from all classes. The Gateway Hotel Beach Road, Khaleej Residency, Chamundeshwari Tourist Home and Malabar Palace are some of the hotels just at 0.4 kms from the Tali Temple.

Where to eat

There are multiple food courts near the shrine. The Arya Bhawan and Aryabhavan Restaurant are just 0.3 km from the temple. Both these eat outs serve vegetarian food. Hotel Rahamth, KTDC and Hotel Komala Bhavan are just 0.2 km from the temple and serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. You can also buy banana chips and Shastha chips near the temple.

Nearby Temples

Kozhikode is a pilgrimage and has many temples around.

The Balasubramania Temple: Just beside the Tali temple, there is an old temple. The presiding deities here are Balasubramania and Lord Ganesha.

Varakkal Devi Temple, Kozhikode: Lord Parasurama built this as the last Devi temple. This is the 108th temple built by the saint. As per myths, Parasurama ploughed the area and Goddess Varakkal appeared. The temple is at the shores of the Arabian Sea. Vavu Bali is the largest festival here. Devotees perform funeral rites during the festival. The temple is open from 5.00 am to 12.00 pm and again from 5.30 pm t0 8.00 pm.

Valayanad Devi temple: This temple is at Govindapuram. The place is at 6 km from Kozhikode. As per myths, the Zamorins built this temple. They were not able to get control over Govindapuram and were able to do so only after worshipping the Goddess. Lord Shiva, Ayyappa and Vigneswara are the other deities here. Priests follow the Saktheya tradition here. There is also a ‘Sreechakra’. Sivayogi Thayyavur Sivasankar made the ‘Sreechakra.’ Makaram is the annual festival here. This takes place for 8 days. Guruthy Tharpanam is also practiced here.

Pattalapalli: It means the Soldier’s Mosque. This is a four storied building. It has a domed roof and a round hall. There is a library and a well.

Mother of God Cathedral: This church is at the Beach Road of Kozhikode. It has Gothic built. Italian architects built the temple. There are spiral colonnades and the curved arches on the doors and the windows at the church. There is also a 200 years old picture of St. Mary here.

The best part of travelling to the Tali temple in Kozhikode is that you can visit the place anytime of the year. The natural beauty of the place changes with every season. Visit  the Tali temple to increase the joy of life.

Thirunelli Temple

Worship at the Abode of Natural Bliss- Thirunelli Temple, Wayanad Valley

The Thirunelli Temple, Wayanad Valley brings out prayers from the deep core of the hearts. The temple is encircled with Udayagiri, Brahmagiri, Karimala and Narinirangimala range while the Papanasini mountain spring flows by it. The temple is at an altitude of 900 meters, facing east. Therefore, the first rays of the sun fall on the temple, creating a celestial atmosphere. The Thirunelli Temple worships Lord Vishnu.

thirunelli-temple

History and Legend of Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli Temple opens up another golden page of South Indian religious life and beliefs.

• It is one of the oldest temples of Kerala. As per folklore, Lord Brahma built the temple. The temple also has other names, like, Sahyamala Kshetram and Kashi of the South.
• There is an old artificial water channel that brings water to the temple. It helps people to understand the age of the temple. The wife of Chirackal Raja once visited the temple. When she asked for some water to dissolve the sandal, the priest was not able to provide water. The lady understood the scarcity of water at the temple and ordered her attendants to discover a water source. They found a water source, varaham, within the forest. Water was brought from the place using bamboo halves. She built the stone water channel to ensure uninterrupted water service to the shrine. This water channel has mural decoration and come with pillars.
• Thirunelli comes from the Malayalam/ Tamil word, nelli. It means gooseberry in English and amla in Hindi. As per myth, Lord Brahma was moving around the world one day. He saw an idol of Lord Vishnu resting on an amla tree. The tree was at the Wayanad Valley. Lord Brahma installed this deity. The place was Vishnuloka, the heaven of peace. Therefore, the Thirunelli Temple was built. For this reason, people also know the temple as Amalaka Temple and Sidha Temple.
• It is also a belief that the Lord Vishnu blessed the place with sacred waters which can wash away the sins both of mortal life and life after death.
• As per myth, Lord Brahma visits the place every day. The temple performs five worships in a day. But they arrange items for a sixth worship before leaving the temple at night. Every morning it is found that the puja items have been used at night. People believe that Lord Brahma has used the items for worshipping Lord Vishnu. The priests swear thrice before entering the shrine in the morning that they will not disclose what they saw inside.
• Veda Vyasa has also mentioned the temple in his book, Padma Purana.
• Another myth states that Chera king Kulasekharan made the temple. The king was in power from 767 AD to 834 AD. Then he became a saint and practiced Vaishnava order. He is also the writer of Mukundamaala. The book is written in Sanskrit.
• The temple has incomplete walkway. It is said that the Coorg king once started the renovation work at the temple. The Vellattiri king owned the temple that time. He objected to the work and hence the walkway is incomplete.
• Locals also believe that Lord Shiva lives at the temple premises. He started his journey to Kottiyur from here to kill Dhakshan. Dhakshan was the father of Devi Sati. She was the wife of Lord Shiva.
• There is a holy rock at the temple where devotees perform the funeral rites of their ancestors. People believe the rock is actually the bone of a demon. His name was Pazhana-bhedi and he was killed by Lord Vishnu. He prayed during his death to Lord Vishnu to divide his body into three parts so that devotees could use it for offerings to the departed souls. The head is at Gaya, middle part at Godavari and feet at Thirunelli. Lord Rama and his brother Laxmana performed funeral rites of their father, King Dasaratha at this rock.

Significance of the Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli Temple is unique with its different rituals and as a treasure of historic relics.

• Only at this temple a devotee can perform rituals from life to death and for life after death.
• The temple has three deities, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. People call them trinity. There is a separate cave temple at the western side of the main temple. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity here. This is Gunnika temple. It represents Kongu-Chera style of handiworks.
• The temple showcases Kerala architectural style. The inner sanctorum has a tilted roof and an open courtyard. Another feature of the temple is the granite lamp post. You can also see the hole of a flag post but the flag post is missing.
• The outer wall also has granite pillars. The pillars are cubical in shape. This part is different from the standard Kerala architecture.
• As per recent excavations, Thirunelli was an important business hub. The copper plates describe the history of the Thirunelli temple. From land allotment for the temple to details of expenses, everything is there in these plates.
• As per the inscriptions, the Kunhikutta Varman VeeraKurumpurai was the first donor for the temple construction, while the Sankaran Godavarman is the second donor.
• An elaborate description of the Thirunelli temple is also mentioned in the Unniyachi Charitham. This is a popular poetical work. The writer is Thevan Chirikumaran.
• The lord Vishnu is Chaturbhuja at the Thirunelli Temple. The Panchatheertham water tank has the marks of Lord Vishnu feet. This is known as Vishnupad.

Thirunelli Temple Timings

Pilgrims can visit the temple both at morning and evening.
• It is open from 5.30 am to 12.00 pm in the morning.
• The aarti is magical. It takes places at 11.30 am.
• At evening the temple is open from 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm.

Thirunelli Temple Food Timings

Prasadam is served after the evening prayers. You can also have meals at the temple. Visitors can also have free coffee and upma, both in morning and evening.

Dress Code at Thirunelli Temple

Devotees generally come in traditional wear. Men need to enter the temple without shirts. Leather apparels and items cannot be brought into the temple complex. Worshippers need to wear dhoti which is available at the priest office.

Festivals celebrated at Thirunelli Temple

Puthari, Chuttuvilakku, Navarathri, Shivarathri and Sreekrishnajayanthi are the major festivals of the temple.

Poojas and Rituals at Thirunelli Temple

• Ritual at the Papanasini River: Pilgrims from all over the world gather at the Thirunelli Temple to perform the ancestral rites. The rituals rake place at the banks of the river. Locals believe that the holy waters can wash away all the sins of the mortals.
• Pithrukarma: Also, there is a holy rock at the temple complex where worshippers pray for their forefathers.

• The temple also practices various customs related to the complete life cycle. Bali Tharpana, Oraalpindam are the other funeral rites that people do here.

• Another unique custom of the Thirunelli Temple is Brahmanas play musical instruments during food offerings to Lord Vishnu.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

A trip to Thirunelli Temple is just not a pilgrimage but an immemorial journey through the Wayanad Valley. The place is easily accessible as it is a tourist hotspot. If you are coming from outside Wayanad, you can come from Calicut. The route from Calicut passes three cities, which are, Thamarasserry, Kalpetta and Mananthavady.

