Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Temple in Kottayam

Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, depicting various themes from the epics on its murals. The temple is located in the heart of the city and is built in traditional Kerala architectural style. It was constructed by then Raja of Thekkumkur during the early 16th century who was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva. The temple is famous for its annual festival Aaraattu which is famous with the devotees. The area where the shrine is present is known as 'Thirunakkara' meaning 'sacred Nakkara'. Legend goes that the King saw a dream of Lord Vadakkunnathan where he was asked to construct such a temple - hence it bears close resemblance to the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur.


The shivalinga is “Swayam bhoo” which means that it came out on its own from the ground. The left part of the idol considered as “Parvathi”and can be viewed only during the morning prayers i.e., 4:30 a.m.

The inner walls of the temple are laden with beautiful imagery from Hindu mythology. There is a flowering plant of the species ixora - (Vella Chethi) seen to the North of the temple a stone image of Lord Shiva’s bull (Nandi) are believed to have emerged along with the revered shivlinga.


Lord Shiva’s image and context here in the temple is in a very calm state. He is like the head of a family which is calm, joyous and happy. People believe in this deity specifically for blessing the happiness and well-being of their families. People visit to pray specifically for fights within the family, issues of marriage, children’s issues and even educational and job related obstacles.

Festivals at Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Temple

There are three festivals conducted through the year. The most significant is the Painkuni festival celebrated from 1st to 10th Meenam (during the month March). There is a famous drum associated with this festival known as “Aalthara melam”. The dance form “Kathakali” is also a major attraction during this time. The festival of Aani celebrated during the month of Midhunam (the month of July) which is though not very wide has its own significance. Then there is the festival of Alpasi celebrated during the month of Thulam (the month of October).

The temple timings are from 5 a.m to 12 noon and 5 p.m to 8 p.m.

People go especially for the “Uma Maheshwari” pooja which is considered auspicious to be done on Mondays. It is believed to remove obstacles to marriage. The main offering to the Lord of Thirunakkara is milk and water. The idol is mainly east facing and you first see “Balickal Pura”. There is a tall golden flagstaff in front of it. The “Navgrahas” (9 planets) are sculpted on the upper of “Balickal Pura”.

Address: Thirunakkara Sree Mahadeva Temple (Travancore Devaswom Board), Kottayam, Kerala
Contact No: 0481 2583898; President: 9496092342; General Secretary : 9526269185
Email: [email protected]
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