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The Arackal Devi Temple, a beacon of spirituality nestled in Kerala’s Kollam district, beckons devotees with its rich history, captivating mythology, and serene atmosphere. Devotees from all walks of life converge here to seek blessings from the presiding deity, Durga Devi. The temple’s captivating aura, instilled with legends and ancient practices, promises a truly enriching experience. It is one of Kerala’s best-kept secrets which is awaiting your exploration. If you are planning a trip to Kerala, ensure that you add the Arackal Devi Temple to your itinerary for an enriching pilgrimage. This detailed guide has all the insights.

History And Mythology Of The Arackal Devi Temple

The majestic Arackal Devi Temple has a deep history and mythology related to it that attracts hundreds of devotees every day.

Image Credit: M_Sarkar for Wikimedia Commons

Chances are that you may not have come across its name, and the reason is perhaps the very little information about the temple’s history. The one available is shrouded in mystery. One popular narrative recounts the arrival of the presiding deity, Durga, from Mahishasura’s clutches. Another tale speaks of a local chieftain who enshrined it upon encountering the idol and established the temple.

Surprisingly, the temple’s interiors and architecture reflect influences from different eras. This hints at an enduring legacy that suggests the temple has been in its place for a longer period. The intricate carvings and murals narrate the time depicted in the Hindu Mythology. If nothing, you could find yourself getting lost in the beauty of each mural that paints the temple walls, weaving a story that we will most likely not have much idea of.

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Best Time To Visit The Arackal Devi Temple

Famous for its tropical climate and pretty views, June to September are considered ideal for visiting Arackal Devi Temple

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Kerala is famous for its tropical climate, which remains pleasant and comfortable throughout the year. However, like the rest of the country, the summer months are best to avoid, especially when visiting temples requiring you to stand in line for prolonged hours. The best time to visit the Arackal Devi Temple is from November to February. The weather is comfortable, and there’s no lingering rainfall on the cards, so your sightseeing plans after will not be hampered as well.

Although summer turns hot and humid, famous festivals like Vishu (Malayalam New Year) and Pooram (temple festival with colourful processions) fall during that period. So, if you wish to encounter and experience them inside the temple premises in real-time, you must compromise on the discomfort and heat. The period from June to September accounts for the monsoon season, which is quite pleasant but has a few limitations. With greenery around, you will be compelled to ignore the pouring rain but the heavy downpour certainly affects your travel plans. However, the month of October offers a post-monsoon respite, making it a perfect time to visit the temple too.

How To Reach Arackal Devi Temple?

There are several ways of transportation that can safely take you to this breathtaking temple

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Reaching the Arackal Devi Temple is convenient with various transportation options, including:

By Air: The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (TRV), approximately 110 kilometres away. Taxis and cabs are readily available for onward travel to the temple.

By Train: The Kollam Junction Railway Station is the closest railhead, about 25 kilometres from the temple. Local transportation options are available, or you can rent a car for convenience.

By Road: The temple’s location is well connected by road, so devotees can reach it from major cities such as Kochi and Trivandrum.

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Essential Information For Visitors

One great thing about most Hindu temples in Kerala is their uniformity in the timings. Regarding the Arackal Devi Temple, the temple opens twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. It counters the rush of the devotees, ensuring that everyone gets a fair chance to offer their prayers. We will highlight more about the temple’s basic insights in this guide:

1. Arackal Devi Temple Timings

Arackal Devi Temple Timings

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As mentioned, the temple opens from 05:00 AM to 11:00 AM and from 05:00 PM to 08:00 PM. Devotees can visit the temple during operational hours to offer their prayers and seek blessings from the Goddess. The temple also follows specific timings for the darshan and special rituals, highlighted on their official website.

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2. Entrance Fee

Whether you are a devotee or a tourist, there is no entrance fee for entering the Arackal Devi Temple

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Devotees don’t have to pay anything to enter the temple. There seems to be no option for special darshan tickets as well. So, you’d need to reach the temple early in the morning and get in the queue to wait for your turn. Depending on the day, the occasion and the crowd, the time from the entrance to the inner sanctum can take an hour or two. So, patience is the key.

