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Thazhuthala Sree Maha Ganapathi Temple – Thazhuthala Gajothsavam Festival

Thazhuthala Sree Maha Ganapathi temple is located at Thazhuthala on the Kottiyam – Kundara road in Kollam district, Kerala. The shrine is dedicated to Ganesha and the murti is seated under a huge banyan tree in a small golden coloured temple. The temple is famous for the great elephant procession known as Thazhuthala Gajothsavam (Elephant Procession) held in Makaram month.

The murti is in such a manner that it is sitting on his mushika vahanam. There are no upa devatas.

As per history, around 60 years ago the murti of Ganapathi was discovered under the huge banyan tree. The murti was consecrated in a small structure. The murti originally belonged to one Sri Paramu Panikkar, a railway employ, who had received it from his senior. He had a dream in which he was directed to place the murti under the banyan tree. A new temple was built in 2000 CE replacing the old structure.

The ten-day annual festival in the temple is known as Avittam Thirunal Mahotsavam. The festival ends with the famous elephant display on Avittam Nakshatra in Makaram month (January – February). The festival is famous traditional temple arts, beautiful decoration, procession and temple music.

Thazhuthala Gajotsavam, which is held on the last day of the festival, includes Aana Neerattu (elephant bath) Aanayoottu (feeding elephants) Chamaya Pradarshanam (exhibition of elephant ornaments) and two kilometer long grand procession of caparisoned elephants along with traditional art forms and music.

The other festivals held in the temple include Vinayaka Chaturthi in Chinga Masam.