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Ettumanoor Shiva Temple in Kozhikode

Ettumanoor Shiva Temple in Kozhikode, divine shrine of Kerala, is one of the oldest and richest temples visited by millions of Shiva devotees.

Constructed in 1542 AD., it was the legendary place where Pandavas and the Vyasas prayed for very long and made this place holy.

Here are some key features of the Ettumanoor Shiva Temple:

  1. Architecture: The temple is renowned for its traditional Kerala style of architecture. The structures within the temple complex showcase exquisite woodwork and intricate carvings.

  2. Mural Paintings: The walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful mural paintings, depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology. These paintings are notable for their vibrant colors and detailed craftsmanship.

  3. Festival: The annual festival at Ettumanoor Shiva Temple is called the 'Ezharaponnana Ezhunallathu' (literally translated as the "Procession of Seven and a Half Elephants"). This festival attracts a large number of devotees and is known for its grandeur and cultural events.

  4. Prathishta Anniversary: The Prathishta anniversary of the deity is also celebrated with enthusiasm, drawing devotees from different parts of the region.

  5. Sculpture: The temple is particularly famous for its sculpture of Lord Shiva in a dancing posture, known as Nataraja. This idol is considered to be a masterpiece and is widely admired for its artistic and religious significance.


Ettumanoor Shiva Temple in Kozhikode Address

Devotees throng here to also see the famous Shiva painting in dancing pose known as the “Pradosha Nritham”. Not only this, it is also popularly known for the angry looking eight-handed Shiva idol through which the indigenous art and architecture of old Kerala stands out in all its grandeur. Devotees at this temple address his idol as “Ettumanoor-Appan”.

The Legend

Like all holy places in India, the legendary tale goes that “Kharasura” the demon worshipped Lord Shiva and received 3 Shivlingas from him, which he took in two hands and one in his mouth, when he got tired he put down the Shivlinga in his mouth which got fixed to the ground and could not be moved by him. The place eventually became the Vaiko temple, and the other Shivlingas were planted at the Ettumanoon and kaduthuruthy temples by “Kharasura". It’s considered auspicious to visit these 3 temples in a single day.

Besides Shiva, Ma Bhagwati, Shasta, Dakshinamurthy, Ganesha and Yakshi are also worshipped here as sub-deities. Adi Shankracharya a philosopher of ancient era wrote a number of his works in this shrine as per holy Purana, out of which one of the famous ones were “Saundarya Lahari”.

The Structure

An icon of a bull and little bells around it with some metal banyan leaves makes the top dome when the architecture of this temple is talked about it is certainly a vivid evidence of the engineering skills of Vishwakarma Sthapathis. There are 14 ornamental roofs of the temple are enclosed with copper sheets.

The Ettumanoor Shiva Temple is particularly famous for its Dravida-style architecture and the exceptional wood carvings in the Nataraja Shrine. The temple's main attraction is the Nataraja sculpture, which is considered a masterpiece of ancient Indian art.

Inside the Temple

While taking a tour of this temple one cannot miss the splendor of Dravidian art, in the mural paintings on walls and the exemplifying architechture in the idols and carvings; depicting Krishna leela, Bhagwad Gita and Ramayan. The dancing Shiva (Natraja) idol, standing on one foot and destroying a demon which symbolically tells us of evil being punished and the circle of fire depicts the universal change, stands out eye-catchingly and it is noted as one of the best painting of ancient Indian temples.

Here are some features of the architecture inside the Ettumanoor Shiva Temple:

  1. Gopuram (Entrance Tower): The temple is typically characterized by a tall entrance tower known as the gopuram. Gopurams are a common feature in South Indian temple architecture and are intricately carved with various sculptures and depictions of deities.

  2. Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum): The inner sanctum of the temple is called the Sreekovil, where the main deity, Lord Shiva, is enshrined. The Sreekovil is often square or rectangular in shape and is designed according to traditional Vastu and Agama principles. The idol of Lord Shiva, usually in the form of a lingam, is the main focus of worship.

