Antiquity and deities Administration
Subramanya Temple,Payyannur Rajarajeswara (Siva) Temple,Talipparamba
Sri Krishna Temple ,Thrichambaram Sree Siva-Bhadrakali Temple,Madayi Siva Temple ,Kottiyoor
Sri Rama Temple,Thiruvangad Sri Jaganatha Temple,Thalassery


Kannur is situated between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. From time immemorial Kannur was famous as evidenced from historical facts such as Aryan invasion, conquests of Chera Kings, Arab and European invasions etc.  Arakkal Ali Rajahs of Kannur were the only Muslim Royal family of Kerala. Ezhimala, known as Elimala (Mountain of Rats) ruled by Mooshika dynasty of Kannur, was mentioned in the travelogues of many foreign travelers. Kannur was under the rule of Kolathiri royal dynasty in past days and later by foreigners till independence. Kannur is the land of Theyyam [colloquial form of Daivam (God)].

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. Dharmadam, known as Dharmapattanam in ancient days, a small town near Thalassery was a Buddhist stronghold.  Both Jainism and Buddhism declined consequent on the insurgence of Aryans and by the revival of Hinduism. Efforts of Sri Sankaracharya and Bhakthi movement contributed much for the promotion of Hinduism. There is an opinion that Kannur might have received its name from the combination of two Malayalam words, Kannan (Lord Sri Kishna) and Uru (place) which means the place of Lord Sri Krishna. One of the peculiarities of religious philosophy in Kannur is that the concept of Lord Muthappan. According to them Lord Muthappan is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Some believe that Lord Muthappan is the son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy when they were in disguise as hunters.

Though Christianity came to Kerala in 52 A.D., it did not make any impact on the religious thoughts of the people. The arrival of foreigners created a favourable atmosphere for Christianity, but situation did not improve till the influx of Christian immigrants from Travancore to the eastern parts of the district during the first half of 20th Century. However, Islam religion spread widely in the district after 7th Century A.D.  The only Muslim royal family (Arakkal royal family) existed in Kannur. Communal harmony and religious tolerance are the remarkable characteristics of the people of Kannur.

According to 2011 census, the population of the district is 2,525,637. The Hindu community divided into Brahmin, Kshathriya, Ambalavasis (Pushpakan, Chakyar, Poduval, Varier etc.) Nair, Ezhava, Bhillava, Nadavar, Kammalar etc. To the Hindus, worship of god is imperative and hence temple formed an integral part of their daily life. As per the survey conducted by the Census Department, Kannur district has 1183 temples. Important temples of the district are listed below.


