Thirunakkara Sree Mahadevar Temple – Kottayam
The Thirunakkara Sree Mahadevar Temple situated in the heart of Kottayam city is one of the most revered Siva temples in central Kerala. The elevated area where the temple is situated was once called ‘Nakkara Kunnu’ which in due course, because of the presence of the sacred shrine, came to known as ‘Thirunakkara’ means ‘sacred Nakkara.’
The Temple was constructed five centuries ago by one of the native kings called the ‘Thekkumkoor Raja’ who ruled from Thalikkotta, west of the present city. As the Temple was constructed on the basis of a divine dream shown to the King by the Lord Vadakkunnathan (link to Origin of the Temple) it bears many a resemblance to the Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur.
Lord Siva, the presiding deity, is not a ferocious God, but too calm and gentle that devotees feel at ease to worship and pray. The spontaneously emerged Siva Linga is about six inches height and to the left of it stands a small idol of Goddess Parvathy as well.
The Temple surrounded by a massive stone wall is characterized by the typical Kerala style of architecture. The inner walls of the sanctum sanctorum (Sreekovi’) are adorned with impressive images from the Hindu mythology. The white techi – a flowering plant belonging to the species ixora – (Vella Chethi) seen to the north of the sanctum sanctorum and the stone image of the sacred bull, Nandi (link to Legends), which were also emerged spontaneously along with the Siva Linga, it is believed, are also being revered.
Being a significant Siva temple, devotees from far and wide visit the Temple and seek the blessings of Lord Siva. The Painkuni festival conducted during first ten days of the Malayalam month Meenam (usually 14th to 23rd March) is the main festival of the Temple. The special poojas (link to Temple Festivals and Offerings in the Temple) and cultural events and the Pakal Pooram (link to ‘Pakal Pooram’) performed during this festival captures the attraction of devotees as well as art connoisseurs.
Origin of the Temple
The origin of the Temple is associated with a pious Thekkumkoor Raja, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Siva enshrined in the Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur.