Kottukal cave temple

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Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Kottukkal Cave Temple, Kollam Overview

The Kottukkal Cave Temple, also known as Kaltrikkovil in the Malayalam language, is a beautiful and serene rock-cut shrine that is located in the Kotthukkal Village near Anchal in Kollam in Kerala. The temple is an excellent example of rock cut architecture that prevailed between the 6th and 8th centuries CE, and is looked at with awe by architecture students as well as pious devotees alike. As per local legends, the big rock that makes up a significant part of the temple was brought to its present area by the incarnations of Lord Shiva, which also included Nandi.

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Kottukkal Cave Temple
Kottukkal Cave Temple

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Details about the Cave Temple

The present structure of the rock-cut temple comprises of two caves in all, both of which face the east direction. An idol of the presiding deity Lord Ganpati is present between the two caves. In addition to this, the more massive cave has Nandi in it, while the smaller one has an idol of Lord Hanuman. A Shivalinga is also present inside the temple. This combination of Shivalinga, Nandi and Hanuman is indeed unique and is found nowhere in India other than in Kollam. The temple is a breathtaking structure and is located amidst a paddy field. When viewed from a distance, it appears to be a sleeping elephant; and this adds to the beauty of the cave temple.

History of Kottukkal Cave Temple

Scholars and historians believe that the Kottukkal Cave Temple dates back to the Pallava period of the 8th century BC. Others scholars, however, believe that the cave dates back to some time between the 6th and 8th centuries A.D. The third school of thought assigns the date to 7th century AD in remembrance of Nedila Paranthaka Nedumchadayan, who ruled Chadayamangalam between 6th and 7th century AD. The Travancore Devaswom Board administers the cave and is responsible for conducting daily pooja services in the temple. It was in 1966 that the state government of Kerala pronounced the Kottukal cave to be recognised as a protected monument.

Architecture of Kottukkal Cave Temple

The Kottukkal Cave Temple has a quite striking yet straightforward structure. It comprises of two rooms that are 10 feet long and 8 feet wide each, and have been cut into the rocks. A single rock covers both of these rooms from the top. The mandapam or the roof bears testimony to the exceptional skill of the workers who worked passionately to construct the entire temple from a single piece of rock. Besides, visitors can also witness a well in the premises which never dries up.

Best Time To Visit Kottukkal Cave Temple

The best months to plan a trip to the Kottukkal Cave Temple are between December and May when the weather of Kollam is the most pleasant.

How To Reach Kottukkal Cave Temple

Situated 45 kilometres away from Kollam, the Kottukkal Cave Temple is well connected through local buses that frequently ply from Chadayamangalam and Anchal.

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