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Famous Temples of Kerala

30 Most Famous Temples of Kerala

Kerala, a state in the southern part of India, is known for its beautiful backwaters, lush greenery, and vibrant culture. It also boasts some of the most famous temples in India. These temples don’t just serve as places of worship, but also as cultural and historical landmarks. In this article on Famous Temples of Kerala, we will explore the famous temples of Kerala and uncover the stories and legends behind them. We will also discuss the unique features, offerings, and customs of each temple. So join us as we explore the holy and sacred world of the famous temples of Kerala.

List of Popular & Famous Temples in Kerala

Sr.NoTemple NameCity
1Sree Padmanabhaswamy TempleThiruvananthapuram
2Sri Vadakkumnathan TempleThrissur
3Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan TempleParassinikadavu
4Shree Ananthapadmanabha Swamy TempleAnanthapura
5Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathi TempleKadampuzha
6Sree Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathi TempleAngadipuram
7Padiyanoor Devi TempleThiruvananthapuram
8Sabarimala Sastha TempleSabarimala
9Attukal Bhagavathy TempleAttukal
10Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna TempleAmbalappuzha
11Chottanikkara TempleKochi
12Guruvayoor Srikrishna TempleGuruvayur
13Mannarasala Nagaraja TempleMannarasala
14Thiruvalla TempleThiruvalla
15Pazhavangadi Ganapathy TemplePazhavangadi
16Pandalam Ayyappa TemplePandalam
17Chengannur Mahadeva TempleChengannur
18Nilakkal Mahadeva TempleNilakkal
19Malayalappuzha TempleMalayalappuzha
20Kottarakkara Ganapathy TempleKottarakkara
21Thiruvanchikulam Shiva TempleThiruvanchikulam
22Lokanarkavu TempleLokanarkavu
23Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan TempleParassinikadavu
24Vaikom Mahadeva TempleVaikom
25Sivagiri TempleVarkala
26Aranmula Parthasarathy TempleAranmula
27Kaviyoor Mahadeva TempleKaviyoor
28Vadakkunnathan TempleThrissur
29Thirunelli TempleThirunelli
30Ettumanoor Mahadeva TempleEttumanoor

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams. It is in Thiruvananthapuram, which is the capital city of Kerala. The gold-plated temple is only open to people who believe in Hinduism. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most important places for Vaishnavas to worship. It is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, one of Lord Vishnu’s avatars.

The Padmanabhaswamy temple is an old building that was made to look like the Adikesavaperumal Temple in Thiruvattar. Even though no one knows where this temple came from, its followers think it has been there since the beginning of the Kali Yuga, which was 5000 years ago. In the Bhagwad Gita, there is also a mention of the Padmanabhaswamy temple. The scriptures say that Balarama, Lord Krishna’s older brother, often went to the temple, took a bath in the Padmatheertham, and made many offerings to the god there.

Sri Vadakkumnathan Temple

The Vadakkunnathan Temple is an old Hindu temple in the city of Thrissur in the Indian state of Kerala. It is dedicated to Shiva. This temple is a classic example of Keralan architecture. It has big towers on all four sides and a kuttambalam in the middle. Inside the temple, there are paintings on the walls that show scenes from the Mahabharata. Scenes carved out of wood are on display in the shrines and the Kuttambalam. Under the AMASR Act, both the temple and the paintings on its walls have been named National Monuments by India. People in the area say that Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu, built this temple. The main place where the Thrissur Pooram takes place is the Thekkinkadu maidan, which is around the Vadakkunnathan Temple. People who are not Hindu can’t go into the temple. In 2012, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) suggested adding 14 sites from Kerala to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites include the Vadakkumnathan Temple and palaces.

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

The Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple or the Parassini Madappura Sree Muthappan Temple, which is on the banks of the Valapattanam River, brings people from all religions and castes to the Kannur district. One of the most interesting things about this place is that dogs are revered because Lord Muthappan rides on a dog. The temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in north Kerala, and all visitors get free food and a place to stay. As Prasadam, the devotees get boiled black beans and tea (devotional offering).

Shree Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple

The Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple is for Lord Vishnu. It is in the East Fort of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the Indian state of Kerala. This temple is a mix of the Kerala style and the Dravidian style. It is thought to be the most valuable temple in the world.

Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathi Temple

The Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple is in the Malappuram district of the Indian state of Kerala, which is in the south of the country. It honours the goddess Kiratha Parvathy. The temple is famous because it doesn’t have an idol. Instead, people pray every day into a hole. People say that the Goddess left this place after she showed herself to Adi Sankaracharya. People think that this temple was started by Adi Sankaracharya, an Indian philosopher and theologian who lived in the eighth century.

Sree Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathi Temple

The Goddess Bhadrakali is worshipped at the Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavathy Temple, which is in the village of Angadipuram in the Malappuram district of Kerala. Lord Shiva, on the other hand, is the god in charge here.

The wedding oblation (Mangalya Puja) ceremony at the temple is very well known. People believe that Mangalya puja will get rid of problems and make a marriage happy. The temple attracts art lovers because it was built in the traditional style of Kerala.

Padiyanoor Devi Temple

Goddess Chamundi is honoured at Padiyanoor Devi Temple, which is also called Padiyanoor Sree Chamundi Devi Temple. Around the statue of the Goddess are smaller gods like Yakshi Amma, Lord Ganpathi, Yogeshwara, Thampuran, and others. People who worship the Goddess believe that she protects them and helps them get what they want out of life.

Sabarimala Sastha Temple

The Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, called Sri Ayyappa Temple, is the most well-known and well-known of all the Sastha temples in Kerala. The temple is on top of a hill called Sabarimala, which is about 4000 feet above sea level. The hill is unique in many ways. The temple is unique because it is open to everyone, no matter their caste, creed, or religion. There is a place near the temple, east of Sannidhanam, that is dedicated to the Vavar, who was a Sufi and a friend of Lord Ayyappa. This place is called “Vavarunada,” and it is the perfect example of how religions can get along. The temple is only open 127 days out of the year. As vehicles can only go as far as Pampa, the only way to get to the temple is through difficult paths in the forest.

In the spiritual pilgrimage calendar, the beginning of the Vrichikam month is a very important time. On this day, millions of people begin their journey to the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, chanting “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa,” which means “Lord Ayyappa, the only refuge.” Sabarimala is in the village of Ranni-Perunad in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala in South India. It is in the middle of a deep, dense forest on the hill of Sabari, which is still unspoiled.

Mid-November in the Malayalam month of Vrichikam is the best time to visit the hill shrine to Lord Ayyappan, also called Dharma Sastha. Devotees say that a pilgrimage to Sabarimala requires a strong mind, determination, physical strength, and faith in order to reach the sanctum sanctorum.

Attukal Bhagavathy Temple

In Kerala, the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a very well-known temple. The city of Thiruvananthapuram is where the temple is. The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is also called the Sabarimala for women. There are a lot of women who go there. The main god or goddess is Attukal Amma. Each of the Goddess’s four arms has a spear, sword, skull, and shield on it. The building of the temple is very beautiful. Also, it has a long history. The temple is very clean.

Attukal Bhagavathy Temple leaders also help the community in other ways. They help poor couples get married and give them clothes and decorations for the wedding.

Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

The Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple in the Alappuzha district. It is a temple to Lord Krishna. The temple was built in the traditional style of Kerala. It is known for its delicious rice pudding made with sweet milk, which is called Pal Payasam.

The temple is also known as the “Dwarka of the South.” It is thought that the local king Chembakkassery Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan Thampuran built it between the years 15 and 17 AD. Parthasarathi, which is another name for Lord Krishna, is the main god of the temple. He is made of black granite stone and holds a sacred conch (shankh) in his left hand and a whip in his right.

Chottanikkara Temple

The most important temple is the Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple. It is in the town of Chottanikkara, which is 17 km from Ernakulam. The temple’s main god or goddess is Rajarajeswari (ADIPARASAKTHI), also known as Durga Bhagavathy or the Mother Goddess. It is said that this deity came from the Mookambika Temple in Kollur, Karnataka, and that’s why Mookambika (Saraswathy) Devi is there until 7 a.m. It is thought that the temple deity is worshipped in three forms: as Saraswati in the morning, Lakshmi at noon, and Durga in the evening.

The “Devi” in the temple is known for being able to heal, especially when it comes to mental disorders and illnesses. The temple is in a hilly area and is surrounded by green farms on all sides. The entrance is in the west, and the spiritual atmosphere in the temple helps people feel calm and at peace. The deity is called Amme Narayana, Devi Narayana, Bhadre Narayana, and Lakshimi Narayana because there is a Vishnu (Naryana) idol on the same pedestal as Goddess Rajarajeswari.

Guruvayoor Srikrishna Temple

The historic Sree Krishna Temple also called the Dwaraka of the South, is in Guruvayur. It is one of the most important and well-known pilgrimage sites in Kerala and in the whole country. People think that the main shrine was rebuilt in 1638 C.E. The history of the place is beautifully shown in the style of the building and the different parts inside.

Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple

The Mannarasala Temple in Kerala is a place where the Serpent Gods are worshipped. The temple is near a forest, and the area around it is quiet and friendly to the environment. Nearly 30,000 statues of snake gods are kept in the temple. There are different myths, beliefs, and ceremonies at the temple. In the temple, every rule is followed by the letter. Since the temple is in a forest, there are four ponds all around it. People believe that the turmeric powder, which is given as Prasad, has a lot of healing power. This is what makes the temple unique.

The Uruli ceremony at the temple is well-known. Uruli means “brass vessel,” and it is believed that the person making a wish should turn the Uruli upside down. Once their wish has come true, they should return to the temple and turn the Uruli back to its original position. Unlike at other temples, the ceremonies at this one are led by an older woman named Amma (Pujarin). A tradition at the temple is that anyone who wants to thank the Serpent god or Lord Nagaraja should give the temple a Serpent idol. The Ayilyam is a well-known festival that is held here. On this night, a lot of people go to the temple to celebrate. People believe that going to this temple will help them have children and get rid of the snake curse (Sarpa dosha nivarana).

Thiruvalla Temple

The Sree Vallabha temple is a 400-year-old temple in the Pathanamthitta district that is dedicated to Sri Vallabha (Lord Vishnu). It is in the town of Thiruvalla. This temple, which is on the banks of the River Manimala, draws pilgrims with its beautiful architecture. Every person who goes to the temple looks at the beautiful stone and wood carvings and murals. In the holy place of this Vishnu shrine, there is an 8-foot-tall statue. Perunthachan, the legendary builder, is thought to have built the Garuda Sthambha of the temple. This flag pole is 54 feet tall and is made from a single block of granite.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

The Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple is one of the most popular Ganesh temples in the south. It has a special place in the hearts of people who love Lord Ganesh very much. When devotees come to this temple, they are overcome by the magically holy atmosphere, which is calm and peaceful all the time. People say that when people go to the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple to pray to Lord Ganesh, he grants their deepest wishes and solves their most difficult problems.

This rich Ganpati Temple in Trivandrum is best known for two things: its jet-black colour, which is unusual for temples in India, and its one-of-a-kind Ganesh statue. In this temple, the idol is not in the same place as in most others. Here, Lord Ganesh relaxes slowly with only his right knee tucked under him, instead of standing or sitting with his legs crossed as is usually seen. At the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple, the most common “vazhipadu” or offering to Lord Ganesh is an open-husked coconut that is cracked right at the temple. Breaking open this coconut is a metaphor for getting past any problems that stand in the way of achieving one’s deepest desires.

Pandalam Ayyappa Temple

The Pandalam Royal Family’s family temple is the Pandalam Valiakoikkal Temple. The temple is in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta District, in the town of Pandalam. It is on the grounds of the Pandalam Palace.

Ayyappan is the main god. Every year before the Makaravilakku festival, the procession of the Thiruvabharanam (Sacred Ornaments) to the Sabarimala shrine begins at the Valiyakoikkal temple. During the Makaravilakku festival, every year, millions of people come to this temple to pray.

Chengannur Mahadeva Temple

The unique way the Mahadeva Temple in Chengannur, in the Alappuzha district, celebrates the menstruation festival of goddess Parvati has made it famous all over the world. The temple is on the western bank of the holy river Pamba (Bhagavathi). In a place where women who are menstruating are banned from temples for seven days, this kind of ritual is even more important. During this festival, called “Thripputhu Aaraatt,” lots of people go to the temple to pray to the goddess. People believe that if they pray hard during this festival, they will get everything they want. During the celebrations, people try to make the Goddess happy by making “Haridra Pushpanjali,” a kind of flower offering that takes 12 days and is thought to be her favourite.

Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple

Kerala is home to the Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple, which is about 15 km east of Pampa. In the northern part of Nilakkal, the holy river Pamba flows through. During the pilgrimage to Sabarimala, a lot of devotees come to this temple. People believe that Lord Ayyappa stopped at the Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple on his way to the forest to kill the demon. There, he got his father Haran’s blessing.

People on their way to Sannidhanam stop at the Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple to ask for blessings. People here believe that the god has two sides: the fierce Ugramoorthy and the happy Mangala Pradayakan. People also believe that Lord Siva gave Lord Ayyappa his blessings so that he could fight all evil spirits and save the people. A Devi temple called Palliyarakkavu Devi Kshetram is also close to the Shiva temple. The three Prathishtana here is Lord Parameshwaran, Lord Kannimoola Ganapathi, and Nandi.

Malayalappuzha Temple

The Malayalapuzha Bhagavathy Temple is a 3000-year-old temple where a 5’5″ tall goddess called “Malyalapuzha Amma” greets all of her followers. This old temple is in a quiet part of Pathanamthitta. It is said to have the power to help people get what they really want out of life. People come from all over to get the blessings of the Goddess, who has been watching over the area for a long time. The idol is said to be made of katusarkarayogam (a rare and special preparation of idols). On the walls, there are also some beautiful carvings and paintings.

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

The pretty old Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram is an important pilgrim centre in Kerala. It is about 25 km from Kollam. As far as I know, Maha Ganapathy worship is not as popular in Kerala as it is in other states, especially Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In fact, Bal Gangadhar Tilak popularised Vinayaga Chathurhi in Maharashtra during the peak of the freedom struggle before independence day. Kathakali, an art form from Kerala that is known all over the world, is said to have been performed for the first time at the Kottarakkara Maha Ganapathy Temple. During the time of Kottarakara Thampiran, the first Kathakali performance took place in this temple. Kathakali was created in this area.

Thiruvanchikulam Shiva Temple

The history of the Thiruvanchikulam Mahadeva Temple goes back more than 2,000 years. The temple in Kottappuram is known for the many pictures of Lord Shiva that are inside. In front of the Sreekovil, there is a Namaskara Mandapam with 16 columns. This is one of the main things to see at this temple. The Shivratri festival is celebrated in a big way during the Utsavam, which takes place every year in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (Feb-Mar). As part of the festival, an Aanayottam (elephant race) is held, which brings a lot of devotees to the temple. On full moon nights, devotees go to Palliyara pujas right before the temple closes for the night to pray for a happy marriage and to be blessed with children. The highway between Kodungallur and Ernakulam leads to the west entrance of the temple. About 6 km from Kodungallur is where the temple.

Lokanarkavu Temple

Lokanarkavu, which used to be called LOKAMALAYARKAVU, is a temple village in the Memunda area of the village of Villiappally in the Vadakara Taluk of the Kozhikode District. The temple is about 5 km east of the town of Vadakara. There are good roads that lead to the temple complex.

The Lokanarkavu temples are very different because the three main gods live in separate temples in the same area. All three temples are dedicated to the same main deities and have their own sanctum sanctorum, outer sanctum, rituals, festivals, etc. The gods are of Vishnu, Parasakthi, and Siva in the order of how old they were when they were made. The Vishnu temple could be about 2,000 years old in its current form, while the Bhagawathi temple is about 1,300 to 1,500 years old. The Siva temple isn’t as old, being only about 400 years old.

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

The Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple or the Parassini Madappura Sree Muthappan Temple, which is on the banks of the Valapattanam River, brings people from all religions and castes to the Kannur district. One of the most interesting things about this place is that dogs are revered because Lord Muthappan rides on a dog. The temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in north Kerala, and all visitors get free food and a place to stay. As Prasadam, the devotees get boiled black beans and tea (devotional offering).

It is in Kannur District, about 10 km from Thaliparamba. The god worshipped in this temple is Sree Muthappan, who is said to be a combination of the gods Thiruvappana (Lord Vishnu) and Vellatom (Lord Shiva). It is said that Sree Muthappan spent his whole life fighting for the rights of the poor and abandoned. The Muthappan Theyyam dance is the best way to show what his life was like. The usual gifts for Muthappan are fish and toddy, which are given out here. The temple is also known for the ritual art of Theyyam, which is done there every day.