Annapoorneswari Temple, Cherukunnu


Ayyappa Temple, Pazhassiraja Nagar


Balabhadraswamy Temple, Mazhoor


Bhagavathy Temple, Azhikode


Bhagavathy Temple, Chala


Bhagavathy Temple, Chuzhali


Bhagavathy Temple, Kannul


Bhagavathy Temple, Kunhimangalam


Bhagavathy Temple, Malappadam


Bhagavathy Temple, Mundayamparambu


Bhagavathy Temple, Panapuzha


Bhagavathy Temple, Puthur


Bhagavathy Temple, Valapattanam


Chamakkakkavu Bhagavathy Temple, Velloor


Chuzhali Bhagavathy Temple, Kalyassery


Chuzhali Bhagavathy Temple, Vellora


Daivathar Temple, Kaapad


Daivathar Temple, Mavilayi


Daivathar Temple, Paduvilayi


Dakshinamoorthy Temple, Vellav


Dharma Sastha Temple, Chalat


Dharma Sastha Temple, Kankole


Dharma Sastha Temple, Kannadiparambu


Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Arathil


Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Eranhikkal


Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Kolacheri


Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Koothuparamba


Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Nadal


Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Punat


Durga Devi Temple,Pallikunnu


Durga Temple, Pattuvam


Ganapathy Temple, Azhikode


Ganapathy Temple, Koothali


Ganapathy Temple, Pazhangadi


Jagannatha Temple, Thalassery


Kailasanatha Temple, Kaithapram


Kamakshy Temple, Karivelloor


Kirathamoorthy Temple, Echur


Kirathamoorthy Temple, Melur


Kottoor Maha Vishnu Temple, Karivellor


Krishna Temple, Chirakkal


Krishna Temple, Olayampathi


Krishna Temple, Taliparamba


Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple, Dharmadam


Kuruveli Bhagavathy Temple, Alappatamba


Lakshmi-Narasimha Temple, Thalasseri


Lakshmy-Narayana Temple, Muyyam


Maha Ganapathy Temple, Mayyil


Maha Ganapathy Temple, Padikudi


Maha Ganapathy Temple, Panoor


Maha Ganapathy Temple, Paral


Maha Siva Temple, Karivelloor


Maha Vishnu Temple, Alappatamba


Maha Vishnu Temple, Annoor


Maha Vishnu Temple, Chelari


Maha Vishnu Temple, Edakkad


Maha Vishnu Temple, Iritty


Maha Vishnu Temple, Kaithapram


Maha Vishnu Temple, Kurumathur


Maha Vishnu Temple, Mullul


Maha Vishnu Temple, Munderi


Maha Vishnu Temple, Narath


Maha Vishnu Temple, Pallikunnu


Maha Vishnu Temple, Pattanur


Maha Vishnu Temple, Pattayam


Maha Vishnu Temple, Payam


Maha Vishnu Temple, Payyannur


Maha Vishnu Temple, Pazhassi


Maha Vishnu Temple, Vatavanthur


Mahadeva Temple, Arangam


Mahadeva Temple, Eramom


Mahadeva Temple, Iritty


Mahadeva Temple, Kottayam


Mahadeva Temple, Mattanur


Mahadeva Temple, Therur


Mahadeva Temple, Vellat


Mahadevi Temple, Irikkur


Mahadevi Temple, Sreekandapuram


Mookambika Temple, Pallikunnu


Mookambika Temple, Ramanthali


Mrudanga Saileswari Temple, Muzhakunnu


Muchilot Bhagavathy Temple, Karivelloor


Muthappan Devasthanam, Payyavur


Muthappan Temple, Kuppam


Muthappan Temple, Parassinikadavu


Nambiathara Siva Temple, Payyannur


Narayana Kanaru Temple, Ramanthali


Narayanapuram Maha Vishnu Temple, Karivelloor


Nelliyot Bhagavathy Temple, Peralam


Parvathy-Parameswara Temple, Pinarayai


Periyat Krishna Temple, Cheruthazham


Perunthanniyur Subramanya Temple, Korom


Pillayar Kovil, Kannur


Puthur Maha Siva Temple, Peralam


Rajarajeswara Temple, Taliparamba


Sangameswara Temple, Elayavur


Sankaranarayana Temple, Pulingom


Sankaranarayana Temple, Ramanthali


Sastha Temple, Eramom


Siva Temple (Kizhakkedam), Thiruvangad


Siva Temple (Vadakkedam), Thiruvangad


Siva Temple, Anthur


Siva Temple, Aroli


Siva Temple, Azhikode


Siva Temple, Cheruthazham


Siva Temple, Edakkad


Siva Temple, Eruvatty


Siva Temple, Kadannappally


Siva Temple, Kankole


Siva Temple, Keezhmadam


Siva Temple, Kodiyeri


Siva Temple, Kottiyur


Siva Temple, Kunhimangalam


Siva Temple, Madayi


Siva Temple, Mathamangalam


Siva Temple, Morazha


Siva Temple, Narangappuram


Siva Temple, Narath


Siva Temple, Panoor


Siva Temple, Payyavur


Siva Temple, Puthur


Siva Temple, Thillankeri


Siva Temple, Thimiri


Siva Temple, Thiruvattur


Siva Temple, Thodikkalam


Siva Temple, Ulikkal


Siva Temple, Varam


Siva-Bhadrakali Temple (Madayikkavu), Madayi


Someswari Temple, Padappangad


Someswari Temple, Panniyur


Someswari Temple, Puzhathi


Sooryanarayana Temple, Kathirur


Sri Krishna Temple, Peravur


Sri Krishna Temple, Thrichambaram


Sri Parasurama Temple, Manantheri


Sri Rama Temple, Anthalur


Sri Rama Temple, Cheruthazham


Sri Rama Temple, Neerveli


Sri Rama Temple, Thiruvangad


Subramaniya Temple, Pariyaram


Subramanya Temple, Chelari


Subramanya Temple, Meethala


Subramanya Temple, Mokeri


Subramanya Temple, Pariyaram


Subramanya Temple, Payyannur


Subramanya Temple, Peralasseri


Subramanyaswamy Temple, Arimbra


Subramanyaswamy Temple, Maniyur


Thiruviluamkunnu Siva Temple, Kunnuru


Thulavanur Maha Vishnu Temple, Thayineri


Uma-Maheswara Temple, Vilayamkod


Vaidyanatha Temple, Kanhirangad


Vasudevapuram Krishna Temple, Kaithapram


Vettakkorumakan Temple, Pallikunhi


Vettakorumakan Temple, Eruvatty


Vishnu Temple, Kanhilery

Antiquity and deities:

Antiquity of the temples of Kannur district cannot be determined in terms of age of the idol or structures of the temple. The antiquity of each temple may, therefore, be decided based on legend or history. However, the Department of Census, Government of India identified 40 temples of the district as very ancient having more than two thousand years of age. 127 temples were constructed between 1st and 9th Century AD. Between 10th and 20th Century AD, 841 temples have been constructed. The department could not ascertain the antiquity of 175 temples. 

