TEMPLES OF ERNAKULAM

 

Mahadeva Temple, Aluva Bhagavathy Temple, Nayarambalam

 

Religious history of the district

In the ancient days, the people followed an independent religious philosophy related with Dravidian practices. Around 3rd Century B.C., Jainism and Buddhism came into the district. It was the Jainism that set foot in the region. It is believed that Ernakulam was a main Jain centre in the ancient days. Many Hindu temples in the region were originally Jain temples. The famous Kallil rock-cut temple near Perumbavoor was earlier a Jain shrine dedicated to Parswanatha, Mahaveera and Theerthankara. Jain settlements in the district have been completely disappeared except a few at Mattancheri region. Buddhism did not make much impact in the district unlike southern part of the state. Both Jainism and Buddhism declined consequent on the insurgence of Aryans and by the revival of Hinduism. Efforts of Srimad Sankaracharya and Bhakthi movement donated much for the promotion of Hinduism. Contributions of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, Melpathur Narayana Bhattathirippad and Poonthanam Namboodiri accelerated the Bhakthi movement initially in the central region of Kerala and later to the whole state.

Mahadeva Temple at Aluva, famous for Sivarathri celebrations and prithu-tharpana (a ritualistic offering to dead ancestors); Vamanamoorthy temple at Thrikkakkara, where Onam festival was originated; and Bhagavathy Temple at Chottanikkara where evil spirits are eradicated by exorcism are situated in the district. Many luminaries associated with the religious history were born in the district. Srimad Sankaracharya who laid foundations of the Indian cultural synthesis as early in 9th century, Shadkala Govinda Marar, a great musician who could sing Pallavis to six degrees of time, Perumthachan, the legendary master carpenter, who designed and built many temples of Kerala and carved many idols of deities were born at Kalady, Ramamangalam and Uliyannur in the district respectively.

Christianity and Islam came to Kerala through the Thrissur district. Malayattur Church near Kalady in the district is one of the earliest churches of Kerala established by St. Thomas, the disciple of Jesus Christ who preached the gospel of Christ and attracted many natives into Christianity in AD 52. The arrival of foreigners created a favourable atmosphere for Christianity. The Synod of Diamper that formally united the ancient Christian Church of Kerala with Roman Catholic Church and played a major role in changing the history of Kerala was held at Udayamperur of the district. The first Jewish synagogue of Kerala was also established in Kochi of the district. The message of Islam too reached in the district during 7th Century A.D. Communal harmony and religious tolerance are the significant characteristics of the people of the district.

Among the population of the district, Hindu community divided into Brahmin, Kshathriya, Ambalavasis (Pushpakan, Chakyar, Poduval, Varier etc.) Nair, Ezhava, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and a good number of other categories. Gowda Saraswatha Brahmins who have migrated from Karnataka and Goa also constitute a considerable share in the population of the district and they have their own temples. To the Hindus, worship of god is imperative and hence temple formed an integral part of their daily life. According to a survey conducted by the Census Department, the district has 1285 temples

Antiquity and deities:

The Department of Census, Government of India identified 32 temples of the district as very ancient having more than two thousand years of age.  85 temples were constructed between 1st and 9th Century AD. 1168 temples have been constructed between 10th and 20th Century AD. The deities of the district are mainly Goddess Bhadrakali or Bhagavathy, Lord Vishnu, Lord Siva, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Subramanya, Lord Sastha etc based on various kalpa or sankalpa (concept). Combination of sankalpa such as Sankara-Narayana, Lakshmy-Narayana, Siva-Vishnu, Siva-Parvathy, Siva-Subramaya etc are also there. Number of temples based on various sankalpa is given below:

Sl.No.

Kalpa (concept)

No.

1

Durga Kalpa (Goddess Bhadrakali / Bhagavathy / Mahalekshmy / Durga/ Saraswathy)

560

2

Vishnu Kalpa (Lord Maha Vishnu/Rama/Sri Krishna/Parthasarathy/Narasimhamurthy)

234

3

Siva Kalpa (Lord Siva/Mahadeva)

211

4

Subramanya Kalpa

124

5

Sastha Kalpa

112

6

Ganapathy Kalpa

16

7

Others including combination Kalpa

28

 

Total

1285

Administration:

As in the other parts of the State, the temples of the district were also owned and administered by private individuals or private bodies known as Ooralars till 1812. In 1812 Diwan of Cochin State took steps to control the administration of temples. Devaswoms in the state were divided into various categories, viz., Sirkar Devaswom, Vazhipad Devaswom, Keezhedams etc. In 1907, all these Devaswoms were merged and put under the control of a Commissioner. The Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act of 1950 was an important enactment under which the Cochin Devaswom Board was established. 114 temples of the district are directly or indirectly under the administrative control of Cochin Devaswom Board. Travancore Devaswom Board owned 121temples in the district. Majority of the temples in the district are still managed by Ooralars (individual owners), Trusts, Temple Committees, communal organizations etc.

 

Sl.No.

