Nestled amidst the lush green landscapes of Kerala, the Chottanikkara Temple stands as a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual fervor. This temple, renowned for its mystical aura and divine presence, holds a special place in the hearts of millions of devotees who flock here seeking blessings and solace. In this blog, we embark on a virtual journey to uncover the captivating allure of the Chottanikkara Temple, delving into its history, legends, architecture, and the unique customs that make it a divine haven.
Historical Origins of chottanikkara temple:
In the heart of antiquity lies the revered Chottanikkara Temple, an abode to the divine Goddess Bhagavathy, a radiant embodiment of Lakshmi and Saraswati. Sacred texts and tales of yore weave the temple’s history, a tapestry of legends etched into time.
A celestial aura envelops this sacred ground, where Vilwamangalam Swamiyar’s penance beckoned the Goddess to grace it with her divine presence.
Throughout the ages, the temple embraced change and renewal, marrying architectural wonders that showcase the artistry of Kerala’s temples, a testament to its unique heritage.
How to Reach:
Reaching the Chottanikkara Temple is relatively easy, especially if you are traveling within Kerala or from nearby states. Here’s a guide on how to reach :
By Air: The nearest airport to Chottanikkara Temple is Cochin International Airport, located approximately 28 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-paid cab to reach the temple. The drive should take around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Chottanikkara Temple is the Ernakulam Junction (also known as Ernakulam South) railway station, which is well-connected to major cities across India. From the railway station, you can take a taxi, auto-rickshaw, or bus to reach the temple.
The distance between Ernakulam Junction and Chottanikkara Temple is around 17 kilometers, and the journey may take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
By Road: Chottanikkara Temple is easily accessible by road from various parts of Kerala. If you are traveling from Kochi (Ernakulam), you can take a bus or taxi from the city center to the temple.
The temple is situated on the Tripunithura-Ernakulam route, and you can also find regular buses plying to the temple from different parts of the state.
Local Transportation: Once you reach Chottanikkara town or the vicinity of the temple, you can easily find auto-rickshaws, cabs, and even public buses that will take you directly to the temple premises.
The temple is a prominent landmark in the area, and locals will be able to guide you to the right place.
Best Time to Visit: The Chottanikkara Temple is open throughout the year, and you can visit it at any time. However, the best time to visit Kerala, including the temple, is during the winter months when the weather is pleasant and comfortable for sightseeing.
Place to visit:
If you’re visiting the Chottanikkara Temple, you’re in luck because there are several other fascinating places to explore nearby.
- Tripunithura (3 km): This historical town is located just a short distance from the temple. Visit the Hill Palace Museum, the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, which showcases a vast collection of artifacts, paintings, and antiques from the Cochin royal family.
- Fort Kochi (16 km): A visit to Kochi is incomplete without exploring Fort Kochi. This charming neighborhood is famous for its colonial architecture, Chinese fishing nets, St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and the iconic Mattancherry Palace.
- Marine Drive, Kochi (14 km): Enjoy a leisurely walk along the scenic Marine Drive promenade in Kochi. The picturesque backwaters, lined with modern amenities and shops, make it an ideal place for relaxation and evening strolls.
- Vypeen Island (18 km): Take a ferry ride from Fort Kochi to Vypeen Island, known for its serene beaches like Cherai Beach. It’s a perfect spot for spending a day by the sea and enjoying the coastal beauty.
- Bolgatty Palace (11 km): This charming Dutch palace, located on Bolgatty Island, has been converted into a heritage hotel. Enjoy the scenic views, well-manicured gardens, and a glimpse of colonial architecture.
- Vallarpadam Church (18 km): The Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, also known as Vallarpadam Church, is a renowned pilgrimage site for Christians. The church’s architecture and religious significance make it worth a visit.
- Wonderla Amusement Park (24 km): If you’re looking for some fun and adventure, head to Wonderla, one of India’s best amusement parks, with thrilling rides and water attractions.
- Kodanad Elephant Training Center (33 km): Get up close with elephants at this center, which offers the opportunity to observe and interact with these majestic creatures in a natural environment.
Food to try:
When visiting Kerala, you’re in for a treat as the state is renowned for its delicious and diverse cuisine. Here are some must-try dishes to savor the authentic flavors of Kerala:
1. Appam with Stew: Appam is a fluffy, bowl-shaped rice pancake with crispy edges, and it pairs perfectly with a creamy and mildly-spiced vegetable or meat stew.
2. Puttu and Kadala Curry: Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake made with grated coconut, and it’s usually served with kadala curry, a flavorful black chickpea curry.
3. Kerala Sadya: This traditional vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf includes an array of dishes like avial (mixed vegetables in coconut gravy), olan (ash gourd and coconut milk curry), sambar, rasam, and various pickles and desserts.
4. Karimeen Pollichathu: Karimeen, or Pearl Spot fish, is marinated in a blend of spices, wrapped in banana leaf, and then grilled or pan-fried to perfection.
5. Kerala Prawn Curry: Prawns cooked in a spicy and tangy coconut gravy is a seafood lover’s delight and best enjoyed with steamed rice.
6. Malabar Biryani: Kerala’s version of biryani, with fragrant rice cooked with meat, spices, and fried onions, is a flavorsome culinary experience.
7. Kerala Parotta with Chicken Curry: Flaky, layered parotta served with spicy chicken curry is a popular street food and a delectable combo.
8. Payasam: A traditional Kerala dessert made with rice, vermicelli, or lentils cooked in milk and sweetened with jaggery or sugar. Try Ada Pradhaman, made with rice flakes and coconut milk, for an authentic taste.
9. Thattu Dosa: This street food specialty is a crispy and flavorful dosa served with an array of chutneys and curries.
10. Kerala Banana Chips: These thin, crispy, and savory chips made from raw plantains are a popular snack and souvenir option.