Elephant feeding at Akkare Kottiyoor temple

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Kottiyoor, the famous Shiva temple located at Kannur, Kerala, is known as Dakshina Kasi or Varanasi of the South. In Kottityoor, there are two temples - Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. Both these temples are located in the dense forest on the shores of River Bavali.

At Akkare Kottiyoor temple, the deity is believed to be a Swayambhoo Lingam (self-originated idol of Lord Shiva). There is no formal structure of a temple here. The image is seated on a Thara (ground), formed by small heap of stones, called Manithara.

A ritual of carrying the idols atop elephants is held as part of the twenty- seven day long festival that falls during May- June.

Feeding elephants is considered auspicious. Devotees feed the pachyderms with balls of rice and plantain fruits.
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