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, Uma-Maheswara, Lakshmy-Narayana, Parvathy-Parameswara etc are also there. Number of temples based on various sankalpa is given below:


Kalpa (concept)



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



Siva Kalpa (LordSiva/Mahadeva/ Mahalingeswara/ Muththappan/Kiratha-moorthy0



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



Ganapathy Kalpa



Subramanya Kalpa



Sastha Kalpa









In ancient periods, King or local chieftains are owned and administered temples. Some of the temples were owned by madams, tharawads or individuals. However, majority of them were under the administrative control of King or local chieftains. When the foreigners established their power in the area and powers of local rulers faded away, administration of temples was also taken over by them. In 1790, the British Government came forward with certain regulations to control the administration of temples in Malabar region. The first enactment on these lines was the Madras Regulation VII of 1817. Subsequently, the Religious Endowment XX of 1863 was enacted. Since this Act was found to be a failure, the Government brought out another one repealing the Act of 1863. Later in 1927, the Government passed the Madras Hindu Religious Endowment Act (Act II of 1927) and brought temple administration under their control. After independence, the Congress Government of erstwhile Madras State introduced the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act of 1951 to govern the temples. When the Kerala State was formed and Malabar region formed its part, this Act was made applicable to the temples of that region which includes the present Kannur district. A Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board was also came into existence. Later the Board was converted into a Department. Till 2008, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department held control over the temples. In 2008, the Government of Kerala, amended the Act and constituted the Malabar Devaswom Board. Now 133 temples of the district are under the control of the Malabar Devaswom Board. They are as follows:

1          Akliyathu Siva Temple, Azhikode         
2          Alakkattu kalarikkal Temple, Kankol
3          Alayankodu Mahavishnu Temple, Alapadamba
4          Anantheswaram Temple, Ezhom          
5          Arangam MahadevaTemple, Alakkode
6          Arimbra Subrahmanyaswami Temple, Kayaralam
7          Chamakkavu bhagavathi Temple, Vellur
8          Chedichery Temple, Irikur
9          Chekkiattukavu Dharmasastha Temple, kayaralam
10        Cheleri Subrahmanyaswami Temple, Kolachery
11        Chembotikottam Alias Puthiyedathu Temple, Thaliparamba
12        Chengalayi vishnu Temple, Chenkalayi
13        Chennamkavu Temple, Korom
14        Chovva Siva Temple, Elayavoor          
15        Chuzhali Bhagavathi Temple, Chuzhali
16        Chuzhali Bhagavathi Temple, Nediyanga
17        Deviyottu Temple, Alapadamba
18        Dharmikulangara Temple, Mazhur
19        Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Thrichambaram
20        Easanamangalam Temple, Chelery
21        Kadambery Chuzhali Temple, Morazha
22        Kaleaswaram Siva Temple, Kankol
23        Kalliyil Temple, kayaralam
24        Kandothidam Someswary Temple, Kandangali
25        Kanhirangattu Vaidyanatha Temple, Kuttiery
26        Siva Temple, Kankol
27        Kannankode Bhagavathy Temple, Alapadamba
28        Karivelloor Siva Temple, Karivelloor
29        Keezhthali siva Temple, Anthoor
30        Temple, Thaliparamba
31        Vettakkorumakan Temple, kayaralam
32        Kottayattu Kizhakedathu Temple, kayaralam
33        Kottayattu Kizhakedatu VayathurNeyyamruthu Sangham, Mayyil
34        Kottoor Dharmasastha Temple, Karivalloor
35        Vishnu Temple, Chengalayi
36        Kunhimathilakam Temple, Pattuvam
37        Kunnaru Mookambika Temple, Ramanthali
38        Kunnathoorpadi Muthapan Temple, Paisakkiri
39        Baliyeri Vettakorumakan Temple, Mayyil
40        Kuruvanthitta Kazhakam Poomala Bhagavathy Temple, Ramanthali
41        Kuruveli Bhagavathy Temple, Alapadambu
42        Kuttiattoor siva Temple, Kuttiattor
43        Bhagavathy, Pattuvam
44        Lavil Siva Temple, Kurumathoor
45        Subrahmaniaswami Temple, Payyannur
46        Malappattam Temple, Malappattam
47        Mamanikkunnu Mahadevi Temple, Irikkur
48        Maniyoor Subrahmanyaswami Temple,
49        Mavichery Mahavishnu Temple, Kuttiery
50        Mechira Melekulangra Temple, Peringom
51        Meloor Siva Temple, Dharmadam
52        Siva Temple, Azhikode           
53        Morazha Siva Temple, Morazha
54        Muchilottukavu Temple, Koram
55        Muchilottukavu, Karivalloor
56        Mullool Thrikkovil temple, Pattuvam
57        Muthathy Appan SasthaTemple, Korom
58        Muthukattukavu Temple, Eramam C
59        Naderi Madam ( Kuttiattor Temple), Kuttiattoor
60        Chuzhali Bhagavathi Temple, Naduvil
61        Nambia Thrikkovil Temple, Kokkinissery, Payyannur
62        Bhagavathi Temple, Kolacheri
63        Narayankannur Temple, Ramanthali
64        Nelliyodu Bhagavathy Temple, Morazha
65        Niduvaloor Someswari Temple, Chuzhali
66        Nuchiattukavu temple, thaliparamba
67        Padappangattu Someswari Temple, Koov ery
68        Bhagavathy Temple, Eruvassy
69        DharmasasthaTemple, Thaliparamba
70        Palayattu Siva Temple, Aralam 
71        Pallithara Adukunnukavu Temple, Korom
72        Pallithara Vayathur Kaliyar Siva Temple, Korom
73        Vettakkorumakan Temple, Kuttiery
74        Panangattur Vishnu Temple, Kuttiery
75        Siva Temple, Pappinissery       
76        Parassinikadvu Muthappan Temple, Anthoor
77        Pattuvam Temple, Kayaralam D
78        Pavannor Bhagavathy Temple, Kuttiattoor
79        Payyavoor Siva Temple, Payyavoor
80        Peralathu Bhagavathy Temple, Peralam
81        Peringom Vettakkorumakan Temple, Peringom
82        Perinthanniyoor Subrahmanyaswami Temple, Korom
83        Perinthatta Vayathoor Kaliyar Temple, Peringom
84        Perool Siva Temple, Eramam
85        Perool Vettakkorumakan Temple, Eramam
86        Perumba Temple, Kurumathoor
87        Perumudikavu Temple, Karivalloor
88        Poomala bhagavathy Temple, Korom
89        Poomangalam Someswari Temple, Panniyoor
90        Prayankodu Siva Temple, Cherukunnu 
91        Pulimbidavu Chuzhali Bhagavathy Temple, Chengalayi
92        Muchilottukavu Temple, Payyannur
93        Puthoor Pacheri Temple, Peralam
94        Puthoor Siva Temple, Peralam
95        Rajarajeswara Temple, Thalliparamba
96        Sankaranarayana Temple, Ramanthali
97        Mahadeva Temple, Sivapuram
98        Siveswaram Siva Temple, Chiraikal      
99        Temple, Thaliparamba
100      Subrahmanyaswami Temple, Pariyaram
101      Subrahmanyaswami Temple, Payyannur
102      Temple, Thalap
103      Thalavil Thrippannikunnu Temple, Thimiri
104      Thavariyadu Temple, Ramanthali
105      Therur Siva Temple,
106      Theruvathu Ashtamichal Bhagavathy Temple, Payyannur
107      Thillankeri Siva Temple, Thillankari
108      Thimiri Siva Temple, Thimiri
109      Thiruvannapuram Temple, Morazha
110      Siva Temple, Thiruvattoor
111      Thiruvilliamkunnu Temple, Ramanthali
112      Thrichambaram Durga Bhagavathy Temple, Thruchambaram
113      Thrichambaram Kizhakemadam, Thaliparambu
114      Thrichambaram Srikrishna Temple, Thaliparamba
115      Thrichambaram Thekkemadam Temple, Thaliparamba
116      Thrikkapaleswaram Mayyil Neyyamruthu sangam, Mayyil
117      Thrikkapaleswaram Temple, Mayyil
118      Thrikkovil Temple, Kuttiery
119      Thrippannikunnu Mahadeva Temple, Eramam
120      Vadakkedathu Someswari Temple, Kuttiery
121      Vadassery Krishnamathilakam Temple, Kankol
122      Vadeswaram Temple, Pappinissery      
123      Vaneswaram Bhagavathy Temple, Morazha
124      Vayathur Kaliyar Temple, Ulikkal
125      Velam Mahaganapathy Temple, Mayyil
126      Vellad Siva Temple, Vellad
127      Vellalathu siva Temple, Kadannapally               
128      Vellattu Temple, Vellattu
129      Vellavu Kavu Temple, Kuttiery
130      Vellorachuzhali Bhagavathy Temple, Vellora
131      Vettakkorumakan Temple, Anthoor
132      Vettakkorumakan Temple, Kolachery
133      Vettakkorumakan Temple, Kuttoor