By Air: The Calicut International Airport is the nearest airport to the Thirunelli Temple. Another name for the airport is Karipur airport. This airport is at 161 kms from the Thirunelli Temple. Tourists can book cars directly to the temple. You can also use the Bangalore route to reach Thirunelli Temple. After reaching the Bangalore International Airport, tourists need to come Mysore. From here proceed to Thirunelli via Hunsur and Nagarhole. The temple lies at 280 kms from Bangalore airport and 121 kms from Mysore.

By Rail: The nearest rail head to the temple is also at Calicut. From the railway station tourists first need to reach Mananthavady and then to Thirunelli. There are many taxi and bus available from the station. The distance from Calicut to Mananthavady is 137 km if you are coming through the Koyileri – Mananthavady road. You can also take the 4th mile – Mananthavady road to reach the temple, but the distance is more; 141 kms.
The next nearest railway station to the temple is Mysore railway station. This is at 121 kms from the shrine.

By Road: You can enjoy the most if you are travelling to Thirunelli Temple via road. There is various way in which you can reach the Thirunelli Temple via roadways.
From Calicut: After an hour journey from Calicut through the National Highway 212, you start climbing the hair pin slopes. There are 9 hair pin bends and the last bend gives a breathtaking view of all the Calicut valleys. You pass through the Vythiri and Chundale towns and then comes Kalpetta. This is the headquarters of the Wayanad district. From here you turn 2 kms left to the Mananthavady town.
From Kannur: The temple is 121 kms from Kannur. You can get a glimpse of simple lifestyle of the locals as you pass the small towns of Koothuparamba, Nedumpoyil, Periya, Thalappuzha and Mananthavady to reach the temple. Moreover, there is a shorter through from Kannur. This route takes you through Kelakam, Kottiyur, Boy’s Town and Manathavady.
From Mananthavady: From this medium town tourists head towards the Mysore Road, which is just at 10 kms. Then from Kattikulam tourists ride through a dense forest area till Thettu Road junction. This is an 8 kms ride to the junction and again a 13 kms ride to the temple. This path is idle for wildlife lovers, as bisons, jumbo monkeys, peacocks and dear more round freely in the jungle.
From Kerala- Karnataka Border: From this place you need to ride till the Mananthavady road. After driving for almost 7.4 kms you will reach the Thetturoad Junction. Take a U turn to reach the temple, which is 13 kms from the junction.

Hotels in Wayanad Valley: Where to stay

The temple has its own tourist accommodation. Panchatheertham Vishrama Mandiram is the name of the accommodation. Besides this, pilgrims can also stay at Himagiri Homes and Agraharam Resorts.

Where to eat

Besides having meal, you can try out the food at Century Restaurant. The eat out is at 13.9 kms from the temple.

Nearby Temples

The Thirunelli Temple is closely related to the other nearby temples.
Trisillery temple: As per mythology, Pinnappara continues from Thirunelli to Trisillery. Hence devotees who perform ancestral rites at Thirunelli first visit Thrissilery. They also make a Vilakkumaala offering at Thrissilery.
Kottiyur Temple: This temple is at the dense forests of the Brahmagiri Valley. Earlier rice was brought from Thirunelli Temple to the Kottiyur Temple to meet the puja expenses. After the festival rice was returned to the Thirunelli Temple.
Kalpetta: This region in Wayanad is a Jain pilgrimage. The place has various Jain temples and institutes.

Thirunelli Temple is also renowned for its Ayurveda treatments. You can also get organic honey and bamboo toys here. There is a shop just adjacent to the temple which sell these stuff. Besides visiting the Thirunelli Temple, tourists can also go for trekking at the Pakshipathalam. This trekking site is just 10 kms from the shrine.

Vadakkunathan Temple

Vadakkunathan Temple, Thrissur- Where Art is Worship

The Vadakkunathan Temple is another value add in Hindu religion. This is one of the oldest shrines of Kerala. It is also a national building. The temple is spread over a large area of 9 acres. It has a paved walkway. The shrine also has lot of greenery. The vast area outside the temple is Tekkinkadu. This word means teak woods. The temple is over a hill lock. Tourists can get a beautiful view of the complete Thrissur town. Locals also call the temple as Thenkailasam and Vrishabhachalam. The temple won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award. It got the award in the Cultural Heritage conservation category in 2015.

Vadakkunathan Temple

History and Legend of Vadakkunathan Temple

The temple is associated with the golden days of Kerala.

  • As per myth, Saint Parasurama built this shrine. After creating Kerala, the saint went to Lord Shiva. He requested Lord Shiva to make Kerala his home. Therefore, Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Subramanya and other Ganas came to Kerala. But Lord Shiva suddenly vanished after reaching Thrissur. Saint Parasurama saw the self-manifested Shiva Lingum under a banyan tree. Therefore, people call this place Sri Mula Sthana. Years after this incident, the Thrissur king built a temple to place this lingum. This beautiful temple is the Vadakkunathan Temple.
  • The locals also believe that the Adi Sankaracharya birth history started here. His mother used to walk From Kalady to Thrissur distance to the temple to beget a son from Lord Shiva. Hence, Lord Shiva blessed her with a baby boy. The boy name is Adi Sankaracharya.

Significance of the Vadakkunathan Temple

The Vadakkunathan Temple has Kerala architectural style. The different features of the temple are:

  • Besides Lord Shiva, there are other deities here; Goddess Parvati, Lord Sankaranarayana, Lord Ganapati, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna.
  • The temple is protected by a large stone wall. Also, there are four gopurams within the temple complex. Gopurams are gateways and has amazing carvings. The gateway base is granite. These gateways are at all four sides of the temple. They are at north, south, east and west.
  • The main temple and the gateways have wooden carvings and sculptures. The gopurams are like pyramids. They also have many roofs.
  • The Shiva temple is circular while the tower has one tier. There are many pillars which are arranged in a unique way.
  • The Shankaranarayana Temple is also called the Harihara temple. This is just beside the Shiva temple. This shrine has two tiers.
  • There are three temples within the temple premises. One is for Lord Shiva, the other two for Sankaranarayana and Rama. There is also a separate temple for the Goddess. The temples have a square base.
  • The temple is beautiful with mural paintings. These paintings tell the stories from Indian religious books. It also shows stories from Puranas. The temple wall paintings show scenes from Mahabharata. It also has paintings of Lord Shiva in Tandava dance pose.
  • The temple also has a large theatre. People call it as Koothambalam. Enter the temple from the western gate to view this theatre. This building has a tilted roof, which is made from copper plates. The hall shows magnificent wooden carvings. It also has bracket figures. Chakyar Kuttu drama performance takes place here. This is a special drama that shows the rich culture of Kerala. This art started in the 9th century at Kerala.

Vadakkunathan Temple Timings

  • The temple opens at 4.00 am and is open till 10.00 am.
  • It again opens at 5.00 pm and closes at 8.30 pm.

Vadakkunathan Temple Food Timings

Devotees can have prasadam after the worship. Moreover, the prasadam is free at the Vadakkunathan Temple.

Dress Code at Vadakkunathan Temple

There is specific dress code at the temple.

  • Men have to be in white pancha and dhoti.
  • Short dresses are not allowed within the temple complex.
  • Furthermore, men need to remove shirts before entering the shrine.
  • Women have to be in sari. Punjabi dress and churidar with dupatta or half sari will also do.

Guidelines

  • You cannot bring children below 1 year within the temple complex.
  • You have to deposit footwear before entering the temple. There is also a free cloakroom here. People can also park cars.
  • Devotees can bring in mobiles but cannot do photography within the temple premises.

Festivals celebrated at Vadakkunathan Temple

Thrissur is popular for its religious festivals and the largest festival takes place at the vast area outside the Vadakkunathan Temple.

  • Thrissur Pooram: This festival takes place during April or May. The festival started in 1750 AD to 1805 AD. Prince Rama Varma introduced this festival. Many devotees, almost in lakhs, visit the temple during this time. The unique part of this festival is that Vadakkunathan Temple does not take part in the rituals or procession of the festival. There are other two temples that do the festival. One is the Paramekkavi Devi and the other is the Goddess residing in Tiruvambadi. At present many other temples also take part in the celebration. The fireworks during the festival are spectacular. Elephants are painted and decorated for the grand procession. Nettupattam is clothing sewn with almost six thousand gold plated metal pieces. Devotees place this at the forehead of the elephant. The elephant carries three people on it. While one person holds the silken parasol, the other two stand on the back. Music plays for two hours before the procession. The festival starts early morning.It goes on throughout the night and ends the next morning.
  • Shivaratri: Vadakkunathan Temple celebrates Shivaratri with great pomp and show. This festival takes place during February or March. Devotees need to come in white dhoti to worship Lord Shiva. Tailored clothes are not allowed at this time.
  • Anayoottu: This festival takes place every year on the 1st day of the Malayalam month, Karkkidakam. It is during July. In this festival people worship elephants and feed them.

