Nestled in the sprawling expanse of a hillside, encircled by the gushing streams of a river, the twin temples of Akkara Kottiyoor and Ikkara Kottiyoor come together once a year to collaborate and jointly host the famous 28-day festival, by name, Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam, which is held on the banks of a huge river body, called Baveli is a much-venerated festival, that closely aligns with the cultural ethos of Kerala and the characteristic spirit of this community.
Akkara kottiyoor temple opens only during festivities once in a year. It is a very widely attended event wherein you can spot highly devout people from all over India during the months of May and June. Let us know more about the festival in its all-encompassing details.
Kottiyoor Utsavam 2022: Date and Time
Kottiyoor festivities are popular amongst Keralites and they commence on 15 May 2022 and go on up to 10 June 2022 in the premises of the famous Kottiyoor temple, in Kottiyoor, in the district of Kannur, Kerala.
Kottiyoor Utsavam 2022: History Associated With This Festival
The striking features, that hit the eye at the very first sight is the informal style of architecture that is used to build the twin temples of Akkara Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. As you enter the temple, you can spot a svayambhu lingam, and the presiding deity placed on a platform made of “manithaara” river’s stones. A holy ancient sword from Muthirerikavu is ushered in a procession all the way from Wayanad and the rituals begin with the pouring of ghee on the idol that is placed in a thatched hut.
Rohini Aradhana is an interesting stage in the puja series, where the priest embraces the Linga, as a part of the ritualistic procedure. The tender coconuts, regionally referred to as Elaneer Vayppu, are offered to the deity, in a huge bunch, soon after this. The chief focus of the puja is the Ilaneerattam, in which the tender coconut abhisheka puja is offered to the deity as a concluding part of the puja.
Kottiyoor Utsavam 2022: Significance Of The Festival
Kottiyoor, popularly known as Vadakkeshwaram Temple which is the abode of Lord shiva. Highly regarded as the holy Kashi of the South, this temple is fondly referred to as Ikkare Kottiyoor by the locals, as it is located on the banks of a river that flows close to Kottiyoor. Formally called the Thruchherumana Kshetram,the temple is accorded a special category status under the Malabar Devaswom Board.
These two temples are on the eastern and western bank of the Bavali river respectively. The temple on the eastern side, ( Akkare Kottiyoor Temple) is a yaga temple that allows entry only during the Vaishakha festival. The Vadakkeshwaram, or Ikkare Kottiyoor (Thruchherumana) Temple complex ris a regular temple which remained closed the entire year. barring the Vyashaka festival that is conducted for 27 continuous days.
The sacred grove spreads across 80 acres of land inside a dense forest, which makes it the ideal spot for adventure, both spiritual and the mundane. During the festivities, Ikkare Kottiyoor will not observe any festive rituals. The main prasad of the deity comes in the form of tender bamboo fibre, which is called locally as Odappoo. Oda flowers represent spiritual initiation, and they are hung in prayer halls and inside vehicles.
As per the scriptures, the place where Devi Sati (Dakshayani) sacrificed her life, in the burnng pyre, is none other than the Akkare Kottiyoor, the temple situated on the eastern side of the temple premises. Centuries back, a Swayambhu lingam was found in this place around which finally the Thruchherumana Temple was constructed. This temple is known to be sanctified by the presence of the Holy Trinity and Bhagavathi. Kali, (an entity which personifies Kaliyuga) is supposed to have promised Parashurama that it will not set its foot in the temple.
Due to the absence of a sanctum-sanctorum, the devotees worship the goddess Sati on a raised platform ‘Ammarakkalu Thara’, adjacent to the Swayambhoo linga. This is one of the oldest shakti peethas as it is the divine merge of three divinities, and hence it has come to be called Kottiyoor.
The Kottiyoor temple has pilgrims from all regions, that walk all the way to the temple, carrying the materials for festivity, in accordance with an old inception. It is the devotion and a staunch belief in the god of Kottiyoor that inspires them to walk hundreds of kilometres for the appeasement of the deity. It is a proudly cherished part of their culture. The temple is inside a thick and impassable jungle which is now declared a wildlife sanctuary by the Kerala government.
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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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