Location:Muthappan Temple, Parassanikkadavu is located about 16 Km north to the Kannur town.  The temple is situated on the bank of Valapattanam River.

Muthappan is one of the most popular God of North Malabar especially in Kannur District. It is believed that the Muthappan is an incarnation of Lord Siva, in the form of hunter. Muthappen Theyyam is performed in all days while other Theyyam are performed in a particular season.

Nearest Railway Station: Kannur (16 km)
Nearest Airport: Kozhikode (Karipur) International Airport (120 km)

Legend: According to the legend, Muthappan was an adopted child of the local landlord, who was a Brahmin. The boy used to go for hunting along with the children belonging to backward communities and his parents questioned his action. Despite repeated requests the boy did not obey them. When threatened, the boy showed his godly figure and disappeared. He reached Parassini and decided to stay there. Muthappan is very fond of liquor. At his boyhood period he used to steal toddy from the coconut palms. Once a toddy tapper caught him red-handed but Muthappan killed him with his bow and arrow. Later Muthappan gave him a re-birth on the plea of his wife. Having understood that the boy is not an ordinary man, the wife of toddy tapper offered Muthappan cooked grams, sliced coconut, fish curry and toddy. Even now, these are the offerings made by the devotees of Muthappan. 

Deities: There are two main deities in the temple. Vellat (Lord Siva) and Thiruvappan (Lord Maha Vishnu). Chamundi is the subsidiary deity.

Time of worship: From 04.00 to 23.00 hrs continuously on all days.