Name of Temple

Location

Taluk

Concept

1

Ardhanareeswara Temple

Chendamangalam

Paravur

Siva

2

Ardhanareeswara Temple

Kumbalangi

Kochi

Siva

3

Ayyappa Temple

Perumbavoor

Kunnathunadu

Sastha

4

Ayyappa Temple

Veliyanad

Kanayannur

Sastha

5

Ayyappankavu

Chittur

Kanayannur

Sastha

6

Bala Bhadra Temple

Njarakkal

Kochi

Durga

7

Balakrishnaswamy Temple

Kuzhippilli

Kochi

Vishnu

8

Bhadrakali Temple

Valluvali

Paravur

Durga

9

Bhadrakali Temple

Moothakunnam

Paravur

Durga

10

Bhadrakali Temple

Eranakulam

Kanayannur

Durga

11

Bhadrakali Temple

Eroor

Kanayannur

Combined

12

Bhagavathy Temple

Puthiyakavu

Kanayannur

Durga

13

Bhagavathy Temple

Perumbavoor

Kunnathunadu

Durga

14

Bhagavathy Temple

Puthen Kurisu

Kunnathunadu

Durga

15

Bhagavathy Temple

Choornikkara

Aluva

Durga

16

Bhagavathy Temple

Edathala

Aluva

Durga

17

Bhagavathy Temple

Chengal

Aluva

Durga

18

Bhagavathy Temple

Puthenvelikkara

Paravur

Durga

19

Bhagavathy Temple

Kottuvalli

Paravur

Durga

20

Bhagavathy Temple

Thonnyakkavu

Paravur

Durga

21

Bhagavathy Temple

Kuzhippilli

Kochi

Durga

22

Bhagavathy Temple

Cherai

Kochi

Durga

23

Bhagavathy Temple

Nayarambalam

Kochi

Durga

24

Bhagavathy Temple

Palluruthi

Kochi

Durga

25

Bhagavathy Temple

Valanjambalam

Kanayannur

Durga

26

Bhagavathy Temple

Elamakkara

Kanayannur

Durga

27

Bhagavathy Temple

Kadamakkudy

Kanayannur

Durga

28

Bhagavathy Temple

Cheranallur

Kanayannur

Durga

29

Bhagavathy Temple

Chottanikkarka

Kanayannur

Durga

30

Bhagavathy Temple

Kanjiramattom

Kanayannur

Durga

31

Bhagavathy Temple

Kulayettinkara

Kanayannur

Durga

32

Bhagavathy Temple

Kumbalam

Kanayannur

Durga

33

Bhagavathy Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Durga

34

Bhagavathy Temple

Muvattupuzha

Muvattupuzha

Durga

35

Bhagavathy Temple

Piravam

Muvattupuzha

Durga

36

Bhagavathy Temple

Kulambur

Muvattupuzha

Durga

37

Bhagavathy Temple

Kothamangalam

Kothamangalam

Durga

38

Bhagavathy Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Durga

39

Bhuvaneswaray Temple

Pazhanthottam

Kunnathunadu

Durga

40

Dhanwanthari Temple

Thottuva

Kunnathunadu

Others

41

Dharmasastha Temple

Chottanikkarka

Kanayannur

Sastha

42

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Vengur

Kunnathunadu

Durga

43

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Perumbavoor

Kunnathunadu

Durga

44

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Iringole

Kunnathunadu

Durga

45

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Ezhipram

Kunnathunadu

Durga

46

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Kokkapilly

Kunnathunadu

Durga

47

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Angamali

Aluva

Durga

48

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Angamali

Aluva

Durga

49

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Durga

50

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Onakkur

Muvattupuzha

Durga

51

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Eramalloor

Kothamangalam

Durga

52

Durga Bhagavathy Temple

Kallil

Kunnathunadu

Durga

53

Durga Devi Temple

Chowvara

Aluva

Durga

54

Ganapathy Temple

Idappally

Kanayannur

Ganapathy

55

Ganapathy Temple

Panangadu

Kanayannur

Ganapathy

56

Goureeswaram Temple

Cherai

Kochi

Siva

57

Hanuman Temple

Eranakulam

Kanayannur

Others

58

Janardhanaswamy Temple

Amaravathi

Kochi

Vishnu

59

Kathyani Temple

Manikyamangalam

Aluva

Durga

60

Kathyani Temple

Vadakkekkara

Paravur

Durga

61

Krishna Temple

Perumbavoor

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

62

Krishna Temple

Podiyil

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

63

Krishna Temple

Pukkattupady

Kunnathunadu

Durga

64

Krishna Temple

Thiruvaniyoor

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

65

Krishna Temple

Kunnampilly

Aluva

Vishnu

66

Krishna-Garuda Temple

Thiruvaniyoor

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

67

Lekshmana Temple

Thirumoozhikkulam

Aluva

Vishnu

68

Maha Vishnu Temple

Okkal

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

69

Maha Vishnu Temple

Desom

Aluva

Siva

70

Maha Vishnu Temple

Edavanakkad

Kochi

Vishnu

71

Maha Vishnu Temple

Mattancheri

Kochi

Vishnu

72

Maha Vishnu Temple

Thammanam

Kanayannur

Vishnu

73

Maha Vishnu Temple

Elamkulam

Kanayannur

Vishnu

74

Maha Vishnu Temple

Mulamthuruthy

Kanayannur

Vishnu

75

Maha Vishnu Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Vishnu

76

Maha Vishnu Temple

Uramana

Muvattupuzha

Vishnu

77

Mahadeva  Temple

Uliyannur

Paravur

Siva

78

Mahadeva Temple

Pralayakkat

Kunnathunadu

Siva

79

Mahadeva Temple

Punnayam

Kunnathunadu

Siva

80

Mahadeva Temple

Keezhillam

Kunnathunadu

Siva

81

Mahadeva Temple

Pulluvazhy

Kunnathunadu

Siva

82

Mahadeva Temple

Araikappady

Kunnathunadu

Siva

83

Mahadeva Temple

Nellad

Kunnathunadu

Siva

84

Mahadeva Temple

Valambur

Kunnathunadu

Siva

85

Mahadeva Temple

Pangottu

Kunnathunadu

Siva

86

Mahadeva Temple

Kadayiruppu

Kunnathunadu

Siva

87

Mahadeva Temple

Pinarmunda

Kunnathunadu

Siva

88

Mahadeva Temple

Thiruvaniyoor

Kunnathunadu

Siva

89

Mahadeva Temple

Chengamanadu

Aluva

Siva

90

Mahadeva Temple

Aluva

Aluva

Siva

91

Mahadeva Temple

Thiruvairanikkulam

Aluva

Siva

92

Mahadeva Temple

Manjapra

Aluva

Siva

93

Mahadeva Temple

Thiruvalur

Paravur

Siva

94

Mahadeva Temple

Tirumuppam

Paravur

Siva

95

Mahadeva Temple

Paravur

Paravur

Siva

96

Mahadeva Temple

Kuzhippilli

Kochi

Siva

97

Mahadeva Temple

Eranakulam

Kanayannur

Siva

98

Mahadeva Temple

Kaloor

Kanayannur

Siva

99

Mahadeva Temple

Elamakkara

Kanayannur

Siva

100

Mahadeva Temple

Mulavukadu

Kanayannur

Siva

101

Mahadeva Temple

Irumbanam (N)

