Kazhakuttom Mahadeva Temple
Located on the eastern side of NH 47 at a distance of 18 km north of Trivandrum. The name of the temple seems to have emerged from the progenitor of the temple, Kalakkoth maharishi (sage). The temple is now being managed by the Travancore Devaswom Board. Archaeologists have assigned a date of 9th century to the sthanaka murti of Vishnu in the sub-shrine located in the north east corner of the campus.
The temple complex occupies an area of 4 Acre and 13 cents. The main pratishta is that of Shiva in the pensive mood after Dakshayaga. The temple faces east and the main Srikovil is a square dvitala vimana, consisting of a square sanctum and mukha mantapa. The front part of the mukha mantapa has been surrounded by another meduim sized structure known as thiruchchurru mantapa, constructed by one Damodiran Kandan in M. E. 645 (A. D. 1470). He was also responsible, as the inscription (Travancore Archaeological Series VI, pp. 33-34) says, for covering certain parts of the temple with copper and performing the consecration ceremony of the God. During this operation mukha mantapa and its columns - four in the inner row and ten in the outer - seem to have been reparied or added, for, the adhishtana moulding of the mukha mantapa are not exactly the same as those of the garbha-griha or Sreekovil, the former sporting floral and other decorations in the kantha. The tiruchchurru mantapa separates the temple unit from the namaskara mantapa, built on a mancha type of base.
The central shrine and the pavilion in front of it are built of hard stone upto the basement, while the superstructure is of laterite blocks. The walls show very ornate pilastered panjaras of kutas, salas and nasikas in the projections and recesses and karnas having false windows inside plaster frames, while the bhadra centre in the four cardinal directions have functional wooden doors. Above the superstructure comes the sloping timber rooof covered with copper sheets and with sukanasa.
The srikovil belongs to the sandhara type of classical order, the interior having a square sanctum and close set pillar scheme around it. It is also a sarvatobhadra type of temple in that it has four functional doors in the four cardinal directions.
The mukha mantapa ceiling has well decorated woodwork showing the navagraha devatas. Similarly, the namaskara mantapa ceiling has diverse floral decorations in its ceiling. The namaskara mantapa has 12 stone pillars around the periphery and four in the inner row.
Dvarapalika figures have been painted on the side walls of the sanctum. The srikovil has a direct flight of steps. The titappalli (kitchen) comes on the south east corner, inside the nalambalam and the well is in the north east corner.
The pranala is of a very simple and short kind set in the kapota, cutting the vedi on the northern side of the srikovil.
The cloister or the nalambalam encloses the above with a dvara sala or valiambalam on the eastern side with a projecting agramantapam containing the large balikkallu. The dhvajastambha comes in front of the agra mantapam.
The temple complex has a number of sub-shrines and the one inside the inner prakara to the north of the srikovil and the tiruchchurru mantapa is dedicated to Shiva. Outside the nalambalam, on the south come the Ganapthy shrine and the abode of the nagas under the pupil tree. The Sri Krishna temple in gosala fashion with an octagonal griva and sikhara is in the south west side of the outer pradhakshina vazhi, along with a well beside it. The ootupura or the dining hall (in dilapidated condition) comes in the north west corner of the campus. A Sastha shrine, apsidal in plan comes on the south west side as a separate compound.
Of the five sub shrines, the most important one is the Vishnu shrine, due to its antiquity, located on the north eastern corner with a west frontage and containing a standing image of Vishnu datable to the ninth century. It is a small sandhara shrine.
The office and open air stage are located on the south east corner.
Daily rituals consist of three poojas accompanied by Sreebali. Annual festival of 10 days duration is in Medam with aarattu on Thiruvathira (Ardra) star. The aarattu is in Thumba beach. Apart from the annual festival, other rituals of imporatnace ar the Kalamezhuthu and Pattu in Vrishcigam for 30 days, Thiruvathira in Dhanu, Maha Sivarathri in Kumbhom, Onam in Chingom and Meda Vishu. The trantram of the temple is vested in the Tarananallur family
On stylistic grounds and because of its association with an early image, the temple may be dated to the ninth century. But it is difficult to decide whether the Ay Kings who ruled this region at that time were directly involved in its construction.
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Last Revised (contents): 15 october, 2005
Last Revised (design) : 26 july, 2004