an old temple temple building situated on a platform filled with lush greenery

Ettumanur Shri Mahadevar Temple

Kumarakom is celebrated as a popular tourist destination, credit to the remarkable backwaters and the popular Hindu temple, Ettumanur Shri Mahadevar Temple. People from various parts of the country travel to Kottayam to visit this temple, which is also known as Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple.

This is a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also known as Mahadeva which translates to “The Great God”. Among the Trimurti i.e. Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, Lord Shiva is known as the “Destroyer”. He is an important deity in the Hindu religion and is also considered a patron God of meditation, yoga and the arts.

As you explore the cultural richness of the temple that exudes from its facade, pamper yourself to a restful stay at Rhythm Kumarakom. It is a luxury resort surrounded by lush greenery, offering a range of best-in-class facilities.

Idol depicting Lord Shiva placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple

About the Temple

The temple existed for hundreds of years and its reconstruction was completed in the early 16th century. It features a tall flagpole and atop sits an idol of a bull surrounded by banyan leaves and bells. The Ettumanur Shiva Temple also has about 14 ornamental tops and the roofs are covered in sheets made out of copper. The sanctum sanctorum is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are 5 subordinate deities that reside in this temple. They are called Yakshi, Dakshinamoorthy, Ganapathy, Sastha, and Bhagavathi.

One of the highlights of this temple is a fresco wall painting of Shiva depicting the Pradosha Nritham, which is the dance of Lord Shiva. It is believed that every single movement originated from the cosmic dance of Shiva. Another reason why this temple attracts pilgrims from across the country is due to a legend involving Vyasa and Pandavas. It is said that sage Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata, and the Pandavas worshipped Shiva at this very temple.

Idol of lord shiva holding his weapon which is a thrishul
A man is lighting a tall lamp with numerous wicks placed in a circular manner

Arattu Festival at Ettumanur Shiva Temple

One of the most popular festivals celebrated in this wonderful temple is the Arattu Uthsavam. This is a 10-day festival that takes place in the month of Kumbham (February to March according to the Malayalam calendar). Pilgrims from across the country visit the temple for the Ezhara Ponnana festival, celebrated on the 8th and the 10th day. During this festival, visitors witness a total of 8 elephant statues constructed from wood and plated in gold. The gold used to plate these elephant structures roughly accounts for about 51 kg! Among these, 7 are 2 ft. in height while the eighth elephant is just 1 foot tall.

These elephants accompany the idol of Lord Shiva in a procession to a pond in which Arattu, or the holy bath, takes place. Aside from the procession, there are various performances that people can witness over the span of 10 days. Kathakali, Velakali and Mayilaattam are some of the arts that are performed within the temple premises.

Thulabharam is a practice that can be observed during the festival. A balance measures the weight of the offering made to the deities and is weighed against the person who is offering. These offerings include a variety of objects ranging from fruits to gold. Attending this festival should be on your to-do list during your visit to Kumarakom.

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