Farewell to elephants at Akkare Kottiyoor
Kottiyoor in Kannur is famous for two ancient Shiva temples located here. The place 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 opposite shores of River Bavali.
At Akkare Kottiyoor temple, the deity is believed to be a Swayambhoo Lingam (self-created idol of Lord Shiva). 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.
As part of the annual 28 day- long festival of the temple, there is an ezhunnallippu or procession with two elephants carrying the idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi.
After this ritual, there is the feeding of the elephants. There is a ceremonious farewell to the elephants after all these rituals are over.
The elephants salute the deity and walk back in veneration while the devotees throng in large numbers to get an auspicious touch of the elephant. Percussions accompany the farewell ritual.