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The Rajarajeshwara Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine in Taliparamba, Kannur district of Kerala, is a revered Shiva temple renowned for its architectural magnificence and cultural significance. Dating back to the 9th century CE, this temple exemplifies the Kerala style with its towering gopuram, intricate carvings, and mesmerising murals. The annual Ratholsavam (Car Festival) is a major event celebrated with great devotion, featuring a grand procession of the deity atop a decorated chariot. Thus, Sri Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur stands as a testament to the region’s spiritual heritage, attracting devotees and tourists alike to witness its grandeur and partake in its vibrant cultural traditions.

Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur: An Overview

Entrance of the Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur

Image Credit: Ajeesh.valliyot for Wikimedia Commons

The Rajarajeshwara Temple in Kannur is an ancient Shiva temple, considered one of the 108 existing such temples in the region. Renowned for its architectural beauty, the temple complex is vast. It has a two-tiered rectangular sanctum sanctorum and a roof clad in copper sheets. The towering gopurams on the eastern and western sides are a testament to the Kerala style of temple architecture.

The temple is significant beyond its structure. Lord Shiva is believed to be particularly receptive to wishes from women devotees in the evening, leading to a unique tradition of allowing women entry only after 7:30 p.m. Another exciting aspect is consulting the temple for solutions when problems arise in other South Indian Shiva temples.

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Legend About The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur

Gaze at the architecture of the mandir

Image Credit: Vinayaraj for Wikimedia Commons

The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur history resonates with the deep spirituality of Karnataka. The temple at Taliparamba is one of the 108 ancient Kerala temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, holding a reputation as illustrious as the Shiva temples in Vaikom, Ettumanur, and Trichur. Taliparamba is also regarded as an ancient Shakti Peetham. According to legend, Sati, Shiva’s wife, self-immolated, leading Shiva to perform a devastating dance, during which her head is said to have fallen at Taliparamba. Sati was the daughter of Daksh, a respected king who disrespected Shiva.

The Shiva Linga at Taliparamba is believed to be several thousand years old. Legend states that Shiva gave 13 sacred Shivalingas to Parvati (Sati) for worship. A sage named Maandhata intensely prayed to Lord Shiva. He was so pleased that he gifted Maandhata one of these Shivalingas with the stipulation that it should be installed only where no cremation ground existed. After a thorough search, Maandhata found Taliparamba, a sacred spot, and installed the Shiva Linga there. After Maandhata’s death, the Linga disappeared into the earth.

Architecture And Design

Exterior view of Rajarajeshwara Temple.

Image Credit: Vinayaraj for Wikimedia Commons

The Sri Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur is a magnificent testament to Kerala temple architecture. Its grandeur is particularly evident in the majestic sanctum sanctorum. This two-tiered structure, with its rectangular shape and copper roofing that gracefully tapers to a resplendent gold Kalasham, is a sight to behold. Within this sanctum are four doors, and only those to the east and south are opened.

Stepping through the eastern entrance, worshippers are greeted by the presence of Lord Rajarajeshwara, embodied in a grand Jyothirlingam. Flanking this sacred symbol are hanging ghee lamps, casting a serene glow. Notably, the Bhadradeepam, kindled by sage Agastya, flickers on the left, illuminating the divine aura. Rows of silver nilavilakku, housing ghee lamps, line the temple floor, adding to the sanctity.

The Jyothirlingam bears the insignia of Lord Shiva—the thrinethrams, crescent moon, and Nagaphanam. A golden Prabha adorns the background while a Vyaalimukham gazes from above. Adjacent stands the Balibimbam or Uthsavamoorthi, a representative of the Jyothirlingam, bedecked with golden sheets, ornaments, and a Navarathna pendant.

Twice daily, devotees are granted direct sight of the Jyothirlingam. At 5:30 AM, during Nirmalyam, the golden cup covering the Jyothirlingam is lifted for the first abhishekam, Kani. Again, at 9:30 AM, after the third pooja of the day, the Jyothirlingam is revealed for Navakaabhishekam. This is the time when the decoration is removed.

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Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur Pooja Timings

A pristine view of Pond inside

Image Credit: Pradeep717 for Wikimedia Commons

The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur timings welcome devotees for darshan from 5 am to 12 noon and again from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. Additionally, there is a special darshan slot for ladies from 7:45 PM to 8:30 PM. These timings allow worshippers to visit and seek the blessings of the deity.

Morning Noon Evening
Nada Thurakkal: 5.00 am

Kanikku Thurakkal (Opening) : 5.00 am – 5.30 am

Vazhippadu Samarpanam: 6.00 am

Natravat Pooja 6.30 am – 7.10 am

Panthiradi Pooja: 8.10 am – 8.30 am

Ucha Pooja 9.30 am – 10.45 am

Nada Adakkal (Closing): 12.00 noon

Nada Thurakkal: 5.00 pm

Deeparadhana after 6.00 pm

Athazha Pooja: 7.10 pm – 8.30 pm

Nada Adakkal (Closing): 8.30 pm

Further Read: Sundareswara Temple

The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur, a magnificent testament to Kerala’s rich cultural heritage and architectural brilliance, offers an exclusive experience. Its intricate carvings, towering gopurams, and serene ambience are not just a sight to behold but a privilege to experience. If you seek a transformative journey that combines spirituality, history, and natural beauty, plan a trip to Kerala. Immerse yourself in the serene ambience of this southern state, where ancient temples coexist harmoniously with pristine beaches and a lush environment.

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Cover Image Credit: Gunalsanthosh for wikimedia commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur

Who is Rajarajeshwara?

Rajarajeshwara is an epithet of Lord Shiva, the supreme deity in Hinduism. The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur, dedicated to Lord Shiva, holds immense significance for devotees, embodying the divine essence of this revered deity.

What is the architecture of Rajarajeshwara Temple?

The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur showcases ancient Kerala-style architecture. Its most distinctive feature is the absence of a flagstaff (kodi maram), setting it apart from other temples in the region. The temple's quadrangular sanctum boasts a two-tiered pyramidal roof, with the Namaskara mandapam standing gracefully before it.

What is the history of Rajarajeshwara temple?

Rich in history and legend, the Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur is among the 108 ancient Shiva temples in Kerala. Legend has it that the head of Sati (Goddess Parvati) fell at this sacred site after Shiva's tandavam (cosmic dance) following Sati's self-immolation. The Shiva Linga housed within the temple is believed to be several thousand years old. Sage Parashurama's legendary renovation work, predating the Kali Yuga, adds to the temple's mystique, with subsequent contributions by the Mushika (Kolathiri) dynasty kings further enhancing its grandeur.

How old is Rajarajeshwara temple?

The Rajarajeshwara Temple in Taliparamba dates back to the early 11th century. Legend has it that Sage Parashurama renovated it prior to the onset of the Kali Yuga.

What is the dress code of Rajarajeshwara Temple?

The Rajarajeshwara Temple Kannur does not have a strict dress code. Though it is considered respectful to dress modestly when visiting any temple. Traditional Indian attire is appropriate, with sleeveless tops or revealing clothing to be avoided, ensuring reverence and decorum during worship.

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Category: Kannur, Places To Visit, Temples

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