Kanayannur

Siva

102

Mahadeva Temple

Keecheri

Kanayannur

Siva

103

Mahadeva Temple

Udayamperur

Kanayannur

Siva

104

Mahadeva Temple

Nettur

Kanayannur

Siva

105

Mahadeva Temple

Muvattupuzha

Muvattupuzha

Siva

106

Mahadeva Temple

Thirumaradi

Muvattupuzha

Siva

107

Mahadeva Temple

Koothattukulam

Muvattupuzha

Siva

108

Mahadeva Temple

Pazhoor

Muvattupuzha

Siva

109

Mahadeva Temple

Thrikkariyur

Kothamangalam

Siva

110

Mahadeva Temple

Ayakkad

Kothamangalam

Siva

111

Mahadeva Temple

Kuzhippilli

Kochi

Siva

112

Mahadeva Temple

Varapetti

Kothamangalam

Siva

113

Maheswara Temple

Pudumanoor

Kunnathunadu

Siva

114

Mallikarjuna Temple

Azheekkal

Kochi

Siva

115

Narasimha Temple

Chendamangalam

Paravur

Vishnu

116

Narasimha Temple

Perumbilly

Kanayannur

Vishnu

117

Narasimha Temple

Ramamangalam

Muvattupuzha

Vishnu

118

Narasimhamoorthy Temple

Muriyamangalam

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

119

Narasimhamoorthy Temple

Veliyattunadu

Aluva

Vishnu

120

Narasimhamoorthy Temple

Kadungallur

Paravur

Vishnu

121

Narayana-Vallabha Temple

Poothottam

Kanayannur

Vishnu

122

Parthasarathy Temple

Puthiyedam

Aluva

Vishnu

123

Raja Rajeswari Temple

Palarivattam

Kanayannur

Durga

124

Rama Temple

Thrikkalathur

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

125

Rama Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Vishnu

126

Ramakrishna Temple

Kaladi

Aluva

Vishnu

127

Ramaswamy Temple

Irumbnanam

Kanayannur

Vishnu

128

Sankaranarayana Temple

Cheranallur

Kunnathunadu

Combined

129

Sankaranarayana Temple

Odakkali

Kunnathunadu

Combined

130

Sankaranarayana Temple

Moothakunnam

Paravur

Combined

131

Santhanagopala Temple

Thirunarayanapuram

Aluva

Vishnu

132

Saptha Kanyaka Temple

Vidakuzhi

Kanayannur

Others

133

Sapthamathrukkal Temple

Udayamperur

Kanayannur

Others

134

Saraswathy Temple

Avanakodu

Aluva

Durga

135

Sastha Temple

Elamkulam

Kanayannur

Sastha

136

Sastha Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Sastha

137

Sastha Temple

Uramana

Muvattupuzha

Siva

138

Sastha Temple

Neriyamangalam

Kothamangalam

Sastha

139

Siva Temple

Koovapadi

Kunnathunadu

Siva

140

Siva Temple

Cheranallur

Kunnathunadu

Siva

141

Siva Temple

Manapetty

Kunnathunadu

Siva

142

Siva Temple

Vilangu

Kunnathunadu

Siva

143

Siva Temple

Kummanodu

Kunnathunadu

Siva

144

Siva Temple

Valayanchirangara

Kunnathunadu

Siva

145

Siva Temple

Vembilly

Kunnathunadu

Siva

146

Siva Temple

Kakkattukara

Kunnathunadu

Siva

147

Siva Temple

Kidangur

Aluva

Siva

148

Siva Temple

Angamali

Aluva

Siva

149

Siva Temple

Chowvara

Aluva

Siva

150

Siva Temple

Malavana

Paravur

Siva

151

Siva Temple

Chendamangalam

Paravur

Siva

152

Siva Temple

Palluruthi

Kochi

Siva

153

Siva Temple

Irumbanam

Kanayannur

Siva

154

Siva Temple

Thiruvankulam

Kanayannur

Siva

155

Siva Temple

Kureekkad

Kanayannur

Siva

156

Siva Temple

Maradu

Kanayannur

Siva

157

Siva Temple

Panangadu

Kanayannur

Siva

158

Siva Temple

Kumbalam

Kanayannur

Siva

159

Siva Temple

Thripunithura

Kanayannur

Siva

160

Siva Temple

Valakam

Muvattupuzha

Siva

161

Siva Temple

Muvattupuzha

Muvattupuzha

Siva

162

Siva Temple

Ramamangalam

Muvattupuzha

Siva

163

Siva Temple

Vellurkunnam

Muvattupuzha

Siva

164

Siva Temple

Ezhakkaranad

Muvattupuzha

Siva

165

Siva-Narayana Temple

Nayathodu

Aluva

Combined

166

Siva-Subramanya Temple

Vyttila

Kanayannur

Combined

167

Siva-Vishnu Temple

Ambalamedu

Kunnathunadu

Combined

168

Sri Krishna Temple

Chelamattom

Kunnathunadu

Vishnu

169

Sri Krishna Temple

Kaprasheri

Aluva

Vishnu

170

Sri Krishna Temple

Aluva

Aluva

Vishnu

171

Sri Krishna Temple

Kuttamasheri

Aluva

Vishnu

172

Sri Krishna Temple

Chowvara

Aluva

Vishnu

173

Sri Krishna Temple

Kaladi

Aluva

Vishnu

174

Sri Krishna Temple

Manjapra

Aluva

Vishnu

175

Sri Krishna Temple

Karumalur

Paravur

Vishnu

176

Sri Krishna Temple

Eloor

Paravur

Vishnu

177

Sri Krishna Temple

Kannankulangara

Paravur

Vishnu

178

Sri Krishna Temple

Pallipuram

Kochi

Vishnu

179

Sri Krishna Temple

Idappally

Kanayannur

Vishnu

180

Sri Krishna Temple

Ravipuram

Kanayannur

Vishnu

181

Sri Krishna Temple

S.Chittur

Kanayannur

Vishnu

182

Sri Krishna Temple

Kureekkad

Kanayannur

Vishnu

183

Subramanya Temple

Rayamangalam

Kunnathunadu

Subramanya

184

Subramanya Temple

Thuravur

Aluva

Subramanya

185

Subramanya Temple

Mannam

Paravur

Subramanya

186

