Saturday, 22 July 2017

Gundert Bungalow - steeped in Malayalam history and growth

Gundert-Bungalow, Thalassery, Kerala 

 The south western state of kerala has unique colonial buildings, palaces and bungalows that have historical significance. Notable among the vintage bungalows is Dr. Gundert's bungalow. His unique and historical building is a silent spectator to the development of the native language spoken here - Malayalam. The dedicated  Malayalam scholar was a German, one Dr. Herrmann  Gundert, a humble Christian missionary. The Almighty intended him to make history right here in his bungalow. 

Gundert Bungalow,  Illikunnu,  near Thalassery (Canananore district), Kerala is a well-known tourist attraction. This bungalow, more than 200 years old, is quite interwoven with the culture, language  and tradition of Kerala.  This historical  building was the residence of Dr. Herman Gundert, the German Missionary, who became a member of the Basal Mission in 1934. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Dr. Herman Gundert arrived in India as a Christian missionary with a view to preaching Christianity to the natives during the colonial days. On 27th February 1839, he shifted  his residence  to the present location and lived here for more than two decades.

Gundert-Bungalow, Thalassery, Kerala YouTube

Being a polyglot, he took keen interest in the Malayalam language because he liked the way the the natives spoke the language. He was actively involved in research activities, literary works, etc.,  besides social and cultural activities. He  spent much of his productive years right here in this bungalow set in a serene, quiet place.

Having mastered the spoken and also the written language, local dialects, etc., Dr.
Gundert embarked on a monumental work - preparation of Malayalam dictionary.  He completed the first Malayalam dictionary during  his active  period extending between 1839 and 1859, while  residing here. His stay in this residence saw the publication of the Paschimodayam, the oldest Malayalam newspaper. The other publication included Rajyasamacharam, the first Malayalam newspaper in 1847 and also started a school in 1939. 

Gundert State, Dr.Gundet Bungalow, nearThalassery Stadium-
Dr.Herman Gundert's valuable and important contribution  to Malayalam. No doubt, he played a key role in the development of Malayalam. He compiled Malayalam grammar book, Malayalabhaasha Vyakaranam and published  first Malayalam grammar book. In 1872 he translated Bible into Malayalam. 

Dr. Herrmann Gundert. en.wikipedia. org

The Gundert Bungalow  had been previously used 
as a residence by Mr. Thomas Stench, judicial magistrate of Thalassery. He donated the  bungalow to the Basal Mission for its humanitarian services. The bungalow, designed in a typical colonial mansion style architecture, has a wide veranda and several carved doorways.  The site also published

 Built in watch tower style, this bungalow, more than 200 years old, is large and attractive and is made of brick, sand, granite stones and quality wood, following the local architecture typical of Kerala in by-gone days. With a traditional look, the entrance has two pillared arches that make the gateway look impressive. The roof has pyramidal shape so that the rain water would not stay on the roof and the wooden ceilings in the interior place are in good shape. 

Dr. Gundert  died on 1893 April 25 and left a niche for himself in the annals of the history of the  Malayalam language. 

Now, bungalow is a part of the Nettur Technical Training Foundation, a unique institution started by the Swiss Foundation, imparting skills and knowledge to the residents of the region.


First ever Cricket Maidan (ground), & sports club 1792, Calcutta!!

68th Light Infantry team playing a cricket match in Calcutta

Above image:  68th Light Infantry team of the East India company playing a cricket match in Calcutta on 15 January 1861 against the Calcutta Cricket Club. coloured print by P Carpentier. ...................