Poojas and Rituals at Vadakkunathan Temple

Vadakkunathan Temple has some special customs.

  • There is also a defined process of worship at this temple. It is known as Pradakshina.
  • As you enter the temple you can hear the continuous chanting of ‘Samb Sadashiva.’
  • Everyday priests offer 18.5 kilos of rice to Lord Shiva. This offering is Nivedyam.
  • Abhishekam takes place every day. Ghee is used to perform Abhishekam, lighting hundreds of oil lamps around the Shiva Lingum. This ritual is taking place for hundreds of years and this has led to a solid ghee mound encircling the Shiva Lingum. Devotees get a scrap of this mound as Prasada. Locals believe this ghee has medicinal and herbal properties.
  • Trippuka is the last ritual of the day. It takes place at 8 pm.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

The temple is just at the heart of Thrissur and hence easily accessible from all parts of the country.

By Air: The nearest airport is the Kochi International Airport. It is at Nedumbassery and approximately 53 km from the shrine.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Thrissur. It is at 3 km from the temple. All trains to Kerala pass through the place.

By Road: Thrissur is easily reachable through roads as well. You can drive from all parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to Vadakkunathan Temple.

Hotels in Thrissur: Where to stay

KTDC Tamarind Thrissur is a hotel sponsored by the Kerala tourism department. It is just within 2 km from the Vadakkunathan Temple. The Joys Palace, KTDC Nandanam Guruvayoor, Mayura Residency, Hare Krishna Inn and Hotel Kanoos Residency are the other options for the tourists at Thrissur. These hotels offer clean rooms and basic amenities. The rent at these hotels is also less.

Where to eat

Due to thousands of visitors every year at the Vadakkunathan Temple, various eat outs are found near the shrine. Reach Us Hotel, Hotel Bharat, Ming Palace Chinese Restaurant, Pathans and Hotel Elite International are within 0.5 km. You can get both vegetarian and non vegetarian food here. Ela adai, pazha payasam, appam, puttuand kadalai curry are some special Kerala dishes that you can enjoy here.  Thrissivaperror Kaapi Club serves awesome coffee while Fruitage is popular for fresh fruit juice.

Nearby Temples

Thrissur is a pilgrimage with various temples in and around it. It is also the cultural capital of Kerala.

  • Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple: It is at 27 kms from the Vadakkunathan Temple. Every night numerous oil lamps are lit. It is also famous for Krishnattom dance form, which takes place every evening. The temple also features a unique ritual, Thulabharam offering.
  • Irinjalakuda Koodal Manickam Temple: This is just 21 km away. The presiding deity is Bharat. He was Lord Rama’s brother as per the Indian epic, Ramayana. This is a 9th century temple. The temple celebrates Medam. It takes place for 10 days in April or May. Visitors also witness various Kerala art forms in this festival.
  • Paramekkavu Kshetram: This temple is at the foothill of the Vadakkunathan Temple. This temple also participates in the Thrissur Pooram festival.
  • Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple: This temple is behind the Vadakkunathan Temple. The deity also has other names, like Kannagi and Bhadrakali. Bharani is the main festival here. The celebration takes place in March or April.
  • Thiruvembadi Temple: This temple is at the middle of the Thrissur city. The shrine is for Lord Krishna. This temple also celebrates Navaratri and Sree Krishna Jayanti.
  • Peringottukara Somashekhara Temple: This temple worships Lord Shiva. It is at 22 km from the main Thrissur town. Also at this temple Maha Shivaratri is the main festival.
  • Arattupuzha Temple: This temple is 16 km away. Lord Dharma Sastha is the main deity. Moreover, 41 temples participate in the temple festival. A gorgeous procession takes place in the festival. Decked up elephants carry the deities round the temple during the procession.
  • Shree Rama Festival: Lord Rama is in the form of Chaturbhuja in this shrine. Locals call the deity as Trimurthy. Furthermore, it is a combination of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
  • Urakam Amma Thiuvadi Temple: This temple is 12 km from Thrissur. It is the oldest temple of the place. There is a custom of cleaning the idol with peacock feathers at this temple. Moreover, locals believe that the Goddess can protect the place from disasters.

Besides worshipping at the Vadakkunathan Temple, tourists can also checkout the cultural life of Kerala at the Cheruthuruthy dance school. This is just at 30 km from the temple.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, Mallapuzhassery- The Temple of Festivals

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is a heaven for people seeking peace. Also, Aranmula is famous as the temple village. Lord Krishna is the main deity of the temple. People call the deity as Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy at this temple. Also, Lord Krishna is Lord Vishnu’s another image. There is also a story behind the name of the God. Lord Krishna rode the chariot of warrior Arjuna during a battle. Hence people call Him Parthasarathy. The place is a world heritage site. United Nations has recognized Aranmula as a global heritage site.

aranmula-parthasarathy-temple

History and Legend of Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

  • As per myth, the temple was originally built near Sabarimala.
  • The famous Tamil classic, Divya Prabandha mentions this temple. This classic dates back to the 6th to the 9th century.
  • This temple is out of 5 temples built by the Pandava brothers in Chengannur. The five temples are Thrichittatt Maha Vishnu Temple built by Yudhishthira, Puliyur Mahavishnu Temple built by Bheema, Aranmula built by Arjuna, Thiruvanvandoor Mahavishnu Temple built by Nakula and Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Temple built by Sahadeva. After leaving their capital city, Hastinapur for pilgrimage, the Pandavas arrived at the banks of River Pampa. These temples were built at that time. Every temple has an image of Lord Krishna.
  • As per legends, Arjuna built the temple as a penance of killing Karna. As it is against ethics to kill an unarmed warrior.
  • Also, here Lord Vishnu provided information about creating the world to Lord Brahma. This took place when Madhukaitaka demons stole the Vedas from Lord Brahma. Lord Vishnu also came in front of Vedavyasa here.
  • There is also a story behind the image of Parthasarathy that is present at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. During the great Mahabharata battle, Arjuna did not want to fight against Bheeshma. Lord Krishna was angry and took up his discus. Seeing this Bheeshma surrendered. This image of Parthasarathy with discus is present at the temple. This pose is the Vishvarupa pose.
  • Another myth states that, the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple image was brought on a raft. The raft was made of six bamboo pieces. Therefore, people call the temple as Aranmula. The word Aranmula means six bamboo pieces.
  • There is also another myth regarding the name. The place derives its name from the word arin villai. This word means a land near the river.
  • Aranmula is popular for its metal mirrors. The story of these mirrors begins from the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. As per myth, once the Travancore king decided to donate a crown to Lord Krishna. He was looking for a crown of rare metal. At this time, he got a rare combination of copper and lead.
  • Also there is a myth regarding the boat race of Aranmula. When Arjuna was returning with Lord Krishna’s image after long penance, there was a huge flood. At this time, he crossed the river on a raft. A low caste Hindu gave him the raft to cross the river. The raft was of six bamboo pieces. This annual boat race commemorates the help of the low caste Hindu.

Significance of the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is important in the Hindu religious history as:

  • It is one of the 108 Vaishnava temples of India. Moreover, the temple is mentioned in the Tamil classics.
  • There is a sub shrine in the temple complex. People worship Lord Balarama in this shrine.
  • The temple shows Kerala construction style. It is similar to the Ettumanor Mahadeva Temple structure. The whole temple is on a raised platform. People need to climb 18 steps to reach the eastern tower. The northern tower is 57 steps high. Sreekovil is the main part of the temple that houses the deity.
  • The base of the central temple is granite while the entire structure is laterite. The conical roof represents terracotta art. There is a kalasam at the temple which is copper.
  • The temple has four towers over its gateways on the outer wall. It has a double storied gopuram. The gopuram is a gateway tower. The upper part has wooden trails. There is a hall on the upper part, the Kottupura. Drum beating takes place during festivals in this hall.
  • The outer wall has places for lamps. These lamps are lit during the festivals. Also, there is a rectangular wall around the temple. This wall protects all the temples which are within the complex.
  • There is a metal flag post in the temple complex. This is the Dwajasthambam which is at the axial to the temple tower. There is also a light post at the temple. It is the Deepastamba.
  • There is an outer pavilion to the temple. It is the Chuttuambalam. The main temple and the hall is within a rectangular structure. This is the Nallambalam. This hall has pillars and corridors. The Namaskara Mandapa is a square platform. The Mandapa roof looks like a pyramid.
  • There are other parts to the temple as well. The kitchen, Thevrapura is at the left of the Namaskara Mandapa. Balithara is the altar used to make offerings to demigods during festivals.
  • The temple is also famous for its mural paintings. These paintings belong to the early 18th century. The doors have paintings of Dwarpalakas. They are the guardian deities.
  • The temple also has beautiful carvings. The carvings show stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. These intricate carvings are present at the pillars. These are wooden and stucco carvings.
  • Besides Lord Krishna, the other deities present at the temple are Sastha, Yakshi, Nagaraja and and Erangavil Bhagavathy Balarama.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple Timings

The temple opens early in the morning and closes during afternoon. It is again open at evening.