Special feature of the temple:  The offerings and rituals of the temple are unique. Main offerings are Paimkutty, Vellattam and Thiruvappana. Toddy and burnt dry fish are also being offered to Muthappan. The chief priest of the temple is known ‘Madayan’. Dogs are considered as sacred here since it is believed that Muthappan while wandering was accompanied by a dog. Two images of dogs made of bronze are also there at the entrance of the temple.

Festival: At Parassini, festival is celebrated on all days of the year. Perhaps, this may be the one and only temple where festival is celebrating throughout the year.  The priest performs Theyyam, the ritual offering, every morning and evening. The annual festival is celebrated in December.Annual festival of the Muthappan temple is held during when a procession led by the male member of Thayyil family from his house to the temple and offers pooja there.


Location: Payyannur is located 34 KM north to Kannur town in the National Highway 17. Payyannur is very famous and well known as the place of Payyannur Gramam instituted by the Lord Parasurama. Payyannur is also famous for Pavithra Mothiram.

Nearest Airpot: Mangalore (120 KM)
Nearest Railway Station: Payyannur

Sri Subramanya Temple is located about 1 KM south of Payyannur town and 1 KM east to the Railway Station. The temple complex has been erected in 3.5 acres of land. The main structures are Sreekovil, Namaskara Mandapa, Chuttambalam, Valiya-Balikkal, Arasala, Gopurams, Holy Tank etc. 

History /Legend: The temple has great historical background. Markandeya Purana has mentioned about this temple. The early history can be traced back even before 964 M.E. (1788 A.D.). In the year 1788 the temple structures were destroyed. Later in 1790 A.D. the construction of the present temple structure started. It took about one month to remove the ashes and debris and to clear the site. Such a huge structure was there prior to the outbreak of fire mishap, which was believed to have been built by Lord Viswakarma under the direction of Lord Parasurama. The re-construction completed in 1013 M.E. (1835 AD). Being the temple of Lord Subramaniya, the temple is associated with astrology.  Many reputed astrologers were hailed from this place. Sri.Sankaranatha Jyotsyer, who was the advisoryof Maharaja Ranjith Singh of lahor and Court Judge of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal (of Travancore) is one of them. 

Deities: The main deity is Lord Subramanya. The idol is of 180-cm. height in standing posture with two arms, the right hand holding the Vel (sphere) and the left hand resting at the hip.   As the height of the idol is of 180 cm, the priest has to stand while performing poojas. This is a unique custom of this temple. Idol of Lord Parasurama, Sree Bhoothathan, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Sastha and Goddess Bhagavathy are the subsidiary deities consecrated in the temple.

Time of worship: From 04.00 to 12.00 hrs and from 17.00 to 21.00 hrs.

Festivals: Aradhana Utsavam , which is believed to have been introduced by Lord Parasurama is the major festival of the temple. It starts on Vrichikam month and lasts for 14 days. Thousands of devotees participate in the temple. Almost all musical instruments found in Kerala are used during festival days. Skanda-Shashti is another important festival. 


Location:  Taliparamba is situated about 20 KM north to Kannur town in the National Highway 17. The word ‘thali’ means temple.  Eminent scholar and historian Sri Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai says that from the 7th century onwards the temples were generally known as ‘thali’ and the ‘thaliathiris’ were the administrators of the temples. Because of the presence of the Sive temple, the place might have known as Thaliparamba.  Taliparamba is also known as Perinchelur, one of the sixty-four gramams (villages) established by Lord Parasurama. The temple is located in a campus of 12 acres of land of which 4 acres constitute the temple structures. The structures include Sreekovil, namaskaramandapam, chuttambalam, vilakkumadam, agramandapam, oottupura, agrasala, gopuram etc.  The temple is considered as a Mahakshethra since it has all prescribed traditional structures.

Nearest Railway Station: Kannur (20KM)
Nearest Airport:  Mangalore (110 KM)

History /Legend: In the ancient days, Kerala was known as Adukkunad and divided into two viz., Thenthala and Vadathala. Each thala was again divided into nine nads. The administrative head of each thala is known as Arachan (King) and the temple under each is known as Thali temples or Maha Kshethras (Great Temples). Thaliparamba  was the capital of ancient Mooshika dynastry. Talipapramba has been colorfully described in some important works in Sanskrit and Malayalam such as Kerala Mahathmyam, Kerala Kshethra Mahathmyam, Mooshika Vamsa Kavyam, Lakshmypuresha Sthothram, Chelurnadodayam Champu etc. The erstwhile Kolathunad had five important temples. They are Sri Rajarajeswara Temple of Talipapramba, Sri Subramanya Temple of Payyannur, Sri Balakrishna Temple of Thrichambaram, Sri Parameswara of Thricheramannu (Kottiyur) and Sri Rama Temple of Thiruvangat. Among these temples, Sri Rajaraseswara Temple of Taliparamba has greater importance in many respects.

