Places of Worship
Jainmedu Jain Temple
(3 km from the centre of Palakkad, on the southern bank of the Kalpathy River).Open 0700 -1030 hrs, 1700 – 1900 hrs) Situated on the western suburbs of Palakkad Town, not far from the railways station, this historic 32 ft long, 20 ft wide granite temple displays images of the Jain Thirthankaras and Yakshinis. The regions around the temple, known as Jainmedu, is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism have survived. Palakkad was once home to a community of 400 Jain families, but only a few families remain today. It is at a Jain house here that poet Kumaranasan wrote this monumental poem Veenapoovu or the fallen Flower
(East Yakkara Open 0600 – 1030 hrs, 1700 – 1900 hrs) One of the two major temples in Palakkad besides the Vadakkanthara Shrine, the idol here is swayambu (self-created), The main idol in the sanctum sanctorum was a later installation. Vela Festival in February/March is the main celebration here.
(8 km from Palakkad on Chittur – Kodumbu road) The ancient temple here has some fine woodwork and stone sculptures. Legend has it that the outer wall of the temple was built by an army of gods who worked at it the whole night but left it unfinished by dawn as they didn’t want to be seen by humans. Despite efforts later on, the work could not be completed and it is believed that humans cannot complete this work. The 4,000 stone lamps fixed on the wall and lit up at night is a beautiful sight. Another attraction is the mizhavu – an instrument that is commonly used while performing the art form of Chakyarkoothu and Koodiyattom, said to be the biggest among such existing ones.
Famous for its murals, this temple is located near the Nelliyampathy Hills.
Kalpathy Agraharam and Visalakshi Sametha Viswanatha Swamy Temple
(By the southern banks of the Kalpathy River, on the road to Mannarkkad and Kozhikode. Open 0500 – 1100 hrs, 1700 -1930 hrs) This Siva Temple built as a replica of the Kasi Temple at Benares, dating back to 1425 AD, has an imposing kodimaram or flagpole. It is from this flagpole that the temple banner flies during the Kalpathy Ratholsavam, a chariot festival held in November in which all the temples in the area participate. Apart from the temple, another reason to visit the place is to experience life in an old Palakkad agraharam or Brahmin settlement.
(Near Kalpathy Bridge. Open 0600 1030 hrs, 1700 – 1900 hrs) Accessed via the Kumarapuram agraharam on the banks of the Bharathapuzha, this temple used to be a major centre of Vedic learning. The presiding deity at the temple is Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathy. The rituals performed here are similar to those at the famous Tirupathy Temple and it is believed that the two deities, Lord Balaji in Andhra and the Lord Venkatachalapathy here have equal powers.
(13 km southeast of Ottappalam) River Nila which flows through the region got its name Bharathapuzha from a sacred place here called Bharatha Kandam. The main attraction here is the Sree Rama Temple and the legendary Punarjani Caves. The belief is that if you are able to go through the caves successfully you will be reborn as a human being, which is considered to be the highest degree of salvation in Hinduism. The Iver Mutt, believed to have been set up by the Pandavas here on the banks of the river, is very popular for performing rituals for the dead.
(75 km from Palakkad) This place is noted for its monuments and historic ruins. The Siva Temple and the ruins of a mud fort near Thrithala one the Chalissery Road are notable cultural monuments. The Kattilmadam Temple, a small granite Buddhist monument on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor Road, is of great archaeological importance. It is believed to date back to the 9th/10th century AD. The Paakkanaar Memoral, honouring the Pariah Saint, stands near Thrithala-Koottanad Road. This is also the native place of renowned and social reformer, V.T.Bhattathiripad.
Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayanan Temple
This temple dates back to the 14th century while its koothambalam (temple theatre) was probably added in the 15th or 16th century.
Ongallur Taliyil Siva Temple
Situated near Pattambi, this temple has some of the most intricate laterite sculptures in Kerala.
Panniyur Sri Varahamoorthy
(15 km south of Kuttipuram Town, in Kumbidi) This incomplete temple situated in the village of Panniyur is said to have been made by Perunthachan. Considered a masterly carpenter by all, he was asked to build a temple that would architecturally equal those in heaven. Lord Indra, worried that the temple would match heavenly standards, disrupted Perunthachan’s efforts daily, ensuring that the temple never got completed. This temple is believed to be the first temple in Kerala, consecrated by Parasurama nearly 4000 years ago.
(Near Chunnambuthara, en route to Jainmedu. Open 0500 – 1130 hrs, 1630 – 1930 hrs) The Vadakkanthara Bhagavathy is a reincarnation of Kannagi, the heroine of the Tamil epic Silappadhikaram. Fireworks at 6 pm sharp in the temple compound is a tradition here and people have been known to set their clocks by the sound. The main festival Valiya Vela is held here once in three Years along with 15 other temples.