  • Morning Hours: 4.00 am to 11.00 am.
  • Evening Hours: 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple Food Timings

Devotees can get prasadam after the morning Pooja.

Dress Code at Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

The dress code of the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is quite similar to the other temples of the state.

  • Men have to be in dhoti. Shirts or upper clothing has to be deposited at the temple counter before entering the temple.
  • Ladies have to be in traditional dress. Sari, salwar kameez and half sari are some examples.

Festivals celebrated at Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple celebrates Lord Krishna festivals with great pomp and grandeur.

  • Ashtamirohini: This is the birthday of Lord Krishna. The temple celebrates this festival with great pomp and grandeur. A large feast takes place on this date. This feast also has a name, ‘vallasadya.’ It is one of the largest vegetarian feasts of the world. The festival includes 64 types of dishes. The devotees offer the food to Lord Krishna. Besides feasting, the deities are carried around Aranmula on this day. Another important part of the festival is the boat rides. A special boat, Palliyodam sails over River Pampa. These boats look like snakes and many people ride them. This custom of boat race also has a name, Vallam Kali. People worship the boat before the race starts as locals believe these boats are vehicles of Lord Aranmula. People use many types of flowers to worship the boats. 100 rowers take part in the race. Also 25 singers take part in this race. They sing songs as the boats sail on the river. The boats sail in pairs. People also play music. The festival goes on from July to October. This is also the time of Onam festival in Kerala.
  • Procession: A large procession on the Garuda Mount to the Pampa River takes place during the Meenam month. Along with Lord Parthasarathy, Goddess Bhagavathy also participates in the procession. The idol of the goddess comes from the Punnamthode temple.
  • Khandavanadahanam: This festival takes place during Dhanus month. Devotees create an artificial forest at the temple front. People use dried plants, leaves and twigs to make the forest. A bonfire is lit after this. This festival shows the fire that took place at the Khandavana forest. This is also a story from Mahabharata.
  • Fasting: This custom takes place during Thiruvonam. Three Brahmin families in Aranmula fast at this time. Brahmin families from Nedumprayar village also fast at this time. This is a two century old custom. As per myth, one Brahmin vowed to feed one pilgrim every day. Lord Krishna was pleased with the vow. Thus, He came to bless the priest. The Brahmin was very happy and he started to conduct a feast every year. This feast takes place after the boat race.

Poojas and Rituals at Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

The temple has its own customs, like:

  • Only Thantri and Melshanthi can enter the Sreekovil. Thantri refers to the main priest while Melshanthi refers to the second priest.
  • Thiruvonathoni: This is a famous custom of the temple. The ritual takes place during the Onam festival.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

Aranmula is easily reachable from all parts of the state as it is just 116 km from Trivandrum. Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala.

By Air: The Trivandrum airport is very close to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Kochi International Airport is also a choice for the tourists who want to visit the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Taxis and buses are available from the airport which can directly take the tourists to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is at Chengannur. Tourists can hire cabs from the railway station. Buses are also available here.

By Road: Besides planes and railways, you can travel to Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple on roads. There are many buses and other transport available which connect the various cities of Kerala to the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Chengannur is only 10 km from the temple. Pathanamthitta is 15 km and Pandalam is 14 km from the shrine.

Where to stay

Hotel Allseason, Hotel Santhi Palace, Bessota International Hotel, Club 7 Hotel, CGA Elite Continental and Contour Backwaters are just 21 km from the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. These hotels also have all basic facilities.

Where to eat

There are some good eat outs near the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Favourite, Hotel Aryaas Park, J’ Mart Arabian Restaurant, Khyber Pass Bake & Grill, Union Bakery, Arabian Restaurant and Vensec Kitchens serve delicious food. The eat outs are also clean.

Nearby Temples

Besides the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, this temple village has some other shrines and groves.

  • Pulikkunnumala Mahadeva Temple: This temple is also worth a visit. It is just 4 km from Aranmula. As per myth, this was the worship place for the Pandavas. The Pandavas are the main characters in a great Indian epic. This great epic is Mahabharata. The temple worships Lord Shiva. Kshetra Samrakshana Samiti looks after the temple.

River Pampa flows by Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple and you can spend some relaxing moments sitting on its banks. The village is also famous for its mirrors. These mirrors are metallic. People call these mirrors as Aranmula Kannadi. Hence visiting Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is just not a pilgrimage but a trip to refresh your inner soul.

Sivagiri Temple

Sivagiri Temple- The Sanctum of Enlightenment and Eternity

Besides the spellbinding beauty of Varkala, people visit this place as a pilgrimage. The Sivagiri Temple is one of the holiest spots of the city. Also people call this temple as the Sivagiri Mutt. In earlier days, this place was also called the southern Benaras. The shrine is also serene with cool breeze flowing through from the Trivandrum- Shornur canal.

sivagiri-temple

History and Legend of Sivagiri Temple

Many myths revolve around this small temple of Varkala. He was a popular social reformer and saint of Kerala.

  • Sri Guru came to Varkala in 1904. He liked the beauty of the Sivagiri hill. Therefore, he made a hermitage on its top. He got the surrounding lands as gifts from the Travancore government and from other people. Hence the Sivagiri Mutt or temple was built.
  • Sri Narayana Guru attained enlightenment here. He preached Oru Matham. The principles are one caste, one religion and one God. The followers of Sri Narayana Guru have a unique name. People call them Ezhavas.
  • Sri Narayana Guru built the Goddess Saraswati temple within the complex on full moon. He also stopped all customs like, oil bathing and offering food. He abolished these customs at the Saraswati temple at the Mutt.
  • Sri Narayana Guru was also a poet and writer. He wrote Janani Navaratna. This poem was in praise of Goddess Saraswati. Still, devotees recite this verse at the shrine while worshipping the Goddess.
  • Sri Narayana Guru breathed his last at this temple in 1928.
  • Along with Sri Narayana Guru, Dr. P. Palpu and Kumaran Asan built the Mutt. Kumaran Asan is another popular Malayam poet. Eminent personalities, like Rabindranath Tagore came to visit this Mutt.

Significance of the Sivagiri Temple

The Sivagiri Temple has an important place in the lives of the locals.

  • At first an elementary school was built here. Besides this, there is also a night school here at present. Furthermore, the night school is for the illiterate people who belong to the untouchable caste.
  • The temple has a small museum where you can find the belongings of the Guru. This museum was earlier the home of Sri Narayana Guru.
  • There are many pictures and writings that explain the life and work of Sri Narayana Guru. Therefore, it is a great place to learn about the ancient social system.
  • One of the prime features of the Mutt is that there is no idol inside it. People from all religions can enter this temple.
  • The temple is pure white in colour. It shows modern built. Also, the temple has water taps, windows and bathrooms.
  • The Mutt has a shrine inside the complex. The shrine worships Goddess Sarada. Though the Mutt does not have any idol, this temple has an idol of the Goddess. The idol is pure while in colour. It is on a white lotus. This posture of the Goddess, seating on a white lotus is also symbolic. It means knowledge blossoming on purity. Locals also call her as Goddess Saraswati. She is also popular as the Goddess of knowledge and music.
  • The roof of the temple is unique. It rises in steps, resembling a gopuram.
  • Sivagiri Temple is octagonal in shape. Sri Narayana Guru himself planned the temple.

Sivagiri Temple Timings

  • The Sivagiri Temple opens early morning. It is open from 5.30 am to 12.00 pm.
  • The temple remains close in the afternoon. Again it opens from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.

Sivagiri Temple Food Timings

Devotees can eat lunch after Guru Pooja. You can get this lunch only for Rs 50.

Dress Code at Sivagiri Temple

During festivals devotees come in yellow colour dress. At other times, people can come to the temple in any kind of traditional attire.

Guidelines

Tourists cannot take photos within the temple complex.

Festivals celebrated at Sivagiri Temple

The Sivagiri Temple celebrates many religious festivals.

  • Sivagiri Pilgrimage: On this occasion pilgrim come to visit the tomb and resting place of Sri Narayana Guru. The festival takes place from 30th December to 1st January. During these time devotees come in yellow dresses to visit the place. The yellow dress shows that the devotees are willing to follow the path shown by the Guru. Also, community feasts are held at this time. Public meetings and group weddings are other parts of the festival.
  • Guru Deva Jayanti: The Guru Deva Jayanti is the birthday celebration of the saint. This festival takes place every year in August month. Colourful processions take place on this day. People debate on spiritual topics during this festival. Many people also take part in seminars and cultural shows.
  • Samadhi Day: This is the death anniversary of the sage. Many people also visit the place on this day. This takes place in September.

