Ikkare Kottiyur Temple
The scenic Kottiyoor village in Kerala, India is famous for two Shiva temples located here. The place is often referred to as Dakshina Kasi or Varanasi of the South.
In Kottiyoor, there are two temples- Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. Both these temples are located in dense forests on either sides of river Bavali.
Daily worships are held at Ikkare Kottiyoor temple. The Akkare Kottiyoor temple remains opened only on special occasions like the annual festival.
Interestingly, during the twenty eight-day annual festival, the Ikkare Kottitoor temple remains closed and special rituals are held at Akkare Kottiyoor.
According to legends, Kottiyoor is the place where Dakshayaga (a holy sacrifice mentioned in myths related to Lord Shiva) was held.
Hence, devotees consider the place as Varanasi of the South or Dakshina Kasi.
The annual festival of the temple is held in the month of May- June. The festival commences with a ritual of bringing a sword from Muthirikavu at the nearby Thavinal village, to the temple.