Believed to be retrieved from the sea by Parasurama (warrior sage) Axe, Kerala arose from the waters where Parasurama threw his axe. And thus Kerala was reclaimed from the sea. There are also other myths along the story of Kerala, where Asura King Mahabali ruled over the whole earth and several other planetary systems from here. However he was granted to rule over only one planet of Patala (nether world) called Sutala, by Lord Vamana. Every year in Kerala Onam is celebrated to welcome Mahabali back to Kerala for a day and to bless us all with prosperity and happiness. Kerala has many such mythological stories revolving around it. The history, culture and heritage of Kerala revolve around these stories and the temples that have been established centuries ago in different parts of Kerala. From Lord Vishnu, to Lord Ayappa, or Krishna and Devi, Kerala has a temple dedicated to all the Gods and Goddesses and is the ultimate place for a spiritual pilgrimage. The architecture of Kerala temples uphold some traditions that date back to centuries and are unique to Kerala alone and only oil lamps are lit within the Sanctum Santorum. Best Kerala tour Packages from Ahmadabad will include visit to these Pilgrim sites and you can customize your tour package according to your choice.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu and located in Thiruvananthapuram, this temple is built in the Dravidian architecture and is said to be the richest Hindu temple in the world. Lord Vishnu is enshrined in the yogic sleep on the serpent Adishesha. You have to view the Gold plated Idol from three windows. The stone carvings and the murals of the temple are unique and fascinating. The best time to visit this temple is during the Alpashy festival in October/November or the Panguni festival during March/April.
Sabarimala Sastha temple
Dedicated to Lord Ayappa, this temple in Pathanamthitta is a very famous temple where pilgrimage occurs on a very large scale. It is believed 50million devotees visit this temple annually. The temple stands at an altitude of 1565ft above sea level in the Periyar tiger reserve, which is a dense jungle. Only men are allowed in the temple, women of the age group 10-50 are not allowed here. Also observance of a strict vow of 41 days must be followed before entering the temple. The temple is only open during the Mandalam puja days from 15th November to 26th December, and the first six days of every Malayalam month.
Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple
This Lord Krishna temple is enlisted as one of the most famed temples of Kerala. The central deity is a four- armed standing Krishna carrying the conch Panchajanya in one, the discus Sudarshana Chakra in another the mace Kaumodaki in the third and a lotus in the fourth hand with the holy Basil garland. Popularly known as the Dwarka of the south, this temple is famous for conducting weddings and Annaprashan (first solid food for a baby). The best time to visit is during the temple festival in February/ March and during Malayali New Year Mid April.
The Presiding deity is the Goddess Chottanikara Devi, who is worshipped in three forms as Saraswati Devi during the morning, Lakshmi Devi during the afternoon and as Durga Devi during the evening. Lord Shiva is also worshipped here. The Guruthi puja held every evening at the Keezhakavu temple within Chottanikara is quite an interesting sight. The Navarathri Agosham during November is very famous, along with the temple festival.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is recognized as the National Monument by India under the AMASR act. This temple is also believed to be built by Lord Parasurama and the temple is enriched with exquisite mural paintings. Located in Thrissur, the deity is Lord Shiva in the form of a lingam and is covered with a huge mound of ghee formed by the daily abhisheka. Also the ghee does not melt and no foul odor emanates from it too. Best time to visit is during Mahasivarathri in Mid-February and Thrissur Pooram during April/ May.
Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna temple
Dedicated to Lord Krishna in the baby form, this temple deity was brought from Guruvayoor during the reign of Tipu Sultan in order to safeguard it. There is a very beautiful legend behind the famous and scrumptious Palpayasam. It is also believed that Guruvayoorappan reaches here during Palpayasam nivedyam (when the payasam is offered to the deity). The best time to visit this temple is the Ambalapuzha temple festival in July and the Arattu festival in March/April.
Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple in Kottayam is rich with murals and paintings. The sanctum is circular in shape with a conical roof. The idol faces the west direction and a golden staff is placed in front of the shrine. The Arattu festival in February/March is the best time to visit the temple.
Attukal Bhagavathy temple
This is located near Padmanabhaswamy temple and is famous for the Pongala Puja conducted by women once in a year during Mid Feb-Mid March where women cook rice, jaggery, ghee and coconut in mud pots on make shifts fires to please the Goddess. This temple also holds the Guinness record of holding the single largest gathering of women for religious activities. This is the best time to pray in the temple.
Going for a pilgrimage with your family will be very fulfilling and to be able to get darshan (view) of the God will make you feel blessed and rejuvenated. Affordable Kerala tour packages from Hyderabad can be booked in advance according to the season in which each temple will be open. You can also avail a tourist taxi that will take you all the pilgrim sites on the preferred route. An experienced guide will assist you in reaching your location and you will also be able to pray in all the pilgrim spots on the way. If you want to avoid crowds then you can book off season too.