 Poojas and Rituals at Sivagiri Temple

The customs of the Sivagiri Temple are different from that of other Hindu temples in Kerala.

  • The Mutt does not allow Nivedyam at the shrine. Hence, devotees do not offer food to the Goddess here.
  • Abhishekam is another popular custom that people do not follow here. it means people do not pour ghee and oil on the Goddess.
  • Devotees recite hymns in front of the Goddess.
  • Aarti is very famous at the Sivagiri Temple. It takes place in the evening.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The closest airport to the Sivagiri Temple is the Trivandrum International Airport. This airport is at 46 km from the shrine.

By Rail: The Varkala Railway Station is closest to the Sivagiri Temple. This railway station is 3 km from the Varkala beach. There are daily trains from the different cities and other states of India to this railway station. The temple is 41 km north to Trivandrum.

By Road: The Sivagiri temple is only 3 km from Varkala. Varkala is just 53 km from Trivandrum and 37 km from Kollam. There are regular buses that ply between these cities and Varkala. Every bus stops at the Sivagiri Temple junction. You can visit the temple on tuk tuk. It is an easy way to reach Sivagiri Temple from the Golden Island.

Hotels in Varkala: Where to stay

You can get both premium and economical hotels near the Sivagiri Mutt. Hill Top Beach Resort, Cliff House Beach Resort and Blue Marine Beach Resort are just 1.8 km from the Sivagiri Temple. Hindustan Beach Retreat, Blooming Bay and Vedanta Wake Up- Helipad North Cliff are within 2.9 km from the Mutt.

Where to eat

Varkala is also popular for its Ayurveda treatment. Hence there are lot of eat outs throughout the place and also near the Sivagiri Mutt. The Funky Art Café, Little Tibet, Shiva Garden Kerala Restaurant, Reena Bakers and Eden Restaurant are some of them. You can get both authentic local cuisines and continental dishes at these food courts.

Nearby Temples

Varkala has many important temples. Some of these temples are very near to the Sivagiri Mutt.

  • Janardhana Swamy Temple: This temple is 2000 years old. The main deity here is Lord Vishnu. The temple depicts beautiful Kerala architecture. Arattu is the main festival here. People celebrate this festival during March or April. The temple is open from 5.30 am to 12.00 pm. This temple is only 2 km from the Sivagiri Temple.
  • Sarkara Devi Temple: This temple is also very close to Varkala. This temple worships Goddess Bhadrakali. Kaliyoor is a popular festival of this shrine. This 9 days’ festival is a drama form. It shows the conflict of Goddess Bhadrakali and Darika. While Goddess Bhadrakali represents good, Darika represents evil.
  • Kaduvayil Juma Masjid Varkala, Kerala: This is a Muslim pilgrimage. This mosque honours Kaduvayil Thangal. Also, people come here to solve their problems as it is said that Kaduvayil Thangal has miraculous powers. Moreover, people from all religions come to visit this mausoleum.

Sri Narayana Guru is popular for his social works. Thus even today people praise him for enhancing the education system of the backward class of Kerala.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple – The Temple of Legends

The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is at the Vaikom city. This is at the Kottayam district. This famous temple worships Lord Shiva.

vaikom-mahadeva-temple

History and Legend of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple has various stories revolving around its construction.

  • Vaikom has other names. As per Bhargava Purana and Sanalkumara Samhita, the place is Vaiyaghra geham and Vaiyaghra puram.
  • As per myth, saint Vyaghrapada saw Lord Shiva here. On Vritchika, which is the Krishna paksha, Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati came to saint Vyaghrapada. Hence people started calling this place as Vyaghrapadapuram. Later, when Tamil language became popular here, people started calling it as Vaikom.
  • Another myth states, Lord Shiva gave three Shiva Lingam to Kharasura. He gave him these lingams to attain myoksha. Kharasura was carrying one Shiva Lingam on his right hand, one in left hand and one was hung from his neck. When the demon was returning from the Himalayas to south he felt tired. Hence, he kept the Lingams on the ground and sat to rest. When he got up he could not lift the Lingams. A voice from the sky said that the Lingams will stay there and help people to attain myoksha. Thus, after attaining myoksha, Kharasura gave the responsibility of the Lingams to saint Vyaghrapada and left the place. The Lingam which was in the demon’s right hand is at Vaikom. The Lingam which was in the left hand is at Ettumannoor and the one which was hung in the neck is at Kaduthuruthy. Locals believe if you can visit all the three temples on a single day it is equal to visiting Lord Shiva in Kailash.
  • Also, saint Parasurama worshipped this Shiva Lingam. After worshipping this Shiva Lingam for several years, saint Vyaghrapada went on a pilgrimage. Saint Parasurama was passing by this place one day when he saw a Siva Lingam in water with holy rays. He understood this as the Shiva Lingam placed by Kharasura. Hence he worshipped this Shiva Lingam to attain myoksha.
  • Also, saint Parasurama built the Vaikom Temple here. All the customs at this temple are plans of Parasurama.
  • This is the oldest temple of Kerala where people worship Lord Shiva regularly. In all these years the Pooja took place daily with no break. Locals believe that the Shiva Lingam is from the Treta Yuga.
  • People believe Lord Shiva is present in three forms at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. Once in the morning, once in the noon and once in the evening. In the morning He is in the Sri. Dhakshinamoorthy form. He grants knowledge, wisdom and understanding to the devotees in this form. At noon he is in the form of Kiratha Moorthy. In this image he gave Pashupathastra to Arjuna. Arjuna was the warrior hero of Mahabharata. Also, in this form Lord Shiva removes all dangers and grants success in all work. At evening, He is in the form of Shakti Panchakshari. In this form he is with his family, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. Hence, in this form Lord Shiva blesses devotees all worldly pleasures.
  • Pilgrims get holy ash as prasadam at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. People call this as Vaikkathappan. As per myth, this ash can cure people from hysteria, poison and wounds.
  • There is a pond at the north of the temple. As per myth, once saint Parasurama came to worship here. He saw people suffering and asked Lord Shiva to help them. He requested him to create a Theertha so that people can bath in its water to wash away sins. As per belief this is the pond which Lord Shiva created from the Ganges from his hair.
  • There is a well at the north eastern part of the temple. This well also has a myth. Once saint Nidagha came to Vyaghrapada, requesting him to take him his disciple. Saint Vyaghrapada taught Nidagha hymns of Lord Shiva. Once they were worshipping Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha on Ashtami day. Lord Shiva was happy with the hymns and he came to perform Anand Thandava at the north east part of the shrine. While dancing few drops of water fell from his hair. Lord Shiva gave name to this as Sivananda Theertha.
  • There is also a pond at the eastern side of the temple. As per a myth, once two Brahmins from Kanyakumari, Shankara and Mukunda came to Vaikom while they were travelling to Kashi. While Shankara was busy having food at the shrine and listening to the Bhajans, Mukunda left him to travel to Kashi. After few days, Shankara felt lonely and was sad as he could not take a bath in River Ganges. Hence he fell in severe fever. He prayed to Lord Shiva and as a result Lord Shiva came to him in sleep. The Lord asked him to take a bath in the eastern pond to fulfill his wish. Shankara took bath in the pond next morning and he felt as if he was bathing in the Ganges. Hence this pond is as good as the River Ganges. People call this pond as Arathihara Theertha.

Significance of the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

The temple is important in the history of Kerala with its wonderful architecture and rich history.

  • The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is one of the three powerful Shiva temples of Kerala. The other two temples which falls in this list are Ettumanoor Siva Temple and Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple.
  • Locals believe that worshipping at these three shrines before Ucha Pooja, Lord Shiva grants all wishes.
  • Also, both Shaivaites and Vaishnavaites worship at this temple.
  • The temple is over 8 acres of land. The temple has four walls while the premises is leveled by river sand.
  • There is a golden flag staff at the temple. Near the Balikalulpura there is a stone image. This is Lord Ganesha’s statue. The Balikalulpura refers to the sacrificial stone. The inner roof of the Namaskara Mandapa shows stories from Ramayana. There is a single rock cut statue of Nandi. Nandi is the vehicle of Lord Shiva.
  • The Sreekovil is the main room of the temple. This room is covered with copper sheets. Also there is a front chamber in this room. This is the Mukha Mandapa. This chamber is built with stone and wood. There is also a second chamber. This chamber is built with stone and is square in shape. The Shiva Lingam is kept here.
  • The Shiva Lingam is six feet in height. It is of black stone. The Lingam wears chandrakala. It is the crescent. The Lingam also has three eyes, nose and four hands. Gold ornaments decorate Lord Shiva.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple Timings

  • The shrine opens early in the morning. It is the Saraswati Yama time. It is generally 4 am.
  • After worshipping Lord Shiva at noon, the temple remains close till 5 pm.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple Food Timings

Everyday food is served after the afternoon worship. It is known as Nivedya.

