Ettumanoor is a small town located in the Kottayam district of Kerala, India. It is famous for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance, attracting tourists and devotees from all over the world. One of the main attractions in Ettumanoor is the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, a revered shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of Ettumanoor and discover the hidden gems it has to offer.
1. Historical significance of Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
The Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple holds immense historical significance and is believed to have been constructed in the 16th century. It is considered one of the most ancient and prominent temples in Kerala, showcasing the rich architectural heritage of the region. The temple has witnessed the rise and fall of numerous kingdoms and has stood as a symbol of spiritual devotion throughout the centuries.
2. Architectural features of the temple
The Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple exhibits exquisite architecture, blending the traditional Kerala style with intricate woodwork and stone carvings. The highlight of the temple is its stunningly carved entrance, known as the gopuram, which showcases intricate craftsmanship. The temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the main deity, Lord Shiva, in the form of a Shivalinga, captivating devotees with its divine aura.
3. Religious and cultural significance of the temple
Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple holds great religious significance for Hindus, who believe that a visit to this sacred shrine can bring blessings, prosperity, and spiritual enlightenment. The temple serves as a center for various religious ceremonies, including traditional rituals, prayers, and festivals. Devotees often participate in bhajans and seek solace in the divine atmosphere of the temple.
4. Festivals celebrated at Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is renowned for its vibrant festivals that attract a large number of devotees and tourists. The most prominent festival celebrated here is the Ettumanoor Shivaratri festival, a grand event marked by colorful processions, cultural performances, and the famous “Ezhara Ponnana” procession where seven golden elephants are adorned with ornaments and taken around the temple.
5. Legends and myths associated with the temple
According to legends, the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is associated with the great Hindu epic, Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama himself installed the idol of Lord Shiva in the temple during his journey back to Ayodhya after the victorious battle against Ravana. The temple’s historical significance and mythological tales add a mystical charm to the entire ambiance, captivating the hearts of visitors.
6. Tourism attractions in Ettumanoor
Apart from the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, the town offers several other attractions that entice tourists. One such place is the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, located nearby, which is another renowned ancient temple with a rich historical background. The tranquil ambiance and stunning architecture of Vaikom Mahadeva Temple make it a must-visit destination for devotees and history enthusiasts.
For nature lovers, Ettumanoor boasts the scenic beauty of the Meenachil River, which flows through the town. The river offers picturesque views and is ideal for a boat ride or a leisurely stroll along its banks. The lush greenery surrounding the river creates a soothing and rejuvenating experience for visitors.
7. Nearby places to visit
Ettumanoor’s strategic location allows easy access to various nearby attractions. One such place is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, situated just a short distance away. This sanctuary is a haven for bird watchers, housing numerous migratory birds and indigenous species. Visitors can embark on a boat tour or explore the sanctuary’s walking trails to witness the diverse avian population in their natural habitat.
Another popular destination in close proximity to Ettumanoor is the backwater town of Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha. Alleppey is famous for its enchanting backwaters, intricate network of canals, and houseboat cruises. Exploring the serene backwaters of Alleppey offers a unique and unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to unwind amidst nature’s beauty.
8. Local cuisine and shopping in Ettumanoor
No visit to Ettumanoor is complete without indulging in the delectable local cuisine. The town offers a wide array of authentic Kerala dishes that tantalize the taste buds. From traditional sadya (a feast served on a banana leaf) to spicy seafood delicacies, Ettumanoor’s culinary delights cater to all palates.
When it comes to shopping, Ettumanoor provides a unique opportunity to explore the traditional handicrafts and handloom products of Kerala. Visitors can purchase intricately woven textiles, vibrant handicrafts, and aromatic spices that make for perfect souvenirs to take back home.
9. Accommodation options in Ettumanoor
Ettumanoor offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. From luxurious resorts and hotels to homestays and budget guesthouses, visitors can find comfortable and convenient places to stay. The warm hospitality of the locals adds a personal touch, ensuring a memorable and pleasant stay for all.
10. How to reach Ettumanoor
Ettumanoor is well-connected by various modes of transportation. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is approximately 70 kilometers away. From the airport, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Ettumanoor. The town also has a railway station, ensuring easy access for those traveling by train. Buses and taxis are available from nearby towns and cities, making it convenient for visitors to reach Ettumanoor.
11. Best time to visit Ettumanoor
The best time to visit Ettumanoor is during the winter season, from November to February. The weather during this period is pleasant and ideal for exploring the temples and nearby attractions. The monsoon season, from June to September, brings heavy rainfall to the region, which may limit outdoor activities. It is advisable to check the weather conditions before planning a trip to Ettumanoor.
12. Safety and travel tips for visitors
When visiting Ettumanoor, it is important to keep certain safety and travel tips in mind. Firstly, it is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully while visiting religious sites, such as the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple. This includes covering your shoulders and legs, as a mark of respect for the local customs and traditions.
It is also recommended to carry sufficient cash and keep your belongings secure while exploring the town. As with any travel destination, it is wise to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.
Additionally, it is crucial to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun when venturing out during the day. Applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, and carrying a water bottle are essential to ensure a comfortable and safe experience.
13. Local customs and etiquette
Understanding and respecting the local customs and etiquette of Ettumanoor will enhance your overall experience. Visitors are encouraged to maintain a calm and composed demeanor while inside the temple premises. It is customary to remove footwear before entering the sanctum sanctorum and to follow the instructions provided by the temple authorities.
While interacting with the locals, a polite and courteous approach is appreciated. Kerala is known for its warm hospitality, and the people of Ettumanoor are no exception. Embracing the local customs and traditions will create a harmonious and memorable cultural exchange.
Ettumanoor, with its Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple and cultural heritage, offers a captivating journey into the spiritual realm of Kerala. The historical significance, architectural marvels, and religious fervor make it an enchanting destination for devotees and history enthusiasts alike. The serene backwaters, nearby attractions, delectable cuisine, and warm hospitality add to the charm of this picturesque town.
So, whether you seek divine solace, architectural grandeur, or a glimpse into the cultural heritage of Kerala, Ettumanoor awaits you with open arms. Embark on a journey to this tranquil abode and immerse yourself in the spirituality and beauty that Ettumanoor has to offer.
15. Unique FAQs
Is photography allowed inside Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple?
Photography is not allowed inside the temple premises, as it is considered a sacred space. However, you can capture the beauty of the temple from outside and in the surrounding areas.
Are there any specific dress codes to be followed while visiting the temple?
Yes, it is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting the temple. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing. It is customary to cover your shoulders and legs while inside the temple.
Can non-Hindus visit the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple?
Yes, the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple welcomes visitors of all faiths. However, it is important to be respectful of the religious customs and practices observed within the temple.
Are there any specific timings for temple visits?
The Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple follows specific opening and closing timings. It is advisable to check the temple’s official website or consult with the locals to ensure you plan your visit accordingly.
What are some other popular attractions near Ettumanoor?
Apart from the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, nearby attractions include the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, and the backwaters of Alleppey. These destinations offer unique experiences and further insights into the cultural and natural beauty of Kerala.