There are many myths associated with the temple. One of them is related with the origin of the idol. Viswakarma, the creator of universe, made three Siva Lingams out of powder obtained from the Sun. Since the idol is originated from the Sun, its radiation has caused great disturbance to Devas (Gods). At their request Lord Siva took one of them and gave to Sage Mandhathuav and he consecrated the idol. After his death the idol suddenly disappeared. His son propitiated Lord Siva and obtained the second idol. It too disappeared at the same spot. After several years, one of the Kings of Mooshika dynasty got the third idol from Lord Siva who is pleased with King’s dedicated devotion and suggested to install the same in the same spot where earlier idols disappeared. Since the earlier idols were disappeared, the Kind sought the help of Sage Agasthya and it was the Sage Agasthya who consecrated the idol. The lamp, which is said to have been lighted by Sage Agasthya, is still burning in the temple.

The legend associated with the namaskara mandapam says that Sri Rama visited the temple on his return journey from Lanka after slaying Ravana and prayed at the place where the namaskara mandapam is located.

Unlike other Siva Temples, there is a separate shrine of Nandi Rishabha in the temple complex. There is a legend behind this peculiarity. The local people noticed that somebody was destroying the crops in the paddy fields neighbouring to the temple. When watched, they found that one bull entering into the field and eating the crop. They chased the bull, but it suddenly disappeared into the temple. Then they conducted a prasna (a divine exercise to find out solution for a problem) and it was revealed that the divine bull who has not been feed properly was entering the field to eat crop. Therefore, it was decided to set apart a portion of paddy land to get paddy for preparing ‘nivedyam’ and a part should be given to the bull also. A separate shrine was constructed and Nandi Rishabha was installed there. Whenever nivedyam is offered to the Lord, Nandi Rishabha also offered a part of it.

One of the peculiar features of the temple is that women devotees are not allowed to enter inside the temple till Athazha Pooja is over (by 8’O clock in the evening). The legend associated with custom is that the great sages worship Lord Siva for His blessings during daytime. If women devotees entered inside the temple during daytime, it would divert the attention of sages.  Another belief is that after Athazha Pooja Goddess Parvathy sits with Lord Siva and hence it is the most appropriate occasion for getting their blessings.

When Tippu Sultan attacked Malabar, the temple was partially destroyed.  According to a legend, a Kari Nagam (Black serpent) appeared in front of each soldiers and the frightened army forced to retreat before they could destroy the temple completely. It is believed that Lord Siva Himself has sent the snakes to the battlefield. 

It is believed that the temple was constructed some 1300 years ago.  In ancient days, the temple belonged to  Chirakkal family. Now it is administered by a trust.

Deities: The Sivalinga idol facing east, covered with a ‘golaka’ is having a height of 60 cm. It is believed that two more idols are beneath the existing idol. Goddess Parvathy, Nandi Rishabha and Lord Dakshinamoorthy are the additional deities.

When Kerala Varman ruled the Kolathu Nadu from A.D. 1423 to 1446,  he used to attend the ‘Perinchellur (Raja Rajeswara) Siva temple during Chaithra festival.  Today there is no such festival at the temple.


Location: Sri Krishna Temple is located just one KM south of Taliparamba town. Taliparamba is situated about 20 KM north to Kannur town in the National Highway 17. The temple complex is in a campus of 1.5 acres of land. The main structures include Sreekovil, Namaskara Mandapa, Chuttambalam, Vilakkumadam, sub-shrines etc. 

Nearest Railway Station: Kannur (20KM)
Nearest Airport:  Mangalore (110 KM)

Legend: According to legend, the place was known as Sambra Vanam (Vanam means forest), where Sage Sambra propitiated Lord Vishnu and attained salvation. In ancient days, the region was forest, where a rare species of sandal wood tree known as Raktha Chandanam were grown abundantly. It is believed that Sage Sambra selected this region for his meditation since Lord Sri Krishna enacted his childhood days in front of Vasudeva and Devaki who could not see his boyhood deeds since they were in prision of Kamsa. Lord Parasurama and Sage Sambra were also present to witness the enactment of Lord Sri Krishna. Both of them prayed for Lord Sri Krishna’s blessings so that they could see the divine incident every year. Lord Sri Krishna blessed them with his idol and that of Lord Balabhadra (elder brother of Lord Sri Krishna) and Lord Parasurama consecrated the idol of Lord Sri Krishna at Trichambaram and Sage Sambra installed the other idol at Mazhool. History says that Tippu Sulthan attacked the temple and demolished certain temple structures. The temple belonged to Perinchallur Grama, one of the villages established by Lord Parasurama. 

Deities: Lord Sri Krishna is the chief idol of the temple. The idol is made of Krishna Sila, It is in a standing pose with two arms with a small stick in the right hand and a conch in the left hand. The idol of Sri Krishna is believed that of the Lord after killing the royal elephant of King Kamsa. Goddess Mahamaya and Lord Ayyappa are the deities of sub shrines.

Festival The annual festival of the temple is held in Kumbham (February-March). As followed in other temples, elephant is not engaged for carrying the idol at the time of procession since it is believed that the idol is that of Lord Sri Krishna who slayed the elephant that Kamsa sent to kill the Lord. Arat festival is held three days in Thulam (October-November) Meenam (March-April). 


