Kerela known as the “land of gods” and is said to be created by Parasurama a warrior sage. It is the southernmost state of India and is soaked in spirituality speaking volumes of its rich legends and tales.
There are numerous magnificent temples and most of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu some of which are even 2000 years old. Therefore Kerela is remarkably a major spiritual tourist destination in our country. The amazing architecture of the ancient temples takes us back in time giving us the immense divinity and turns up our inquisitive side to explore the enriched tradition of the very own land of God. So now lets us have a look at the top 10 temples in Kerela and have a quick tour at the tales and legends of it:
1: PADMANABHASWAMY TEMPLE (THIRUVANANTHAPURAM)
This temple undisputedly tops the list of the most famous temples in Kerela and not just Kerela it is famous worldwide for the top notch architecture it holds. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is situated in Thiruvananthapuram and it was constructed in the 8th century in the Dravidian style. Apart from the magnificent structure of the temple, there are also two major festivals which are celebrated here which attracts the tourists worldwide . These two festivals celebrated annually are of much importance and celebrated with full might. So from the tourist point of view, the best time to visit this temple is in the month of October/November which is the time of the Alpashy festival and March/April dedicated to the panguni festival.
Check In: Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
2: SABARIMALA SREE AYYAPPA TEMPLE
This is one of the most famous temples in Kerela located at the hill top of the western ghats, which is located in the Pathnamthitta district near the Periyar tiger reserve. This is considered to be one of the most notable pilgrim temple, dedicated to Lord ayyappa and is surrounded by thick mountains and forests. The visitors are sure to be mesmerized by the rich and rocky location. Though the temple is not open throughout the year and opens during the festivals, the Mandal puja and during makar Sankranti which is from the month of November to mid-January. And not just this time but the temple is also open during the first six days of every Malayalam month. The pilgrims visiting the temple are supposed to be unshaven during the entire journey and wears black or blue clothes which Chandan smudged on their foreheads and also this temple is notably visited by men.
3: ETTUMANOOR MAHADEVA TEMPLE (KOTTYAM)
This is an ancient temple dedicated to lord shiva. This temple which consists of the shiva shrine is among those very few shiva temples which depict the Dravidian style of architecture. There are mural temples on both inside and outside of the temple which is simply enthralling and frescoes pradosha nritham ( dance of lord shiva) painted on the walls of the temple are considered of the best in south india. It is believed that Adi sankaracharya the famous philosopher stayed in this temple while writing ‘soundarya lahari’. In the month of Feb/march arattu festival is celebrated and is considered best to visit this holy place.
4: TALI TEMPLE (KOZHIKODE)
Another temple depicting exclusive architecture dedicated to lord shiva. Dated back in the 14th-century tali temple is among the two Brahmanical royal temples built by zamorin. This temple is uniquely appreciated for the fusion blend of perfect laterite and wood architecture. There is brass work on the wall and brass carvings on the roof which captures the attention of the visitors. This makes tali temple on the most popular places to be visited in kozikode. The best time to visit this temple is during the revathi pattathanam festival in the month of October and November .
5: GURUVAYOOR SREE KRISHNA TEMPLE (GURUVAYOOR)
This temple is one of the most religious temples and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The idol of Lord Krishna here is carved out of Patalanjana stone which is famously known for its medicinal value. The temple is famous for witnessing several rice feeding ceremonies which are basically new born’s first meal and also there are marriages conducted on the outside premises of the temple. The temple is always clustered by visitors and there is a separate line arranged for the senior citizens.
6: CHOTTANIKARA DEVI TEMPLE (ERNAKULAM)
This temple is dedicated to lord bhagwati and it’s immensely popular in Kerela . The temple is around 4 to 5 feet tall and is famous for its curing powers. It is believed that devi bhagwati emoves all kinds of illness including mental disorders providing peace to the devotees. The temple is located in the midst of nature atop of a hill with a beautiful golden idol of goddess bhagwati. It is around 17km from ernakulam and has everything to keep the visitors fascinated.
7: NAGARAJA TEMPLE (MANNARASALA)
An ancient temple dedicated o the serpent god and is famous worldwide. It is located in the midst of thick forest like any other snake temple. This temple has more than 30,000 snake images on the trees which draw the attention of the visitors from across the globe. This place is visited by women after child birth for thanks giving ceremonies and they offer snake images.
8: LOKANARKAVU TEMPLE (KOZHIKODE)
This temple is located in memunda in the district of Kozhikode about 4-5km from vatakara. This temple is believed to be the official temple of the 500 Aryans Nagriks and their successors who migrated to Kerela . During the famous Mandla festival the temple experiences a large number of visitors . The festival is a grand affair which takes place for 30 days. The visitors can see the unique folk dance which is similar to martial art kalaripayattu. All the performers visit this temple to seek blessings before they perform this art.
9: THIRUNELLI TEMPLE
The thirunelli temple also known as the Maha Vishnu temple is a famous tourist spot of south India. This temple is mentioned in the puranas and is believed to have rich historical background. As mentioned in the puranas it is built by Lord Brahma himself. It is located up the valley and is not to be missed when thinking of the top 10 temples to visit in Kerela .
10: SIVAGIRI TEMPLE
The Siva Giri temple is the most sacred temples to be visited in Kerela . The tomb of Sree Narayana guru is preserved there who was a social reformer and sage. His Samadhi is sacred and holds utmost importance for his devotees and is visited between December 30 and January 1. The devotees are seen wearing yellow clothes during the pilgrimage days and is visited by millions every year. The best time considered to visit the Samadhi is during Narayan Jayanthi which takes place in the month of August/September.
Kerela is truly the land of god and one will surely have an enthralling experience when they visit the holy temples and experiences the pristine atmosphere all by themselves.