Temples

17 Most Historical Temples in Kerala You Must See in Your Lifetime

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Kerala is a state that is synonymous to nature’s beauty. This extremely beautiful place boasts of the best tea gardens, hills, waterfalls, beaches and backwaters. Kerala is also home to some of the finest temples in India. The religious history of this state is largely influenced by its neighbouring state, Tamil Nadu. Upto 3rd century, Kerala was under the influence of the Tamil culture, which can be noticed in the architecture of the ancient temples in Kerala. From 16th century, Kerala temples have inscriptions in Malayalam language and have their own style of construction. Kerala temples are usually simple constructions, unlike the Tamil temples. This article explores some of the most famous temples in Kerala.

Most Famous Temples In Kerala:

Here are the List of Hindu Temples in Kerala With Images.

1. Pathiyanadu Sree Bhadrakali Temple In Mullassery:

Pathiyanadu Sree Bhadrakali Temple In Mullassery

Pathiyanadu Sree Bhadrakali temple located in Mullassery, near Thiruvanthapuram is a Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Bhadrakali. It has a shrine of goddess Bhadrakali as the presiding deity who is the daughter of Lord Shiva. There’s also an idol of goddess Kali. There are many festivals celebrated within the temple such as Swayamvara Parvathi puja, Grahalakshmi puja, Grahadosha Nivarana puja, Balithooval, Sarppabali, Kalamkaval, Dikkubali, Paranettu, Nilathilporu, Aaraattu and Pongala.

2. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple In Attukal:

Attukal Bhagavathy Temple In Attukal

The Attukal Bhagavathy temple is located in Attukal and is dedicated to Goddess Kannaki, a form of Parvati who is the presiding deity of the temple. The temple is world famous for its annual Attukal Pongala festival in which over a million women participate. The 10 days festival is a grand affair and the other festivals celebrated are Mandala Vratham, Pooja Vyapu, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Shivaratri and many others.

3. Padmanabhaswamy Temple In Thiruvanthapuram:

Padmanabhaswamy Temple In Thiruvanthapuram

Padmanabhaswamy temple situated in Thiruvanthapuram is built in Dravidian style architecture is the richest Hindu temple in the world and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The deity is enshrined in the ‘Anantha Sayanam’ posture or the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Adisheshan. The temple only permits Hindu people and strictly follows a dress code. The main festivals celebrated here are Alpashy and Panguni.

4. Andoor Kandan Sree Dharma Sastha Temple In Neyyattinkara:

Andoor Kandan Sree Dharma Sastha Temple In Neyyattinkara

Andoor Kandan Sree Dharma Sastha temple is located in Neyyattinkara, south-east of Thiruvanthapuram. The presiding deity of the temple is God Kandan Sree Dharma Sastha. There are other deities too such as Ganapathy, Durga Bhagavathy, Easwara Kala Bhoothanan, Nagaraja & Nagayakshi and an idol of an elephant at the entrance. The annual festival celebrated in the temple is Makaravilakku Mahotsavam.

5. Edava Palakkavu Bhagavathi Temple At Edava:

Edava Palakkavu Bhagavathi Temple At Edava

The Edava Palakkavu Bhagavathi temple is located at Edava in Thiruvanthapuram district is dedicated to Bhadrakali Devi who is the presiding deity here. There are many sub deities such as goddess Annapurna, Lord Ganesha, Navagraham, Adithyan, Hanuman, Brahmarakkhas, Yogeswaran and NagaruKavu. Karthika Thirunal Mahatsovam held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham is the annual festival when the entire city focuses on the temple.

6. Karikkakom Sree Chamundi Devi Temple In Thiruvananthapuram:

Karikkakom Sree Chamundi Devi Temple In Thiruvananthapuram

Karikkakom Sree Chamundi Devi temple located in Thiruvanthapuram is an ancient Hindu temple over 600 years old, dedicated to goddess Chamundi. A Panchaloha idol of goddess Karikkakathamma, a form of Chamundi is enshrined in the temple. Goddess Chamundi is worshipped in the temple in three different forms, Maha Chamundi, Raktha Chamundi and Bala Chamundi. There are other shrines of Ganapati, Sastha, Bhuvaneshvari and more. The annual festival widely celebrated in the temple is Pongala.

7. Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple In Thiruvananthapuram:

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple In Thiruvananthapuram

The Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Kerala temple located at East fort in Thiruvanthapuram city is dedicated to Sri Maha ganapathy or Ganesha who is also the presiding deity. Other deities are also worshipped in the temple such as Dharmasasta, Goddess Durga and Nagaraja along with sculptures of 32 different forms of Ganesha. The major festivals celebrated here are Vinayaka Chaturthi, Ganesh Jayanthi, Virad Chaturthi and more.

8. Sarkara Devi Temple In Chirayinkeezhu Taluk:

Sarkara Devi Temple In Chirayinkeezhu Taluk

Sarkara devi temple is located at Chirayinkeezhu Taluk in the north-west of Thiruvanthapuram district. The temple’s main deity is Bhadrakali who is also the primary deity over here. The festival of Kaliyoot is the most popular festival celebrated within the temple apart from Meena bharani festival which falls second and the temple gets filled with devotees.

9. Thirupalkadal Sreekrishnaswamy Temple In Keezhperoor:

Thirupalkadal Sreekrishnaswamy Temple In Keezhperoor

Thirupalkadal Sreekrishnaswamy temple is located in the village of Keezhperoor is one of the oldest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, another form of Vishnu who is also the presiding deity here. The temple is constructed in the form of Dravidian style architecture. The temple has a Garbagraha with Brahma and Shiva on its outer walls. Constructed between 6th to 9th centuries, the temple is also considered as one of the 108 principal Divya Desams or holy abodes in Vaishnavism.

10. Thali Temple:

Thali Temple

The Thali temple is oldest temple in Kerala is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. This is built in the 14th century by Swami Thirumalpad, who was the Zamorin of the then Calicut. This ancient temple is located in Kozhikode. It is said that the lingam was installed by Parasuram during the end of Dwaparayugam. Lord Shiva is worshipped under the name Umamaheswara in this temple.

11. Ayyappa Temple Kerala:

Ayyappa Temple Kerala

The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple is famous across the world and is one of the largest piligrim destinations with an annual 50 million devotees visiting it. It is located in the Periyar Tiger reserve, which is a dense forest area. The main temple is located on the top of the hill and is said to be the place where prince Ayyappa meditated. It is famous for its Makaravilakku which happens in the month of January.

12. Guruvayoor Temple:

Guruvayoor Temple

Guruvayoor temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna. The temple is located in the town of Guruvayur and is referred to as Bhuloka Vaikunta, by the devotees. As per legends the idol that is worshipped here is more than 5000 years old and also has a temple tank called the Rudratheertham. There is a strict dress code for people entering the temple and no exceptions are allowed.

13. Ettumanoor Temple:

Ettumanoor Temple

The Ettumanoor temple is the abode of Lord Shiva and is located in Kottayyam. It is one of the ancient temples of Kerala which is reconstructed in 1542 AD. As per legends, Pandavas, along with Vyasa Maharshi worshipped to Lord Shiva in this temple. It gets name from the word ‘manoor’, which means the land of deer. Ezhara Ponnanna is the most awaited and celebrated events of the temple.

14. Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple:

Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple

The Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna temple is located in the Alapuzha district of Kerala. The temple is said to be built in between the 15th-17th century AD by a local ruler. Krishna’s idol is worshipped in the form of Parthasarathy, who has a whip in his right hand and Sankham in his other hand. The temple is famous for its Payasam Prada, which is made up of rice and milk.

15. Thirunelli Temple:

Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli temple is the holy abode of Sri Maha Vishnu and is located on the side of Brahmagiri Hill at a height of 900m. According to legends the place gets its name from the word Nelli, which means Amla tree. It is believed that Lord Brahma found the idol of Vishnu under an Amla tree and hence the name. It is also said that Lord Brahma comes even today to worship Vishnu in this temple.

16. Vadakkunnathan Temple:

Vadakkunnathan Temple

This is another ancient temple in Kerala that is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. It is located in the city of Thrissur and displays the typical Kerala style of architecture. The temple is famous for its many murals which display various scenes of Maha bharat and hence is recognized as a national monument. It is said that the temple was built by Parasurama. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the temple.