Dress Code at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

  • Women can come to worship at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in traditional dress. Churidar, sari and pavadai chattai are some dresses that ladies can wear to this temple.

Festivals celebrated at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

  • Vaikkath Asthami: This is the most popular festival at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. This festival takes place in either November or December.
  • Shivaratri: This is also a popular festival at the temple.

Poojas and Rituals at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

This temple has some unique customs which takes place in no other temple.

  • The day starts at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple with bathing Lord Shiva.
  • There are three worships that take place in the morning, namely, Usha Pooja, Ethirthu Pooja and Panthiradi Pooja.
  • Ucha Pooja takes place in the afternoon. Abhishekas with names Panchagavyam and Navakam take place during the afternoon worship.
  • Athazha Pooja takes place at evening.
  • Offerings to Lord Shiva are made through poojas. People call these worships as Dravya Kalasa and Margazhi Kalasa poojas.
  • Special worships take place on Monday and also on occasions of Thiruvathira, Pradosha, Krishna Paksha Ashtami and Pournami. On these special days and on Sankarama the deity goes on Rushabha Vahana for the evening worship.
  • Also, hymns from the holy books, Vedas, are recited while worshipping Lord Shiva.
  • You have to take six steps to reach the sanctum of Lord Shiva. These six steps depict the six emotions, namely, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Madha and Mathsarya.
  • Prathal is a unique offering made to Lord Shiva. The cooking takes place in the big kitchen.
  • The Ghattium recitation is another special custom of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. In this custom, a Brahmin carries a silver rod fixed to a Rushabha. He then stands with this light in front of Lord Shiva and recites slokas.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is easily accessible from all parts of Kerala.

By Air: The closest airport is Cochin International Airport. It is about 76 km from the Kottayam district.

By Rail: The Vaikom Road Railway Station is the nearest rail line. The Kottayam is also not far. It is only 25 km from the temple.

By Road: The Vaikom Mahadeva temple is only 33 km from Erankulam. Also, Kottayam is only 40 km from the temple. There are regular bus services from Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram to Vaikom. The Vaikom bus stand is on the Ettumanoor – Ernakulam Highway.

Where to stay

Shri Kailas Tourist Home, Kalakkal Tourist Home, Shree Vaikathappan Tourist Home, Motel Araam, Devaswom Guest House, Kottaram, Sree Narayana Tourist Home and Whitegate Residency are hotels very near to the temple. These hotels also offer all basic amenities and food.

Where to eat

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is very popular in Kerala. Hence there are many eat outs neat this shrine. Hotel Anandabhavan, Indian Coffee House, Hotel SNV Sadanam, Hotel Hari Hara Vilasam, Whitegate Residency and Valiyakavala are famous for food. These hotels are both economical and hygienic.

Nearby Temples

There are some important temples near the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple.

  • Chottanikkara Bhagavathi Temple: This shrine worships Goddess Rajarajeswari. The temple is near Ernakulam City. Moreover, the temple observes a special custom for maidens. They offer silk and pendent to get married.
  • Udayanapuram Subrahmanya Temple: This temple worships Lord Subramanya. People believe worship at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is incomplete without worshipping at this shrine. Moreover, a procession from Vaikom Mahadeva Temple to the Udayanapuram Subrahmanya Temple takes place on Vaikathu ashtami festival. Also, the temple is famous for its intricate carvings and mural paintings.
  • Ettumanur Shiva Temple: This shrine is at Ettumanur. It worships Lord Shiva. Many people visit this temple to fulfill their wishes. Also, the temple is popular for its fine sculptures. There are two statues of Nandi, one in copper and the other in stone.
  • Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple: This temple also has one of the Shiva Lingams that Lord Shiva gane to Kharasura. The temple celebrates a 10 days’ festival.

Hence the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a must visit to know more about Hindu religion. The temple is divine and as per belief, can fulfill wishes. Last but not the least; enjoy some time boating over the clean waters of Vaikom Lake.

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple, Kottarakkara

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple is located in Kottarakkara Taluk in Kollam district of Kerala. Kottarakkara Ganapathy is often referred as ‘Vigneshwaran’ which means the one who removes all obstacles.  The outlook of  Sri Ganesha is described as yellow skinned, short with a big round belly, elephant headed with one trunk, four arms, large ears and bright shining eyes. Apart from the presiding deity, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Murugan, Lord Ayyappa, and Lord Nagaraja are also worshipped here.  Kottaram means Palace and Kara means Land. The last queen of the Elayidathu Swaroopam voluntarily surrendered to King Marthanda Varma of Travancore in the 18th century. Kottarakara is the place where the classical art form of Kathakali was conceived. It is a famous pilgrim centre for the Hindus as the seat of the famous Ganapathy Temple.

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

History and Legend of Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

  • The place that we now call Mahaganapathy temple is actually Kizhakkekara Shiva temple.  The main deity is none other than Lord Shiva himself. Shiva is facing eastward. In fact Ganesha is only a minor deity here. But Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple today is famous as a Ganesha temple rather than a Shiva temple.
  • This legend is associated with Perumthachan. The royal sculptors Perumthachan (Master Carpenter) had a son. He mastered and excelled in carpentry and architecture like his father.
  • His son soon excelled his own perfection. The fame of Perumthachan soon spread far and wide. This is said to have caused a sort of professional jealousy in Perumthachan. According to the Aithihyamala, Perumthachan dropped his chisel on his own son faking it as an accident.
  • After the death of his son Perumthachan started wandering. One day he reached Kottarakkara. The Padinjattinkara temple was under renovation at that time. He saw a big piece of jack tree root inside the Sarppakkavu.
  • It is believed that he sculptured a beautiful Ganapathy idol from the root of the jack tree. Perumthachan had seeked the permission of the tantri (chief priest) of Padinajattinkara temple to install the idol there. The tantri denied permission because there is already one Ganapathy idol.
  • Perumthachan changed his plans and later, having secured the permission of the tantri of Manikandeswaram Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple installed the idol there. The melsanthi (head priest) was preparing nivedyam (offerings for the Lord) there.
  • He had asked the head priest what the nivedyam for Ganapathy will be. The priest suggested unniyappam and Perumthachan readily agreed. It is said that Perumthachan immediately offered half a dozen unniyappams in a plantain leaf before the deity. And still, koottappam is considered the favourite nivedyam of Ganapathy.
  • Perumthachan had then predicted that even though the principal deity is father (Shiva), the son (Ganapathy) will become more famous. The kitchen where Unniappams are prepared is situated in front of the Ganapathy shrine.
  • Other story associated with this temple is that Kottarakkara Thampuran’s daughter was getting married.  He requested Zamorin of Kozhikode  to send a dance troupe from Malabar to perform in his daughter’s wedding.  But the Zamorin sarcastically denied to send the troupe saying that people of South Kerala cannot appreciate a fine art like Krishnanattam.  This insulted the Kottarakkara Thampuran and he prayed to  Lord Ganapathy at Kizhakkekara for a way out.
  • Sri Mahaganapathy appeared in the dream of the Thampuran and gave him the idea to create a new art form.  It was Saraswathi Kadaksham and  the Thampuran wrote the Ramanattam. He designed the costumes and in record time performed the Arangetram during the marriage of his daughter.  This was a fitting reply to the arrogance of the Zamorin of Kozhikode.

Significance of Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

  • Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple is beautiful and magnificent. Number of rituals is being done here by the priests. Different schedules are followed to worship and to perform the rituals devoted to the presiding deity of the temple.
  • Kottarakkara was the capital of the famous ‘Ilayidathu swaroopam’. As the name explains, there existed about seven palaces and the place was called ‘The land of palaces’ – “Kottarakkara”. ‘Kottarakkara Kovilakam’ was the younger ‘thavazhy’ of the ‘Venad’ dynasty.
  • So this was known as the Ilayidathu (younger) swaroopam, and also as Kunninmel. The land spreads from Kottarakkara, Pathanapuram and Nedumangad to Shencottah in the east.

