Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple
Considered to be a major Lord Shiva temple in Kerala is the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple. This “Shiva” temple is located in the Kottayam district in a town known as Ettumanoor. This temple is said to have been constructed in the year 1542. In addition, this temple consists of a “gopuram” which is surrounded by a fortress. Furthermore, the walls inside and outside this temple comprise of beautiful “Dravidian mural paintings”. It is also said that it was while residing at this temple that Adi Shankaracharya wrote his famous literary work “Soundarya Lahari” which when translated means “Waves of Beauty”.
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a. Best time to visit the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
The ideal time to visit this temple is from October to February during the winter season when the climate is extremely “cool” with the mercury dropping to as low as 10 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple Map
1. By train:
The closest railway station to this temple is located in Kottayam. The Kottayam Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the state as well in the country.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple then the ideal starting points would be Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kollam, and Madurai.
- Via Thrissur:
There is one route from Thrissur to this temple, and it is via NH544.
- Via Alapuzzha:
There are two routes from Alapuzzha to this temple, and they are via SH40 and via Alapuzzha-Veliyanad Road and Thengana-Thiruvanchoor Road.
- Via Kollam:
There is one route from Kollam to this temple, and it is via Kollam Theni Highway.
- Via Madurai:
There is one route from Madurai to this temple, and it is via NH85 and NH183, and via NH744.
3. By air:
The closest airport is located in Trivandrum and Kochi. The Trivandrum and Kochi Airports are well connected to cities in the country as well as to international destinations.
c. Religious significance of the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
There are many myths/legends attached to this Lord Shiva devoted temple. One popular myth states that there was saint called Kharasura who had student belonging to a poor background named Pingala. After completion of his studies the devoted student asked the saint what he wanted in return for all the efforts he had put into teaching and grooming him. This question asked by Pingala irked the saint who in turn asked him for 180 billion pieces of gold. In is this rather blunt reply of the saint that caused the student to worry. Observing that his student in fact was under stress the saint decided to help him out, and they both travelled to a place called Harinadweep and prayed with all devotion to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It was then that Vishnu appeared before Pingala who asked for 180 billion pieces of gold and offered it to his teacher. It was then that Shiva appeared and the saint decided to use up all of his gold pieces to worship him. Impressed with his devotion Shiva in turn offered the saint the very same gold pieces. These gold pieces were then used by the saint to appease Lord Vishnu. It was then Lord Shiva who reappeared (impressed by the teacher’s persistence to help his student) before the saint and gifted him three “shiv lingas”. Of which one shiv ling remained buried in Harinadweep. It was after thousand years that this linga was then accidentally hit by woman resulting in Shiva bleeding who appeared before this lady in anger and apparently turned her into stone. It was this shiva lingam that bled which was the brought to a town called Ettumanoor in Kerala in the Kottayam district, and this temple was eventually constructed.