Kottiyoor Temple, kannur, Kerala

Date built:
Deity:
Architectural style:
Major festivals Vysakha Mahotsavam
Locale:
District:: kannur
Address: Akkare Kottiyoor Temple Ln, Kottiyoor, Kerala 670651
Phone 04902430234

Kottiyoor Temple is a prominent Shiva temple in Kerala. Vadakkeshwaram Temple is the common name of the temple from ancient time, but some of the local people addresses the temple as Ikkare Kottiyoor as it is on the bank of the river close to the Kottiyoor village; to differentiate it from the shrine in the other side of the river. Thruchherumana Kshetram is the proper name of Kottiyoor temple. The temple is a special category temple under Malabar Devaswom board.

There are two temples in Kottiyoor – one on the western bank of the Bavali river – and the other one on the eastern bank of the Bavali river. The shrine on the east bank (Kizhakkeshwaram or Akkare Kottiyoor) is a temporaryhermitage (Yaga shrine) opened only during the Vysakha festival. The Vadakkeshwaram or Ikkare Kottiyoor (The Thruchherumana Temple) on the western bank of the river is a permanent temple complex like all other temples. It remains closed throughout the year except for the 27 days of Vysakha festival. The temple is situated in a densely forested area amidst a sacred grove that covers about 80 acres. Mythology says that Akkare Kottiyoor, the shrine on the eastern bank of the river, was the location of Daksha Yaga, at the conclusion of which, Sati Deviimmolated herself and thus committed suicide in this place.

The Thruchherumana Temple was built after the Swayambhoo lingam was found; however the exact date of construction of temple is not known, the pilgrimage has been taking place for many centuries

Architecture

The Puffed rice(Pori or Malaru) is prepared at “Pullancheri Illam”, and handed over to the temple from Narasimhaswamy temple, Pala, near Muzhakunnu Kottiyoor Temple is also closely associated with the Tirunelli MahaVishnu Temple in Wayanad District, about 54 km from Kotttiyoor It was from Tirunelli that rice was given to Kottiyoor for Vysakha Mahotsavam and returned after the festival. This has been discontinued but rites are performed in both temples to continue the tradition.It is believed that Bhuta Ganas carry the presents of Tirunelli Perumal to Vysakha Mahotsavam. Once a Bhuta tried to steal a present and the Perumal cursed him to become a rock.The Sacred sword of Veerabhadra is brought for the Kottiyoor Festival from “Mutherikavu” a nearby temple.

Tons of fire woods are used for the Kottiyoor festival in the shrine. Not even for a single year until now has it been required to remove the excess ash from the altar. All the essentials needed for Ammarakkal Tara is brought from Manathana shrine. Sacred swords also come from Chapparam Bhagavathi temple. Pooja vessals, ornaments etc., come from Karimbanagopuram.

Legend / Local stories

Kottiyoor or Kottiyur is an ancient Hindu pilgrim center devoted to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in Kannur district, Kerala. The temple is situated on the beautiful Sahya mountain range valley and is blessed with abundant natural beauty. The Bavali river with her medicinal waters flow from the Wayanad ghats on the banks of the temple. On the northern side of the river bank, there is a small lake known as ‘Thiruvanchira’ and here in the midst of this lake is this temple sans temple.

The temple has a Shiva linga believed to be a ‘swayambhu’. Swayambhu means born on his own or not man made. The small heap where this Shiva linga is worshipped is known as ‘Manithara’. The abhishekam for the Shiva linga is with milk, ghee (clarified butter) and karikku (tender coconut water). In the same lake, there is another heap ‘Ammarakallu’ where Sree Parvati Devi is worshipped. This way, at Kottiyoor you get the blessings of both Shiva and Shakthi.

Kottiyoor is also known by the names Kudiyoor, Dakshina Kashi. Thricherumana, Vdakkumkaavu, Kizhakkumkaavu and Vadakeeswaram.

At Kottiyoor, there are two temples – Akkare Kottiyur and Ikkare Kottiyur, located on the opposite banks of Bavali river. Akkare Kottiyur is open during the Kottiyoor Vaisakha Maholsavam festival only.

A pious Namboothiri of Kalakkatt Illam (one of the four major Mantravada(Sorcery) lineages of Kerala)was returning from Kottiyoor. To pray for Sandhya vandanam in Manathana Shrine he took bath in the pond, after which a young lady from the adjacent bay offered him Taali(herbal shampoo), and told that she would apply it onto his forehead. He immediately recognized that she was none other than Bhadrakali and showing his head would meand his death. He folded his hand in-front of her and said any thing given by The Mother is nectar. He took the shampoo and drank it. Devi was pleased with him and presented him with three sacred insignia which he installed in three temples in the Kannur region.

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