 In the last three decades cricket  has become  the most popular sport in India and nowadays you can see kids playing cricket on the narrow streets and in open grounds even in villages, jerry-rigging  Causarina wood as stumps. Their enthusiasm was just amazing and no body can stop it. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the game attracted mostly the elite and the forward communities in Inddia, particularly in urban and semi urban areas. In those days people enjoyed the game ver much by listening  to the radio commentary by excellent commentators on the cliff hanger matches between India and other teams like Australia, England and West Indies. There was no TV in those years. The lack of visuals never dampened the trill of the huge audience glued to the radio. Mind you, in the olden days the players never wore the protective helmet as players do now, if the hard ball hit on the head if the batsman  made  a wrong hook shot from the incoming bouncer, traveling at high speed - more than 80 miles/hr, it would be a serious matter. The players had to have lots of guts and reled on their techniques and timing. As days go by, more and more kids in India have become passionate about cricket. Several months ago when I went to the saloon, the barber, while watching the cricket match on TV, was naming the field positions like gully, cover, silly mid-off, mid-on so on and so forth. Literally I was in a state of shock. Decades ago cricket awareness was poor among the people who never saw high schools. Ever since India won the 1983 Cricket World Cup, craze for cricket has been on the upward mobility.

It was the English who popularized cricket  in India during the colonial days . According to the cricketing historian Cecil Headlam who was on a visit to India in 1903 during Delhi Durbar (the durbar was held to celebrate the succession of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India), introduction of cricket was part of colonial mission to reach out to the people. Perhaps, he might have meant through  cricket they could get closer to the elite to make a political mileage out of it.  Hunting  was a past time among the British and they conducted joint  hunting expeditions to the jungles to hunt tiger and other animals with the Indian rulers  and this gave the British an excellent opportunity to  have  close rapport with the powerful Indian people. Even though the schools run by christian missionaries helped  the Indians a lot, on the contrary, it did not help the missionaries to their satisfaction. because the native Indians were deeply religious and had hesitation to accept a new faith that was  altogether different to them. However, the British succeeded to a greater extent when they became  dominant merchants and administrators. They began to show interest in golf, tennis and, of course, cricket to spend their time and discuss business. Lots of clubs sprang up later in Bengal and other places and under their aegis many sporting events were conducted.

It was in the year 1725,  first ever friendly match was played by the sailors  stationed at a seaport in Kutch. In 1792, the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club  and later in 1799 another cricket club at Srirangapatnam, now in Karnataka (after Tipu sultan was killed in the last Angelo Mysore war)  were formed by the British to spend their leisure time.  The interesting point is, it was the British Sailors  who evinced keen  interest in cricket and played early matches in India. Incidentally Calcutta Cricket & Football Club, founded in 1792, had the distinction of being  one of the oldest sports clubs in the world. As there was no proper spacious  ground to play cricket, the venue chosen was the esplanade, parallel with the river Hooghly, between Fort William and Government House. An excellent place to play cricket. In 1825, the Calcutta Cricket Club some how managed to get a piece of plot on the Maidan for their activities. Later in 1841 they shifted their venue to the eastern boundary of the Auckland Circus Gardens.

British sailors playing early cricket matches in India..1700s

In this  new place the spectators and the contesting players had to sit under the hot sun to see the match unless  there were  big trees. To  erect a suitable pavilion for the spectators and players, approval was given  finally on 19 April, 1864. A nice pavilion measuring 125 ft by 25 ft was built with necessary facilities, using excellent Burma teak wood brought from Burma for this purpose. This old vintage pavilion had to be demolished to make way for the construction  in 1970s of the Cricket Association of Bengal’s modern B.C. Roy Club house.

The present day Calcutta Cricket & Football, over the centuries,  has under its wing several sporting clubs; mention may be made of Calcutta Cricket Club of 1792 , Ballygunge Cricket Club (1864-1950), Calcutta Football Club (1872-1877) and the revived Calcutta Football Club set up in 1884. They were  part of  Calcutta Cricket & Football Club, a historic sporting institution, a legacy left behind by the British who painstakingly built Calcutta as the second most important city next to London. At one time the British received a big chunk of revenue from Bengal in the formative years. The sports clubs not only provided recreation for the home-sick Europeans, but also social events where the people could socialize, have drinks and fun.


  (First posted in July 2016; image correction, etc., made)

Friday, 21 July 2017

Popular Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple , Kerala

Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple,

The temples of Kerala are not only known for their striking beautiful temple architecture, but are also known for their location - either on the banks of a river or near the sea-front. The crucial point is they are located in a quiet, serene environment where devotees find themselves at peace with their mind. the enticing surroundings promote bakthi and devotion through tranquillity.  Hence, these  simple, but elegant Hindu temples stand apart. 

