About Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple
Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple is one of the most legendary temples of Lord Shiva in Kaduthuruthy, a town in Kottayam district in the state of Kerala. It is believed that the demon Khara built the Mahadeva temple, as well as the Ettumanoor and Vaikom temple shrines and also installed the idols at the three
temples. As the Thaliyil temple contains replicas of the Vaikom and Ettumanoor Shiva idols, it is thought that a visit here on the same day before noon is as good as visiting the three Shiva temples (Vaikom, Ettumanoor, and Thaliyil Mahadeva).
The legend of the temple
According to legend, the Shiva lingam was founded by Kharasura, who is mentioned in the Ramayana, was an ardent Shiva devotee who performed strict penance at Chidambaram. Shiva bestowed a boon and three Lingams upon him after being impressed by his Tapasya. Lingams got placed at Vaikom and Ettumanoor as he rested on these two places and the last Shiva Lingam installed was from his mouth, as a result the site came to be known as “Kadichiruthy Prathishta.”,where „Kadichu‟ means bite and „thuruthy‟ means to be placed.
Later, this name changed and got the current name kaduthuruthy. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of the Kaduthuruthy temple. The temple’s Sivalinga is the smallest of three Sivalingas installed by Kharasura, standing just 3 feet tall. It has an easterly orientation.
The Kaduthuruthy Shiva Temple is known for its architectural beauty. The temple features some of Kerala’s finest mediaeval temple architecture. A wonderful series of wood carvings depicting the tale of “Karthaveerarjuneeyam” can be found in the mandapam in front of the shrine.
Kaduthuruthy was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Vadakkumkoor, and the temple was under the control and management of Vadakkumkoor dynasty, which was annexed to Travancore by Marthanda Varma in 1754. The town’s history is portrayed in the first Sandesha Kavyam in Malayalam, “Unnuneeli
Sandesham.” The author is thought to have been a member of one of Travancore’s royal families. The works depict in detail the city’s great harbour, despite the fact that the sea has receded in the fourteenth century, most likely due to an earthquake or tsunami.
The temple was said to have been destroyed by fire about three hundred years ago, but the mandapam, with its exquisite carvings, was spared. The temple’s chief priest clutched the idol to his chest and gave his life to protect it. To commemorate the incident, a statue of this chief priest is erected in the shrine’s northern portion.
A festival was held at the temple during the reign of the Vadakkumkoor dynasty, which lasted for twenty-eight days. It eventually came to an end. Maharani Sethu Lekshmi Bai resurrected the festival and made temple observances more orderly and punctual. The Vadakkumkoor dynasty was eventually merged with Travancore. Today, the Kaduthuruthy Shiva Temple is one of the most important temples in the Travancore Devaswom Board.
Every year in December, the temple holds a ceremonial 10-day celebration with much grandeur. The temple is illuminated with lamps, and the elephants are decorated with gold plated caparisons(“nettipattam”) , necklaces and bells to carry the diety during festival procession. Shiva, who is worshipped in dhyana form and faces east, is the main deity in the temple. The Shiva in this scene is Vadakkumkurru’s paradevata. The region is thought to have been Vembaladu’s capital (Vadakkumkurru). The temple is one of Kerala’s oldest Tali temples.
Shivratri is also an important festival observed in this temple.
The best time to visit
The best time to visit temple is in Winter season (best months are October to February, where we experience the lowest temperature). It has a serene ambience and more or less the same climatic condition throughout the year.
Opening and closing time
Morning opening and closing time – 4:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Evening opening and closing time – 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Important Morning Pooja Timings 4:00 AM to 4:30 AM – Nirmalyam
8:00 AM to 8:30 AM – Pantheeradi Pooja 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM – Uccha Puja
Important Evening Pooja Timings 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM – Deeparadhana
No entry fee.
A strict dress code is maintained for devotees who visit the temple. Men: Mundu, Veshti or Dhoti without shirt
Women: Sarees with blouse, Churidhar with Dupatta, Half Saree, Skirt
The Kaduthuruthy Temple is located in scenic surroundings on the crest of a small hill. It is situated at the Kaduthuruthy junction itself in the mid-way between Vaikom and Ettumanoor and has a large parking area. Hence, it is easy to reach the temple.
How to reach
By Air – The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport which is 63 km from the Temple.
By Train – The nearest railway station is Kottayam which is 25 km from the Temple.
By Road –Direct buses are available to the kaduthuruthy junction.