Ernakulam Shiva Temple
Ernakulam Shiva Temple, also known as Ernakulathappan Temple is one of the major temples of Kerala, located in heart of Ernakulam, the downtown area of the city of Kochi. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is considered as the city temple, with the presiding deity as the protector of the city, as per local Hindu faiths and traditions. As per the common practice in Kerala, the deity is reverently called Eranakulathappan, which means Lord of Eranakulam. The temple is located within the Durbar Hall Ground. The temple history itself has deep association with history of the city and was one of the 7 royal temples of Kochi Maharajas.
Initially it was constructed under the Maharaja rule. Later it was reconstructed of the temple started in the year 1842 and finished in the 1846 by Diwan Sri Edakkunni Sankara Warrier. After remodeling of this temple the power of the temple spread all over the Kochi and more devotees started to visit this temple often. It covers an area about 1 acre. In 1949 it went under the control of Cochin Devasom board. It is the one of the rarest temple the idol of the god facing in the west direction. It is decorated with golden flagpole. The other Gods worshipped in this temple are Parvathy, Ganapathy, Sastha, Kirathamoorthy, and Nagaraja. It is the one of the ancient Shiva temples in Kerala. Gate placed on the east side is called as Devi gate.
According to myth this temple originated by the Arjuna. Once he worshipped the Goddess Parvathy sincerely in this place. The Lord Shiva masked himself as Kiratha like a tribal hunter and appeared before Arjuna. At that time a wild bear nearing Arjuna tried to attack him. At that time both of them shot an arrow on it. Actually it was a devil named Mookasura disguised in the form of bear. And later fight started between the Lord Siva and Arjuna to concluding who killed really. And finally the Lord Siva wins in that. Then Arjuna created a Shiva Lingam in the mud and start to worshipping the idol. Then he offered flowers to Lingam all fell on the Kiratha. Then he realized that Lord Siva has only come before him. And Lord Siva and Parvathy appeared before him gifted Pashupatha arrow to Arjuna. After some centuries later a boy called Devala is cursed by his Guru and his body changed as a snake. Then he visited this place where the Arjuna prayed the Shiva lingam. And he started to worship the god sincerely and got relieved from his curse. Then the god appeared before him and told to take dip in the pond where the present pond is located inside the temple. Then he was relieved from his curse. Later that place is turned as famous Ernakulam Siva temple.
Location : Ernakulathappan Temple, Kochi, Ernakulam, Kerala, India.
Gods : Lord Shiva
Landmark : Nearest Bus Stations : There are buses to Ernakulam from Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai and from all major towns in Kerala. Most long running buses pass through the MG Road and the nearest bus stop is ‘South’ or ‘Pallimukku’. The KSRTC bus station is 2 KM away from the temple. Local private buses can be used once you are in Ernakulam town. Nearest Railway Station : Ernakulam North Railway Station, Ernakulam South Railway Station, and Aluva Railway Station are nearest to the temple. Nearest Airport : Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery is the nearest airport to reach the temple. Nedumbassery Airport is 25 km north-east of Kochi.
The yearly festival of this temple celebrated during the month of January to February and according to Malayalam month Makaram. It is an 8 days festival celebrated in a grand manner. This festival begins from January 29th to February 5th.
The first day of the festival is begins with Kodiyettam( hoisting of the temple flag ). Pakalpooram is celebrated on the 7th day of the festival. During this day the statue of the god will taken in decorated elephant in the surrounding areas. During this procession God will go along with the musical instruments like Panchavadyam etc and with colourful lights and fireworks. Arattu is celebrated on the final day of the festival in the evening time. On this day it is believed that god will take bath in the pond inside the temple. And the end of this festival the flag will be lowered and the idol of God will be again taken into the Durbar hall. During this festival many cultural events also take place. Like Paatakam, Classical music, Kathakali, Ottanthuallal, classical dances, Thayambaka, Bhajans etc. Watching the last two festivals will remain as memorable moment in our life.