Situated about two kilometres to the south east 
from Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram City, Irumkulangara Durga
Bhagavathi Temple in Thottam, Manacaud, Kerala, India is a famous temple.  It is located on the bank of two ponds from where it got its name: "irum" 
means two and "kulam" means pond. Considered as 
one of the ancient temples of Kerala, It is believed, that the temple has a close association  with the 
famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, in Thiruvananthapuram. In ancient times, priests from Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple are believed to have  arrived at Irumkulangara by country boats for performing pooja and rituals.

Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple. GoRoadTripJust Kera

At this Sri Durga Devi temple, rituals like Thottampaattu and Ottam are restricted here. Red coloured flowers, except thetti, are banned. Other flowers such as tulsi, jasmine, lotus, Nandyarvattom, etc., are widely used for pujas.  An interesting aspect is the Temple Thanthri(priest) of  Sree Padmanabhaswamy and Koodalmanikyam temples is taking care of the Puja protocols and now the temple is under the control of Sree Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple Trust.

Several years ago  the temple underwent some renovation work based on Vstsu Sastras and was inaugurated by Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma Maharajah of Travancore on December 25, 2009. Additions included chuttambalam and sivelippura.
Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple. GoRoadTrip

The main deity appears as Durga Bhagavathi, an avatar of Adi Parasakthi Primarygoddess). Karthika is considered as the star of the deity. The other deities in the temple include Lord Ganesh, Nagaraja, Brahm Rakshas,Bhairava Moorthy, Madan Thampuran and

The major temple festival Painkuni Mahothsavam, is mostly held on a grand scale in the month of March and it lasts for 10 days and ends with Pongala and Ezhunnallathu.

The following are the other festivals in this temple::

 Mandala Vratham — Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala. Vinayaka Chathurthi — Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy., Pooja Vaypu — Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham),  Karthika — Kazhchakula Samarpanam, Navakabhishekam, Karthika Pongala, Annadhanam (all months), Ramayana Parayanam and BhagavathiSeva — All days of Karkidakom (evening).

01, The temple kavu was awarded by Kerala Government Department of Forest and Wildlife as one of the best maintained. Here, the snakes are well protected.

02. In 2011,the temple created a Nakshtravanam (trees relating to birth stars) on the premises.

Koyikkal Palace, beautiful 16th century royal residence, Kerala

Unlike the palaces of Northern India which are big and highly embellished, the palaces of Kerala set among the green patches,coconut groves,etc are simplicity personified, but elegance in look. Once, they were the traditional residences of the Royal families of Kerala. Invariably, with some exceptions, most of them are wooden structures with brick-lime masonry built in local style suitable for tropical climate and heavy monsoon seasons.

Koyikkal palace.

 The Koyikkal Palace or kottaram, a 16th century building was built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad Royal Family (the royal seat of the Perakathavazhy Swaroopam, a collateral branch of Venad). Located in Nedumangadu,Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala in South India,it is a double storeyed building, following traditional architectural style of Kerala.  Umayamma Rani happened to be the regent of Venad between 1677 and 1684. The famous palace is a naalukattu structure with slanting gabled roofs central courtyard, ornate pillars and long corridors and an inner courtyard. The nadumuttam or central courtyard is paved with granite stones. As in other palaces of Travancore, this one has a fine  underground drainage system, using stone pipes to take the waste water out of the Nadumuttam. On  four sides of nadumuttam, there are ornate granite pillars that enhance the beauty of the interior parts. As it was a custom to have a temple on the palace premises, the Koyikkal Palace has a temple attached to it. Essential ancellary structures like padippura, kitchen, oottupura, urappura, kulappura etc., seem to have been lost due to onslaught of time and age of the building. The palace has thick walls built with laterite blocks set in lime mortar with finely plastered surfaces

Presently, it is being managed by the  Archaeological Department of Kerala that houses a   Folklore Museum as well as a Numismatics Museum. The exhibits in the Folklore museum include rare and strange instruments like 'Chandravalam', a small percussion instrument used in Ramakathappattu (story of Sri Rama)and 'Nanthuni' (a fine sounding wind instrument), a small musical instrument made of wood and string used in Onappattu etc. Besides, on display are occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc. Some  musical instruments are used during the Onam festival. The exhibits throw light on the richness and artistic traditional and cultural life of Kerala that has existed for centuries.