Subramanya Temple

Elamkunnapuzha

Kochi

Subramanya

187

Subramanya Temple

Pudupallipram

Kanayannur

Subramanya

188

Subramanya Temple

Meenad

Muvattupuzha

Subramanya

189

Thrimurthy Temple

Ilanji

Muvattupuzha

Combined

190

Vadakkunatha Temple

Mattoor

Aluva

Siva

191

Valleswara Temple

Karimbadam

Paravur

Vishnu

192

Vamanamoorthy Temple

Thrikkakkara

Kanayannur

Vishnu

193

Vamanamoorthy Temple

Ramamangalam

Muvattupuzha

Vishnu

194

Varahamoorthy Temple

Cherai

Kochi

Vishnu

195

Venkitachalapathy Temple

Gosripuram

Kochi

Vishnu

196

Venkitachalapathy Temple

Eranakulam

Kanayannur

Vishnu

 

DURGA BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE (ROCK-CUT), KALLIL


Location: Kallil is located about 10 km south-east of Perumbavoor town.
Panchayat: Asamannur
Village: Asamannur
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (25 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin (Nedumbassery) International Airport (24 km)

Legend/History: Historical records reveal that the temple has great antiquity and it was a very ancient Jain temple which was later transformed as a Hindu temple consequent on the decline of Jainism and insurgence of Aryans in the 9th century. The idol which was worshipped here was that of Jain Goddess Padmavathy. Vardhamana Mahaveera was also worshipped. Now these two idols are worshipped as Goddess Bhagavathy and Lord Siva. The boulder of the cave is a huge one. The rock cut temple has three rooms. In the first room Lord Siva and Goddess Bhagavathy (Durga) are consecrated. All the three rooms have separate entrance. To reach the temple one has to climb about 120 steps. Kallil, the place where the temple locates, means “on the rock” itself denotes that it is a rock temple. The temple was owned by Kallil Pisharam. Now it is governed by Sri Ramadas Mission, Chenkottukonam, Thiruvananthapuram on behalf of the Pisharam. The main offering in the temple is known as Idithozhal which is a peculiar one and not seen elsewhere.  A mixture of raw-rice, betal leaves, areca nuts, lime and turmeric are ground neatly and offered to the deity and the remnant is distributed among the devotees as prasadam

Deity: Goddess Durga (Vana-Durga) and Lord Siva are the main deities. Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma (relief), Lord Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa, and Nagar are the other deities.

Time of worship: Three poojas – Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja and Ucha Pooja are held daily.

Festival: Annual festival is celebrated for 8 days in the month of Vrichikam (November-December).

AYYAPPA TEMPLE, PERUMBAVOOR

Location: The temple is located right on the middle of Perumbavoor town.
Municipality: Perumbavoor
Village: Perumbavoor
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (15 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin (Nedumbassery) International Airport (14 km)

Legend/History: Legend says that the temple was established by Nallur Kartha, one of the Nair nobles of Perumbavoor. He engaged two boys as his servants and they were given raw rice as wages every day. Every day after work the boys took raw rice and some Thulasi (sweet basil) leaves. Once Kartha became suspicious about the action of boys and shadowed them while they returned.  He saw them standing near a Palmyra tree and then disappeared. On that night Kartha had a dream wherein Lord Ayyappa appeared and informed him that it was He who worked as his servant and the other boy is His friend. Lord also asked him to construct a temple for Him and His friend for which he would get sufficient money for the construction of the temple from the beneath of Palmyra tree. Accordingly Kartha went there to found a bag full of gold coins and utilizing the money he built the temple. The History of the temple can be traced back to 11th century. Alangat Yogam that takes part in the Erumeli Petta Thullal (a ritual that takes place in connection with Sabarimala pilgrimage) starts their journey from this temple every year. The temple was owned by Nallur Kartha. Now it is administered by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Deity: Lord Ayyappa is the presiding deity. Lord Ganapathy is the minor deity.

Time of worship: Five poojas – Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are  held daily.

Festivals: Annual festival for eight days is celebrated in the month of Meenam (March-April). Thiruvonam, Ashtami Rohini, Navarathri, Deepavali andChirappu in Thulam (October-November) are the other important festivals.

