Temples in and around Kochi
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Chottanikkara Devi Temple

Photo credits: Nithin Karthikeyan

Chottanikkara Devi Temple is a momentous temple near Kochi. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, who is also known as Rajarajeswari or Adiparashakti.  It is located around 17 km from Ernakulum. It is believed that the idol of the temple is brought from Kollur Mookambika Temple. One of the specialties of the Temple is that the deity is worshipped in three different forms of Shakti – as Goddess Saraswathi in the morning, Lakshmi at noon and as Durga in the evening. There is much folklore connected with this Temple. Thousands of pilgrims and devotees visit here and make their reverent submissions to get release from their afflictions. A visit to the temple transports liberation to them from the overstraining torment and distresses of material life.

On the eastern side of the temple pond positions the Kizhekkavu temple. The idol facing westward is held to be installed by Villwamangalam Swamiyaar. The main pooja at Kizhekkavu is Valiya Guruthi or the Great Sacrifice. This is done by the Main Priest after the Athazha Pooja. The Guruthy is prepared in 12 huge vessels and is performed at about 8.45 p.m every night. Those who witness the guruthy performance, which itself an awe rousing and extended ceremony, finds it an experience which is powerful. It is believed that being part of this Valiya guruthy on Fridays cures mental abnormalities like schizophrenia forever. One can see an ancient ‘Pala’ tree upright on the northeastern side of the sanctum sanctorum is concealed with long iron nails hammered on by troubled victims with their foreheads.

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Thrikkakara Vamana Moorthy Temple

Temple Front View
Photo Credits : Mahin Das

Thrikkakara Temple is one of the limited shrines devoted to Lord Vamana the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is located in Thrikkakara. The name Thrikkakkara derived from the holy place where Lord placed His foot- Thiru-kal-kari later known as Thrikkakara

The legend regarding the temple is closely allied with the story of King Mahabali and Lord Vishnu’s Vamana or Trivikrama embodiment. Mahabali was proficient and popular Asura king. His kingdom was stretched beyond earth, patala and skies. The gods became apprehensive of Mahabali’s rule and fame. They seek the help of Lord Vishnu. He in his avatar as Vamana, asked Mahabali for a piece of land – three paces wide for his tapasya. Bali – the princely king granted this wish, whereupon Vamana grew to an enormous size and covered the heavens with one step and the earth with another. There was no place left for Vamana to extent his third pace. Vamana asked the king for his promise of three pace land. King understands who this is and he has been tricked. But as one who would never go back on his promises offered his own head for Vamana to place his third step. It is believed that these events were occurred at this place. As he was pushed down King Bali made a last request that he be allowed to visit his people once in a year to see they happy and content. Lord Vishnu who was pleased with the king grants his wish. It is alleged that Mahabali comes to visit his people and land during Onam. Another folklore allied with this temple is that Kapila maharshi did reparation here and Vishnu satisfied with the rishi’s reparation appeared before the rishi. At the bidding of the rishi, Vishnu resided at this place.

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Iringole Kaavu

Long & Amazing View of Temple
Photo Credits : Shailaja

Iringole Kaavu is located at 8 km from Kalady in the heart of a forest. One can watch Monkeys and birds of different. It is one of must see in Kalady. The temple is believed to be 2,746 years old. Legend says that, on a heavy rainy day during Lord Krishnan’s era, goddess Durga in the form of a baby girl, slithered away from the hands of Kamsa, who was about to kill her and turned into a lightning. It is alleged that the temple has been built at the exact place where that light first fell on earth and was originally called as Irinnol, means the residing place of the Goddess.

The forest adjoining the temple affords a rare blend of divinity and wilderness. Devotees believe that the giant trees that we see there with its roots branching out in all directions are ‘Devas’ who sing and chant to the Bhagavathy. The forest is well protected and people won’t even take out a twig from the vicinity. The ambiance of this place is so refreshing and soothing.

The forest is spread over nearly 50 acres of land and it might take a whole day if you want to have a walk through. People do not offer Incense sticks and fragrant flowers to the deity. Only Tulsi and non-fragrant flowers such as lotus are used for offerings.

Ernakulam Shiva Temple

Front View of temple
Photo Credits : Karthik

Ernakulam Shiva Temple, also recognized as Ernakulathappan Temple is one of the main temples of Kerala. Located in the heart of the city, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.  The presiding deity is revered as the protector of the city. 

