Thirunakkara Mahadevar Shiva Temple Kottayam is one of the oldest shrines in the city that was built about 5 centuries ago. It was constructed by a South Indian ruler named Thekkumkoor Maharajah.The temple dedicated to Lord Siva is famous for the grandeur of its traditional architecture. Thirunakkara Mahadevar Shiva Temple claims a special mention among the numerous tourist attractions of Kottayam, due to its rich architecture. The interior walls of this holy shrine are decorated with striking, colorful and enticing murals. This kind of elegant architecture is a typical feature of Kerala. The sanctum sanctorum or the innermost shrine of Thirunakkara Mahadevar Shiva Temple is adorned with impressive images of epic characters from the Hindu mythology. These beautiful scenes draw the attention of tourists. Several cultural events are organized in Koothambalam, a building located within the premises of the Shiva temple.

The Siva temple at Thirunakkara is located in the heart of Kottayam town at a distance of 1.5km on the Ernakulam- Thiruvananthapuram railway line. The 500year old temple was constructed by Thekkumkoor Maharaja in the Kerala architectural style. The walls of the temple are decorated with colourful paintings and the sanctum santorium with pictures from Hindu epics . Dhara and Chathu-satha are the main offerings here. The temple is opened from 5am to 12 noon in the morning and from 5pm to 8 pm in the evening.

Enshrined with the idol of Lord Shiva, Thirunakkara Mahadevar Shiva Temple in Kottayam hosts a popular festival in the middle of March. The atmosphere of the festival gets charged with the captivating performances of Kathakali dancers and Velakali. The other attractions of the festival are the stunning performances of drummers and processions of ornately decorated elephants.The tenday annual festival concludes with Arattu. Usually nine caparisoned elephants take part in the Arattu procession which begins in the afternoon.

Thirunakkara Festival is an annual event, usually held during the months of March-April at the Thirunakkara Sri Mahadeva Temple in Kottayam, Kerala state, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.The festival, which commences on March 14 and concludes on March 23, gives you glimpses of Kerala?s traditional sublime rituals. You may walk into the famous Mahadeva (Shiva) temple of Thirunakkara, Kottayam to see not only the exquisite architecture of the temple, but also the folk arts like Mayilattam and Velakali held here as part of the ten days long festival. The Kathakali buffs have a real feast awaiting them, as there are all-night Kathakali performances by eminent artistes. The festival draws to a close with the Arat (traditional ritualistic bath given to the deity of the temple). About nine caparisoned elephants usually take part in the colourful Arat procession.

Folk arts like Mayilattom (peacock dance), Velakali etc, are presented in the temple compound in the evening. A major attraction is the allnight Kathakali presentation on the third and fourth days of the festival. The fair, held in connection with the festival features exhibitions and agricultural products besides the usual fair ground stalls.The ninth day of the festival, which is locally known as pakal pooram or the festival proceedings held during daytime. It has an assortment of programs that include sessions of orchestra ensemble – the Panchari and Pandi, the spectacular display of fireworks and Kudamattom, which is the exchange of decorated parasols in which elephant’s line-up in two groups.

Rituals of Thirunakkara Utsavam

The third and the fourth days : are most splendidly celebrated with the performances of famous Mayilattom, the peacock dance and other performances of Velakali and Kathakali, the traditional dance forms of Kerala. The last two days of the auspicious festival are most important.
Ninth day : the second last day is known as Pullivetta, the pageant of caparisoned elephants along with the performances of Mayilattam and Velakali
Tenth day : this celebration is concluded with the famous arattu, the holy bath followed by a procession of nine majestic tuskers amidst sounds of drums the effect is one of divinity and must be experienced while on a South-India tour. Thus, is completed with the old religious ceremonies inside the temple where devotees offer prayers to their deity.

Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 3 km.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 83 km.

Location info:

Address:Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple, situated in the heart of Kottayam town.
District: Kottayam
Nearest City: Kottayam
Best time to visit: middle of March


Interesting things to do:

Interesting things to Visit:

Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls
This fascinating waterfall descending from a height of 100 ft is located 2 km from Kumarakom. It is a picturesque picnic spot with roaring sound of flowing water and sparking streams meandering through the landscape.

