1.5 kms from Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple on the Kodungallur-Parur bus route (NH-17). This is one of the four Tali temples of the erstwhile Cera capital of Mahodayapuram (Kodungallur). The temple adjoins the Kodungallur Kovilakam (palace).
Temple Layout and Structure
The temple is located in a vast enclosed compound facing east. Past the modest Gopuradvara (eka-tala) one comes to the 3-bay Natapandal with tiled roof beyond which is the dhwajastambha. The valiambalam is entered through the Agramandapa housing the valiabalikkal and is enclosed on three sides by wooden slats fixed on vertical wooden frames. Past the valiambalam one enters the Akathebalivattom containing the sanctum sanctorum. There is an improvised low, narrow mukhappu to the Shrikovil proper, which is necessarily a recent addition. The shrikovil is a square dvi-tala structure with a mukhamandapa in front. The adhishtana consists of the usual mouldings in granite topped by a granite vedika. The superstructure walls are built up of laterite, plastered over with simple decorative work. There are ghanadvaras on the South, West and North sides. The granite pranala on the north side is also of the simplest type. The sopanam on the east has hasti-hastha banisters on its sides with the figure of a vyali sculptured on the outer sides. The mukhamandapa has 2 other doors on its south and north with granite steps and banisters. The nandi is insided the mukhamandapa, slightly off the longitudinal axes. The roof is of wood tiled over with a shukanasa on the upper tala of the mukhamandapa.
The thitappalli is on the agnikone (NE corner) with the well close by. There is neither separate namaskara mandapa nor the vilakkumaatam. Around the outer periphery wall of the naalambalam, granite lamps are fixed at intervals.
The akathe balivattom is enclosed by the naalambalam on the four sides. Outside the naalambalam there are four small shrines in the four diagonal corners, each housing a shiva linga. There are no other upadevatas in the premises.
The pratishta of Lord Shiva here is supposed to be in the penitent mood after the immolation of Sati (Lord's Consort) during the Dakshayaga. He is supposed to do penance in the middle of the Panchagni. The consecration of the idol by Sage Rishyashringa accounts for the name of the temple.
Rites and Festivals
The daily rituals consist of 3 poojas and 3 shribalis. Eight day festival is celebrated in Kumbham with Arat coming on the new moon day after Shivarathri. The tantric rights are administered by the Thamarasseri Mekkatt Illam.
The four thalis of Kodungallur - Melthali, Kizhthali, Nediyathali and Shringapuram thali (Chingor thali) and the Thaliyathiris of each fin epigraphical evidence in the tenth to twelfth centuries A.D. From the meaning Temple the name Thali was extended to the place in which each was built. The copper plate donated by Cera ruler Vira Raghava Chakravarthi to Iravi Korttan in 1320 A.D. refers to "visheshal naalu thaliyum thalikkaduthakiramathodidayil" i.e. in the locality bounded by the four thalis (temples) of Crangannore and the (Namburi) village near (surrounding) them. Again there are references in the inscriptions of King Kulashekhara calling together a meeting of the four thalis.
The thaliyathiris (rulers of the thali) were representatives of the people, each elected and consecrated by each of the Avarodha (investiture) Kalakams or electing assemblies of Irinjalakuda, Airanikkulam, Parur and Mulikkalm (for Shringapuram Thali) all within a radius of 25 miles from the Imperial Capital (Makotai) or Mahodayapuram.
The temple has no upadevatas and with five pratishtas of Shiva linga, can as well claim to be an Ainthali, a pattern of Shiva temples in vogue during ninth-tenth centuries.
The massive idol consecrated at a high peetam is a common feature in most of the thali temples.
The plain plaster decorations of the superstructure walls point to an early stage of construction and the consequent antiquity of the temple.
View from South-East
Closer view from South-East
Last Revised (contents): 6 january, 2002
Last Revised (design) : 17 october, 2004