  3. Mandapams (Halls): The temple complex includes various halls or mandapams for conducting religious ceremonies and gatherings. These halls are adorned with beautiful sculptures and carvings, depicting mythological stories and divine beings.

  4. Wooden Architecture: The Ettumanoor Shiva Temple is renowned for its exquisite wooden carvings. The Ural and Attukal (a grinding stone and pestle) in the temple are made of a single piece of wood and are intricately carved with figures and patterns. The woodwork in the temple showcases the skilled craftsmanship of the artisans.

  5. Mural Paintings: The walls of the temple are adorned with vibrant mural paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. These paintings add to the visual splendor of the temple and narrate stories from ancient scriptures.

  6. Nalambalam: The temple complex may have a Nalambalam, which is a set of smaller shrines dedicated to various deities. Pilgrims often circumambulate around the Nalambalam as part of the worship rituals.

  7. Tank or Pond: Many traditional Hindu temples have a sacred tank or pond within the temple complex. Devotees may take ritualistic baths in these tanks before entering the main sanctum.

Annual Festival

Here are some key aspects of the annual festival:
  1. Duration: The Ezharaponnana Ezhunallathu festival typically spans over ten days. The exact dates may vary each year, as they are determined according to the Malayalam calendar.

  2. Processions: One of the highlights of the festival is the grand procession (ezhunallathu) that takes place on the seventh day. During this procession, the deity of Lord Shiva is taken out of the sanctum sanctorum and paraded around the temple premises. Devotees participate in the procession, offering their prayers and seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva.

  3. Elephant Procession: A notable feature of the festival is the ceremonial procession of elephants. Elephants adorned with traditional decorations carry the idols of deities, adding a majestic and vibrant element to the festivities.

  4. Traditional Music and Dance: The festival is marked by the performance of traditional music and dance forms. Devotional songs, classical dance, and other cultural performances contribute to the festive atmosphere.

  5. Arattu Procession: The festival concludes with the Arattu procession. The idol of Lord Shiva is taken to a sacred water body, often a temple pond or river, for a ceremonial bath (Arattu). This is considered a purifying ritual.

  6. Fireworks Display: Festivals in many Indian temples are accompanied by spectacular fireworks displays. The Ettumanoor Shiva Temple festival is no exception, and devotees often gather to witness the grandeur of the fireworks.

  7. Special Rituals and Pujas: Throughout the ten days of the festival, various special rituals and pujas are conducted by the temple priests. Devotees actively participate in these rituals, seeking the divine blessings of Lord Shiva.

  8. Devotee Offerings: Devotees often make special offerings, including traditional sweets, fruits, and flowers, as a symbol of their devotion and gratitude.

Ettumanoor Shiva Temple Timings

The temple is open to the pilgrims from 4 am to 12.30 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm. Other community people are not allowed to get inside the temples. The Thulabharam Seva is one of the crucial rituals here.

A Mural Art Center is situated close by to the temple which is controlled by the State Archaeological Department.

It is said that Colonel Munro took control of the temple during the British rule as the Dewan of Travencore, and after Independence it has been controlled by the State Govt. via the Devaswom Board.

Best time to visit

October to March (this is the time during which the 10 day temple festivals takes place).

How to Reach Ettumanoor Shiva Temple

By Air: The closest airport is Cochin International Airport at a distance of 64 kms.
By Rail: the closest railway station is Kottayam railway station which is just 2 km away. You can get a bus or a cab from there to the temple.

By Waterways: Ferry services regularly to the backwaters like Chempakulam, Ambalapuzha, and Aleppey will ferry you across to the shrine in 15 minutes, The Ferries station is just 3 km from the temple.

Address Ettumanoor Shiva Temple: Chottanikkara Central Travancore, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, 682312
Phone number: +91-471-2321132

Accommodation near Ettumanoor Shiva Temple

Thushara International Hotel
P.O. Kodenchery, Kozhikode

Kadavu Resorts
NH Bypass Road, Azhinjilam, Calicut

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