Akkare Kottiyoor Temple Festival
Kottiyoor, the famous Siva 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 forests on the shores of river Bavali.
At Akkare Kottiyoor temple, the deity is believed to be a Swayambhoo Lingam (self-created idol of Lord Siva). There is no formal structure of a temple as such. The image is seated on a Thara (ground), formed by small heap of stones, called Manithara.
Pilgrims to the temple, before trekking to the holy hills, take a bath in River Bavali, which is considered to be divine. Women are permitted to enter the temple only on some special occasions.
Every year during May- June, a twenty eight-day festival is held at the temple, which commences with the Neyyattam ritual and concludes with the Thirukalasattu. Akkare Kottiyoor temple remains open only on these festival days.