The Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple is in the South Kodungallur and in the Methala panchayat.This is one of the four tali temples and is situated in the Kodungallur - Ernakulam NH17 highway and is approximately 2.5 kilometers away from Kodungallur town.
Thiruvanchikulam Shiva Temple Layout & Architecture
There is a three storied Dwara Gopuram on the eastern side of the temple through which the devotees should enter the temple. The devotees will reach the annapandhal and towards the western side of the annapandhal, there is a dhawja stambaha. When you cross the dhawja stampam, you will reach the agramandapa and this place contains the valiabalikkal and this is the porch area of the valiambalam.
The valiambalam is considered as a part of chuttambalam. When you cross the valiamabalam, you will enter the inner prakkara and you can see the sri kovil through namaskar mandapam. The sri kovil contains the mukha mandapam in front and is a square garbha-griha. The Sri Kovil entry has two dvarapaalakas and there are two on either side. The namaskar mandapam has 16 pillars.
The mandapam is unique in nature as it is dvi-tala type. The dvi-tala vimana is facing towards the eastern side and the floor level inside the sri kovil is level with the padduka and this is a special feature of Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple. When you consider or see other temples, the floor will as the top level of the adhishtana.
The namaskar mandapam and sri kovil is build of granite and the walls of the sri kovil is constructed with laterite. The walls of the sri kovil are plasted with decorations of ghanadvaras, panjaras, toranas etc.
There is copper sheet roofing over the sri kovil, mukhamandapa, namaskar mandapam and there is horizontal wooden work. There are carved wooden figures at the ground floor and they are placed at regular intervals.
There is a tiled rectangular enclosure at the Southern side of the sri Kovil. The enclosures are located at the Saptha mathrukkal that means Brahmi, Maheswara, Kaumari, Vaishnava, Vaarahi, Indrani and Chamunda and Ganapathi and Veerabahadra.
There are two thidapalli (kitchen) on this temple and one is in eastern side and the other is on the diametrically opposite side that is beyond the namaskar mandapam. The two thidappalies are used to prepare forenoon and afternoon nivedyam.
On the south west side of the thidapalli especially on the southern side, there is a pratishta of Ganapathi on the kanimoola (South West). There is a well and on the southern side of the naalambalam, there is sannidhi of the two of the 64 preachers of Lord Shiva. The name of one is Cheraman Perumal Naayanar and the name of another is Sundaramoorthy Naayanar.
There is pallakkumurui (room of the palakku) and there is sannidhi of Sandhyavelakkal Shivan.There is a three legged prathistha of Bhringeeradi and on the North West direction there is Palliyara Shivan, Palliyara (the divine bed room) and the sannidhi housing Shakthi Panchakshari, Bhagavathy and Parvathy-Parameswara. In the last enclosure, facing south is Shiva-Nagaraja depicting Pradoshanrtta.
On the west side of the second thidapalli we can see or witness the well, the pratishta of Unni Thevar and Chandikesan. The devotees can see the sannidhi of Dakshinamoorthy, Lord Ayappa, Nagaraja, NagaYakshi, Hanuman, pashupathi, Natakkal thevar, and sannidhis of Subramanian, Durga Devi and Ganga Devi in a tank (Ganga).
There is a prathistha of Lord Shiva under the foot of Konna tree and that is named as Konnakal Shivan.There is a dining hall or called oottupura along the northern boundary wall.
Gopurathinkal Thevar and Kottarathil Thevar are situated on the West Nada side and they both are prathistha of Shiva. Kottarathil Thevar represents the Lord of Arathali of the Cera century. The South eastern side contains a large tank.
Significance of Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple
The idol of this temple is that of Uma Maheswara (Lord Shiva and Goddess Paravathi) and the idol form was revealed to Sage Parushurama. This Shiva temple has popularity in idol. Here the idol is worshipped as Uma Maheswara and in other Shiva temples there is a different idol for Devi Paravathi.
The temple has got two offerings-Pooja for couple called the Damapathi Pooja and Divine Slumber pooja called as Pallikurruppu.
The Shiva linga is of four feet and is in Swaymbhu mode. The temple has more than 25 number subsidiary shrines and this is considered as significant when we compare with other temples. This is one of the earliest temples in Kerala and the daily nivedyam in the earlier periods were 7 and ½ Para rice daily.
The Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple has a Tamil flavor attached to it and there is a daily Palliyara pooja done to Lord Shiva and Devi Paravathi which follow the Tamil connection. The prathistha of the salivate inside the cloister is a significant one as you will not find this type in any other temple.
The Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple has got connections with the Nagaraja temple at Chidambaram.
The Konna trees will flower throughout the year unlike other Konna trees which will flower only during season which is from March to May. There is a significant structural and ritualistic peculiarity when considered with other temples.
The namaskar mandapam is different from other temples namaskar mandapam as they follow the pyramidal roof structure. This Shiva temple as written earlier has the pratishta of Shaivite Naayanmar which is a significant one.
There is no separate shrine for Lord Vishnu within the premises.
Shrikovil wall bear murals portraying Rama and others in five panels for a total of 105 sq.ft. The exterior of Palliyara walls also have mural paintings.
Out of 274 Shaivite thiruppathies in India, only one is in Kerala and it is Thiruvanchikulam.
Daily Ritual at Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple
The temple pooja has five pooja and three sribalis daily. The day starts with the Palliunarthal which happens at 3 am and the lord and devi will be escorted to Mughamandapam. The devotees can see the Nirmalayam, Abishekam poojas. Then the Usha pooja, Dhara with the accompaniment of Rudra, pantheeradi pooja, Navakkam, Ucha pooja and closing of the temple for afternoon at 11.30 am will take place.
The temple will be opened for evening at 5 pm and there will abishekam, Deepardhana, Atazha pooja and the lord and Devi will be taken to the Palliyara and Palliyara pooja or Damapathi pooja will be done.
Festival of Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple
The festival lasts eight days and will be celebrate in the Malayalam month Kumbha and there will be an arat on the sea in the new moon day. Shivarathri comes every year on the seventh day of the festival and it is celebrated as Dhanu Thiruvathira (Ardra - Lord's birthday) and Karkitaka Choti, the day of emancipation of Cheraman Perumal Naayanar and Sundaramoorthy Naayanar.
Tantric of the Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple
The tantric rituals of the temple are looked after by Urakathu Padinjaredathu Illam.
How to get to Thiruvanchikulam Shiva temple
Nearby Railway station: Ernakulam (30 km away) and Thrissur (38 km away) are the major railway stations close to Kodungallur town. Irinjalakuda railway station lies just 22 kilometers away and the other railway station that is close is the Aluva railway station.
Nearby Airport: Cochin International Airport (35 km away). The airport has well connected services to major cities of India and has many international services also.
By Road: Kodungallur is well connected by NH17 and there are many Kerala government buses and private buses that ply through this town and is well connected with nearby places.