Siva Temples KottayamKottayam district has a wide spread distribution of several kinds of temples. Many of them are deity specific. There are about sixty Shiva temples in the district. Some of the major Shiva temples have been placed under the management of the Travancore Devaswanam Board. They have been designated as the Golden Flag Post or the Swarna Dhwaja Prathistas. These have been described in detail:
Chirakkaduvu Mahadeva TempleChirakkaduvu Mahadeva temple is more than a century old. The temple is located on the way to the Ayyapan Temple at Sabarimala. It has also been considered as the temple dedicated to Lord Mahadeva as the father of Ayyapan. Pilgrims on the way to Sabarimala halt at the Mahadeva temple and conduct the Ayyappapattu or songs created especially for the propitiation of Lord Ayyappa.
This temple was probably constructed by the Alwars during their reign. The Mahadeva temple houses the Swayambhu lingam as the presiding deity. The singularly unique performances of the Velathullal (the ritual dance form) and Velakali (the ritualistic drama enactment) are carried out by children and youngsters between the ages of five years and twenty years old. They are adorned in warrior attires, brandishing sword and shields as they dance militantly on the fierce beating drums.
Another unique aspect of this temple is the ‘Meenari’ offering which is the ritual feeding of the fish with rice. The devotees purchase rice from the temple stalls and feed the fishes thriving in the temple pond. Belief has it that this particular ritual cures deep seated ailments of the devotees as also their families. The worship within the sanctum sanctorum is conducted through various ritual offerings like the ‘Jaladhara’ or bathing the idol with water as also the offering of ‘Mrithunjaya Pushpanjali’ or flowers elaborately placed in colourful patterns. This ritual offering is for a long and healthy life. A special offering is the ‘Swayamvar Pushpanjali’ which is the floral offering made for a fruitful matrimonial alliance. One important aspect of the temple is the ‘Balikalu’ or the sacrificial stone which is huge. It is decorated with elaborate wood carving and has an ornate carved granite oil lamp standing alongside a sculpture at the sacrificial stone. This temple is situated at a distance of about thirty kilometers from Kottayam on the Kollam- Theni Road.
Punaloor Muvattupuzha - SH 8,
Kerala State, India
Kaduthuruthy Mahadeva TempleKaduthuruthy Mahadeva Temple is located around twenty five kilometers from Kottayam and lies on the Kottayam-Vaikom road. The Kaduthuruthy Mahadeva temple is also the repository of one of the holy one hundred and eight Shivalingams of Lord Parasurama. The place Kaduthuruthy takes its name from the word ‘Caduthurutha’, ‘Carturte’ or even ‘Sindhu’ ‘Dweepam’ which literally means ‘an island surrounded by the sea’ it had once been a much frequented port and centre for commerce under the name of ‘Kadanthery’. It had been the celebrated capital of the Vadakancore kingdom in 1754 AD. The nearest railway station is at Ettumanoor.
Kaduthuruthy Mahadeva Temple
Kappumthala Rd, Kaduthuruthi,
Kerala 686604, India
Ettumanoor Mahadeva TempleEttumanoor Mahadeva Temple is located just thirteen kilometers away from the Kottayam town. It is especially significant because it is one of those rare one hundred and eight temples that have Shivalingas created by Lord Parasurama.
Ettumanoor Mahadev Temple
Ettumanoor, Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala, 686631, India
Contact No: +91-481-2719375
Parippu Mahadeva Temple
Parippu Mahadeva Temple hosts one of the sanctified one hundred and eight Shivalingam made by Lord Parasurama. Besides the Shivalingam, the other ‘Upadevathas’ or deities of the temple are Sree Krishna, Ganapathy, Shastha and Bhagavathy or the Mother Goddess.
An interesting feature of the Parippu Mahadeva temple is that it has two Balikkalpuras or prayer chambers. This is because two kings contributed to its construction, renovation and upkeep. However, they were sworn enemies and therefore they never came face to face while praying because they did so in separate Balikkalpuras. These kings were the Edappally king who was popularly called the Madathil Raja and was a Brahmin. The Parippu area fell under the Therkkumkoor kingdom which was during 825 AD ruled by the king who was called the Edathil Raja at that time.
