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Pazhoor Perum Thrikovil

This Lord Shiva temple on the banks of river Muvattupuzha is only 3 kms from Adi Sankara Nilayam. One among the 108 oldest Siva temples of Kerala. It's believed Sri Parasurama himself did the consecration of this temple. Legend has it that Aryamba, mother of Sankara, regularly bathed in the river and worshipped the Lord here.

Thirumarayoor Sri Rama Temple

Situated around 4 km from Adi Sankara Nilayam, Sri Rama temple is a beautifully sculptured ancient temple in a tiny hill flanked by lush green paddy fields. It is believed that Adi Sankara composed the Sri Rama Bhujanga Stotra in praise of Thirumarayoor Sri Rama. He mentions in the Phala-sruti that this stotra is Vedasaram (essence of Vedas).

Chottanikkara Bhagavati Temple

The temple is situated 13 km away from CIF towards the city of Kochi, and is one of the most popular famous temples in Kerala.

The Divine Mother known as Rajarajesvari (Adiparasakti – Sri Mahamaya Bhagavati, the goddess of power) is worshipped here in three different forms: Maha Sarasvati (mother of knowledge) in the morning, draped in white; Maha Lakshmi (mother of wealth) at noon, draped in crimson; and as Maha Durga (mother of power) in the evening, decked in blue.

There is an Idol of Mahavishnu on the same pedestal and so the Deity is called Amme-narayana, Devi-narayana, Lakshmi-narayana and Bhadre-narayana also.

Apart from the main deity, the temple complex consists of Kizhkkavu Bhagavati temple, temples for Dharmasastha (Ayyappa), Shiva, Ganapati, Subramanya, Nagas and other Upa-Devas. The pleasant atmosphere in the temple gives mental peace and harmony to devotees.

People suffering from mental illnesses commonly visit the temple, as Chottanikkara Devi is thought to cure her devotees.

One should not miss the ‘Guruthi Pooja' in the Kizhukkavu temple on the eastern side of the temple pond. Earlier ‘Guruthi Pooja' was done only on Fridays. But nowadays, it is performed every day.

Kalady

This principal pilgrimage centre – 60 kms from Adi Sankara Nilayam – on the banks of river Purna (now Periyar), marks the paternal home of Adi Sankara. Temples of Mother Sharada and Adi Sankara as Lord Daksinamurti are situated on these banks and are maintained by the Sringeri Matha. The crocodile ghat, the ancient Sri Krishna temple that was the family shrine of the Acharya, and other noteworthy landmarks such as the Sankara Tower (which has a depiction of Adi Sankara's life history) are also located here.

Krishna Temple

Just to the west of Adi Sankara's shrine in Kalady is the temple of Lord Krishna that was dear to his mother Aryamba. When the river Periyar changed its course, the temple was immersed in water. Sankara had a new temple built in its present site on a high bank overlooking the river. The deity in the sanctum is charming and diffuses grace. The present temple is of typical Kerala architecture, with gabled roofs and carved wooden pillars. In front of the sanctum is the namaskara-mandapam. In the western part is a shrine to Lord Ayyappa.

Vadakkumnathan Temple

On the apex of a raised ground in the heart of Thrissur stands the inspiring temple of Vadakkumnathan, with shrines dedicated to Shiva, Sankaranarayana, Rama, Devi, Ganapati, Ayyappa and so on. The principal shrine is that of Lord Shiva; the linga is covered all over with coats of ghee and shines like a resplendent pillar of light. Thick walls, pierced by four entrances, one in each of the four directions, enclose this temple complex, which is considered to be the oldest in Kerala.

It was here that Shivaguru and Aryamba spent months in prayer and fasts, till they were assured of progeny. Lord Mahadeva of this temple is believed to have incarnated as Adi Sankara. There is also Mahasamadhi Pitham of Adi Sankara and a small shrine dedicated to Him in the premises of the great temple. Thrissur Puram festival in April-May, which is celebrated here, attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world. The celebrations are spectacular, combining majestic elephant pageantry with the frenzied playing of drums and cymbals, rounded off with a fireworks extravaganza.

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