Location: Madayi Kavu is situated 21 KM north of Kannur town.
Nearest Railway Station: Kannur (21 KM)
Nearest Airport: Kozhikode international airport (KM) / Mangalore airport (KM)
The temple is having two Sreekovils. The main Sreekovil is of Lord Siva, facing east and that of Goddess Bhadrakali faces west.  Namaskara Mandapam, Chuttambalam, Balikkallu are other structures of the temple.

History/Legend: The temple is closely related with Sri.Rajarajeswara Temple of Taliparamba. It is believed that Lord Parasurama consecrated Goddess Bhagavathy or Bhadrakali at the Rajarajeswara Temple.  Legend says that the Bhadrakali of Sree Rajarajeswara temple demanded through oracle for a separate shrine. The oracle was asked to fling blazing firewood towards west. Accordingly he flung the firewood, which fell a distance of about 10 miles on a hillock known as Matayikunnu, where the Goddess decided to stay. A temple was also constructed there as directed by Her. 

Madayi Kavu is the principal temple of Chirakkal royal family. The temple is also associated with Travancore royal family also. When two princesses of Chirakkal family were adopted in 480 ME to establish a separate swaroopam at Attingal (Deshinganad swaroopam), near Thiruvananthapuram, the princesses took two idols of Goddess with Her permission in dream, and consecrated at Attingal. These princesses were later known as Attingal Ranis who inherited thrones of Attingal and Thrippapoor. Later Marthanda Varma of Venad dynasty conquered Deshinganad swaroopams and attached with Venad. Till recently, Travancore Royal family used to give a Veeralipattu (multi-coloured silk cloth) to the Matayi Kavu during Pooram festival. The temple is also associated with Sri.Muthappan temple of Parassinikadavu. It is believed that the Goddess gave darshan to Madan Ezhuthachan before he installed idols at the Muthappan temple. It is also believed that the temple is having powerful Goddess, on par with that of Mannampurathu Kavu, Kodungallur temple and Thirumandhamkunnu temple. 

Deities: Lord Siva (in the form of Sivalinga) an Godess Bhadrakali are the main deities of the temple. The idol of Goddess is made of Katusarkarayogam with a height of 135 cm in sitting posture with right leg on the base and left leg on Darika piercing him with the trident. The Goddess is having eight arms with two tridents, sword, shiedl, skull, rope, hook and serpent in hands. Sree Veerabhadran, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Sastha are the other deities.

Festivals: Major festivals of the temples are Kooth in Kanni (September-October), Patt in Thulam (October-November), Patt in Vrichikam (November-December), Kalyanapatt from Makarasankramam day onwards for 14 days, Meenapooram (March-April), Perumkaliyattom in Idavam (May-June). Among the festivals, Meenapooram is most important. 


Location: Kottiyur is located about 65 km north east of Thalassery and about 70 km south east of Kannur. Kottiyur temple is one of the ancient temples of great importance in Kerala.  The temple has two structures, known as Akkara Kottiyur and Ikkara Kottiyur. The moolasthana (original seat) is at Akkara Kottiyur surrounded by the Bavali River or otherwise known as Vavalipuzha.

Panchayat: Kottiyur
Village: Kottiyur
Nearest Railway Station: Talassery (65 km)
Nearest Airport: Kozhikode (Karipur) International Airport (160 km)

Legend/History: Kottiyur is believed to be the place where Daksha Prajapathy performed yaga (sacrificial rites). Once he held a great yaga and he did not invite his daughter Sathi and her husband, Lord Siva. Despite, Sathi went for the yaga but her father ignored her. The humiliated Sathi ended her life in the altar of fire. Hearing this, Lord Siva created Goddess Bhadrakali and Lord Veerabhadra and they killed Daksha as ordered by Lod Siva. Later Lord Siva restored the life of Daksha in accordance with the requests of Lord Brahma and other devas. The place where yaga was conducted became dense forest in the course of time and once a few hunters found that a granite stone oozed blood when an arrow struck it. The hunters informed this fact to the near Nair family and they found a swayambhoo (self reveled) idol. The place where they found idol is known as Akkara Kottiyur.  As Akkara Kottiyur is not accessible always since it is surrounded by Vavali River, another temple was constructed on the southern side of the river, which is known as Ikkara Kottiyur. During festival period, the idol of Lord Siva and Goddess are taken to the Akkara Kottiyur and the shrine at Ikkara Kottiyur is closed.

The temples were owned by four families for several centuries. In 1954, the HR&CE Department has taken over its administration, but due to certain litigations in the Hon. High Court of Kerala, the administration is now vested with a Board of Trustees consisted of nine members drawn from the four hereditary families and five from others.   

Special features: The shrine at Akkara Kottiyur has no permanent building to house the temple. Instead there are certain tharas (platforms). In one of such tharas, known as Manithara, the swayambhoo idol of Lord Siva is installed. Another thara, known as Ammarakkal thara is dedicated to Gpddess Bhagavathy, where it is believed that Sathi ended her life. At the Ikkara Kottiyur, a permanent temple is constructed. The style of construction of this temple is like a Nalukettu.

