Kottiyoor temple is situated in the Kottiyoor village, East Kannur almost 65 Kilometers from Kannur Town. Since it is on the eastern side of Kannur, it falls under the Western Ghats region of Kannur. The huge hills and resulting valleys and dense forests – iconic landmarks of the Western Ghats can be experienced here.
Thus it is a place of religious as well as ecological importance. As per the legends, Kottiyoor is considered to be the place where the ancient king Daksha performed Daksha Yaga.
Epics says that Sati, wife of lord Shiva ended her life at the spot of Daksha Yaga due to the insult, which she could not bear as her father Daksha did not invite her husband lord Shiva for the Daksha Yaga.
On hearing this sad demise, the angry lord Shiva destroyed the Daksha Yaga and ended up killing Daksha. Later, it is said that the lord Shiva brought Daksha back to life. As Daksha already lost his head, it was replaced with that of a goat.
He then became a devotee of lord Shiva. It also says that Sati reincarnated as Parvati and married Shiva later.
A myth also says that, Kottiyoor is the place where the Trimurthis – Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva met. It was once called koodiyoor; where in Malayalam, Koodi means together and ooru means place.
And together Koodiyoor means the ‘meeting place’ and it later became Kottiyoor.
There are two temples at Kottiyoor. They are namely – Akkare temple and Ikkare temple.
Akkare temple is considered as the original spot where Sati ended her life. The place is left as it is, without any permanent structure or buildings.
You can find Thiruvanchira – a shallow pond there. It contains two circular platforms made up of piles of stones.
The first platform is called Manithara and it holds a shiva ling. Shiva ling is a representation of Lord Shiva’s presence. It is considered as a sacred stone and thus, a source of divine energy.
It is believed that the Shiva ling have originated by itself and hence it is known as the Swayambhoo linga. Where, swayambhoo means self originated in Malayalam.
On the second platform is the heap of stones called Ammarakallu. It represents Sati.
As I mentioned in the beginning, since the Kottiyoor temple falls in the Western Ghats region, the Akkare temple lies in the forest region. The temple remains closed all the time and is open only during the Vyshakha festival for 27 days. Thousands of devotees gather here during that time.
Mean time Ikkare temple, located near the Ghat highway remains open and serves as a place of worship throughout the year.
Aayilyar Kavu is snake grove of Ikkare temple. It is known to perform special rituals in the midnight at Aayilyar kavu.
Bhavali River, which remains as the holy river for the visitors of Ikkare temple flow torrentially during the time of rainfall. It is believed to possess some medicinal powers as the rivers flows through the forests of Wayanad, which is rich with medicinal herbs.
How to reach
Nearest Town: Kannur, about 65 kms away
Nearest Tourist destination: Mananthavady, about 24 kms away.