Museeum, musical 

The Folklore Museum housed on the first floor of the palace  is of particular interest. Household utensils include wooden kitchenware, brass/copper ware etc. representing  different periods. Thaliyola (old manuscripts), Chilambu (a sort of anklet) used by Umayamma Rani and Maravuri (dress material made of the bark of trees) etc. are well preserved here. Oorakkudukku a brain-teasing exercise used by the Yogis as a pastime, Gajalekshmi - a lamp representing the Goddess of prosperity  commonly used at dusk  during the harvest season to welcome the goddess), the Kettuvillakku - a ceremonial lamp (artistically made out of colored paper and locally available light wood splits/rails), used during festivals at the Bhagavathy (goddess) temples of Southern Kerala, Patayani kolam model, the headgear and dress used by Ottanthulal artistes  are on display here.

koyikkal kottaram at nedumangad

The Numismatics Museum on the ground floor of  the Koyikkal Palace is an interesting one and it is the only one of its kind in the State, displaying rare coins of  different parts of the world and of different periods. This  collection has historical value and is the remnant  of the flourishing maritime trade activities  of Kerala (in spices, etc) in the bygone ages. Among the exhibits one can find oldest coins  of Kerala in the world  - Ottaputhen, Erattaputhen, Kaliyugarayan Panam etc. A fascinating coin - a   Venetian coin named Amaida, believed to have been presented to Jesus Christ, Indian coins  called  Karsha.(  2500 years old. Rasi, the world's smallest coins),  Sreekrishna Rasi, one of the rasis (regional coins) issued by the local kings of Kerala around the 10th century, Anantharayan Panam - the first modern gold coin of Travancore in circulation in the 15th and 17th centuries, Kochi Puthen - one of the coins of the Kochi Kingdom, rare old Roman gold coins (representing Roman goddess) etc., are other  interesting coins housed here.   The museum also has coins used by various Indian dynasties - the Gwalior royal family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali, etc.

 Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway station is  about 18 km from the palace.

Beautiful Beemapall mosque, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Beemapally Masjid,Thiruvananthapuram.
Beemapally Masjid,Thiruvananthapuram.

Beemapally, a suburb of Thiruvananthapuram (12 km from the main city), is famous for the mosque known as Beemapally Dargah Shareef where there is  the tomb of Syedunnisa Beema Beevi, a Muslim woman. who is believed to have divine mystic powers. Her son  Syedushuhadamaheen Abubacker was also entombed here.

Every year there is a popular festival held to venerate Beema Beevi  and it attracts thousands of pilgrims from all faiths and castes. 

Beemapally Masjid is an attractive and eye-catching building with its imposing façade and soaring minarets. Beema Beevi is believed to have related  to the Prophet Mohammed’s family and no body knew how she got the amazing miraculous power to  cure people of all ailments. Her  close association with the Prophet Mohammed’s family had sanctified this Durgah and it is quite obvious, people of all faiths come to this holy place of veneration  for prayer and cure. 

Beemapally Masjid,

According to the Legand Cheraman Perumal  met Prophet Mohammed at Jeddah and attracted by his preachings, he became a convert to Islam and  changed his name to Thajuddin. He married the sister of the then King of Jeddah and settled down in Arabia. Before  his death, he handed over many letters to the king of Jeddah; they were addressed to several rulers of Kerala  requesting their their support in spreading the tenets of Islam in Kerala.

After Thajuddin’s death, the King of Jeddah visitedto Kerala and met the Rajah of Kodungalloor who helped him to alter the Arathali Temple into a Juma Masjid. This mosque was designed and built by Hindus based on their art and architecture. 

