Monday, 25 December 2017

This Temple Is Opened For Only 28 Days In A Year - Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temple - Kottiyoor, Kannur

Kottiyoor Temple is a prominent Shiva temple in Kerala. Vadakkeshwaram Temple is the common name of the temple from ancient time, but some of the local people addresses the temple as Ikkare Kottiyoor as it is on the bank of the river close to the Kottiyoor village; to differentiate it from the shrine in the other side of the river. Thruchherumana Kshetram is the proper name of Kottiyoor temple. Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temples 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. Kottiyoor Mahadeva is usually refered as Kottiyoor Perumal. Kottiyoor is often described as the 'Varanasi of the South'.

Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
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.

Entrance Of Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
Entrance Of Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
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.

Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
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.

Ammarakallu, Place Where Parvathy Devi Is Worshiped
Ammarakallu, Place Where Parvathy Devi Is Worshiped
Every year during May-June, it is festival season here, with thousands of devotees throng to see and participate the 27 day long festival. This festival is akin to the yaga performed by Daksha.A sword, which is believed to have decapitated the mythical character Daksha is brought to the Ikkara Kottiyoor temple from the Muthirikavu (it is an object of daily workship of Muthirikavu) temple, which marks the beginning of the annual festival. There is no worship at Ikkare Kottiyoor temple for the festival month. For the festival month Ikkare Kottiyoor temple is closed and the worships are taken place at Akkare Kottiyoor temple, which is closed for the other eleven months. The annual festival commences with Neyyattam(pouring of ghee) on the Swathi/Chothy day of the Malayalam month Edavam (May-June) and ends with Thirukalasattu, after 28 days.

Devotees At Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
Devotees At Sri Akkare Kottiyoor Temple
Neyyattam and Elaneerattam (pouring of tender coconut water) are special ceremonies connected with the festival. Innumerable temple rites are performed here during the festival time. Remaining period the Akkare Kottiyoor temple is closed. Before trekking on the holy hills of Kottiyoor devotees will take a bath in Bavalee river. They carry with them auda flowers (white fibres flowing down and looks very much like a white beard). These special days on which abhisheka is held are considered most auspicious in the month long annual festival here. The exotic and esoteric religious rituals here make this festival stand apart from the other temple festivals in Kerala. Kottiyoor Festival is the only one temple having the plea for Gods and Ghosts. The Auda Flower (white fibres flowing down and looks very much like a white beard) is the sysmbol of kottiyoor festival, auda flowers are the beard of the ancient king Daksha, who was held a yaga in this place.

The Auda Flower (Odappoovu)
The Auda Flower (Odappoovu)
The Auda Flower (odapoo) is considered as the symbol of Kottiyoor festival. It is representative of the beard of the decapitated king Daksha. It is an artificial flower made of bamboo, and it will be created only during festival season. This flower is available only in Kottiyoor. Everybody buys the Odapoo or Auda flowers before leaving for home. This is a sign that you have visited Kottiyoor. This is hung at the entrance to your home as a lucky charm. This temple is different from other temples, The Diety in akkare kottiyyor is "Swayambhoo",(that which is created by its own) and opened for only 28 days in a year for the Vyshaka Maholsavam. Ilaneer Veppu or submitting tender coconuts before the deity is an main ritual during the festival. Thousands of tender coconuts brought by the devotees from different parts of malabar is submitted on the special day. The next day is Ilaneerattam. On this day, main priest pours these coconut water collected from the tender coconuts (ilaneer) on the idol.Womens are permitted to enter the akkare kottiyor for some particular days during the festival.

Temple Location:

Located on the tranquil hilly area of the Western Ghats, Kottiyoor is a village in Kannur District. The festival at the Kottiyoor temple is unique as it takes place in a dense forest where the ambience is enhanced by tall trees and the gorgeous Bavali River. The festival involves two temples which are situated on the opposite banks of River Bavali - Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. The annual Kottiyoor festival is celebrated for twenty-eight days during the months of May and June. You can reach kottiyyor easily from Kannur, Thalassery , Iritty and Wayanad.There are frequent bus services to Kottiyoor from Kannur, Thalassery , Iritty and Manathavady. Iritty - Manathanthavady KSRTC Buses goes via Kottiyoor. The closest Railway station Thalassery is 60 Kms away. The closest Airport is at Calicut.

Sri Ikkare Kottiyoor Temple
Sri Ikkare Kottiyoor Temple

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Sri Kottiyoor Mahadeva Temple,
Kottiyoor Post, Kelakam,
Kannur,
Pin Code : 670 651,
Kerala.
Phone : 0490 2430234 ; 0490 2430434

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