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple Timings and Poojas

  • Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple remains open from 4:00 AM to 11:30 AM in the morning and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the evening. Palliyunathal is performed followed by Nadathurakkal at 4:30 AM. It is the opening of the sanctum sanctorum to enable the devotees to venerate the holy portrait of the deity.
  • Then there is Nirmalyam at 4:40 AM which is intended for seeking permission of Dwasthhas and the deity for entering the sanctum. Then the doors are opened and the lights are lit.  Divine worship of the idol at this stage is known as Nirmalya Darshana.
  • There are different important rituals that are performed in the morning. It includes Abhishekam that is conducted at 4:50 AM which is followed by Ashtadravya Ganapathyhoman. Abhishekam, is conducted by priests, by pouring libations on the deity being worshipped, amidst the chanting of mantras.
  • The first worship of the day is Usha pooja or pooja at dawn. Though generally the time of Usha pooja is thirty minutes after the sunrise, there are variations in the timings on various temples. It is performed at 6:00 AM. Ethrtiheu pooja is conducted at the moment when the rays of the sun are in front of the deity or garbha dwara and it is conducted at 7:00 AM.
  • Pantheeradi pooja is elaborate in nature and done only in major temples. This is done 2 hours after sunrise and it is performed at 9:00 AM. Navaka Pooja is done only in major temples especially in Siva temples. Here it is performed at 10:00 AM.
  • After the Ucha Pooja that is performed at 10:30 AM the temple closes in the morning at around 11:30 AM.
  • Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple opens again at 5:PM and there is a evening pooja that is Deeparadhana that is performed by the priest at 6:30 PM. Deeparadhana is the worship with lamps, performed at dawn and dusk. Pyramidal lamps with seven tiers,lamps with five wicks and plain lamps with a single wick are lightened and waved several times in front of the Lord, from head to foot. Similar waving is then done with lighted camphor. It is considered to be an auspicious act to pray during deeparadhana time.  Athazha pooja vis the last pooja conducted in a temple on a day.  This is done between one and two hours after sunset. It is performed at 7:45 PM and the temple finally closes at 8:00 PM.

Dhara,Chathussatham for Mahadev, Archana for Goddess Parvathy, Lemon garland for Subramanya, Unniyappam for Ganapathy and 41 days Mandalam Chirappu is also very important. Unni Appam is the offering that is especially prepared to offer to the deity of Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple.

Festivals celebrated at Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

  • Vinayaka Chathurthy: Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi of the Hindu month of Bhadra (generally falls between August and September). This particular day is marked with great Mahaganapathy Homam, using 1008 coconuts. Mahaganapathi is believed to remove obstacles not only in the material world but also in one’s spiritual progress. The Mahaganapathi homam is performed by people desiring progress in various material pursuits as well as those seeking liberation and spiritual awakening.
  • Navarathri: Navratri is traditionally celebrated at the beginning of autumn every year, when everything in nature starts undergoing transformation. These nine nights are said to be precious as there are subtle energies in the creation that are enriched at this time of the year. Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. Thousands throng to the temple to perform the Vidyarambham.
  • Vishu: Vishu is the first day of the local calendar and is the beginning of Meda Rashi, the first zodiac sign. It usually falls in the second week of April according to the English calendar. It marks the beginning of new hopes and aspirations and is celebrated widely all across the state. People start with early morning prayers at dawn on this auspicious day by visiting the temple.
  • Sivarathri: Sivaratri, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is celebrated on the moonless night of the month of Phalguna.  the night time is considered sacred and suitable for the worship of the feminine aspect of’ the deity and the day time for that of’ the masculine. The people who observe this Sivaratri- Vratha take only single meal during the day previous to the Vratha day. The observance of the Vratha is believed to secure for the devotee immunity from the effects of sin.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Road: Buses and Taxis can be boarded from Kottarakkara, Kollam, Trivandrum and Kottayam that takes the passengers directly to the Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple.

By Rail: The Nearest Railway station is Kottarakkara station. Board a train passing through Kottarakkara, Kollam and Trivandrum railway stations to reach the temple. Kollam station is at a distance of  28 Km and Trivandrum at a distance of 70 Km.

By Air: The Nearest Airport is Trivandrum Airport that is 70 Km from the temple. Kochi Airport is at a distance of 191 Km.

Where to stay

There are many hotels as well as guest rooms near the hotel. The rooms are well equipped with all the basic amenities.

  • Ambalakkara Regency Hotel Contact: Pulamon Junction, Kottarakkara
  • Harisree Residency Contact: Kottiyam Kundara Road, Perumpuzha, Kottamkara
  • Hotel Indraprastha Pattazhy Contact: Market Junction, Pattazhy P.O., Kollam
  • Hotel Midhuna International Contact: Enathu, Kottarakara – Adoor Road
  • Park Residency Contact: Paracode, Kayamkulam Pathanapuram Highway
  • Hotel Vrindhavanam Inn Contact: Near KSRTC Bus Station, Punalur

Where to eat

Kottarakkara Unniyappam (small appam) is as famous as Ambalapuzha Palpayasam. If you start eating one, you feel like having more. Cooked in special taste the unniyappam comes with sprinkled sugar on it. The grace of Lord Ganapathi makes unniyappam as double sweet to the believers. It is said that unniyappam was the first offering given to the Ganapati temple which was installed by Peruthachan. Besides there are many restaurants nearby that offers amazing food of kerala cuisine.

Nearby Temples

Mannady Temple: Mannadi is a small village situated in Kollam (district of Kerala.It is believed that the KALI of this temple is very powerful and if worshipped with devotion all the wishes will come true. The Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts functions here.Madanthampuran and Yakshiamma were positioned as Safe Guard to Devi. The ancestors who had brought Devi to the temple were worshipped in the Nomenclatures of Manthramoorthy and Yogeeshwaran after their Death. Poojas were not been performed systematically.Hence, the youth adopted the management of the temple from the Pallithanam Family. They appointed a Priest and thus Poojas performed regularly.  

Pattazhy Devi Temple: Pattazhi is a small village in the eastern part of Kollam District in Kerala. It is located just 10 kilometers away from Kottarackara and just 9 kilometers from Pathanapuram. The temple is an ancient temple and the legend. The land of Pattazhy consists of two panchayat areas and was given as a gift to Goddess Pattazhy Devi by the King of Travancore. Pattazhy has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for growing the longest bamboo. The temple has been taken care of by nine families once. Then a man called “kambithan” came there. He was very powerful and had many divine powers too. He took care of the administration of the temple.There is a Shiva Temple which seems to be older than this Devi temple which is located near to this temple.

Pallickal Devi Temple: Pallickal Devi Temple is one of the famous temple in Kollam District. This is one of the sub temples of Mannadi temple. Pallikkal Maha Devi temple has a rich history of more than thousand years. Pallikkalamma is a mother goddess with sathvika bhavam. There are a number of incidents to illustrate her kindness.

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple, Pandalam

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple is situated in between Thottakkonam and Mulampuzha villages of Pandalam. Pandalam in Kerala is chosen and blessed place where Lord Ayyappa is the presiding deity. The temple is unique with its natural procession route around the Sanctorum. Ayyappa is believed to be the one god who protects his devotees from miseries and suffering in Kali Yuga. Ayyappa is also known as Dharmasasta, Manikandan, Bhutanathan, Pandala Raja, and Pamba Vaasan. Ayyappa was born with composite energy of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu, when Lord Vishnu was taken over mohini form.The main intention behind Ayyappa’s birth was to demolish Mahishi who was one of the asura demon.

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

History and Legend of Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

  • Sabarimala was once under the regime of the Pandalam dynasty.The Pandalam kingdom was established around 79 ME (903 AD) by the Pandalam royal family who are the descendents of the Pandya kings of Madurai.
  • The family kept on the move for over a century, finally reaching Pandalam in 79 ME. This was chosen to be the permanent home for the royal family. The then ruler of Venad (later Travancore) helped to establish the kingdom at Pandalam.
  • The King of Pandalam helped Marthanda Varma to conquer the Kayamkulam province. In return for this help, Marthanda Varma did not attempt to attack and conquer Pandalam.
  • The Kingdom of Pandalam extended to over 1,000 square miles. Pandalam dynasty helped other religious followers to build a mosque at Kadakkad and a church at Kudassanad. It is also believed that those who settled down in Pandalam had sympathies toward the Buddhist beliefs.
  • 48 major temples were added to Travancore. The idol was erected in 1910. Pandalam Ayyappa Temple conflagrated in 1971 and underwent a major revamp.Pandalam had extended up to Thodupuzha in Idukki district once. Before the formation of the Pathanamthitta district Pandalam was in Mavelikkara taluk of Alappuzha district.
  • Leela who was the daughter of Galavamuni, under curse of her husband Dathan, was reborn as Mahishi. She was an “asura’ female with a buffalo’s face. Upon having killed by Lord Ayyappa, the curse was revoked and the beautiful woman rose out of the corpse. She thanked the Lord and prayed to be with him as his wife.
  • However, the Lord told her that he is a ‘brahmachari’ and so her desire would not be fulfilled. However, he allowed her to remain in Sabarimala, which is a little distant from his abode.

