The Siva Temple is situated in Thalikkotta, about 2 kms.
from Kottayam. This temple is the place of worship of
the erstwhile Thekkumkoor royal family. The annual
festival are ten day Festival in April-May and Siarathri
St. Mary’s Church,
St. Mary’s Church is situated in Cheriapalli, about 2
church was built in 1579 by Thekkumkoor Maharaja. This church
displays outstanding architecture which is a blend of Kerala
and Portuguese styles. The walls are adorned with beautiful
murals made in oriental and western styles on biblical and non
Thazhathangadi Valiapalli was built in 1550 AD, about 2 kms.
from west of Kottayam town. This church belongs to the Knanaya
Orthodox Syrian Community. The Persian cross, believed to be
one of the seven cross brought here by St. Thomas, and the
Pahlavi inscriptions of this church are famous.
Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple
Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple is situated in the heart of
Kottayam town. This 500 year old temple was built by the
Thekkumkoor Maharajah. This temple is built in the Kerala
style of architecture and has colorful murals on its walls
which are worth exploring. The Koothambalam, the special
building in the temple premises used for cultural purposes, is
one of the best in Kerala.
Dharmasastha Temple, Pakkil
The Dharmasastha Temple is situated in Pakkil, about 3 kms.
from Kottayam town. The Dharmasastha Temple is one of the
eight temples established by Parasurama, the legendary founder
of Kerala. The annual festival is Sankranti Vanibhyam, a fair
of household articles which is celebrated in June-July.
Mahadevar Temple, Ettumanoor
The Mahadevar Temple is situated in Ettumanoor, about 12 kms.
north of Kottayam town. The Mahadevar Temple is famous for its
murals, especially the painting of Nataraja in the gopuram and
ezharaponnana (the seven and half elephants finished in gold).
the annual festival is Ezharaponnana ezhunallathu which is
celebrated for 10 days in February-March.
Shiva Temple, Vaikom
Shiva Temple is situated in Vaikom, about 40 kms. from
Kottayam town. Shiva Temple is associated with the legendary
Parasurama. This temple is a typical example of the Kerala
style of temple architecture. This temple is more popularly
known as the Kasi of the South. This temple is famous for its
elephant pageants and traditional art performances. The annual
festival of this temple is Vaikathashtami which is celebrated
St. Thomas Church, Cherpungal
St. Thomas Church is situated in Cherpungal. St. Thomas Church
is believed to have been established by the apostle St.Thomas.
This church was relocated to the southern banks of the
Meenachil River with the cooperation of poet Kunchan Nambiar
and his family. In 1107, the Valiapalli was built on the
original site. Oil is poured into lamps and kept before the
image of infant Jesus. This ritual is similar to the
devotional practices of Hindus.
Pazhayapalli is the 950 year old mosque and one of the most
famous mosque in Central Travancore. Pazhayapalli is situated
in Changanacherry, about 21 kms. from Kottayam. The annual
festival, Thangal adiyanthiram, is well known and marked by a
grand community feast. Meat and two tones of rice, offered by
the devotees, is used to prepare biryani for the community
feast on this day. The Chandanakuddam festival at the mosque
is one of the largest crowd pulling events in Changanacherry
Saraswathi Temple, Panachikkad
Saraswathi Temple is situated in Panachikkad. Saraswathi
Temple, also known as the Mookambika Temple of the South,
holds the Saraswathi (goddess of learning and the arts) pooja
every year in October-November. Children are initiated into
the world of letters at the Vidyarambham ceremony held here.
Tali Temple was built in the 14th century by Swamy Thirumulpad,
the Zamorin. Revathy Pattathanam, the annual cultural and
intellectual festival is held in this temple. The Tali Temple
is a fine example of the total integration that exists between
wood and laterite, and which is a remarkable feature of the
Kerala style of architecture.
The stone inscriptions found in the Muccunti Mosque at
Kuttichira reveals an interesting aspect in the history of the
Zamorins of Kozhikode and their patronage of Islam in Kerala.