Vaikom Mahadeva TempleSivagiri Temple

This place is called Vaiyaghra geham and Vaiyaghra puram in the old Sanskrit texts Bhargava Purana and Sanalkumara Samhita.

The legends say that Vyaghrapada Maharshi saw Siva here, so the town was named after him. When Tamil became more common, the word Vaiyaghra changed into Vaikom.
Today, Vaikom is one of South India’s most important Shiva shrines. The temple is part of a powerful trio with the Ettumanoor Siva Temple and the Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple. People believe that all of their wishes will come true if they pray at these three temples before “Ucha pooja.”

Even though Vaikkath Asthami is the most well-known festival at the temple, there are many others. Some of these festivals are only held at the temple.

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is on the banks of the River Pamba in Aranmula in the Pathanamthitta district, is known for the annual Vallasadya and Vallamkali ritual feasts (boat race).

The temple was built in the traditional style of Kerala. The roof and some of the pillars are known for the intricate wood carvings that show stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. On the walls of this shrine are also paintings from the early 18th century CE.

Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple

The Archaeological Department protects Thrikkaviyoor Mahadeva Temple, also called Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple, because it is an old temple with a lot of historical value. This famous shrine is in the Kaviyoor area, which is known for its temples and is near the river Manimala. Due to the fact that this temple looks like it was built in the Pallava style, historians think it was built as early as the eighth century AD. These carvings are some of Kerala’s oldest examples of stone sculpture. Lord Shiva is the main god of the temple. He is shown by the “Shivalinga,” which is about three feet tall and made of rock. It is kept in a square cave. On the grounds of the temple, you can also find idols of Ganapathy, Maharshi, and Dwarapalakas.

Another well-known temple in Kaviyoor is the Hanuman Temple. It was built on a small hill in a style called “gable” which is only found in Kerala.

Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli temple was built a long time ago and is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu. It is on the side of the Brahmagiri hills in Wayanad. The temple is 32 km away from Mananthavady. It is surrounded by beautiful hills and forests. The temple is also called Kashi of South and Sahyamala Kshetram.

There is an interesting story about the temple. Lord Brahma was travelling around the world when he came across what is now called the Brahmagiri hills. Attracted by the hills’ beauty, he went down to them and saw an idol sitting on an Amla (Gooseberry) tree. He knew that the statue was actually Lord Vishnu, and with the help of the other Devas, he put the statue there. Brahma asked Lord Vishnu to make sure that the water around the temple would wash away all sins. In response, Lord Vishnu said that the Papanashini stream would be born and destroy all sins. The temple got its name from the word “Nelli,” which means “gooseberry.” This is how it came to be called “Thirunelli.”

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

The Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple is in Ettumanoor, which is in the Kottayam district of the Indian state of Kerala. It is said that a Travancore Maharaja gave the temple’s statue to the temple. Lord Shiva is honoured by the building. The story says that Lord Shiva gave three Shivalingas to an Asura named Khara. He took them with him to Kerala. He held one between his teeth and held one in each hand. While the Lingam in his mouth was blessed in Kaduthuruthi, the one in his right hand was blessed in Vaikom (Vaikom Mahadeva Temple), and the one in his left hand was blessed in Ettumanoor. Khara is thought to have turned into a deer and started worshipping the Gods after he blessed these three holy places on the same day. People think that the god in Ettumanoor picked up the deer and held it in his hand. This is why this place was called Udhruthaina Puram, which in Malayalam means Ettumanoor (The place where the deer was lifted).

Conclusion

Kerala, God’s own country is home to some of the most ancient and famous temples that have huge pious and spiritual value. From the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple to the smallest temple in the state, Kerala is adorned with various temples dedicated to various deities. These temples have their own religious importance and draw huge crowds from all over the world. These temples are not just a haven for devotees but also a tourist attraction that adds to the overall beauty of the state. From the Thirunelli temple situated in the Lap of the mountains to the Malayalappuzha Temple, Kerala is renowned for its unique temple architecture and culture. All these temples are deeply interwoven with religious beliefs as well as the culture of the state and hence, need to be preserved for many generations to come. Therefore, Kerala is truly blessed with a rich religious heritage, and these temples are a priceless gift to all of us.

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