Ikkare Kottiyoor Temple
Kottiyoor Siva temples, an ancient pilgrimage destination in North Kerala, is situated in the peaceful hilly area of the Western Ghats. On the opposite banks of the Bavali River situate two temples, Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. Akkare Kottiyoor opens only for twenty-eight days during Vaishakhamahotsavam - the annual festival of the temple, which falls in the months of May-June. During that time, Ikkare Kottiyoor remains closed.
The history of the temple is associated with Daksha Yaga. According to Hindu mythology, Dakshaprajapathi, not pleased with his daughter’s marriage to Lord Shiva, decided to conduct a Yaga [sacrifice] at this place without informing his daughter Sati Devi and Lord Shiva. Sati Devi unaware of his intention, visited the yagabhumi, the site, but was insulted by her father. Hurt and humiliated, she committed suicide with her yogashakti [spiritual power]. Distraught and enraged by this act, Lord Shiva did the Thandavanritham [destructive dance] as Veerabhadra and decapitated Daksha. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and other gods came to pacify Lord Shiva. Later, Shiva replaced Daksha’s head with a goat’s head. Hence this place is said to have the divine presence of the Trinity – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The restoration of the temple took place during the time of Shankaracharya, and rituals of the festival were set out by him. Ikkare Kottiyoor is a formal temple complex like any other temple. On the other hand, the Akkare Kottiyoor temple stands in the middle of a pond and does not have any formal structure. The Swayambhoo Shiva Linga is placed on a platform raised with river stones. The Vaishakamahotsavam starts with Neyyattam [ablution using ghee] and ends with Elaneerattam [ablution using tender coconut water] which are special rituals in the temple. Kottiyoor is said to be a place where Nature, man and God become one.
Temple Timings: 05.30 am to 08.00 pm