LEKSHMANA TEMPLE, THIRUMOOZHIKULAM

Location: Moozhikulam is located 15 km north-west of Aluva town.
Panchayat: Parakkadavu
Village: Parakkadavu
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (15 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin (Nedumbassery) International Airport (10 km )

Legend/History: It is believed that this ancient temple was one of the Grama Kshethras (village temples) established by Lord Parasurama. Another legend says that some fishermen found four idols from the sea. The idols were that of Sri Rama and his three brothers; Bharatha, Lekshmana and Sathrugna. They presented them to Vaikay Kaimal, a local chief. (Another story tells that the Vaikay Kaimal himself had a dream that four idols had been washed off the coast of the Lakshadweep Sea.) The Kaimal had arranged for the installation of idols in accordance with rituals and astrological findings at Thriprayar, Irinjalakuda, Muzhikulam and Payammal respectively. The history of the temple can be traced back to very ancient period. The temple is referred to in the Divya Prabandham, a Tamil work that narrates details of visit by Nammazhavars. The temple was very famous during the period of Kulasekhara dynasty. The inscriptions at this temple tell the history and antiquity of the temple. The oldest inscription is of 973 A.D. Inscriptions of Indu Kotha Varma (944-962 A.D.) prescribing the rites and rituals of the temple, and inscription of  Bhaskara Ravi Varma (962-1015 A.D.) that recorded the details of gift land to the temple are also seen within the temple complex.  It is believed that the temple was built according to the direction of Perumthachan, the legendary master carpenter and architect. Tipu Sulthan invaded the temple in his war with Travancore during 1790 and set fire to the temple which caused serious damages to the temple. After Tipu was defeated, the temple was renovated by the Travancore Government. The temple was owned by 28 illoms (Brahmin families) till it was taken over by the Travancore Government. Now the temple is governed by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Deity: Lord Vishnu with the sankalpa (concept) of Lord Lekshmana is the principal deity. Lord Siva, Lord Ganapathy, Lord sastha, Goddess Bhagavathy, Lord Sri Rama, Goddess Sita, Lord Hanuman are the other deities.

Time of worship: Three poojas – Usha Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha Pooja - are held daily.

Festival: The annual festival for 10 days is celebrated in the month of Metam (April-May).

MAHADEVA TEMPLE, ALUVA

Location: The temple is located at Thottakkattukarka, which is just 02 km away from Aluva town on the bank of River Periyar.
Municipality: Aluva
Village: Aluva
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (02 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbasseri) (06 km)

Legend/History: It is believed that the temple was originated in Thretha Yuga. The temple has a swaymbhoo (self revealed) idol. At this point the River Periyar divided into two branches. During rainy season, the idol is inundated in the flood water. Legend says that it was here that Sri Rama did last rites to Jadayu and while rites were being done, Lord Siva appeared and declared that He would be there always to bless the devotees who offer prithu tharpana (ritualistic worship of dead ancestors) there. The temple is famous for the Sivarathri festival when thousands of devotees offer prithu tharpana.  It is said that Lord Parasurama had built a temple here but it was washed off in the heavy floods of 1341 A.D. Thereafter worship in the temple was discontinued for many years till Sage Villwamangalam happened to see a halo on the river bed and found that it was due to the presence of the siva-linga covered with the Jada (thick hair) of Lord Siva. The sage then performed necessary rites and rituals and directed the local chieftains to offer daily worship by offering Nivedya (sanctified edibles to the deity) in a Pala (spathe of areca nut tree). The offering of Pala-niveyda is still continues. There is no permanent building for the temple. Temporary structure around the enclosure of siva-linga will be constructed during summer and winter seasons. Aluva Sivarathri is a famous festival that resembles the Kumbha Mela at Prayag. Thousands and thousands of devotees congregate on the banks of River Periyar to participate in the festival and to offer prithu tharpana (ritualistic worship of dead ancestors). The temple was owned by five Ooralas. But due to disputes between them, the temple was taken over by the Government of Travancore in 1947 and in 1950 it was transferred to the Travancore Devaswom Board. 

Deity: Lord Siva (in the form of swayambhoo Siva-linga appears to be made of sand pebbles) is the presiding deity.

Time of worship: A nivedya-pooja is performed in the morning daily. During the period from 1st of Makaram (Middle of January) to 1st of Medam (middle of April) daily two poojas are done first in the morning and the second in evening.

Festival: Apart from Sivarathri five important festivals are celebrated. They are Makara-vilakku in January, Sivarathri-vilakku in February, Kodipurathu-vilakku and Uthra-vilakku in March/April, and Vishu-vilakku in April.   

MAHADEVA (MADATHILAPPAN) TEMPLE, ULIYANNUR

Location:  Uliyannur is an island that situates about 3 km north-west of Aluva town.
Panchayat: Kadungallur
Village: Kadungallur
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (03 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbasseri) (06 km)

Legend/History: Uliyannur Mahadeva Temple is believed to be one of the 108 temples by Lord Parasurama. Uliyannur is the birth place of Perumthachan, the legendary carpenter, architect and sculptor. The temple was constructed by Perumthachan himself, as one of his master-pieces. One of the peculiarities of the temple is that the complex has three shrines dedicated to Mahadeva, Madathilappan (Lord Siva) and Lord Ganapathy. Another feature is that if the priest steps down from the sanctum sanctorum through sopana (steps) in normal manner his head would strike on the beam. If he steps down facing the deity, his head would not hit the beam. This is an excellent example of Perumthachan’s craftsmanship. Another notable example is the shape of temple tank. It is difficult to determine whether the shape of the tank is circle or square. Tipu Sulthan invaded the temple and caused severe damages and consequentially the temple was closed down for several years.  Lord Parasurama entrusted the administration of the temple to 41 Brahmin families of the locality. Now there exist only 4 of them. Now the temple is managed by the Administrator of Koodal Manikyam Temple.

