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Azhimala Mahadeva Temple – History – Story

 Azhimala Mahadeva temple, also known as Azhimala Shiva temple, is located at Azhimala near Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Mahadevar or Shiva. Azhimala means, the mountain near the ocean, and the temple is located on rock on the edge of the Arabian Sea.

The old name of the temple was Azhimala Pulinkudi Mahadeva Kshethram. It is said that Bhimasena of Mahabharata broke a rock here and created stream to quench the thirst of Panchali. This water body is known as Kaneerkuzhy.

The original murti worshipped in the temple was consecrated by a Vedic scholar named Neelaniyeru. The scholar also attained Samadhi in the temple. Sri Narayana Guru revived the temple in the 20th century when he discovered Shiva Chaitanyam in the place.

The temple is now famous for a 58-feet tall sculpture of Shiva in Gangadhareshwara form. The massive structure depicts Shiva's hair flowing in the wind and holding Goddess Ganga. Unlike most statues with a face-frontal view, here Shiva gazes angularly at the sky, nerves and muscles delicately carved.

The architecture of the temple is similar to the temples in neighboring Tamil Nadu. The temple has a square sanctum sanctorum. There is a chuttambalam, small gopuram and kodimaram or dhwaja stambha.

The upa devatas worshipped in the temple are Ganapathi and Sastha.

Shivratri is the most important festival in the temple. Fortnightly pradosham and Mondays are significance in the temple.