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Udyaneshwar Shiva Temple - History - Near Cochin Tirumala Temple

Udyaneshwar Shiva temple is located northeast of Cochin Tirumala temple. As per history, the huge Shivling worshipped in the temple belonged to an ancient temple, Thrikkannamathilakom, about thirteen miles from Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district, Kerala. Shiva worshipped in the Mathilakam temple was installed by Parasurama for the benefit of 64 villages of Namboothiri Brahmins of ancient Kerala.

The huge Shivling faces west. The main festival observed in the temple is Mahashivratri.

During the Arattu festival in Thirumala Devaswom temple, the utsava murti of Tirumala temple is carried in a procession on a horse driven vehicle  to Udyaneswara temple, where Bhagavan Shiva also joins the palli vettai before returning to the main temple.

Udyaneshwar Shiva Temple - History

The administration of Mathilakam temple rested with the two Nair families of Thekkedath and Vadakkedath. They had difference of opinion with the Namboothiris of the region regarding offering worship. The Namboothiris left the region after protesting. The two nair families fought among themselves and this led to the decline of the Thrikkannamathilakom temple.

In the 14th century, Thrikkannamathilakom came in the possession of the Samoothiri of Kozhikode. However in 1717 CE, the Dutch got the sovereignty of the place from the Samoothiri of Kozhikode. The Dutch moved the Shivling along with many other relics of the temple to their headquarters in Fort Kochi. The holy Shivling was used as a mooring on the seashore of Fort Kochi. When the Dutch surrender to the British in 1795, the Konkanis in Kochi bought this holy Shivling and installed it at the present site.

As there was no scope of constructing a massive temple that can accommodate the Shivling of 21 feet in height, it was installed with a major part of it under the earth. Now the Shivling is visible only about 4.5 ft above the ground level and the arrows that are seen on the lingam resemble the lines that are seen on one of the Shivlings installed in the famous Shiva temple at Perur, Tamil Nadu.