Deity: Lord Mahadeva, and Lord Madathilappan are the main deities. Goddess Parvathy and Lord Ganapathy are the minor deities.

Time of worship: Daily three poojas – Usha Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha Pooja – are done.

Festival: Annual festival for 10 days in the month of Makaram (January-February) is the main festival.

BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE, NAYARAMBALAM


Location: Nayarambalam is located 16 km south of Paravur.
Panchayat: Nayarambalam
Village: Nayarambalam
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (27 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbasseri) (32 km)

Legend/History: It is believed that the temple was established in 15th century. Local people say that the temple was owned by a Brahmin family and when they left the place the ownership of the temple was handed over to some noble Nair families. Historical evidence also show that the temple was governed by four Nair families till 1915 A.D. Some dispute between the local people and the Nair chieftains developed and led to litigation that continued about five years. According to the judgment of the district court, a Nair Karayogam was established by a meeting of devotees and Karayogam took charge of the temple in 1925 A.D. This Karayogam still holds control over the temple.

Deity: Goddess Bhadrakali is the principal deity. Lord Ghanda Karnan, Nagaraja, Naga Yakshi are the minor deities.

Time of worship: Three Poojas – Usha Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha Pooja – are held daily.

Festival: Thalappoli festival that celebrated for six days in the month of Makaram (January-February) is the important festival. It is considered as the regional festival.

VENKITACHALAPATHY TEMPLE, GOSRIPURAM

Location: Gosripuram is loated about 10 km south of Ernakulam.
Muncipality: Kochin Municipal Corporation
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam (10 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (35 km)

Legend/History: The temple is owned by Gowda Saraswatha Brahmins who migrated to Kochi from South Konkan and Goa. Historical evidences show that they migrated to Kochi in 1294 A.D. with their idol, Venkitachalapathy. According to legend, the idol of Lord Venkitachalapathy was the one worshipped by Saluva Narasimha Raja, the ruler of Vijayangara kingdom. The idol was granted to him by Lord Venkitachapathy Himself on condition that the Lord would leave Vijayanagara after the death of the king for Gosripuram. After the death of the King, the idol was kept in a well. Years later the idol was recovered from the well and brought to Gosripuram and in 1599 A.D. In 1791 A.D., the idol was shifted to Thuravoor and then to Alappuzha fearing a threatened looting by Tipu Sulthan. The idol was installed at Anantha Narayanapuram under the protection of Travancore Raja. But the devotees stole the idol and brought back to Gosripuram in 1853. Though there was litigation over the issue between the Government of Travancore and Government of Cochin, the judgment was in favour of Cochin. In 1881 A.D. the idol was reinstalled at Gosripuram.  In 1886, Kasi Madathipathi (Chief of Kasi Mutt) became the supreme head of the temple and representatives of Konkani Mahajanayogam looked after the management. In 1917 Cochin Government took over the administration due to some disputes between Mahajanayogam and its representatives. Before the integration of the states of Travancore and Cochin (in 1949), the Government returned the right of management of temple to the Mahajanayogam. Now a seven member committee manages the temple under the supremacy of Kasi Madathipathi.

Deity: Lord Venkitachalapathi is the principal deity. Goddess Lekshmi, lord Hanuman, Lord Ganapathy, Naga Yakshi, Garuda and Navagrahas are the other deities.

Time of worship: Three time pooja – Usha pooja (moring pooja), Madhyahna pooja (pooja at noon) and mangala arathi (at night) – are held daily.

Festival: Ratholsavam (temple car festival) in Vrichikom (November-December) and Mahotsavam (grand festival) in Meenom (March-April) are two important festivals. Karthika Pournami, Astami Rohini, Navarathri, Deepavali, Holi, Vasantholsavam are the other festivals.

VAMANAMOORTHY TEMPLE, THRIKKAKARA

Location: Thrikkakara is located 05 km north of Ernakulam
Municipality: Kalamasseri
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam (05 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (25 km)

Legend/History: The temple is closely associated with the political and cultural history of Kerala. Thrikkakkara was the capital city of Chera Kings of Kerala. During the rule of Kulasekhara Perumal, Thrikkakara attained fame. He introduced a festival lasting for 28 days starting from the Thiruvonam day of Karkidakom (July-August) to the Thiruvonam day of Chingam (August-September) at the Trikkakkara temple.  The last ten days of this festival beginning from Atham to Thiruvonam was a grand celebration.  During these 10 days, the Chera Emperor and his dependant kings and landlords came to Trikkakkara temple and took part in the festival.  Another story is that the legendary King Mahabali who once ruled the country with Thrikkakkara as his capital.  He was an ideal king who provided equality, prosperity, and peaceful life to his subjects. Devas who felt envious requested Lord Vishnu to interfere. Lord Vishnu approached the King disguised as Vamana, a Brahmin boy and requested 3 feet of land. When the king permitted the Lord measured the three worlds – Swarga (heaven), Bhoomi (earth) and Pathala (hell) in two feet and sought for the space to measure the 3rd feet. Mahabali showed his head to measure the 3rd feet and the Lord who knew the qualities of the Kind blessed by touching his head with His leg and sent Mahabali to Suthala (a better place than Heaven) and allowed to visit his subjects once in an year. It is believed that Mahabali visits Kerala on the Onam day. Another story told is that Mahabali who once ruled the country with Thrikkakkara as his capital.  To respect him, the Rajas of Kerala came to Trikkakkara and celebrated Onam.  Their journey to Trikkakkara came to be known as Athachamayam. The origin of the temple can be traced back to Thretha Yuga, as believed in general. Nammazhvar, who lived in 8th century visited the temple and described about it in his works. 