Next to Beemapally Mosque, are the graves of three renowned disciples who were intered there. Cheraman mosque is the first in India and the second in the world where the Juma prayers were started.

Beemapally Masjid

The annual Uroos (Chandanakudam Mahotsavam) of Beemapally Mosque is famous which attracts lots of pilgrims from all walks of life.  It marks the death anniversary of Beema Bheevi and the festival 

Beemapally Masjid,
starts on the first of Jama dul Akbar and continues for the next ten days. The celebration, as usual,  begins with the hoisting of the customary flag of the mosque in front of the elders and other devotees. The devotees carry money in pots which are adorned with flowers and incense sticks.The pot is covered with sandal paste which is why the festival is called Chandanakudam (sandal pot). On the final day of Chandanakudam Mahotsavam, a flag from Beema Beevi’s grave is taken; it is followed by a grand procession with caparisoned elephants and to the accompaniment of the music of the panchavadyam (five instruments).

Only temple dedicated to Janardana Swami (Vishnu) Kerala, South India


Incredible Kerala

 Janardana Swami Temple, dedicated to lord Vishnu is a 2000 year old temple of great antiquity  situated in Varkala (Thiruvananthapuram district)), 25 km north of Thiruvananthapuram city, Kerala. Varkala, a famous sea side town, is also known by the name of Janardanapuram.  Also known as Varkala Temple, it is a well known  sacred pilgrim center in Kerala and is referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the south)  built near the Arabian sea shore - close to the Papanasam beach, which is considered to have medicinal properties since the waters wash the nearby medicinal plants. Hence, it has emerged as one of the  important Ayurveda treatment centres. The temple is 13 km south of the famous backwater destination Paravur and 2 km from Varkala Sivagiri railway station. 

Janardanaswamy_Temple, Kerala. Trips on Bid

Balarama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna, according to Sri Maha Bhagavatham, was believed to have visited this ancient shrine. According to the legend  Brahma saw Narayana (Vishu) following his son Narada who was on his  way to  Vaikuntam, Narayana (Vishnu)  was engrossed by the Veena music  of Narada, and  followed him unseen.  When Brhma  offered obeisance  to Him, at this juncture, Vishnu, realizing the awkward situation, suddenly disappeared. Brahma,  without his knowlede, paying respect  to his own son, Narada. The  Devas  laughed at this funny incident, upon which  they were cursed by Brahma that they would be born on earth and suffer the miseries of human beings. Narada told them to perform penance to relieve of their sin at a place, where his ‘Valkalam' (upper garment/ Vastra’)  fell down. Then they built and consecrated a temple for Vishnu (Janardanaswamy). Hence the name Varkala. 
The temple of Sri Janardana is atop a  table-land adjoining the sea and can be accessed by a long and arduous flight of steps.  There are the idols of Hanuman and Garuda on either side
at the entrance to the inner shrine and in the Srikovil/Garbagraha (sanctum) is the idol of Sri. Janardana with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. The circular ‘Sanctum sanctorum” surrounded by a conical dome of copper sheets is unique to this temple. Inscriptions in the temple point out that  during the reign of Umayamma Rani (1677-84 A.D), the temple seemed to have undergone major architectural changes rich in artistic  work.  

It is the only temple where Vishnu is referred to as  Janardana in South India.  The impressive  idol has  four arms having all the attributes of Vishnu. The presiding deity is in standing position facing towards the east. His right hand is positioned as if he is performing "Aachamanam". His right hand is raised towards his mouth and legends say that if his hand goes nearer to his mouth, the world will come to an end - deluge or Pralayam . It is believed to happen at the end of the Kali Yuga when evil forces dominate the world. There are the shrines of Sasta and Shiva with Nandi on the temple premises. 


 Arattu festival is  a major event celebrated in the month of Meenam (March–April/ on the day of Uthram), at this temple in The festival starts with a Kodiyettam flag hoisting ceremony, and ends with a procession of five decorated elephants through the streets. During the fourth and fifth days of the festival, the celebrations include all night long performances such as traditional Kathakali dancing

Lots of devotees come here to do Pithroo Karyam - paying 
obeisances to the departed souls and forefathers  and it an important ritual here. Four poojas are conducted in a day by the priest. The chief priest is a Tulu Brahmin, who is not native to this place.