Presently Parippu falls under the Aymanam panchayat. The main festival lasts for eight days in the month of ‘Meenam’ or March-April. Everyday there are three ‘Poojas’ or prayers offered by the ‘Thanthri’. The significant days in the temple calendar are Shivarathry, Thiruvathira as well as Pradosham. However, all Mondays are also considered important. The main offerings at the temple are Pushpanjali, Pinvilakku, Dhara, Kooval Mala and Payasam. The references of Parippu have also been made in the Holy Scripture, the Shivalaya Nama Stotra wherein it has been called Parippil. The Parippu Mahadeva temple is situated just about ten kilometers from Kottayam town.
Vazhappally TempleVazhappally Temple is located at Mathumoola at Changanessary. An interesting feature of this temple is that another temple dedicated to Siddhi Vinayak or Lord Ganesha is situated just within its precincts. Because of the presence of this temple, Vinayak Chathurthi Is celebrated with great prompt and gaiety. The symbolic flag of triumph or the Dhwaja Prathishta has been done in front of the Ganapathy which is facing south.
There are several forms of offerings that are mainly dedicated to the presiding deity which is another one of the prestigious one hundred and eight shivalingams made by Lord Parasurama. The ritual offerings made at this temple are the Mahaganapathy appam or which is also known as Ottayappam, besides the Unniyappam, the Modakam, the Vadamala, and the Mukkootti Pushpanjali as well as the Ashtadravya Maha Ganapathy Homam. The most significant festival of this temple or the ‘Ustavam’ is held in ‘Meenum’ month that comes between March and April. The ten-day festival is initiated with Kodiyettu or the first day of the festival which is called ‘Chathayam’. The Conclusion of the festival is done with ‘Arattu’ on Thiruvathira day.
Kadappattoor Mahadeva TempleKadappattoor Mahadeva temple is located virtually on the banks of the Meenachil river at the centre of a beautiful village near Pala. This Mahadeva Temple is proximal to the Pala Valiyapalam. The creation of this particular temple has a most interesting mythological story attached to it. According to this story Maharishi Gauna, an exalted saint of the era, took some water from the seven holy rivers, namely the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Saraswathy, the Narmada, the Godavari, the Sindhu and the Kaveri. He placed a beautiful idol of Lord Subrahmanya Swami in his Kamandalu or container made out of a hollowed out gourd.
He was eager to pay obeisance to Lord Rama who was returning triumphant after defeating Ravana the king of Lanka. However, as the ‘Pushpaka Vimana’ or ariel craft carrying Lord Rama was overcrowded with his devotees like Hanumana, Angada, Sugreeva and Vibhishana, the Maharishi could not get even a glimpse of his dear Lord. The site where this incident took place was a hill called Kudamuruttimala. The water flowing from the Kamandalu became a river called the ‘Gauna nadi’ named after the Maharishi having the sanctity of the seven holy rivers put together. The idol flowed down to Kidangoor where it installation took place in a nap ‘Sree Kovil’ or sanctum sanctorum to become the world renowned Subhramanaya Swami Temple of Kidangoor.
Puliyanoor Oorayma TemplePuliyanoor Oorayma Temple is also popular as the Cheruthil Valuthu Puliyanoor. It is located about half a kilometer from Ettumanoor on the highway crossing Poonjar. The temple is located near Pala and has an eight day long annual festival or ‘Ustavam’ held during the month of Kumbham or February and March. A large number of devotees from Travancore throng to this temple. Major days for celeberation and worship at the temple are Navarathri, Mandala masam (the month long festivities of Lord Ayyappa. The management of the temple is under certain Namboodari families who have jointly been designated ‘Puliyannoor Ooranma Temple Devaswam’.
Lalam Mahadeva TempleLalam Mahadeva Temple is sanctified and renowned as Dakshina Kasi or the Kasi of the south. It has been compared to the Kashi Vishwanath temple of the North because that is where most North Indian perform the last rites for the ‘Mukti’ or salvation of their dearly departed family member. Similar rites are performed at the Lalam Mahadeva temple or the Dakshina Kasi temple because the Lalam river is flows virtually at the feet of the temple and a ‘Smasanam’ or cremation ground is located just before the temple.
The sanctum sanctorum or Sreekovil is rectangular and is two tiered. The Balikkalpura has a copper dhvaja in front and two ‘Gopurams’ or gateway towers flanking it on the Eastern and Southern sides. The sub deities at the temple the Nagadevathas, Yogeeshwaran, Yakshi, Ayyappa and Ganapathy. The temple is more than a hundred years old and is among some of the oldest and much worshipped temple in Meenachil taluk.