Seat of Mahabali

Thrikkakkara flourished till the end of 12th century as the capital of Chera Empire. When the capital was shifted to Mahodayapuram (Kodungallur), the glory of Thrikkakara diminished. Consequent on the fall of II Chera Empire, the Idappally region was ruled by Idappally Swaroopam (local ruler) and retailed its status as a principality till 18th century. In 1820 A.D., the English gave control of Idapally region to Cochin, but Cochin Raja was not willing to accept. Hence the region was merged with Travancore in 1825 A.D. The temple administration that held by Idappally Swaroopam was also transferred to Travancore Government. The temple was renovated in the year 1909 and Puna-prathishta (re-consecration of idol) was done in 1948. When Onam began to be   celebrated as a national festival under the auspicious of the Government of Kerala in 1961, Thrikkakkara rose to prominence again and now the temple is an important worship place of Ernakulam. From 1825 to 1950, the temple administration was controlled by the Travancore Government directly. In 1950 the temple was transferred to Travancore Devaswom Board. There are two main shrines within the temple complex dedicated to Lord Vamanamoorthy (Lord Vishnu) and Lord Siva.

Deities: Lord Maha Vishnu in the sankalpa as Vamanamoorthy and Lord Siva are the principal deities. Goddess Parvathy, Goddess Durga, Lord Subramanya, Lord Ganapathy, Nagaraja are the minor deities.

Time of worship: Five poojas poojas – Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are held daily.

Festival: Ten day annual festival that commences on Atham asterism day of Chingam (August-September) is the important festival. Athachamayam was originally organised by the Kochi Raja and Zamorines of Kozikode in connection with the Atham during the month of Chingam.  When Onam began to be   celebrated as a national festival under the auspicious of the Government during 1961, the Athachamayam festival of Kochi Maharaja came to an end.  Athachamayam of Zamorin was stopped long ago.  However, scholars have different views on the origin of Athachamayam.  They are of pinion that this festival was celebrated during the reign of Chera Kings lasting for 28 days starting from the Thiruvonam day of Karkidakom (July-August) to the Thiruvonam day of Chingam (August-September) at the Trikkakkara temple.  The last ten days of this festival beginning from Atham to Thiruvonam was a grand mela.  During these 10 days, the Chera Emperor and his dependant kings and landlords came to Trikkakkara temple and took part in the festival.

BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE, CHOTTANIKKARA

Location: Chottanikkara is situated 12 km north east of Eranakulam town.
Panchayat: Chottanikkara
Village: Kureekkaad
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam (12 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (35 km)

Legend/History: Chottanikkarka was once a dense forest and it is believed that Lord Parasurama chose this area for spiritual pursuits. Legend says that there was a dacoit known as Kannappan, a tribe, lived with his daughter. He used to steal cows from the nearby village and sacrifice them to get blessings of his evil spirit. One day he stole a cow and calf and the cow was sacrificed. The cute calf was given to his daughter for rearing. One day he could not steal any cow an then he caught the calf for sacrifice, despite the resistance of his daughter. The calf escaped from his clutches and disappeared in the forest. Though Kannappan followed the calf but he could not find it. When returned he saw the calf was with his daughter. Succumbing to the pressure of his daughter he did not sacrifice the calf. Some days later his daughter passed away and hence he reared the calf as his daughter lover it very much. One day he had a dream in which Goddess Durga appeared and told him the calf was Herself  to transform him as a good person as desired by his daughter. The Goddess also told him that there would be two sila idols near the cow shed. Next day he saw the idols as seen in the dream and many members of the tribe assembled there to see it. At that time a sage arrived there and told that the idols are Goddess Durga and Lord Narayana and Kannappan would reborn as a saint and visit the place again. It is believed that the re-born saint was Villwamangalam Swamiyar.  After death of Kannappan the place became uninhabited and one day the sickle of an agricultural labourer who was mowing grass in the forest struck on a rock and the rock started bleeding. When the news heard, many people rushed to the spot including Edattu Namboodiri, who saw a halo around the stone and he worshipped the stone, upon which the bleeding stopped immediately. Later with the co-operation of other Namboodiri families, a temple was built. It is believed that the sanctum sanctorum is built where the hut of Kannappan was located and the present Pavizhamallithara was his cow shed where the calf was reared. Many great saints and sages are associated with the legends of the temple. They include Srimad Sankaracharya, who prescribed the pooja system of the temple; Villwamangalam Swamiyar who found an idol from the temple tank and consecrated as Keez kavil Amma; Kakkasseri Bhatathiri who defeated Udhanda Sastri in vedic arguments. On Tuesdays and Fridays, special rituals are held to eradicate evil spirits from the afflicted persons by exorcism.  In olden days, the temple was owned by Namboodiri families known as Ezhara Gramakkar. In 1889 A.D. the Cochin Royal family took over its administration. The temple was transferred to Cochin Devaswom Board in 1950.

Deity: Goddess Bhagavathy popularly known as Raja Rajeswari is the presiding deity. The Goddess is worshipped as Goddess Saraswathy in the morning, Goddess Bhadrakali at noon and as Goddess Durga in the evening. Idol of Lord Vishnu is also consecrated in the sanctum sanctorum. Hence the deity is worshipped by chanting Amme Narayana, Devi Narayana, Lekshmi Narayana, Bhadre Narayana. Lord Sastha, Lord Siva, Lord Ganapathy and Nagaraja are the other deities.

Time of worship: Five poojas –  Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are  held daily.

Festival: Poora Maholsavam is the main festival celebrated for nine days in the month of Kumbham (February-March). Makam arterism day in the month of Kumbham is very important. It is believed that on this day Vilwamangalath Swamiyar had seen the Goddess Maha Lakshmi with Lord Maha Vishnu together after consecrating the idol at Keezh Kavu. Thrikkarthika, Navarathri, Mandala pooja period are also important festivals.