The temple has an ancient bell removed from a shipwreck. It was donated by the captain of the Dutch vessel which sank near Varkala without causing any casualties.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Krishna Vilas Palace and the Tank Shed Palace - remnants of Cochin rulers

Tank Shed palace.

The  Hindu temple festivals in Kerala are important events and in the case of major events the rulers of Kerala never fail to participate in them as they  were closely connected with the divinity. Such festivals and religious events preserve the sanctity of the temples involved.  In the case of Ernakulathappan temple festivities, the Cochin Royal family members whose seat of power is Tripunithura, would visit the place on festive occasions and reside in the palaces -

Tank Shed palace.

Krishna Vilas Palace and the Tank Shed Palace - adjacent to the Shiva temple. They were stately residences meant for the ruler and his family members for stay  here at any time. That the Krishna Vilas  palace shared a common wall with the temple will confirm this. It is said  the Krishna Vilas palace accommodated  the male members of the family,  whereas women from the royal family and the princesses stayed at the Tank Shed palace which is well connected with  temple pond. Both structures were built at the same time - in the middle of 19th century.The Krishana Vilas palace is pulled down and, as for Tank Shed palace  that is behind the Durbar Hall, was poorly maintained with thick growth of plants, etc., that hides it from view. The Royal family of Cochin took over the administration in 1949, after the integration of the States of Travancore and Cochin. No construction was done and it remained vacant for a pretty long time.

According to Historian Venugopal, the Darbar Hall of the palace was used briefly when a government inquiry was ordered into Coconut oil scam and in this regard the Chief Justice of Cochin State, Sir C.V. Ananthakrishna Iyer, a retired Judge of Madras High Court and  M.C. B. Koman, ICS held the inquiry here. Whether the Tank Shed palace was exclusively meant for the women members of the royal family or whether male members were allowed to visit the palace is a bone of contention and there are different versions about the use of this palace. Two members of the  royal family, Kodungallur Kunjukuttan Thampuran and Rama Varma Appan Thampuran started the a magazine called Rasika Ranjini that was printed  at Vidya Vilasam Press in Ernakulam and the palace became the Magazine's office for a pretty long time. As the palace building became decrepit deciion was gtaken to sell the palace estate. In 2000 the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan  bought the palace premises and and started a primary school Bhavan’s Bala Mandir.

The  palace has not undergone any modifications and additions for a long time, hence, it's heritage value is not disturbed  The palace has fine  architecture and interiors  with well-decorated wooden stairway, pillars, wooden floor, etc. The blue and white Belgian tile flooring  is impressive. The private walled pond adjacent to the palace, visible from the rows of windows from the palace has still  retained its old charm.

In this transitory world, there is no room for permanency, the old royal palace is a vestige of the heyday of Cochin rulers.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Pandalam Mahadeva Temple, Kerala - a place of veneration

Pandalam Mahadeva Temple, kerala. TemplePurohit

Pandalam Mahadeva Temple,situated in between Thottakkonam and Mulampuzha villages (district:     Pathanamthitta) in the state of Kerala, is one  among the 108 oldest Shiva temples consecrated by the great 'Sanayasin Khara Muni'. Located on the left banks of the Achenkovil river,  with one side  in the banks of the  river,  this temple is also known as 'Mukkal Vattom' 3 km away from Pandalam town. It is believed that Lord Parasurama had installed the main idol in the Garbhagriha  of this temple.

The interesting feature of this Shiva temple is the near-by river water touches lower part of the Srikovil of Mahadeva- something like the Ganges flowing downward  from Shiva's 'Jada' (hair). Additionally, the temple has the idols of Lord Ganesh (Ganapathy), 'Maya- Ekshi Amma', Lord Ayyappa, Nagaraja (Lord Snake), Lord Subramanian, Brahma Rakshas and Rakshas and they  are also worshipped here. One can find almost numerous deities mentioned in the Hindu pantheon. So, this temple is an embodiment of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. 