Kizhathadiyoor Thrukkayil Mahadeva TempleKizhathadiyoor Thrukkayil Mahadeva Temple is also known locally as the ‘Chembitta Ambalam’ or temple with the copper Sreekovil. The temple is situated in Chehtinattan of Pala municipality.
The major offerings at the temple are Bhagavathy seva, Pradosha Pooja, Rudhrabhishekam, Pinvilakku and Ganapathy homam. Presently the temple is under renovation. Legend has it that devotees should mandatorily visit the Kizhathadiyoor Puthiya Kavu Devi temple to obtain the blessings of Lord Thrukkayilappan. This temple is located in Pala.
Vezhanganam Mahadeva TempleVezhanganam Mahadeva Temple is believed to be more than fifteen hundred years old. The name of the location Vezhanganam is a corrupted form of ‘Vezhamkanam’ literally meaning the ‘Elephant Forest’. The temple has a square sanctum sanctorum or Sreekovil and ‘Garbhagruha’. The presiding deity has been depicted in a Yogi form. The other deities of the temple are Bhagavathy,, Ayyappa, Ganapathy, Yakshi, Nagadevatas and Rakshass. The temple was renovated and reconstructed in 2006. The important days of worship are Shivarathry, Mandalakalam, Thiruvathira, Ramayanam month besides all Mondays. The temple is managed by a Chief priest or Tanthri. The significant offerings made at this temple are Rudhrabhishekam, Ashtothara archana, and Kadumpayasam besides Dhara, Pinvilakku, Ganapathy homam, Bhagavathy seva and Neeranjanam. The temple is located in Bharanganam panchayath and is about ten kilometers from Panaykkappalam on the Erattupeta to Pala road.
Thiruvayamkudy Mahadeva templeThiruvayamkudy Mahadeva temple has an intriguing ‘Rahasya ara’ or secret cabinet which is believed to be the repository of divine powers of Thiruvayamkudi Mahadeva. This secret chamber is sealed with granite stone and it is believed that a serpent who is the protector of the secret chambers protects the doorway. Ritually every day the first lamp is lit before the entrance to this chamber long before the other lamps are lit across the temple.
This temple is located in a small village called Ayamkudy that lies just about four kilometers to the west of Kaduthuruthy. This ancient temple was probably constructed around 890 AD and has the Swayambhu Shivalingam as the presiding deity. The appearance of the Shivalingam makes an interesting mythological story. The story goes that a devout Brahmin, a Namboothiri, was an ardent worshipper of Lord Shiva. Once the Brahmin became very ill and could not go to visit the Vaikom temple and pay obeisance to his Lord. Apparently the deity of Vaikom temple visited the Brahmin. The Antharajana or the wife of the Brahmin was cleaning out the receptacle of the sacrificial fire, the Shivalinga. However, due to her vigorous cleaning the Shivalingam had suffered an injury at the top. The Brahmin was gratified at the appearance of his Lord. He applied sandle paste and lit a lamp before it. It is this site that later became the temple and bears an ideal location at the top of the hilltop.
Another unique feature of the temple is the sweet water wells situated in the temple complex. No other wells seemed to have survived barring in the region this one. It continues to have sweet cooling water to quench the thirst of weary pilgrims. The villagers believe themselves to be blessed as they considered the waters of the well to be the pure Ganga waters flowing from the tangled hair of Lord Shiva.
Ayamkudy village has the unique distinction of being a centre for Rig Veda learning. The coaching is imparted by several learned scholars residing in the village. The entire course takes just about seven years to learn. It is a strong belief in the village that the chants of the Rig Veda going on constantly for generations had purified the atmosphere and even sanctified the entire region with their serene and tranquil chanting that went on in the various training schools.
Annually, a six-day festival or Utsavam is associated with the temple’s celebrations of Mahasivaraathri. It falls in ‘Kumbham’ month or February and March every year. Other main celebrations at the temple are Mulapooja, Kalabhabhisekam, Sivarathiri Pooja, Kodiyethu Sreehoothabli, Pallivetta, Uthsavabali, Aarattu and Vilakkezhunnelipu. The main offerings at the temple are Vilivamalyam, Pinvilakku, Veda Mantra Japam, Ushanivedyam, Chndanamcharthal, Thinkalazcha or Monday offerings. The sub deities of the temple are Sree Kirshna, Subhramanya and Ganapathy.
Thiruvayamkudy Mahadeva temple
Phone:04829 288 387
These were thus, some of the main Shiva temple’s of Kottayam which enjoy special prominence among the devotees who visit these temples regularly to pay homage.