MAHA VISHNU (POORNATHRAYEESA) TEMPLE, THRIPPUNITHURA

Location: Thrippunithura is located 07 km east of Ernakulam.
Municipality: Thrippunithura
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam (07 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (30 km)

Legend/History: Poornathrayeesa is a combination of words,  poorna (means complete), thraya (means three), and eesa (means God), which means the God of the Three Vedas – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda and Sama Veda. Some believe that Poornathrayeesa is the combined manifestation of holy Trinities – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva. The origin of the temple is associated with the episode of Santhanagopalam of Bhagavatha epic. The antiquity of the temple can be traced back to Dwapara Yuga. According to legend, the temple was established by Arjuna, the third Panda Prince and Lord Maha Vishnu was worshipped by him as Santhanagopalamurthy – the protector of kids. There was a temple here in which Lord Ganapathy was consecrated and Arjuna removed the idol and installed the idol of Lord Maha Vishnu. Lord Ganapathy was also consecrated in the sanctum sanctorum itself. Historical record says that the installation of idol (perhaps re-installation) was done in 947 A.D. In those days, the temple belonged to Kureekad swaroopam (local ruler). Later it was taken over by Cochin Royal family. Poornathrayeesa is the tutelary deity of Cochin Royal family. Narayaneeyam Bhasha Chambu, Kerala Mahatmyam, and Uma Keralam – three important literary works in Malayalam – have mentioned about the temple. The present idol of Lord Vishnu was recast in 1270 A.D. The structures of the temple were built at different periods starting rom 952 A.D. to 1849 A.D. A massive fire accident was occurred in the year 1920 A.D. and caused heavy damages to the temple structures except the sanctum sanctorum and idol. The destroyed structures were re-build and the renovation work completed in 1932.   The Cochin Royal family held control over the temple till it was handed over to the Cochin Devaswom Board.

Deity: Lord Maha Vishnu in the concept of Santhanagopala moorthy is presiding deity. Lord Ganapathy is the only minor deity worshipped in the temple.

Time of worship: Five poojas –  Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are  held daily.

Festivals: Three major festivals are celebrated in the temple. They are Moosari Ulsavam in the month of Chingom (August-September) in memory of the sculptor who merged himself with the Lord while giving life to the idol of Poornathrayeesa; Mandala (Vrichika) Ulsavam in the month of Vrichikam (November-December); and Para Ulsavam in Kumbham (February-March).

NARASIMHA TEMPLE, RAMAMANGALAM

Location: Ramamangalam is situated 12 km south of Muvattupuzha town.
Panchayat: Ramamangalam
Village: Ramamangalam
Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam (42 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (65 km)

Legend/History: The temple is believed to have been constructed during 11th century while Kerala was ruled by Cheraman Perumal.  The legend says that Cheraman Perumal was assigned seat beneath the pranalam (water chute) near Unnibhootham while consecration rites were going on. Cheraman Perumal and the chief priest were connected by a dharbha grass rope. As the manthras (sacred incantation) chanted by Perumal was so powerful and the high priest could not bear up its effect, the latter cut the rope without informing Perumal. Therefore, all the powers contained in the manthras invoked on the Unnibhootham installed below the pranalam. Another story tells that the priest was suspicious about the purity of rites done to during Brahama Kalasam ritual was done and hence he performed abhishekam (ablution of the deity with various liquid medium) on the Unnibhootham instead of the principal deity. The temple had two dhwajams (flag staff), which is very rare in Kerala temples. What make them unique is that they are the one of the highest (20.7m) and the lowest (4.5 m) in Kerala. The temple is associated with Shadkala Govinda Marar, the great master of Carnatic music who was able to sing pallavis to Shadkala (six degrees of time). Earlier the temple was owned by 28 illams (Brahmin families), but now only 12 illams are there. A five member committee elected by these 12 families looks after the day-to-day affairs of the temple.

Deity: Narasimhamoorthy is the principal deity. Unnibhootham that supports pranalam for whom special poja rites were also introduced, Goddess Durga, Lord Sastha are the minor deities.

Time of worship: Four poojas – Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are held daily.

Festival: Annual festival for 10 days starting in the month of Meenam (March-April) and ends in Medam (April-May).

MAHADEVA TEMPLE, THRIKKARIYUR

Location: Thrikkariyur is located 05 km north-west of Kothamangalam.
Panchayat: Nellikkuzhy
Village: Thrikkariyur
Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (34 km)
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) (16 km)

Legend/History: Thrikkariyur is a historically important place. Some believe that it was the capital of one of the Cheraman Perumals (ruler of ancient Kerala). It is said that Buddhists tried to establish their supremacy at Thrikkariyur but foiled by Hindu sages by defeating Buddhists in spiritual discourses. Thrikkariyur is considered as the birth place of Sangha Kali and Lord Mahadeva as the original lord of this art form. The temple was owned by Inchoor Namboodiri. In 1986 a fire incident made damages to the temple and it was renovated in 1897.  Mow the temple is under the Travancore Devaswom Board.

Deity: Lord Mahadeva in the sankalpa (concept) of Sankaranarayana is the presiding deity. Lord Sastha and  Sapthamathrukkal (Seven holy mothers – Brahmini, Maheswari, Kaumari, yshnavi, Varahi, Indrani, and Chamunda) are the minor deities.

Time of worship: Five poojas –  Usha Pooja, Ethrth pooja, Pantheeradi Pooja, Ucha Pooja and Athazha pooja – are  held daily.

Festival: Annual festival for 10 days in the month of Meenam (March-April) , Sivarathri, Thiruvathira, Vishu are important festivals.