Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temples / Kottiyoor Vadakkeshwaram Temple are two famous Shiva temples - both in the deep forests, namely the Akkara Kottiyoor and the Ikkara Kottiyoor, in Kannur District of Kerala. These temples are located at Kottiyoor, on the banks of Bavali River. Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temple is an important pilgrim centre of North Kerala and is situated sixty five kilometes northeast from Thalessery.
About The Deity
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.
About The Temple
There are two temples in Kottiyoor - one on the western bank of the Bavali river - and the other one on the eastern bank of the Bavali river. The shrine on the east bank (Kizhakkeshwaram or Akkare Kottiyoor) is a temporary hermitage (Yaga shrine) opened only during the Vysakha festival. The Vadakkeshwaram or Ikkare Kottiyoor (The Thruchherumana Temple) on the western bank of the river is a permanent temple complex like all other temples. It remains closed throughout the year except for the 27 days of Vysakha festival. The temple is situated in a densely forested area amidst a sacred grove that covers about 80 acres. Mythology says that Akkare Kottiyoor, the shrine on the eastern bank of the river, was the location of Daksha Yaga, at the conclusion of which, Sati Devi immolated herself and thus committed suicide in this place.
The Thruchherumana Temple was built after the Swayambhoo lingam was found; however the exact date of construction of temple is not known, the pilgrimage has been taking place for many centuries
Legend and Stories
Kottiyoor Mahadeva is usually refered as Kottiyoor Perumal. Kottiyoor is often described as the 'Varanasi of the South'It is believed that Prajapathy Daksha father of Sathi Devi performed a Yaga at this place.Sathi Devi was the consort of Lord Shiva. Sathi had married Shiva against the wishes of her father. The vain Daksha performed a great yagna (with the sole aim of insulting Shiva), to which he invited all of the gods and goddesses except his daughter and son-in-law to participate in it. Sathi, who was angry at this treatment of her father, went to her father's place to ask the reason for it. Daksha insulted Sathi again by calling Shiva poor and wild. Being the ideal consort of Shiva, Sathi could not bear the fact that her husband was being insulted in front of the guests. She immediately jumped into the yagna fire out of shame and anger and killed herself.
Knowing this, Lord Shiva, became very angry and came to Daksha's palace.On the orders of Lord Shiva, his demons Veerabhadra and Bhadrakali destroyed the yaga and Veerabhadra beheaded Daksha. On seeing the dead body of Sathi, Shiva was so enraged that, he lifted the body on his shoulder and started dancing the tandav (the dance of destruction). The dance continued for several days and the earth was on the brink of being destroyed. Then, on the appeal of all the other gods and goddesses, Lord Vishnu with the help of his Sudarsana chakra, started cutting Goddess Sathi's body. It is said that the parts of Sathi's body fell at different parts of the country, which are all considered centers of power or 108 Shakti Peethas.
Later, conceding to the plea of Brahma and Vishnu, Lord Siva gave life to Daksha and completed the yaga. Daksha understood his faults and started worshipping Lord Shiva. Shiva appeared infront of him in the form of a Swayambhoo Lingam. Kapila Maharshi and Lord Parasurama worshipped this Swayambhoo Lingam for a long period. Later this place became a dense forest. Once a Kurichyan(a tribal) went into this forest to collect logs. His weapon struck the Swayambhoo Lingam and it began to bleed and he informed it to the lords and thus the place for Shiva of Kottiyoor was located. This Swayambhoo Lingam is in the Akkare Kottiyoor temple. This Lingam is in a forest and so the brahmins were unable to reach there to worship the Lingam daily. So they decided to offer poojas to this Lingam only for 28 days in an year. This was the wish of Lord Shiva too. Inorder to perform daily poojas they constructed a temple on the opposite bank of Bavalee river. This is the present Ikkare Kottiyoor temple. The Bavalee river is considered holy by the temple devotees. In Akkare Kottiyoor temple, there is no temple. The Swayambhoo Lingam is on a "thara" formed by a small heap of stones, called Manithara. This is the only visible signs of the ancient temple that draws thousands of faithful every year. Many feel the Siva power is solidified as the idol here.
Vaisakha 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.
These are the offerings Pushpanjali, Aayiram Kudam, Thumba Maala, Koovala Maala, Chethi Maala, Thulasi Maala, Koothu, Choroonu, Aal Roopam Samarppanam, Thiruvappam, Thiruvappam, Kalabham, Ganapathi Homam, Elaneer Abhishekam, Theertham, Swarnakudam Samarpanam, Vellikudam Samarpanam, Deepasthambham Enna, Deepasthambham Neyyu, Valiya Vattalam Payasam, 1/2 Vattalam Payasam, 1/2 Vattalam Payasam.
How To Reach
The Nearest Airport is Kozhikode (Karipur) International Airport (160 km)
The Nearest Railway Station is Talassery (65 km).
Kottiyur is located about 65 km north east of Thalassery and about 70 km south east of Kannur
Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temple / Vadakkeshwaram Temple,
Kannur District, Kerala State,
Pincode – 670651.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple is open from 6.00 AM to 8.00 PM. (Ikkara Kottiyur temple opens all days except the festival season)