The temple is believed to have been built during the Chera period in the eighth century. Shiva is worshiped as Mahadeva and his consort Parvathi as Umadevi. The presiding deity is revered in the seventh century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the ‘Tevaram’ and is the only temple in Kerala in the list. As per Periyapuranam, Sundara Murthi Nayanar,one of the four great saints in Tamil Shaivism ascended to heaven from this place. The temple is maintained and administered under the Cochin Devaswom Board. This ancient temple has the maximum number of shrines in a temple in Kerala The temple has very good mural paintings and is a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. The temple is built in Kerala style of architecture with entrance towers in all four sides. The sanctum occupies the centre portion of the temple, which is fortified and the presiding deity is in the form of lingam. The sanctum is approached through a flagstaff, which is axial to the entrance tower and the sanctum and has images of Asthavidyesavara. The image of Narasimha is sculpted on the vimana and the images of Sundarar and Cheramanperuman are maintained at Bhagavathi temple. The porch is adorned with carvings dedicated to the heroes of the Ramayana. There are two temple tanks in the temple, located in the second precinct. This holy shrine consists of a sandhara square ‘garbhagriha’ with a dvitala vimana preceded by a narrow ‘mukhamandapa’ axially followed by a sixteen pillared ‘Namaskara Mandapam’. The original shrine was a brick temple reconditioned during the tenth- eleventh centuries. The walls of the Shiva Temple are decorated with mural paintings of sixteenth to seventeenth centuries. The Siva idol is just about four inches above the ground level and is in the form of half-circle. The godly serpent (Vasuki) and holy Nagas (serpents) were also worshipped here. There is a sub-shrine in Thiruvanchikulam in the Vadakke Kottaram with a partly damaged Sivalingam known as Kottarathil Thevar or Arooli Thevar, an abridged form of Arathali Thevar. Four daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the Utsavam during Shivarathri (Kumbham – February – March), the ten-day Vaikasipournami Brahmotsavam festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May – June) and Swathi festival during July – August being the most prominent.


  • 40 km from Thrissur
  • 2 km south of Kodungallur town, in the same vicinity as the Cheraman Juma Masjid
  • 35 km from Kochi


The temple is open from 4 am - 12 pm and 4am - 8:30 pm on all days except during festival days when it is open the full day.