Religious Spots in KottayamKottayam is a multi-religious city with Hinduism, Christianity and Islam being followed most prominently. Reflecting the religious culture of the place, the city is wide-spread with temples, churches and mosques. This region also boasts about the most beautiful and intricate temples of India.
Temples in KottayamMost temples were built under the patronage of various Hindu kings during the 2nd Millenium.
Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva templeThirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Temple depicts various themes from various epics. The temple is located in the centre of the city and is built in traditional Kerala architectural style.
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Ettumanoor Mahadev TempleThe “Aghora Moorty” of the temple has a special place for devotees from south India. According to legend a great saint “Khara Prakasha” invoked Lord Shiva to wash off his sins and help him worship the Lord for future generations. Lord Shiva in his gratitude presented him with his idol which the saint installed at this place facing the West. As per Hindu legend “Aghora” is the intense and grave form of Shiva. This shivlinga was long forgotten and became part of a dense forest where a Harijan woman found it while collecting arrow roots with her sickle. The sickle struck the stone which began bleeding and till today certain ridge marks on the linga are believed to be those sickle marks.
The temple has awe-inspiring features such as the idols of seven large elephants and baby elephant made out of solid gold. These were gifted by Mahaharaja Karthika Thirunal to the temple. They are brought out for public display on the 8th and 10th of February/March annual festival. This is a major attraction for the devotees each year.
Address: Ettumanoor Temple Rd, Kerala- 686631
Dakshina MookaambikaThis is one of the temples dedicated to Goddess Saraswati among the many other dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in the Panachikuda village of Kottayam, some 11 kms (7 miles) away from the main headquarter district. Unlike most Saraswati temples which allow pooja only during “Navratri” this temples offers pooja throughout the year.
Address: North Paravoor, Kerala
Kumaranalloor Devi TempleThis is a temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati - one of the most worshipped deities in Kerala. The shrine is located 4 kms (2.5 miles) away from Kottayam. The deity is worshipped in five different forms. This temple is considered as powerful as Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The temple has very unique architecture as well which are built in what is called the sreechakra style. The architecture is considered rare even for Indian temples.
Address: Kumaranalloor, Kottayam - 686016
Churches in Kottayam
Kottayam is a major place for Syrian Christians where the Christianity was wide-spread and is still sustained.
Malankara Orthodox Syrian ChurchIt is one of the most sacred churches in Kerala also called as the Indian Orthodox Church. The church falls under Saint Thomas Community of India and has its origins in the Thomas the Apostle’s activity. It is an ancient church and originated in A.D 52 under St. Thomas – one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. They came to India and preached Christianity in the south-western part of India.
Kottayam Big ChurchAlso known as Kottayam Valiya Palli of Knanaya Community, it was built in 1550 by Syrian Christians who migrated from Kaduthuruthy and is the first Christian Church in Kottayam. The church is worth a visit for big ancient murals and antique carvings on the ceiling and behind the altar. It also holds two granite Persian Crosses.
Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchThis church is listed as the second largest Eastern Catholic Church under Rome. This is one of 22 only listed churches. The church is of apostolic origin believing in St. Thomas who is known to have landed in Kerala and who founded seven Christian communities here. They are also known as Nazarenes i.e those who follow the path of Jesus of Nazareth. The church and its followers also have a strong Portuguese influence.
There is a St. Thomas Christian Museum at Mt. St. Thomas Kakkanad and has a strong collection of Christian history, artistic objects, palm leaves manuscripts, household items, coins, stamps and liturgical objects.
The church also has murals of missionary activities of St. Thomas and also conducts exhibitions of various artists. It has a light and sound show on the important events in St. Thomas’ life.
Kaduthuruthy ChurchThe Syro-Malabar Cathlolic Church has a parish in Kaduthuruthy a town in Kottayam district. The church is also known as St. Mary's Forane Church.
Address: Valiyapally Rd, Kaduthuruthi, Kerala 686604
St. George's Knanaya Catholic ChurchThe Syro-Malabar Cathlolic Church has a parish in Edackat a town in Kottayam district. The church is also known as St. George's Knanaya Catholic Forane Church.
Address: St.George's Forane Church, Edackat, Kottayam-686 001
St Mary's Jacobite Syrian ChurchThe origin of this church dates back to early Christianity. It recognizes the Syrian Orthodox patriarch of Antioch as its spiritual head. The foundation goes back to Apostolic days. The faith and liturgy is very similar to the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church as above. This faith recognises the Mother of Jesus as Mother of God and worship her with greater faith.
Address: St. Mary's Jacobite SyrianOrthodox Church-Neelimangalam, Perumpaickad.P.O, Kottayam, Kerala - 686028
Mosques in Kottayam
Similar to temples and churches, the mosques in Kottayam have a rich history and their own festivals to celebrate the holy months.
Thazhathangady Juma Masjid
This is one of the most revered and ancient mosques in Kottayam. It is believed to be 1000 years old. The mosque is built with an inner courtyard and a traditional bathing area. There is also latticed window work on the inside. The temple is located on the banks of the river Meenachil. It is also known as the Taj Juma Masjid.