Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple in Kottarakkara, Kerala is a centuries old temple and pilgrim centre in South India. It is the most important Ganesha or Maha Ganapathi Temple (Kshethram) in Kerala, popularly known as the God’s Own Country.
The main deity here is Lord Shiva. Other deities are Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Lord Ayyappan, and Nagaraja. Besides being a minor deity, prominence is given to Lord Ganesha (Ganapati), and hence the temple is also known in his name. The temple has a beautiful and splendid structure. The statue of Lord Ganapati is three feet high.
Unniyappam – a small round snack made from rice, jaggery and banana fried in oil – is the main offering to Lord Ganapathy. The kitchen where Unniappams are prepared is situated in front of the Ganapathy shrine.
Legend behind Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Temple
The current Mahaganapathy Temple is actually Kizhakkekara Siva Temple (or Manikandeswaram Mahadeva Temple), with the main deity Siva facing eastward. Kizhakkekara temple was the property of two Nampoothiri (Hindu Brahmins from Kerala) houses – Akavoor and Oomanpally. Padinjattinkara Siva temple, located within a span of 50 meters belonged to the royal house of Elayidathu.
The renowned master carpenter Uliyannoor Perumthachan was supervising the Pandinjattinkara temple renovation work. One day before sunrise, when rituals were taking place for the dedication of Siva, Perumthachan was chiselling a root portion of jackfruit tree outside the temple. He found to his surprise that he had actually shaped an idol of Lord Ganapathy. The excited carpenter asked the chief priest to enshrine ‘Ganapathy’ also after the consecration of Siva. But the priest denied the suggestion saying that Ganapati cannot be deified in a Siva temple. Highly disillusioned by the rejection, Perumthachan left the place and reached Kizhakkekara Siva Temple. The priest there was busy preparing unniyappam (Koottappam) as offering for Lord Siva. Perumthachan asked the priest whether Lord Ganapathy could be dedicated there. The priest agreed and wooden sculpture was sanctified in the southeast, by the master carpenter himself. The circular shaped Sreekovil (the innermost sanctum of a Hindu temple) contains Idols of Lord Mahadeva (facing east) and Sree Parvathy (facing west).
Perumthachan asked the priest to give some sacrificial offerings to the starving Ganesha. On a plantain leaf, the priest placed six to seven Unniyappams stringed together. Perumthachan, passionately dedicated this offering to Ganapati. Since then, Koottappam has been the most wanted offering for Kottarakkara Ganesha. Perumthachan also declared that though father (Siva) is the main diety, the son (Ganapati) would become more famous and powerful. His words proved to be true in future. The former Kizhakkekkara Shiva temple is now known as Kottarakkara Ganapathy temple.
Vinayaka Chathurthi, Prathishtadinam(Cosecration day), Vishu and Medathiruvathira are the major festivals celebrated in the temple.
Official Website of Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Temple,Kerala
Contacting Sree Maha Ganapathy Temple
The administrative officer – Ph : 91 474 2457200