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Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram, Kollam Overview

The Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram is a famous pilgrim centre that is located in southern India, in Kottarakkaram, twenty-five kilometres away from Kollam. Considered to be one of the most important Maha Ganapathi Temple in all of Kerala, the temple is believed to be centuries old. Even though the main deity at the temple is Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha is given utmost importance here. Other deities worshipped at the temple are Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Nagaraja and Lord Ayyappan.

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Legend of Sri Mahaganpathi Temple

The legend of the Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram is associated with Perumthachan, who was a master carpenter who skillfully trained his son in carpentry and architecture. When the son bypassed the father's skills and began to become famous far and wide, Perumthachan began to suffer from professional jealousy. If rumours are true, he dropped his chisel on his own son and faked it as an accident. Following these sad turn of events, Perumthachan started wandering and reached Kottarakkara, where he saw the Padinjattinkara temple that was under renovation. He also saw a jack tree root inside the Sarppakkavu, and he sculpted a beautiful idol of Lord Ganpati from the root. He asked the chief priest for his permission to install the lovely icon there, but he was denied since the temple already had one idol in it. Perumthachan then obtained permission from the main priest of the Manikandeswaram Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple, and he installed the idol there. The melsanthi or the head priest was preparing nivedyam, that is offerings for the Lord, during this time. Perumthachan was curious and inquired about what the nivedyam for Lord Ganpati would be. When the head priest suggested unniyappam, Perumthachan readily agreed and instantly offered half a dozen unniyappams in a plantain leaf before the deity. Perumthachan then predicted that even though the presiding deity at the temple is Lord Shiva, his son Ganpati would gain more devotion and faith at the temple. This prophecy holds true to this date.

There is yet another tale attached to the temple of Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram which talks about the marriage of Kottarakkara Thampuran's daughter. The father of the to-be-bride requested Zamorin of Kozhikode to send a dance troupe from Malabar to perform at his daughter's wedding. Zamorin, however, sarcastically refused to send the troupe, stating that the people of South Kerala are incapable of appreciating a fine art like Krishnanattam. Kottarakkara Thampuran thus felt insulted and prayed to Lord Ganapati at Kizhakkekara to help him find a way out. Sri Mahaganapathy then appeared in the dream of Thampuran. He gave him the unique idea of creating an altogether different art form. Thampuran then wrote the Ramanattam, designed the costumes, and in record time performed the Arangetram during the marriage of his daughter.

Sri Mahaganpathi Temple Festivals

Numerous festivals are observed at the Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram each year with great enthusiasm and devotion. Prominent festivals celebrated here include Vinayaka Chathurthi, Medathiruvathira, Mandalachirappu, Shivratri and Navratri among others. The Vinayaka Chathurthi is celebrated to honour Lord Vinayakas birthday, which falls on the Chathurthi day of the Malayalam month of Chingam. On this festival, Unniyappam and Modhakam are offered to Ganapathy, and ceremonies like Sarvaiswarya pooja, Gajapooja and Annadanam take place.

During the celebrations of Mandalachirappu, the temple becomes a resting place for the Sabarimala pilgrims, and special bhajans and poojas are performed in the Dharmasastha nada. Every year, grand Navarathri celebrations are also held in the temple, when thousands of devotees throng to the temple to perform the Vidyarambham of their little ones. Other festivals like Prathishtadinam, Thyppooyam and Vishu are also celebrated in the temple.

How To Reach Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram

The Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram is located  27 kilometres from the centre of Kollam, via the Kollam - Thirumangalam Road. You can easily reach the place by hiring a cab or by other local means of transportation. Travelling ba taxi, however, is the recommended option.

More Details about Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram

The temple is well known not only in Kerala but all across the country. It is open to people of all religions, and non-Hindus also often visit to seek the blessings of the Almighty. The rich legends associated with the temple further aggravate the visitors' curiosity, and the place is buzzing with tourists day and night. The grand temple attracts a large number of tourists especially during the festivities, which are celebrated by members of the local community as well as the tourists in harmony and utmost devotion to the lord. All in all, the Mahaganpathi Temple is a must visit while in Kollam to experience tranquillity and inner peace.

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