Pathiramanal, meaning (sands of midnight), is an island with enthralling beauty on the island on the Vembanad Lake and is accessible by a boat from Kumarakom .This backwater island is the abode of many exceptional and unusual kind of migratory birds who migrate from various parts of the world. Thus this bird sanctuary of Kumarakom is an ornithologist’s paradise as it is the favorite stamping ground of migratory birds such as cuckoo, darters, egret, herons, teal, and so on. The perfect way to view this sanctuary is skirting it in a boat.

It is a very old town well-known for its 700 years-old churches, the Cheria palli ('small church') with rare and fabulous paintings over the altar and the Valia palli('Big Church') located atop a hillock over a small clump of houses.

Vembanad Lake
The beauty of the back waters cannot be described in words, one has to come to this enchanting landscape to believe its natural beauty with his own eyes. The shining waters which are endless and unbelievable with the naked eyes brings an alluring charisma to the body and mind. An experience taken and preserved for a lifetime. The boat races,house boat cruises,canoeing and fishing are not to be missed at all. The Kettuvalams which have a living room, a bedroom chamber, a bath and a private sit out in the frontal part of the boat is a real pleasure.

The Ettumanoor Shiva Temple
Which lies 12 km north of town, has exquisite wall paintings and sculptures inside the temple. The renowned Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple is situated in the core of Kottayam town.

Vaikom Temple
This Shiva temple is believed to be related with the legendary figure- Parshurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is a magnificent work of art and exhibits the classical style of Kerala Temple architecture.

Elaveezha Poonchira
It is a hill station which is an ideal place for picnics. It has a pool with picturesque beauty and legends say that this pool was used as a bathing place by Draupadi, the legendary persona of Mahabharata. You can trek on the enormous hills of 'Elaveezha poonchira' - a valley where no leaves fall and is named so because this place is devoid of trees.

This is an important pilgrim site both for the Hindus as well as the Muslims. Sree Dharmasastha Temple here is an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.

The Vembanad Lake
The rivers and canals of the Kottayam region all gather and empty in to the Verbanad Lake. The lake area provides a good location for picnic amidst the natural surrounding. The lake is being transformed into a back water tourism destination providing activities like boating, fishing and sight seeing.

Aranmula is the place of the impressive boat races of the illustrious Onam festival in Kerala. Barded elephants with beaded umbrellas, boats adorned with flowers and so on make it a fascinating event to witness. Aranmula is also the centre where the bell metal mirror crafts are available.

Vagamon, located at an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level is a trekker's paradise. It is an ideal tourist destination and is encircled by lush tea gardens, spectacular meadows and valleys.

Water Bird Sanctuary
One of the significant back water destination is the 14 acre bird sanctuary situated on the eastern banks of the Verbanad Lake. The sanctuary which is the hotspot of the different species of birds as well as the migratory ones .there are to be found water fowls, water ducks, cuckoos, wild ducks,egrets, darters, herons, teals, and the migratory Siberian cranes. Nearby lies the rubber plantations in Kottayam where the churches are also grand.

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Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:

Chingavanam Police Station
Kerala State, India

West Police station-Puimoodu junction NH 220,
Kerala, India

Ponkunnam Police Station
NH 220, Ponkunnam, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Ettumanoor Police Station
MC Road - SH 1, Ettumanoor, , Kerala State 686631, India

Nearest Hospital:

Central Research Institute For Homeopathy
Chethipuzha Kurichy Road, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Nairs Hospital
Nairs Hospital, N H Bypass, Ernakulam, Kerala 682304, India - 0484 2302666

Hail Mary Hospital
Near Perumpilly Church, Mulanthuruthy, Ernakulam, Kerala 680314, India - 0484 2740315

Ranjini Eye Hospital
Near Powerhouse, Vyttila, Kochi, Cochin, Kerala 682019, India - 0484 2301922

Specialist Hospital
K C M Mather Road, Ernakulam, Ernakulam, Kerala, India - 0484 2395952

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