3. Dress Code

When stepping inside the Arackal Temple, make sure to wear decent and modest clothes

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When stepping inside the Arackal Devi temple in Kerala, you must wear decent and modest clothes. Opt for Indian attires that cover the shoulders and below the knees. So, shorts, etc. are not an ideal choice for entering the temple, regardless of gender or age.

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4. Etiquettes and Rules

The Arackal Temple is a place of worship and religious significance. Make sure and maintain silence and respect.

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Maintain silence and reverence within the temple premises. Photography might be restricted in certain areas. Please adhere to any additional guidelines posted by the temple authorities. The temple authorities will mention specific instructions that you should follow.

Highlights Of The Temple

If nothing catches your eye, you can always find a space around the temple after your worship and soak in the spiritual aura

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Being a first-time visitor of the Arackal Devi Temple in Kerala will enrapture you with a myriad of highlights, including:

  • The central deity, Durga Devi, is believed to be self-manifested (swayambhu) and adorned with intricate jewellery.
  • The temple complex showcases architectural styles, reflecting its historical evolution.
  • The temple walls are adorned with exquisite murals depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, offering a glimpse into the region’s artistic heritage.

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Places To Visit Around Arackal Devi Temple

Once you finish your worship and exploring around the temple, what do you do next? Based on the Arackal devi temple timings, you can spend the entire day at the temple or explore places around.

1. Ashtamudi Lake

Ashtamudi Lake near Arackal Devi Temple

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Albeit popular, the Ashtamudi Lake is a bit of a drive away. It is 50 km from the temple but worth the hour’s drive that you indulge in. You can embark on a serene backwater cruise through the enchanting Ashtamudi Lake, a sprawling labyrinth of waterways fringed by lush greenery. Glide past traditional houses on stilts, witness local fishermen casting their nets, and spot diverse birdlife flitting through the palm groves.

2. Munroe Island

Ferry running to the Munroe Island

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Munroe Island is located around 40 km from the Arackal Devi temple. It is quite an offbeat spot, so expect fewer crowds but more lakes and canals. The place offers you a glimpse into Kerala’s backwater paradise, which you can’t miss out on.

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3. Vembanad Lake

A soothing view of boat sailing on Vembanad Lake

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The Vembanad Lake is located around 100 km from the Arackal Devi Temple, but it is an experience worth spending a few extra hours on. It is the longest lake in India, measuring 1,252 metres long. It offers stunning views of lush greenery and clear skies, an experience that stays with you even after the vacation.

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The Arackal Devi Temple, a haven of spirituality and cultural heritage, awaits you with an open embrace. Whether you seek blessings from the divine or delve into Kerala’s rich tapestry, this temple offers a truly enriching experience. It is time to plan your next trip to Kerala and include the Arackal Devi Temple in your itinerary.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Arackal Devi Temple

Can I take photographs inside the temple?

Taking photographs near the inner sanctum, especially around the idol of the Goddess and the shrine isn’t allowed. However, it is ideal that you inquire about the same from the temple authorities to avoid any kind of confusion.

Are there any special festivals celebrated at the Arackal Devi Temple?

The temple comes alive during festivals like Vishu (Malayalam New Year) and Pooram (temple festival with colourful processions). These festivals showcase vibrant cultural performances and traditional rituals.

What are the customary offerings made at the temple?

The most typical offerings at the temple include flowers, fruits and coconut. Some devotees even offer sweets and monetary donations.

Are there any facilities for pilgrims staying near the temple?

There aren’t many accommodation options available near the temple, so it's better if you book your stay in the nearby city for better safety and accessibility.

Can we visit the Arackal Devi temple during monsoon?

To be fair, monsoon months are beautiful in Kerala. However, if you are planning a road trip, avoiding the monsoon is ideal. Travelling to the temple by other means is always a better option.

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