Chottanikkara Bhagavathi Temple Chottanikkara temple is situated near the city of Ernakulam and enshrines Bhagathi, the mother Goddess.The presiding deity of Rajarajeswari, is worshipped along with Lord Vishnu. They are together referred as ‘Lakhminarayana'.
The presiding deity of Rajarajeswari is at Melkkavu and there is a flight of steps leading to Keezhkkavu. In Keezhkkavu the shrine is a Paala tree with heaps of nails driven into its stem by the worshippers. It is believed that worship here, would exorcise the evil spirits and people who have mental illness are cured here by the grace of divine mother and fix the nails on the Paala tree when they leave.
Offering of ‘patt and thali' (silk and pendent) to Bhagavathi is one of the prominent ‘poojas' here meant for maidens to get married soon. At morning, noon and evening the deity is worshipped in three different forms - as Saraswati in the morning- draped in white, as Bhadrakali at noon-draped in crimson and as Durga in the evening- draped in blue. In the month of Kumba (Feb-Mar), the annual festival is celebrated with special ‘poojas' and events.
Ettumanur Siva Temple
Different from the benign ‘bhava' of Lord Shiva at Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Lord Shiva has a fierce face at Ettumanur temple. Though fierce the Lord is easily pleasing towards devotees and splendidly showers benediction. Location wise Ettumanur is at 11 km to the southeast of Kottayam town.
The temple has a circular sanctum covered with a conical copper plated roof crowned with a kalsam. The mukhamandapam in front of the temple bears two images of Nandi, one of stone and another of metal. like other temples in Kerala, the rear of the sanctum is revered as Parvati's shrine.
A rectangular circumambulatory passage surrounds the sanctum. The sanctum bears wood carvings of superior workmanship portraying legends from the Ramayana and the Bhagavata puranam.
The murals on the western entrance to the temple are awe inspiring especially that of the painting of the dance of Shiva.
There are also shrines to Saasta, Ganapati and Dakshinamurthy in the temple.
Festivals: The 10 day long festival in the malayala month of Kumbham is the temple's annual festival.
On the eigth day of the festival, the processional image of the deity is taken to a specially decorated site in the north east corner of the temple, when thousands throng to visit the shrine.
On this day, a unique treasure of the temple (offered by the Maharaja of Travancore) - the seven and a half elephants (ezhara pon aana) representing the eight dik paalakas or the guardians of the cardinal directions are displayed. Seven of these golden elephants are two feet in height while the eighth is a foot high.
Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple
The temple is situated mid-way between Vaikom and Ettumanoor. Kaduthuruthy is a small town, the northern and western parts of which are spread over by Vembanattu backwaters. During the tenth century this place was under the administration of Pandya Kings. However, it was divided into Vadakkumkoor and Thekkumkoor. Kaduthuruthy became the headquarters of Vadakkumkoor dynasty.
The rulers were the supporters of Zamorins. When Marthanda Varma conquered Vadakkumkoor, he showed respect to the rulers by giving them pensions. Gradually this dynasty was declined and removed from the pages of Kerala history.
As it has been mentioned earlier, when describing the history of the Vaikom temple, Kharasura had got three idols of which the one he took in his mouth, had been placed at Kaduthuruthy, marking the origin of a temple on the top of a small hill. Now this temple comes under the Travancore Devaswom Board.
The Sivalinga of the temple faces to the east. It is the smallest of the three Sivalingas, only 3" tall. The mandapam in front of the shrine has got an array of wood carvings. The story of ‘Karthaveerarjuneeyam' has been carved and displayed here with architectural elegance. About 300 years ago most part of the temple was consumed by fire, but the mandapam, with its splendid carvings, was remained unhurt.
While the fire was spreading out, the chief priest clasped the idol at his breast and cried aloud, but the flames of fire had put an end to his life. An idol of this chief priest had been erected at the northern part of the shrine in order to commemorate the event. At the southern side there stands an idol of Sree Ganapathy. Besides, Dharma Sastha, Goddess Durga had also been placed at the temple.
One Vadakkumkoor Rajah used to worship the three deities at Kaduthuruthy, Vaikom and Ettumanoor on the same day but because of his old age he could not continue it. Instead, he made arrangements at Kaduthuruthy temple for the placement of the other two deities also. As a result, Ettumanoorappan was placed at the southern gate and Vaikathappan at the north. So it is believed that the devotees will get the triple benefit by worshipping the deity at the Kaduthuruthy temple.
The mandapam, balikalpura and srikoil are adorned with beautiful carvings and paintings which speak of the antiquity of the temple. In the mandapam especially the entire story of the Ramayana has been graphically delineated on its four beams which attract connoisseurs of art.