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Kottakkal Shiva Temple – Venkitta Thevar Temple - History - Festival

 Kottakkal Shiva temple, also known as Venkitta Thevar temple, is located near Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala in Kottakkal - Malappuram route in Malappuram district, Kerala. The shrine is dedicated to Shiva – sankalpam is that of pathnisamethanaya Shivan (Shiva with wife Parvati).  The darshanam of Venkitta Thevar Shiva temple is towards east.

The annual festival in the temple begins with Kodiyettam on Thiruvathira nakshatra day in Kumbha Masam.

The Upa Devatas worshipped in the temple are Ganapathi and Ayyappan.

The shrine is famous for its sculptures in wood and mural paintings.

As per history, the temple was built by Valluvakkonathiri in 1200 CE. The temple lies outside on the boundary wall of an old fort. The temple has mentioned and praised in the 17th century poem Brahmara Sandesham by Vasudeva Kavi.

The temple is a classic the indigenous style of temple architecture of Kerala. The shrine has a Dwitala Vimana. The garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) and Mukhamandapa are square in shape with a sheeted roof.

The murals on the walls of the garbhagriha and magnificent wood carvings on the griva (neck of the superstructure) envisage the uniqueness of craftsmanship.

Kottakkal Venkitta Thevar Shiva Temple Murals

The mural paintings on the walls of the sreekovil are based on the stories in the Puranas. The paintings were done under the patronage of Makayiram Thirunal of Kottakkal kovilakam. The paintings were done by Ezhanga Madathil Shankaran Nair and Arangottu Bharata Pisharadi. Ezhanga Madathil Shankaran Nair was the disciple of Poonthanam Krishna Pisharody. Arangottu Bharata Pisharadi was the disciple of Ezhanga Madathil Shankaran Nair.

The painting was started in Kollavarsham 1041 (1866 CE) and ended in Kollavarsham 1053 (1878 CE).

The mural paintings on the walls of Sreekovil include Kirtha Shiva blessing Arjuna with Pashupatastra, Bhadrakali showing her Vishwaroopam, Varahamurthy lifting up Bhoomidevi, Sankalpams based on Shiva and Vishnu, Shiva dancing with Vishnumaya, Goddess Parvati who is angry at the lasya or amorous dance of Shiva, Sri Krishna and Gopikas, Rama and Sita enjoying the reading of Ramayana by Hanuman, Pakshidurga, Ganapathi and Goddess Parvati atop a horse.

There remain traditional two-storied Gopurams (gateways) on the western and eastern entrances. The temple complex consists of Nalambalam, Namaskara Mandapam, Agrasala and temple tanks, located inside and outside the temple. The temple is owned by the Kizhakke Kovilakam Trust, a branch of the Samoothiri Royal family.