The architecture of this mosque and other old mosques bears
great resemblance to the typical Hindu temple complex with
pillars, ventilators and huge tanks, as well as decorative
features such as stylized floral carvings and geometric
Mannur Temple was built like the Siva Temple at Tiruvannur.
This exquisitely carved laterite structure is more than two
centuries old. It is believed that Sree Parashuraman begin his
Siva Linga pratistha at Tiruvannaur and completes it here
every noon. The noon pujas here are considered very special.
The annual Sivaratri festival is celebrated in a big way.
Varakkal Devi Temple
The Varakkal Devi Temple is considered to be the 108th and the
last Devi temple built by Sree Parasurama, the legendary
founder of Kerala. It is believed that Parasurama ploughed
this area in order to make the goddess appear. The Vavu Bali
is the main festival in the temple where thousands of people
gather here to perform the ancestral activities. On this day,
the sea can be seen as surprisingly calm as if facilitating
the religious observances.
Pazhayangadi Mosque is situated 18 kms. east of Manjeri,
on the way to Malappuram. The three day long Valia
Nercha feast at this 500 year old Muslim pilgrim centre
is celebrated in February-March and is a local cultural
Trikandiyur Shiva Temple
The idol at this ancient temple is said to have been
installed by Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala.
The temple is located near the town of Tirur and
attracts devotees from far and wide.
Thirunavaya is situated on the banks of the river
Bharathapuzha and is a place of great historical importance.
This place was one of the venues for Mamangam, a grand
assembly of the rulers of Kerala, that is held once in every
12 years. This extravagant festival was conducted for the last
time in 1755. Today, the annual Sarvodaya Mela is held in
Thirunavaya. The Thirunavaya Navamukunda Temple is also a
famous pilgrim centre. During Karkidakavavu, people gather on
the banks of the Bharathapuzha river to perform the
pithrukriya for the departed souls.
Thirumandhamkunnu Temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga.
This is an important pilgrimage centre in Malappuram. The
Pooram festival is celebrated here in the month of April that
attracts large number of devotees. A unique custom here is the
arrival of Vellatbiru in the Pooram ground to give audience to
the Malayankutty, the headman of the Pana tribal community.
Kalampatu is an important offering here. Mangalya pooja,
Rigvda laksharachana and Chandattam are other important poojas.
The Jama-at Mosque is an important pilgrimage centre of the
Muslims in Kerala. Nercha, the four day annual festival is
celebrated at the mosque in April. Adjoining the mosque is the
mausoleum of the Malappuram Shabeeds (martyrs) whose brave
exploits have been immortalized in the Mappila ballads.
Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple
Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple is dedicated to
Kirathaparvathi. There is no idol in this temple. Poojas are
performed at a hole (about 6 cm in diameter) into which the
goddess is said to have disappeared after showing her presence
to Adi Sankaracharya. One of the important feature is the
Poomoodal, offering of flowers of thecchi (Ixora indica).
Mutturakkal is another offering made by breaking coconuts.
Thrithala is known for its monuments and historic ruins. The
Siva Temple and the ruins of a mud fort near Thrithala on the
Chalissery road are the famous cultural monuments. The
Kattilmadam Temple, a small granite Buddhist monument on the
Pattambi-Guruvayoor road, is of great archaeological
importance. This temple belongs to the 9th or 10th century AD.
The Paakkanaar memorial, that honours the Pariah saint, stands
near Thrithala Koottanad road. This is also the native place
of renowned writer and social reformer, V T Bhattathiripad.
Jain Temple of Jainimedu
The Jain Temple of Jainimedu is situated on the Western
suburbs of the Palakkad town. This historic 32 feet long, 20
feet wide granite temple displays images of the Jain
Tirthankaras and Yakshinis. The region around the temple,
known as Jainimedu, is one of the few places in Kerala where
the vestiges of Jainism have survived. It is in a Jain house
here, where the famous poet Kumaranasan wrote his monumental
famous poem 'Veenapoovu' which means the 'Fallen Flower'.
Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple
Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple is situated near Pattambi in
Palakkad. This temple has some of the most intricate laterite
sculptures in Kerala.
It is believed that the waters of the Thenari natural spring,
located in front of the old Sree Ram Temple here, is as sacred
as the water of the Ganges. Legend goes that when Lord Rama
and Sita were on exile. One day Sita felt thirsty and there
was no water nearby. Lord Rama used his bow and arrow made a
spring to quench Sita's thirst.
Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayan Temple
The Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayan Temple in Palakkad district
dates back to the 14th century, while its Koothambalam (Temple
Theater) was probably added in the 15th or 16th century.
The Rakthakanta Swamy temple and the annual cattle fair held
in the Malayalam month of Meenam are the main attraction of
Omallur. People from both within and outside the state
participate in the fair.
Sabarimala is one of the most famous pilgrimage centres
in India. Sabarimala is situated on the mountain ranges
of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 m above sea
level and is accessible by foot from Pamba (4 km). The
temple is dedicated to Sree Ayyappa who is regarded as
the guardian of the mountaineers. This temple is open
from November to mid January. Mandalapooja and
Makaravilakku are the two main festivals which are
celebrated during this season. The
closed during the rest of the year except for the first five
days of every Malayalam month and during Vishu. People of all
castes and creeds are permitted inside the temple, except the
women between 10 to 50 years of age.
Aranmula is the picturesque Hindu pilgrimage centre on the
banks of Pamba river, famous for its rich culture and
heritage. Aranmula is the place where the splendid Onam
festival boat races take place. The famous Aranmula boat race
is held every year in the month of Chingam (Aug.-Sept.),
commemorating the consecration of the 5 feet idol of the
presiding deity and said to be endowed with the form of Hari
(Lord Vishnu) and spirit of Lord Shiva. The Parthasarthi
temple, dedicated to Sree Krishna on the banks of the holy
river Pamba attracts large crowds of devotees. It was declared
as a Heritage (INTACH) and is believed to be the only place in
the world to manufacture the traditional non-refractive metal
mirrors called as Aranmula Metal Mirrors. These mirrors were
supposed to be used in Italy and Crete in 2000 and 3000 BC.
Thiruvalla is the headquarters of the Malankara Marthoma
Syrian Church. The Paliakara Church in Thiruvalla has some
exquisite mural paintings. The Sree Vallabha temple in
Thiruvalla is perhaps the only temple in Kerala where
Kathakali is performed as a ritual offering everyday.
Kaviyoor is situated on the banks of the Manimala river, and
famous for its temples. The Hanuman temple is situated on a
small hillock and is built in the gable style of architecture
peculiar to Kerala. The rock cut Shiva temple, half a
kilometre away, is of great archaeological significance. This
temple belongs to the 18th century AD, and bears close
resemblance to the Pallava style of architecture. The stone
engravings here are among the earliest specimens of stone
sculpture in Kerala.
As a holy town, Pandalam is perhaps second only to Sabarimala.
Sree Ayyappa, the presiding deity of Sabarimala had his human
sojourn as the son of the Raja of Pandalam. The Valiyakoikal
temple near the palace on the banks of river Achenkovil was
mdelled on the Sabarimala shrine. Pilgrims usually stop here
to worship before proceeding to Sabarimala. Three days prior
to the Makaravilaku festival, the sacred ornaments of Sree
Ayappa are taken in a procession from Pandalam to Sabarimala.
Mar Ignatius Elias III, the holy patriot of Anthiod while on
his visit to India, died at this place in 1932. Later this
place was developed into a pilgrim centre. The annual festival
is held in the month of February.
Maramon, near Kozhencherry is the venue of the largest
religious convention of Christians from all over the world. It
is attended by people from all communities. The convention
wwhich is usually held in February is addressed by religious
thinkers and Christian scholars from all over the world. This
is perhaps the largest Christian convention in Asia.
Mangala Devi Temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of
a peak 1337 m above sea level. The ancient temple is built in
the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are
allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The
peak commands a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the
ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu.