Deities: Lord Siva in the form of Sila Linga is the deity at Akkara Kottiyur. The swayambhoo idol is also known as Kottiyur Perumal.  At the Ikkara Kottiyur, Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy are the deities.

Time of worship: Poojas at Akkara Kottiyur are held during festival period of one month starting from Chothi asterisk day of Idavam (May-June) to Chithra asterisk of Midhunam (June-July). Ikkara Kottiyur temple opens all days except the festival season from 06.00 to 20.00 hrs.


FestivalsVaisakha Mahotsavam which starts from Chothi asterisk day of Idavam (May-June) to Chithra asterisk of Midhunam (June-July) is the main festival. Women devotees are not permitted to participate in the festival on the last three days. The rituals connected with the festival are Prakuzham, Neerezhunnallath, Neyyattam, Bhandara Ezhunnellal, Ilaneerattam, Kalavaravu and Kalabhattam.   

Ilaneer Varavu in connection with festival Ilaneerattam


Location: Sri Rama Temple, Thiruvangad is located just 2 km south of Thalassery. The temple was known as Brass Pagoda in earlier days. Two other temples, Vadakkedam Siva temple and Kizhakkedam Siva temple are also situated in the compound.

Municipality: Thalassery
Village: Thalassery
Nearest Railway Station: Thalassery
Nearest Airport: Kozhikode (Karipur) International Airport (90 km)

Lelgend/History: Once Sage Agasthya was on pilgrimage. On the way, two hunters by name Neela and Swetha obstructed the Sage. Though the Sage cursed them, but advised to go on penance when they repented and sought for mercy. They did penance at Thiru-van-kadu (means sacred forest) and became famous Sages. The place where they did penance is thus known as Thiruvangad. Neela meditated Lord Siva while Swetha meditated Lord Vishnu. It was believed that Sage Neela consecrated the idols of Lord Siva at Vadakkedam temple and Sage Swetha installed the idol of Sri Rama. (Sage Neela has installed another idol of Lord Siva at Nileswar [Sree Neelakanteswara (Thali) Temple, Nileswar]. During the invasion of Tipu, the eastern gopuram and compound wall was damaged. However, Tipu retreated due to resistance from the part of local raja. Thomas Harvey Baber, who was the Sub-Collector of Thalasery was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama. It was he who constructed the outer walls of the temple. The temple was belonged to four illams known as Chaththoth, Ponnyath, Kambetti and Poroli. In 1927 the administration of temple was taken over by HR&CE Department.

Deities: Lord Rama is the principal deity. The idol of Sri Rama is made of sila in standing pose with four arms carrying conch, disc, mace (positioned upside down) and lotus. Lord Subramanya, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Dakshinamoorthy, Lord Vana Sastha and Goddess Bhagavathy are the other deities.

Time of worship: From 05.00 to 12.00 hrs and from 17.30 to 20.30 hrs.

Festivals: Annual festival is celebrated for eight days from Meda Samkramam day onwards. Thiruvonam asterisk in the month of Makaram (December-January) is celebrated as the consecration day.

Deities: Lord Rama is the principal deity. The idol of Sri Rama is made of sila in standing pose with four arms carrying conch, disc, mace (positioned upside down) and lotus. Lord Subramanya, Lord Ganapathy, Lord Dakshinamoorthy, Lord Vana Sastha and Goddess Bhagavathy are the other deities.

Time of worship: From 05.00 to 12.00 hrs and from 17.30 to 20.30 hrs.

Festivals: Annual festival is celebrated for eight days from Meda Samkramam day onwards. Thiruvonam asterisk in the month of Makaram (December-January) is celebrated as the consecration day.  


Location: The temple is located 3 km south of Thalassery town.
Municipality: Thalassery
Village: Thalassery
Nearest Railway Station: Thalassery
Nearest Airport: Kozhikode (Karipur) International Airport (90 km)

History: The temple was consecrated on 13th February 1908 by Sri Narayana Guru. The very idea of constructing a temple for Thiyya community was emerged as early in 1845 when Sri.Choorya Kanaran took initiative. But it did not materialize due to objections from the Brahmin community. In 1905, Kumaran Asan, the great poet, visited Thalassery and steps were taken for the construction of a temple as directed by Sri Narayana Guru. On 17th March 1906, Sri Narayana Guru visited and selected the site for temple. Sri Narayana Guru had consecrated the idol of Lord Siva, the principal deity of the temple, along with the idols of Lord Ganapathy and Lord Subramanya. Sri Jnanodaya Yogam which formed in 1905 is controlling the administration of the temple. The idol of Sri Narayana Guru was installed on 12th March 1927 in the temple premises.

Deity: Lord Siva in the linga form is the principal deity. Lord Ganapathy and Lord Subramanya are the other deities.

Time of worship: From 05.00 to 12.30 hrs and from 17.00 to 20.00 hrs on all days.

Festivals: Annual festival is held for 8 days from Punartham asterisk of Kumbham (February-March). Sree Narayana Jayanthi [Chathayam day of Chingam (August-September)] is also observed with special programmes.