Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple




Thirunakkara Mahadevar Temple situated in the heart of Kottayam city is one of the 108 revered Shivalayas in central Kerala. The temple is about 500 years old and was built by the Thekkumkoor raja. It also preserves a number of unique sculptures and murals of various Hindu deities. A common belief is that the idol of Shiva here is installed by sage Parashurama himself. The Thekkukkoor royal family considered the idol as their paradevatha (tutelary deity) in the form of “Thirunakkara thevar”
There is an interesting story behind the Brahma Rakshas. One person called Moose was a great friend of the king. The king was not known for his beauty but his friend Moose was very handsome. The queen fell in love with this friend knowing which the king ordered his servants to kill Moose. Instead of killing him, the King’s servants killed the junior priest of the temple (keezh santhi). The wife of the priest became a Brahma Rakshas and started seeking revenge. So the king built a temple for her. For a long time afterwards, women do not prefer to enter this temple.
The temple situated in the heart of Kottayam city is built in the traditional architectural styles of Kerala. The first entrance to the temple includes a small temple for lord Ganapathi which was built recently. After crossing the entrance, we could see the big ground leading to the holy steps of the temple. There is a banyan tree on steps which is considered sacred by the devotees. The Aanakottil and Kodimaram is placed close to the eastern entrance. The Kodimaram built in 1960 is only 42 feet long. To the side of Kodimaram lies the Balikkalpuras. Like that in Guruvayoor temple, one could clearly see the idol of chief deity from the main entrance itself.

The whole temple complex occupies about 4 acres (1.6 ha) of land which is rich in many trees and plants. One of the largest Koothambalams in Kerala is in this temple situated in the southeast corner. The temple has shrines for various sub deities in different locations. The southeast entrance constitutes of the shrines of lord Ayyappa and Ganesha. Naga pratishtas are also close to these shrines. In the northwest section, there is a Chethi (Jungle flame) flower, commonly seen in many Hindu shrines across Kerala. The eastern section includes the shrines of lord Subhramaniya and Durga and the northeast section has the installation of Brahmarakshas which is according to the myths the soul of a priest assassinated inside the temple.
The two storeyed sreekovil of temple is very attractive and it is adorned by a golden Finial. The sreekovil includes three separate rooms, one in the west is Garbhagriha which has the Shiva linga idol installed. An idol of Parvathi devi made up of Panchaloha is also installed next to it. This complex has a number of murals depicting the stories of Shiva and Dashavathara. A complete rotation of the temple is not allowed because it is a Shiva shrine.

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