17. Chottanikkara Temple:

Chottanikkara Temple

The Chottanikkara temple is a very famous temples of Kerala dedicated to the worship of Goddess Mahalakshmi. The temple is located in Chottanikkara of Kochi. This is one of the most richest temple in Kerala which has the wooden sculpture construction style like Sabarimala temple. It is believed that people who suffer from mental illness can be recovered after visiting this temple.

District Wise List Of Top 5 Temples In Kerala:

1. Thiruvananthapuram:
  • Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
  • Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Temple
  • Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
  • Old Sreekanteswara Temple
  • Major Vellayani Devi Temple
2. Kollam:
  • Kottarakkulam Sree Mahaganapathy Temple
  • Valiya Koonambaikulam Temple
  • Sree Puthiyakavu Bhagavathy Temple
  • Sree Umamaheshwara Swami Temple
  • Ashramam Sri Krishna swamy Temple
3. Alappuzha:
  • Kidangamparambu Sree Bhuvaneswari Temple
  • Venkatachalapathy Temples(Mullakkal)
  • Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Ambalapuzha
  • Chakkulathukavu Devi Temple
  • Chettikulangara Bhagavathi Temple
4. Pathanamthitta:
  • Malayalapuzha Devi Temple
  • Thazhoor Bhagavathi Temple
  • Sri Kodumthara Subrahmanya Swamy Temple
  • Omalloor Sree Rakthakantaswamy Temple
  • Pandalam Mahadeva Temple
5. Kottayam:
  • Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple
  • Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple
  • Kumaranalloor Karthyayani Devi Temple
  • Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
  • Pallipurathukavu Devi Temple
6. Idukki:
  • Mangala Devi Kannaki Temple
  • Ulupooni Sree Arthanareeswara Temple
  • Sree Krishna Swami Temple
  • Kozhikkanam Devi Temple
  • Vellappara Devi Temple
7. Ernakulam:
  • Ernakulam Shiva Temple
  • Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple
  • Ameda Temple
  • Thrikkakkara Vamana Moorthy Temple
  • Mahadeva Temple
8. Thrissur:
  • Sri Vadakkumnathan Shiva Temple
  • Paramekkavu Bhagavathi Temple Thrissur
  • Thiruvambady Sri Krishna Temple
  • Punkunnam Shiva Temple
  • Urakathamma Thiruvadi Temple
9. Palakkad:
  • Bhagavathi Temple
  • Sree Emoor Bhagavathy Temple
  • Vishnu Temple
  • Emoor Bhagavathy Temple
  • Manappulli Bhagavathy Temple
10. Malappuram:
  • Podiyattupara Mahadeva Temple
  • Sree Kadampuzha Bhagavathi Temple
  • Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple
  • Sree Thripuranthaka Mahasiva Temple Malappuram
  • Sree Triprangode Lord Shiva Kshetram
11. Kozhikode:
  • Thali Temple Kozhikode
  • Varakkal Devi Temple
  • Sree kanteshwara Temple
  • Thiruvachira Sree Krishna Temple
  • Thalikkunu Maha Siva Temple
12. Wayanad:
  • Thirunelli Sree Maha vishnu Temple
  • Seetha Devi Temple
  • Valliyoorkavu Melekavu
  • Mazhuvannur Maha Siva Temple
  • Sree Cheengeri Bhagavati Temple
13. Kannur:
  • Sree Sundareswara Temple
  • Railway Muthappan Temple Kannur
  • Pillayar Kovil
  • Kalarivathukkal Bhagavathi Temple
  • Trichambaram Temple
14. Kasaragod:
  • Shree Varadaraja Venkataramana Temple
  • Mallikarjuna Temple
  • Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple
  • Trikkannad Tryambakeshwara Temple
  • Nagarajakatte Temple, kasargod

The list of Kerala temples in never ending. Each district has atleast one or two important temples in Kerala , which have a great history and architecture. Kerala is not only a popular tourist destination, but is also a must visit pilgrim destination for Hindus. Unlike temples of other states, Kerala temples have strict rules and one must ensure sanctity of the temple is protected. Most temples don’t allow non Hindus and strict dress code is also implemented. It is important to carefully read about the guidelines of the temple before visiting them.