(Last Updated on : 27-08-2012)
Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram is one of the famous temples located in a Kerala
. Here the main deity is Lord Shiva
that faces the east direction. However, the temple is now famous as a Ganapathy temple rather than a Shiva temple. The temple; is associated with many legends.
According to one legend Kizhakkekara temple was earlier the property of two Nampoothiri houses, Akavoor and Oomanpally. The Padinjattinkara Shiva temple belonged to the royal house of Elayidathu. Some rituals were conducted one day before sunrise for the consecration of Lord Shiva at the Pandinjattinkara temple. It was being managed by the legendary Uliyannor Perumthachan. He was outside the temple and listening to the mantras that were being recited. While listening he began chiselling a piece of jackfruit tree. To his surprise, he found that it was the form of 'Ganapathy' that was taking shape. He went to the chief priest and requested him to enshrine the 'Ganapathy' also after the consecration of Shiva. However, the priest denied saying that it was a Shiva temple hence Lord Ganesha
could not be consecrated here.
Perumthachan was desperate and he walked towards the east and reached the Kizhakkekkara Shiva temple. There the priest was preparing for some offerings to be given to the God. Perumthachan requested him to sanctify this Ganapathy there. The priest readily agreed to his request. Perumthachan verified the place and the idol of Lord Shiva facing the east direction in front of that it is Ganga, and Parvati
turned towards the west. Southwest there is Sastha and northwest Subrahmanya. He thought that if the idol of Lord Ganesha was installed here then the family would be complete. Thus Ganapathy was installed southeast by Perumthachan. The Lord was then offered Unniyappam. On a leaf, the priest placed six to seven Unniyappams stringed together. Perumthachan with all his dedication devoted his first offerings Koottappam. Koottappam is still known to be the most wanted nivedhyam for Kottarakkara Ganapathy. Perumthachan himself then declared that although the place is famous for Lord Shiva but it would be known for his son, Ganesha. Later his words turned out to be true. Kizhakkekkara Shiva temple is now known as Kottarakkara Ganapathy temple.