08 Kottiyoor Temple Pilgrimage (Seasonal)

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08 Kottiyoor Temple Pilgrimage (Seasonal)

Temple Festival Every Year May 20 to June 16/17 (Edavam 20th starts)

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 in 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 temporary hermitage (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 Devi immolated 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.

Kottiyoor Ulsavam or Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam  is a 27-day annual pilgrimage observed by Hindus commemorating the Mythology of Daksha Yaga. The pilgrimage is similar to the Kumbh Mela of Prayag, where ablutions are performed. The Vysakha Mahotsavam is a yearly pilgrimage like the Hindus’ Sabarimala Pilgrimage, where devotees, travelling from multiple locations, go en-masse to a shrine at a specific period of time during the year. The temple and grounds are also known as Dakshina Kasi.

The Ikkare Kottiyoor temple and Akkare Kottiyoor temple are dedicated to Mahadeva. The Vavali River flows between the shrines. The Ikkare Kottiyoor temple is believed to have been created by Parashurama, whereas the Akkara Kottiyoor temple is a Swayam bhu, which means naturally formed. The system of rites and rituals of the temple were developed by Sankaracharya.

Photo Courtesy :  Rajesh Kavinessery & Varun Aduthila

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