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The verdant state of Kerala, famed for its backwaters and beaches, also boasts a rich tapestry of ancient temples. Among these gems is the Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple, a majestic Shiva shrine steeped in history and captivating beauty. Located only 11 km from Kottayam, Kerala, the temple is renowned for its stunning murals and Nataraj figures drawn on the walls and the Gopurams around it. The temple’s name derives from “Manoor”, which means “Land of Deer.” Visiting this temple is nothing short of visiting God’s land itself. This detailed guide will discuss further the historical and religious significance of the Ettumanoor Mahadevaar Temple.

History And Mythology Of Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple

Idol of Lord Shiva as found in Ettumanoor Temple

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Legends surrounding the Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple whisper tales of the Pandavas and sage Vyasa seeking blessings here. The temple’s name originates from “manor,” meaning “land of deer,” hinting at its ancient origins. Temple lore suggests the present structure was built in the 16th century, although some believe its roots go much deeper. The temple complex houses several sub-deities, including Ganesha, Sastha, and Dakshinamurthy, offering a multifaceted experience for devotees. There’s nothing more promising than visiting and exploring this temple’s grandeur and beauty.

Must Read: Ultimate Guide To Top Tourist Places in Kerala

Best Time To Visit The Temple

View of Kerala during winters, perfect for visiting Ettumanoor temple

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Ettumanoor welcomes visitors throughout the year. However, the ideal time to experience its vibrancy coincides with the annual “Ezharaponnana” festival, typically held in February or March. The beauty of the temple increases multiple folds during that time of the festival, completely switching up the views of the surroundings. If you want a more serene and comfortable experience in the temple without excess crowds, consider visiting during the off-season or shoulder seasons. Additionally, the highlight of the temple is that it maintains a tranquil atmosphere year-round, perfect for those seeking spiritual solace from their daily chaotic life.

Essential Information

Things to know about Ettumanoor Temple before visiting

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  • The temple opens in two slots: 04:00 AM and 05:00 PM. The Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple closes at 12:00 PM and 08:00 PM.
  • As you reach the Ettumanoor temple location, take the time to take in the views of the surroundings.
  • Depending on the crowd, darshan can take 1 to 2 hours, so patience is important.
  • There are certain restrictions on photography, belongings inside the temple, etc.
  • Ensure that you follow the regulations as specified by the temple authorities.

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Things To Do In Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple

Offering flowers at the Ettumanoor temple

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Like any other Hindu temple in Kerala, the main objective of visiting the temple is to witness the awe-inspiring Shiva Linga, the embodiment of Lord Shiva. Participate in the morning “Nirmalya Darshan” to see the deity adorned with fresh flowers and holy ash.

Prepare all the elements of your offerings for a smooth darshan without any hitch. Observe the various pujas (worship ceremonies) conducted throughout the day. The “Madhavippilly Pooja” is a notable ritual associated with Kerala’s rich history. Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple’s walls also feature intricate architecture and captivating murals, which add to the beauty of the temple’s interiors. As you find a place in the corner of the temple, the calm aura somehow brings an overall sense of peace that permeates the ground.

Highlights Of Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple

Idol of Lord Shiva, the main deity at the Ettumanoor temple

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If you are planning your visit to the temple, and sorting out the basics, here’s a breakdown of the highlights of the temple you must check out one after the other:

  • The main deity, Lord Shiva, is revered as Ettumanoorappan, a powerful manifestation associated with blessings and wish fulfilment.
  • A unique feature is the ‘keda-vilakku’ (lamp) at the entrance, believed to have been burning continuously for centuries.
  • The temple boasts captivating murals, particularly the “Pradosha Nritham” (Dance of Shiva) fresco, considered one of the finest in India.
  • Witness the spectacular “Ezharaponnana” procession, a vibrant display of devotion featuring seven and a half elephants adorned with gold ornaments. This depends on when you are visiting the temple.

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Places to Visit Around Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple

There are many places to visit around Ettumanoor Temple that you can also add to your itinerary. These places are as follows:

1. Kumarakom

Enchanting beauty of Kumarakom backwaters

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Located 27 km from the temple premises, Kumarakom is among the best spots to visit and explore. Embark on a serene houseboat cruise on the enchanting backwaters of Kumarakom. As you glide through the tranquil canals, fringed by lush greenery, and spot diverse birdlife, the experience is immaculate. You can taste and savour the delectable local cuisine prepared onboard and experience the tranquillity of Kerala’s waterways.

Things To Do: Cruising in the backwaters, birdwatching, eating local food
Location: Kottayam, Kerala.

2. Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

Famous Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple

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The temple is located 53 km away from the Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple and is another popular and ancient Shiva temple in Kerala. The temple is known for its unique “Aranmula Vallamkali” boat race, held during Onam festivities, so you’d have to plan your visit accordingly.

Things To Do: Enjoy Onam festival, enjoy the boat race festivals
Location: Mallapuzhassery, Kerala

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3. Mannar

View of Gulf of Mannar

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Most tourists are aware of Munnar, but only a handful know of Mannar, a historic town in Kerala. It is popular for its Syrian Christian churches and rich cultural heritage. So, if you want to witness and experience something offbeat yet rooted deep in Kerala’s culture, this is it.

Things To Do: Sightseeing
Location: Mannar, Alappuzha, Kerala

How To Reach Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple?

Making your way to this auspicious temple

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Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, including:
By Air: If you are taking a flight, the nearest airport is Cochin International Airport. It is around 76 km from the temple and easily accessible via other local transportation.

By Train: The nearest railway station is the Ettumanoor Railway Station, located 3.1 km from the temple. You can reach it by taking local transportation.

By Road: If you are on a road trip or have a car, you can go to the temple via Cochin. Multiple public buses also take you to the temple from Cochin.

Further Read: Kerala Cuisine

Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple beckons spiritual seekers and history buffs alike. Its captivating history, awe-inspiring architecture, and vibrant rituals offer a glimpse into Kerala’s rich cultural significance. Whether you seek blessings from Lord Shiva, delve into mythology, or appreciate architectural beauty, Ettumanoor promises a truly enriching experience. Plan your next trip to Kerala without further thought and include this ancient Shiva temple in your itinerary.

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Cover Image Credit: Ms Sarah Welch for wikimedia commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple

Can one find accommodation near Ettumanoor temple in Kerala?

There aren’t any accommodation options like hotels, resorts, etc. near the temple. You will need to book your stay at Cochin.

How long can one stay in the temple?

The temple premises are free for the devotees to explore. So, you can visit in the morning and stay until closing time without a hitch.

Is it ideal to visit the Ettumanoor temple during the summer?

The ideal time for a visit is during the peak festival season. But, if you wish to avoid crowds, the summer months are a great option.

How far is Ettumanoor Temple from Cochin?

The temple is around 4-8 km from the main town of Cochin, making it quite accessible to the devotees.

What is the cost of special rituals in the temple?

There are different types of special rituals and pujas conducted in the temple. You will need to pay as mentioned on the temple’s official website.

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