The Katkaraippan Temple is located in Kochi, Kerela. It is one of the 108 Divyadesas and is approximately 4,500 years old. The story of the temple is linked to both sections of the society. It is revered by the Saivites, as well as the Vaishnavite The temple established by Parasurama. The architecture of the temple is in a round shape signifying the Kerela Style of architecture. Lord Katkaraiappan (Appan) is the presiding deity of the temple.
About the Temple
The Sri Katkaraiappan Temple is one of the 108 Divyadesas. The court of Mahabali is in the entrance of the temple which has now a throne telling this story. People use to light lamps here and worship Mahabali. The temple is constructed in the Kerala pattern in a round shape. The dwarf form of Vamana the lord is carved in a wood in the temple. In this temple there are two separate sreekovils for Lord Vamana and Lord Shiva. In a separate shrine outside the temple, Devi Bagavathy, Sastha, Sundarayakshi, Goplakrishnan and Nagar are installed. The temple is said to have been established by Parasurama. The Shivalinga worshipped by Mahabali is still kept in the temple. The temple is revered both by the saivites and the Vaishnavite as the story is linked to both sects. This is an ancient temple in Kerala, 4,500 years old. There are Tamil stone inscriptions in the temple. Between the 9th and 12th centuries Kerala kings made the temple very famous. The Travancore state took charge of the temple 1825 and renovated and consecrated in the year 1948. The temple looks quite new even today.
The temple pond in the northern side is called Kapila Theertham and is considered holy. Only the temple priests are allowed to enter into this pond compound. The seat of King Mahabali is located in front of the Mahadeva sreekovil.
About the Deity
The Presiding deity is Katkraiappan and his consort is Peruchelva or vathsalya valli. It is interesting to note in this context that though Thrikkakkara Appan or Vamana is worshipped during Onam celebrations, Mathevar or Mahadevar is also worshipped with equal fervour and the reason remains unexplained.
Legend and Stories
Emperor Mahabali was noted for his charitable qualities. He was very good natured though born in the demon community. But he failed in one thing, by developing pride thinking that he was too great in offering alms to others. It should be avoided by good people. Lord Vishnu, with a view to correct him came in the form of a dwarf. He sought a piece of land from Mahabali measuring three steps by his legs. Mahabali told the dwarf that so small a piece of land would be of no use and advised the Lord to ask more. But his Guru (teacher) Sukra found out that the dwarf was no less a person than the Lord himself and prevented the king from giving the charity. But Mahabali did not heed to the advice of the Guru. He accepted to offer the land to the Lord. The lord grew shockingly taller, measured the earth by one step and the sky by the other and there was no space left to be measured further. Mahabali bowed down before the Lord and offered his head for the third step. The Lord pushed Bali below the earth and took him with Himself.
Onam festival is observed in a grand manner in the month of Avani (September-October) for 10 days which in the past was celebrated for 28 days.
Five poojas – Ushapooja, Ethruthapooja, Pantheeradypooja, Uchapooja and Athazhapooja – and three Sheevelis- Ethrutha Sheeveli, Ucha Sheeveli and Athazha Sheeveli are conducted daily.
Devotees, calling their dear deity Thirukakkarai Appan offer milk porridge to him as nivedhana and distribute it to others.
Majority of people visit Katkaraippan temple to seek boon of wisdom from the Lord.
The nearest airport is at Kochi. The nearest railway station is at Ernakulam. Thirukakkarai is 20 kms from Ernakulam. Bus facility is available in short frequencies.
Sri Katkarai Appan Perumal Temple,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To seek wisdom
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.
The temple is open from 05:00 AM to 11:00 AM and from 05:00 PM to 08:00 PM.