Pandalam Mahadeva Temple, Kerala. TemplePurohit

 The annual major festival here is Kettukazhcha festival  that is held for 10 days. It is celebrated  in 'Dhanu masa' November–December every year. the festival  commences, as in other temples, with a temple flag-hoisting ceremony- 'kodiettu' and it comes to a close with  'aarattu' The administration of this temple is taken care of by Mahadeva Seva Samithi  in which 12 villages participate. Mahashivratri is yet another major festival Throughout night, there will be pujas, prayers and Koothu ( classical, folk dances, mythological dramas, etc).

In this town of Pandalam , yet another place of venaration is Sri  Ayyappan, a famous place.

Interesting Kottiyoor Temple, Kerala

Temporary structure. Kottiyoor templeKerala Tourism
\Kottiyoor Temple is a prominent Shiva temple in the state of  Kerala. There are two temples in Kottiyoor - one on the western bank of the Bavali river - and the other  being  on the eastern bank. The tradition has it the temple   on the east bank (Kizhakkeshwaram or Akkare Kottiyoor) is a temporary  place of worship (Yaga shrine). It is opened only during the Vysakha festival. The  temple on the west bank Vadakkeshwaram or Ikkare Kottiyoor (The Thruchherumana Temple) is a permanent one  like other Hindu temples. It is situated in a densely forested area amidst a sacred grove  covering about 80 acres. The interesting fact is it remain closed throughout the year except for the 27 days of Vysakha festival. 

Bavali River Kottiyoor Temple on the bankss. malabar - blogger

The temple has been known as Vadakkeshwaram Temple aince ancient time, but it is locally referred to as Ikkare Kottiyoor as it is on the bank of the river close to the Kottiyoor village; in order to differentiate it from the shrine in the other side of the river, Thruchherumana Kshetram is the proper name of Kottiyoor temple. The temple is a special category temple under Malabar Devaswom board.

According to the Hindu mythology, it was here at Akkare Kottiyoor, the shrine on the eastern bank of the river - the location of Daksha Yaga, S
ati Devi immolated herself and thus committed suicide.

Kottiyoor, Kerala.

The presiding deity Shiva is in the form of Swayambhoo lingam  and the temple was built over it. The date of construction and consecration of the temple is not known as the temple records are not clear. However, the pilgrimage to this temple has been around for centuries.
The Kottiyoor Temple is a highly revered temple in Kerala and neighboring areas of adjoining states  as the temple is believed to have been  blessed with the divine presence of the Holy Trinity or The Trimurthy (Brahma - Vishnu - Shiva) and the primordial Mother Goddess (Bhagavathy). On account of their holy presence,  Kali (the personification of Kali Yuga), promised Parashurama in the presence of Trimurthy in not entering the premises of the holy shrine.
Ikkare Kottiyoor.

The Vadakkeshwaram Kottiyoor
Above image: The Vadakkeshwaram or Ikkare Kottiyoor (Thruchherumana) Temple on the westbank of the river, is a permanent  structure. It opens  for the 27 days of the Vysakha festival; rest of the 
year tt is closed. It is set in the middle of a wooded area.  ..................  

The Vadakkeshwaram Kottiyoor 

Above image: In this temple there is no Srikovil -no sanctum-sanctorum; Sati is  being worshipped as Shakti in 'Ammarakkalu Thara', a raised platform next Lord Shiv (swayambhoo lingam). Here  Sati Devi is said  to have committed suicide.  ............

Among the most prominent Sakthi shrines in India, Kottiyoor is one of the most sacred one. It is forbidden to build any permanent religious structures near-by, hence,  there are only temporary and simple-looking structures that are similar to  hermits of sages. Here, Sati is worshiped as Shakti in 'Ammarakkalu Thara', a raised platform adjacent to the Swayambhoo linga where Sati Devi is believed to have committed suicide. There is no grabagraha/ Srikovil in this temple.This place,  Shakti Peetha is the  confluence of all the known Hindu Divinities. hence, the place is called Kottiyoor from Koodi and Uuru meaning Meeting Precinct.