Kodungallur is a seaport town situated about 50 kms from Kochi
on the west coast of India. St. Thomas was supposed to have
landed at Kodungallur, here in 52 A.D. The St. Thomas Church
established by him here houses ancient relics. Cheraman Juma
Masjid is located about 2 kms. from Kodungallur town and
resembles a Hindu temple. This mosque was built in 629 AD and
the first mosque in India and second in the world where Juma
prayers were started. The other places of interest are
Cheramanparambu, the anient Portuguese fort and
The Vadakkumnathan Temple is one of the oldest temples in
Thrissur. The Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classic example of
the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative
murals and pieces of art. The world famous Pooram festival is
also celebrated here annually in April-May. The fireworks at
the Pooram festival are a spectacular sight. The non-Hindus
can't visit the temple.
Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important
pilgrim centres of Kerala. The main attraction in
Guruvayoor is the Sree Krishna Temple. This historic
temple is shrouded in mystery. According to local
people, the temple is the creation of Guru, the
perceptor of the Gods and Vayu, the God of winds. The
eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the
Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the
tall 33.5 m
high gold plated Dhwajastambham (flag-post). There is also a 7
m high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular
receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The
square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple
that houses the main deity. Within the main temple there are
also the images of Lord Ganesh, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedattu
Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus can visit the temple. The temple
has the largest fleet of about 50 elephants. They are taken
around the town in a grand procession during the festivals.
Koodal Manikyam Temple
Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam Temple is situated 10 km away
from Irinjalakuda railway station. This ancient temple is
dedicated to the Lord Bharata, the brother of Sri Rama. Its is
perhaps the only temple in India where Lord Bharata is the
main deity. The colourful eleven day annual festival with a
pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants is held in April in
this temple. This festival marks the end of the Hindu temple
festival season in Kerala.
Matha Mariam Big Church
Matha Mariam Big Church is also known as Valiapally. This
grand church was built in 1815 and the oldest church in the
town. This church is known for its exquisite carvings and
carries the whole of Christianity in Thrissur. It is a must
visit place in the town. Lourdes Cathedral and Church of Our
Lady of Dolores are other important churches of the town.
Padmanabha Swami Temple
The most famous temple of Trivandrum is the beautiful
Sree Padmanabha Swami temple, that is dedicated to Lord
Vishnu. This temple is located inside the East fort.
This temple is perfect blend of Kerala and Dravidian
styles of sculpture and architecture. It is known for
its mural paintings and stone carvings. This temple is
one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India. In this
temple, the Lord Vishnu reclines on Anantha, the
serpent. Only Hindus in traditional attire can enter
Rock cut Cave Temple
In the Vizhinjam Rock cut Cave Temple, there are rock cut
sculptures of the 18th century. The granite cave here encloses
a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinanadhara
Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave temple depicts half
complete relics of the Hindu God Shiva with goddess Parvathi.
Varkala is an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final
refuge of the Sree Narayan Guru, the great social reformer is
located near Varkala, on the top of hill, called Sivagiri.
According to the myths, the sage Narada was approached by a
group of mendicants who confessed to have been sinned. The
Narada threw his valkkalam (cloth made of the bark of a tree)
into the air, and the place where it landed was known as
Varkala. The mendicants were directed by the Narada to offer
their prayers in the newly created place by the seashore. The
place where they prayed for redemption was known as the
Papanasham (redemption from sins) Beach. The main attractions
here are the 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple.
The Glass temple is located on the slope of Vellarimala,
about 20 kms away from Kalpetta. This temple is
dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy of the Jains. The mirrors
inside the temple walls reflect images of the icons in
the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.
The Thirunelly Temple is situated 32 km northeast of
the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is surrounded by Kambamala,
Karimala and Varadiga, and an excellent example of temple
architecture. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns
and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite.
The crystal clear waters of the Papanasini River running
downhill adds the enchantment to the place.
The Valliyurkavu Bhagavathy temple is dedicated to goddess
Durga. The two week long festival, celebrated in the month of
February is one of the major festival which is visited by
hundreds of tribes.