Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple

Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is an ancient Shiva temple in Kottayam, Kerala, India. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple has a ten-day annual festival which falls in February / March and concludes on the day of Thiruvathira.

Located 12 kms north of Kottayam town, at Ettumanoor is an ancient Shiva temple, which was built in the 16th century. The Ettumanoor temple, a specimen of the indigenous Kerala style of architecture, attracts many Hindu devotees from all over the state.

Like all famous temples in Kerala, Ettumanoor too exhibits beautiful and rich sculptures and mural paintings. Depicting scenes from Ramayana and Bhagwata Gita, the carvings enhance the beauty and spiritual realm of the temple. A fine example of traditional Kerala architecture style, the temple is dotted with several murals and carvings, the most beautiful of which is the Natraja

The Mural Art Centre, near the temple is preserved by the Archaeological Department of the state. The ten-day annual festival, ‘Ezhara Ponnana Ezhunnallathu’ falls in February/ March. The last day ‘Arathi’ falls on the day of Thiruvathira. The 8th and the 10th day of the festival is special when large numbers of people travel to the temple to catch a glimpse of seven and a half elephants made of gold (nearly 13 Kgs) are brought out for public viewing.

The Ezhara Ponnana Darshanam is in Mahadeva temple of Ettumanoor is very famous. 7 elephants with 2 feet height and one small elephant with 1 feet height are called ‘Ezharaponnana’. The display of this wonder is in 8th day of the festival of the temple. These elephants are made of jackwood(varikka plavu). The wooden elephants are covered with golden plates. The legend behind these elephants is a story based on Anizham Thirunal Marthandavarma. Once he attacked the Ettumanoor, during the war the temple got damaged. After that the king and his family had suffered illness and other myseries. Then to propitiate the great Ettumanoorappa he offered ‘Ezharaponnana’ with ‘thotti, valar’and a ‘Pazhukkakkula’ in gold.

On the eighth day of the festival, there is a processional image of the deity called ‘Ezharaponnaana Ezhunallathu’, in which a unique treasure of the temple – the seven and a half golden elephants representing the eight dik paalakas or the guardians of the cardinal directions are displayed. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is located 12 km north of Kottayam, at Ettumanoor. It is an ancient Shiva temple, which was built in the 16th century. The shrine is constructed in typical Kerala style of architecture, inlaid with beautiful carvings of scenes from the Ramayana, Bhagavata and Krishna Leela. The mural paintings and sculptures constitute the chief attraction of the temple. There are shrines devoted to Shasta, Ganapati and Dakshinamurthy in the temple.

Thulabharam is perhaps the most important ritual of the temple in which devotees make offerings to the deity in return for favours prayed for.

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