Significance of Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

  • It is believed that Lord Ayyappa himself instructed the Pandalam king to build a mosque for Vavur at Erumuli. The Vavur deity is believed to be as old as the original deity of Ayyappa himself. Records show that the shrine was renovated sometime in 1905. Here, the poojas are conducted by a Muslim priest. There is no distinguishable idol, but a carved stone slab that represents the deity.
  • It is believed that the deity protects the devotees from the evil spirits of the forests. According to legend, Kadutha was a great warrior who helped the Pandalam king defeat the armies of Udayanan and other enemies.

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple Timings

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple opens at 4:00 AM in the morning to 11:00 PM in the evening. But during special events and festivals the timing for the temple can be exceeded in order to accommodate more number of devotees.

Rules to follow at Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

Women between the ages of 10 and 50 years are not supposed to visit the shrine. The devotees are required to break a coconut at the appointed place before entry to the steps. Consumption of alcohol and non-vegetarian food, Smoking etc are punishable offences.

Festivals celebrated at Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

Makara Vilakku: Makara Vilakkui is the most anticipated festival at the Ayyappa Temple. It takes place at the time when the Dakshinayana Punyakalam ends and Uttarayan or Uttarayana Punyakalam starts. Makaravilakku is the Jyothi that appears at Ponnambalameddu three times on Makar Sankranti day after evening puja. Parashurama first lit the Makaravilakku after installing the murti of Ayyappa. The jewellery to adorn the idol during the celebrations is brought from Pandalam Palace in a ceremonial procession that starts from Valiya Koyikkal Sastha Temple at Pandalam. The poojas and rituals associated with Makara Vilakku are performed on the Manimandapam (sacred platform). Makara Jyothi is the star that appears on the sky during the Puja. Makaravilakku is the Jyothi that appears at Ponnambalameddu three times on Makar Sankranti day after evening pooja.

Onam: Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm. The festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam. Large number of devotees gather in the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Ayyappa. Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar. This corresponds with the month of August-September according to Gregorian Calendar. It is also known as Pookalam. The best part of the festival is the food served on banana leaves. The festivities of the Onam last for ten days in which old and young participate with equal enthusiasm.

Vishu: Vishu Festival heralds the beginning of Malayalees New Year and is celebrated in a big way in the state of Kerala. This corresponds to the month of April-May according to Gregorian calendar. The occasion holds a lot of significance for Hindus as Vishu marks the Astronomical New Year Day. Most important ritual of the day is called ‘Kani Kanal’.

In Kani Kanal there is a prescribed list of items, which a person must see first thing on a Vishu morning to bring good luck. This include a cadjan leaf book, gold ornaments, fresh white cloth, a measure of rice or paddy etc. A huge rush of devotees can be seen in the temple. special prayers are organised to mark the day. People stay overnight in the courtyards of these temples a night before Vishu so that they see Kani, first thing on Vishu in the temple. Devotees close their eyes and set their eyes on Kani and deity so that when the doors to the deity opens at 2:30 am, the first thing they see is Kani.

Poojas and Rituals at Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

  • Vrischikam and part of Dhanu months are considered to be the holy 41 days of Mandalakalam. Special poojas are conducted in the temple especially for Lord Ayyapan. Ayyappan Vilakku is conducted on the first Saturday of Vrischikam. The poojas are conducted in traditional style without compromise on any of its aspects.
  • Pandalam Ayyappa Temple is opened in the morning  and the Lord is awakened from his sleep with the melodious notes. The Lord is adorned with flowers of the previous day. This is known as Nirmalya Darshanam. It is believed that after the night pooja, when the doors are closed, the devas (Gods) come and worship the deity. A darshan of the Lord who has just been worshipped by the Devas themselves is considered highly auspicious. Lamps are lit and chiming bells along with spontaneous cries of the devotees.
  • The rite of bathing the deity with oil takes place after removing the adornments of the previous day. After this abhishekam is performed with water. After this the Prabatha pooja is performed every day.
  • ‘Pantheeradi Pooja’ refers to the time when the shadow of a person with normal height becomes 12 feet long. This is the second main pooja done for the chief deity.
  • Lighting a lamp is a vital part in Hindu pujas , auspicious occasions and social events.It denotes dispelling away the darkness. Deeparadhana is one of the very important pooja that is conducted. The night worship is Athazha pooja and the offering made at that time is athazhanaivedyam.
  • The last pooja offered to lord ayyappa is the Athazhapooja.After cleaning the temple the sanctum sanctum is set to put the lord Ayyappa to sleep. All the devotees and sub priests get together in front of the sanctum and sing Harivarasanam.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: Thiruvananthapuram is the nearest airport which is at a distance of about 101 km and Kochi airport is 127 km from Pandalam. One can hire a taxi or board a bus from the airport.

By Train: Chengannur is the nearest railway station that is about 14 km from the temple. Trains are available to all the major indian cities from the railway station.

By Bus: You can reach Pandalam by bus through MC Road. KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) is conducting the services, if you are coming from either Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi airports. Private buses ply to various destinations around Pandalam.The minimum time a bus takes to reach Pandalam from Ernakulam is 3h 18m. The cheapest way to reach Pandalam from Ernakulam takes you 5h 16m, which is to take Malabar Express from Ernakulam to Chengannur then take State Transport Bus from Chengannur to Pandalam.

Where to stay

There are many options available to stay near the Pandalam Mahadeva Temple. There are many well good hotels near by.

  • Shines Tourist Hotel Contact: Main Central Rd, Pandalam, Kerala
  • Estilo Meadows Contact: Pandalam, Kerala 689501
  • NSS Working Women’s Hostel Contact: Chiramudi, Pandalam, Kerala 689501
  • Hotel Chaithram Contact: Ambalakadvu, Thumpamon – Pariyaram Rd, Thumpamon, Kerala

Where to eat

Kerala food is served on a banana leaf. One has to take food with right hand. Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices to flavour the local cuisine giving it a sharp pungency that is heightened with the use of tamarind, while coconut gives it its richness. There are many restaurants at Pandalam that offer some amazing food.

  • S N Restaurant Contact: S.N Restaurant, Pandalam, Main Central Rd, Pandalam, Kerala 689501
  • Vazhiyoram KTDC Restaurant Contact: National Highway 220, Pandalam, Kerala 689503
  • Relax Inn A/C Restaurant Contact:  Chengannur, Kerala 689121
  • Nalukettu Contact: Opposite Manikandan Aalthara, Poozhikad Muttar Road, Pandalam, Kerala 689501

Nearby Temples

Pandalam Mahadeva Temple: Pandalam Mahadeva temple is positioned on the banks of river Achankovil in Pandalam in the state of Kerala. It is believed that Lord Parasurama has installed the idol in the sanctum. Pandalam Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest temples out of the 108 Shiva temples consecrated by the great ‘Sanayasin Khara Muni’. Yearly Kettukazhcha festival is one of the attractions for tourists. The temple is unique with its natural procession route around the Sanctorum.

Pandalam Valiya Koyikkal Dharmasastha Temple: The temple has the great importance for the inhabitants of monkeys. The presiding deity of the temple is Shri Dharma Sastha. Ayyappan is an avatar or incarnation of Sastha. There are references to Sastha in many of the puranas. The presiding deity of the temple is Sree Dharma Sastha, accompanied by his consort ‘Prabha’ and son ‘Sathyaka’. The history of the temple was based on the period of the Ramayana.  It is believed that after the victory over Ravana, Sri Rama came along with his wife Sita , brother Lakshmana and whole vanara (monkey) sena has visited  Sasthamcotta to pay their reverence to Sri Dharma Sastha.

Padanilam Temple: Nooranad Padanilam Temple is located in Alappuzha district and is around 18 km from Kayamkulam. The word Padanilam means “land of war” . It is located on the banks of river Achankovil. The Padanilam temple is one of the important centres of worship in Kerala.The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Parabrahma. Shivaratri is the main festival in the temple. Thousands come to the temple on that day to see the kavadiyattam for Lord Subrahmanyan in the morning. Padanilam Temple and its surroundings witnessed many historical wars. Once there was a war between the south and the north. During the war, soldiers from both sides died in large numbers. They were buried in the chira near the temple.

Oripurathu Bhagavathi Temple: Orippurathu Bhagavathy Kshetram Mandir or temple is devoted to its main holy deity goddess Devi. This ancient temple is frequented by thousands of devotees of Goddess every year. The temple has a history of more than one thousands years. It is said that the temple was constructed during the 17th century. The annual festival of the temple had been started during the 18th of century. However, the supreme deity of the temple is goddess Bhagavathy yet some other important god and goddess are also worshiped here such as Lord Ayyappan, Yakshi, Lord Krishna, Nagarajavu and Madasamy. The sacred temple is not only famous for its religious significance but also for its amazing architecture that shows the unique architecture of Indian style. In the main sanctum sanctorum, devotees can see two sacred idols which are made of important Krishna Sila.