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Elephant feeding at Akkare Kottiyoor temple

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.