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Annamanada Shiva Temple Near Mala In Thrissur - History - Festival

Annamanada Shiva Temple, on the banks of Chalakudy Puzha, is located about 8 km from Mala in Thrissur. The 10-day annual festival in the temple is observed in such a manner that it ends with Arattu on the Thiruvathira Nakshatra day in Kumbham month.

The sanctum sanctorum faces east and is three-storied. The Swayambhu Shivling worshipped here is nearly 4-feet tall. The subsidiary deities worshipped in the temple are Ganapathy, Ayyappa, Parvati, Goshala Krishnan, Durga, Bhadrakali, Narasimha and Vishnu.

The swayambhoo Shila Shivling has a height of 4 feet and the sankalpam is that of Sree Kirathamoorthy. The top portion of the murti is slightly concealed. The Shila murti of Ganapati is of sitting pose (45 cm). The murti of Sree Parvathi is of standing pose (45 cm) and made of pancha-loham with the sankalpam of Sree Kirathi. All other murtis are made of shila, Bhagavan Vishnu in standing pose (135 cm.), Sastha in sitting pose (75 cm), Bhagavan Goshala Krishna in standing pose (90 cm.), and Goddess Durga of mirror type (75 cm.), Goddess Bhadrakali of mirror type (45 cm.) covered with a bronze golaka and Sree Narasimha Moorthy in standing pose (121 cm.).

Bhagavan Vishnu has a separate sanctum sanctorum and it is round in shape.

Annamanada Shiva Temple Timings

Morning darshan and pooja timings are from 4:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Evening darshan and pooja timings are from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Five Poojas are done daily,

Usha-pooja (5:30 AM)
Ethirthu-pooja (6 AM)
Pantheeradi-pooja (7:30 AM)
Uccha-pooja (9:30 AM)
Athazha-pooja (7 PM.)

Sreebali is done in the morning with the usual accompaniments.

Sharkara (Jaggery) Thulabharam is an important ritual here. Jaladhara is another important ritual in the temple.

Annamanada Shiva Temple Architecture

The temple owns 5.40 acres of which 2.81 acres constitute the temple complex. The structures in the temple include Sreekovil with mukha-mandapam, sub shrines, chuttambalam with agra-mandapam, valiya-balikkall, dhwajam, deepasthambham, puram-mathil, gopuras, well and a pond.

The square dwidala Sreekovil of sandhara type and facing east has granite adhishtanam with moldings of padukam, jagathi, vrutha-kumudam, kamuda padi, kampam, galam, gala-padi, kampam, galam, gala-padi, valaru and padi. The Sreekovil has a mukha mandapam. There are six direct steps each on the south and north of the main mandapam. Vyaali faces are seen on the top of banisters. The pranaalam has Makara-simha face at the base, plain sundu with rings and go-mukham end. The sundu is supported by the figurine of a Yakshi whose head is covered with the hood of a serpent as canopy. The laterite-stone walls have 20 pillars and niches. Bhagavan Ganapati and Sree Parvathy are installed at south and west of the antharaalams with functional door facing them. The northern side has a ghanadwaaram. The roof is covered with copper sheets. The well is at northeast of the akathebalivattam.

The chuttambalam has entrances at east, west and north. The thidappali is at southeast. The valiyambalam used for performing Koothu. Chuttuvilakkukal are fixed on the outer walls of chuttambalam.

The temple has a separate prakaram of vilakkumadam and at its northern side there is a unique circular sub-shrine dedicated to Bhagwan Vishnu. There is also a namaskara mandapam within this vilakkumadam facing this deity.

Sree Nandikeshwara is installed within the agra-mandapam. The Valiya-balikkal is outside the agra-mandapam. The teak dwajam covered with copper paras has a height of 10.98 m. The bronze Deepasthambham was installed 1953 CE. At southeast there is a shrine for Sastha facing west.

Another shrine dedicated to Bhagavan Goshala Krishnan is at southwest facing cast. Sila deepasthambham are installed for both these shrines. Dwidala gopurams are seen on eastern and western sides. The compound wall is built in the shape of elephant’s belly at the top and it has a height of about 3 m. and a width of 75 cm. At the inner corners of maryada there are beautiful trees, three Arayalukal (banyan trees) and one Peraal. Outside the maryaada there are the sub-shrines of Goddess Bhadrakali at the southeast corner, Bhagavan Narasimhamoorthy and Goddess Durga at northeast, all the three facing west. Close to Bhagavan Narasimhamoorthy shrine the Chalakudy river flows. There are two wells (one at the northern vilakkumadam and the other at southwest and outside vilakkumadam) and a theertha kulam at northeast within maryaada. A tank is located outside the maryaada at northeast. It is reported that the wells and theertha kulam are interconnected.

Wood carvings exist on the walls of the Sreekovil depicting Kiratha episode, while those at the gopurams are related to palazhi-madhanam.

Annamanada Temple History

The temple has a long history of being part of fights between various ancient rulers including Samuthiri and the kings of Travancore.

The temple earlier belonged to ten Namboothiris manas including Maprampalli, Kashamkottam, Kitaykavattam and Kuraykattuvalli. The temple later became an important landmark in the conflicts between Samoothiri, Cochin and Travancore Rajas. They controlled the affairs of the temple. 

Recorded history indicates that in 1713 CE, Villarvattom Swaroopam attacked and took away the canoe used by the temple authorities in the Chalakudy River and the temple was set on fire. The ooralar Namboothiris approached Samoothiri Raja for protection, who in turn entrusted the protection of the temple to Mangattachan. 

In 1761 A.D. Travancore and Cochin signed a treaty of peace and as a result Samoothiri lost sovereignty over the region. The Cochin Raja authorized Vellos Nambiar to supervise the affairs of the temple. The Namboothiris ooralar did not like this arrangement and they approached the Raja of Travancore and handed over the administration of the temple to him. For some time the temple was administered by representative of Travancore Raja. 

In the meantime the Cochin Raja purchased the lands that belonged to a branch of Palakkad Raja and thereby Cochin Raja once again exercised full control on the temple. Thereafter the Cochin Raja administered the temple. 

Again there were some disputes on the authority of the temple between Cochin and Travancore, during 1814-15 Ward and Conner (the two distinguished officers of the British Government) looked into the matter and they took a decision in favour of Cochin Raja. However, Justice J.C. Hanington gave some special privileges to Travancore. As Travancore found it difficult to enforce its special privileges in the temple, the rights were relinquished in 1902. Thereafter Cochin Raja administered the temple till 1950, when it was transferred to the Cochin Devaswom Board. 

Annamanada Shiva Temple Festival

The annual festival is held for 10 days, the last and important day being Thiruvathira nakshatra of Kumbham. Kathakali, thullal, chakyar koothu are staged on festival days, besides conducting all Ulsavam-rites.