The Ernakulam temple is related with the Hindu epic Mahabharata. According to myth this temple was installed by the Arjuna, the third in Pandavas. Once he revered the Goddess Parvathy candidly in this place. The Lord Shiva disguised himself as Kiratha – a tribal hunter and appeared before Arjuna. At that time a wild bear tried to attack him and both of them shot an arrow on it. In truth it was a devil named Mookasura camouflaged in the form of bear. And later fight started between the Lord Siva and Arjuna to finalize who killed the bear. Lord Siva wins in that. In anguish Arjuna created a Shiva Lingam in the mud and starts to worship the idol. All the offered flowers to Lingam fell on the Kiratha. Arjuna realizes that it’s Lord Shiva who has taken the form of Kiratha to take his test.  Lord Siva and Parvathy appeared before him in their true form and gifted Pashupatha arrow to Arjuna. Centuries later a boy called Devala is cursed by his Guru and his body altered as a snake. He visits this place where the Arjuna made the Shiva lingam. He starts to worship the god with his whole heart and got relieved from his curse. The god appears before him and asks to take dip in the pond where the present pond is located inside the temple. Then he was relieved from his curse. Later that place is known as famous Ernakulam Siva temple.

The temple finds reference in the Sangam Literature and is believed as one of the chief shrines under Chera Dynasty. The principal deity of the Ernakulam temple is Lord Shiva. The Gourisankara form of the Lord is situated in the main sanctum sanctorum and is a ‘Swayambhoo’. At the northern side of the main sanctum there is the small shrine dedicated to ‘Kirthamoorthy’. It is believed to shelter the real Lingam worshipped by Arjuna. At the southern side we have Lord Ganesha and behind the main sanctum Goddess Parvati. 

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Sree Poornathreyesa Maha Vishnu Temple Tripunithura

Photo Credits : Rithu

Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple is located in Tripunithura. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. The Lord is the family deity of the Kochi Empire. Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Poornathrayeesa – santhanagopala form.

According to the folklores, the idol of Sree Poornathrayeesa was gifted to Arjuna by Lord Vishnu, when he sought the help of Lord Vishnu to bring back ten Brahmin children. This temple was built here to commemorate this event. The sanctum-sanctorum of this shrine is in the shape of a chariot. Arjuna sent lord Ganesha in search of a holy place for the installation of the idol of Lord Vishnu. Engrossed by the sanctity of the ancient Vedic Village, Poornavedapuram, Lord Ganesha himself occupied the place. Arjuna moved Ganesha to the southern side of the shrine and fixed the idol in that holy place encircled by mustard fields. He then tugged some mustard seeds and crushed them to get oil for illumination the lamp in front of the idol. Devotees contemplate the ever shining “Valia Vilakku” positioned in front of the idol, as the oil lamp lighted by Arjuna. It is believed that the burnt oil of this lamp holds great medicinal value. 

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Sree Mahadeva Temple Aluva

Photo Credits : Meera

Located on the banks of Periyar River, Manappuram Shiva Temple or Aluva Shiva Temple is one of the famous Shiva shrines in Kerala. One of the exceptional features of the temple is that the Shivalinga is not enshrined in a Sreekovil. It is alleged that the Swayambhoo Shivalinga was installed by Lord Parasurama. The eminent Aluva Sivarathri is celebrated at the temple in Aluva Manappuram.

It is believed that a swayambhoo idol materialized out of Periyar in Treta Yuga. The river branches into two at the point where the idol surfaced. According to the myths, Lord Rama and Lakshmana did the last rites to lord Jatayu, the master bird that died shielding Sita from the hands of Ravana, here. While they were doing the rites, Lord Siva appeared as the swayambhoo idol and said that his presence will always be here on the banks of Periyar.  It is also believed that the rites offered here to our forefathers are really auspicious. Sage Parasurama is alleged to have sanctified the temple.

There is no stable building on the sand banks of Aluva, only a temporary structure around the granite enclosure of Siva-linga. The idol gets immersed during monsoon. Dduring monsoon, a symbolic idol or thidambu with is kept temporarily at the shores. 

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July 6, 2020
Awesome pictures! Nice information about the Kochi temples. It will use for people’s who are all looking to visit different places in Kochi.

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