Thangalpara(70 km from Kottayam town)
The mausoleum of Sheikh Faridiin found here makes this place a famous Muslim pilgrim centre. Nearby is the scenic hill station of Kurathikallu and the beautiful Kottathavalam.
Saraswathi temple, Panachikkad(10 km from Kottayam)
Known as the Mookamoika of the South, this temple holds the Saraswathi Pooja every year in October/November. Children are initiated into the world of letters at the Vidyaramobham ceremony here.
Blessed AIphonsa, Bharananganam(20 km from Ettumanoor)
The church is one of the important pilgrim centers of the Christians in Kerala. The mortal remains of Sr. Alphonsa, who was pronounced as blessed, is kept in this church. The death anniversary of blessed Sr. Alphonsa that falls on the 20th of July is an important day.
Mangala Devi Temple (15 km from Thekkady)
The ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day in April.
Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry (14 km fro, Ernakulam) This is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth and is famous for its Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old testament and ancient inscriptions on copper plates.
St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi (12 km from Ernakulam) This is the first European church in India, which later became the model for building churches elsewhere in the country. Vasco da Gama, who died in Kochi during his second visit to Kerala, was buried in the church in 1524. Later his mortal remains were taken back to his native land. Portugal.
St. George Church, Edappally(15 km from Ernakulam) This is one of the major pilgrim centres in Kerala venerated by non-Christians as well. Every day devotees throng the church to genuflect before the statue of St. George to express their gratitude for favors received through the saint. The annual festival begins on the 23rd of April with solemn High Mass and Litany. On May Day, the statue of St. George is taken out of its podium and placed on a specially decked chariot for procession. The festival ends with the High Mass on 4'h May. .
Kaladi (55 km from Ernakulam)
The birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya, the great Advaita philosopher of the 8'h century. Kaladi houses temples dedicated to Sree Sankara, Sarada Devi, Sri Krishna and Sri Ramakrishna. On the banks of River Periyar in Kaladi is the sacred bathing ghat where Sankaracharya is said to have been caught by a crocodile and which according to legends refused to release him until Sankara's mother Aryamba permitted him to accept Sanyas" (renunciation).
St. Mary's Church, Vallarpadam(45 minutes by boat from Ernakulam).
The church was established in 1676 and the famous picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary was put up by Portuguese who brought it from their native land. The picture is believed to have miraculous powers. Vallarapadath Amma, as the St Mary of Vallarpadam is called, is believed to have miraculously saved many lives from violent storms. The feast of Vallarapadath Amma is held on Sept. 24. A big fair accompanies the weeklong celebration.
Malayatoor (47 km from Ernakulam)
This place is famous for the Catholic Church on the 609m high Malayatoor hill (dedicated to St. Thomas). Thousands of devotees undertake the pilgrimage to the shrine to participate in the annual festival-Malayatoor PtrllIl1/al (March/April). St. Thomas is believed to have visited here.
Shiva Temple, Aluva(20 km from Ernakulam)
Situated on the banks of River Periyar, the Shivalinga of this temple rises out of the sandbanks of the river and is believed to have worshipped by Lord Rama. During the monsoon season the whole region gets flooded and the idol gets submerged in water. Worship is then done in a small shrine on the upper banks of the river. A dip in this river at the brahmamuhurtha (3 am) after observing the rituals of Shivarathri is considered very sacred.
Thrikkakara Temple (14 km from Ernakulam)
Onam, the festival of Kerala takes its origin from this temple, as thiruvonam is the avathara day of Lord Vamana, the presiding deity of this temple.
Chottanikkara Temple (15 km from Ernakulam)
The Goddess is revered in three forms - as Saraswathi in the morning, as Bhagavathy at noon and Durga in the evening. During the annual festival in kumbham , devotees especially women seek blessings from the Goddess.
St. Dominic Church (1 km from Aluva)
The feast of St. Dominic's Church falls on the third Sunday after the Easter. The statue of the saint is taken out in procession on that day. The feast of 'Our Lady of the Holy Rosary' also features a spectacular procession on the Sunday after 8th of December.
Ramakrishna Advaitha Ashram, KaIadi(40 k from Ernakulam) This ashram was founded by Ramakrishna Mission in 1936. In 1976, a new type of shrine, Viswakshetra representing the styles of architecture associated with temples, churches and mosques was opened here for the followers of all religions.
Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple (29 km west of Thrissur)
Guruvayoor, known as Kasi of the South is famous for the Sree Krishna temple which has Guruvayoorappan or the infant Krishna, as the deity. Legend has it that the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Gods and Vayu, the God of winds. The most famous offering of the temple is Thulabharam, where a devotee presents to the deity his own body weight against products like bananas, rice etc. The Vishnu's idol here, made of rare stone is believed to possess healing qualities, especially for rheumatism. The 16th century poet Melppathur Narayana Bhattathiri, who suffered from rheumatic pain, is said to have sought relief from Guruvayoorappan, after which he composed Narayaneeyam, in praise of the Lord. Exquisite paintings around the Sreekovil depicting stories of the pranks of little Krishna stand testimony for the art of a period. The 111alldapam facing the Sreekovill is resplendent with beautiful carvings. Non Hindus are not allowed in Guruvayoor temple.
Bhagavathy Temple, KodungaIIoor (50 km from Kochi)
This temple is famous for the Bharani festival .On bharani day, special nivedya (nectar) known as Variyarippayasamam is offered to Bhagavathy. This is performed by Adikals (priests). Early morning, the deity is ceremoniously taken out of the Sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum) and placed on a raised pedestal for public worship. Simultaneously, the temple flag is hoisted signifying the victory of Bhagavathy over Darika (evil). After the bharani day, the temple doors remain closed for six days during which period, pooja is offered only once in a day. On the seventh day when the Sreekovil is opened, thousands have d harshan (vision) of Devi which is considered most auspicious.
Koodalmanickam Temple, Irinjalakkuda (21 km from Thrissur)
The only temple in India dedicated to Lord Bharatha, brother of Sree Rama is the ancient and historic Koodalmanickam temple. Meenoottal, feeding of the fishes in the Kuleepini theertham, the temple pond is an important ritual here. The temple festival is held for all days in Medom (April-May) from Utram to Thiruvollam asterisms. Chakyarkoothu is performed in the temple theatre during the festival.
Vadakkunathan Temple(in the heart of the city)
This is a classic example of the Kerala's traditional architecture. Holy shrines of Paramashiva, Parvathy, Sankaranarayana, Ganapathy, Sree Rama and Sree Krishna are housed here. The central shrines and Koothambalam exhibit exquisite vignettes carved in wood. This temple is the site for the famous Thrissur Pooram. The main vazhipaad (offering) here is ghee.
Sree Rudhira Mahakali Temple (Uthralikkavu), Wadakkancherry (2 km from Parithipra on the way to Shoranur)
The annual festival of this temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, is one of the famous festivals of Central Kerala. Known as Uttralikkavu Pooram , the eight-day long festival has as its highlight, about twenty-one caparisoned tuskers. Festivities end with a colourful display of fireworks.
Mammiyoor Siva Temple (1 km from Guruvayoor)
This temple houses two adjacent shrines of Sankaranarayana and Shiva. Mammiyoor and Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple are linked to each other in several aspects and it is therefore considered auspicious to worship them on the same day.
Sree Rama Temple, Kadavallur(10 km from Kunnamkulam)
A unique feature of this temple is the annual twelve-day Anyonnam, a scholarly debate on Vedas . Vedic scholars from all over Kerala participate in this. Sree Rama is worshipped in three forms here- in the morning as in vanavaasa (exile in forest), at noon as in sethu bandhana [in a roudra(angry) mood] and at night as the king of Ayodhya.
Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungalloor(20 km from Irinjalakuda)
This is the first mosque in India. Legend says King Cheraman Peru mal of Kodungallor left for Mecca, embraced Islam, accepted the name Thajuddeen and married the sister of the then King of Jeddah. Before his death Thajuddeen handed over to the King of Jeddah several letters addressed to Kerala kings seeking their help to propagate Islam. The King came to Kerala and met the then King of Kodungalloor who helped the former convert Arathali temple into a Juma Masjid. This mosque was designed and constructed based on Hindu art and architecture. It was built in 629 AD and resembles a temple in appearance.
Potta Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor(35 km from Thrissur)
This centre is famous for live-in retreats and conventions, through which evangelists and preachers share and proclaim the 'word of God'.
Ramakrishna Ashram, Vilangan (9 km from Thrissur)
The Ramakrishna Mission has a number of ashrams in the State, which serve as centers of meditation. These centers uphold the ideals of Vedanta as taught by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda. The first branch of the mission was set up in Haripad in 1912. The Thrissur ashram (Vilangans) was set up in 1927.
Sree Vilwadrinatha Temple, Thiruvilwamala (15 km from Ottapalam)
Located atop a hill, this temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The Punarjani Noozhal (crawling through the Punarjani cave) is an important ritual. Punarjani is a narrow cave believed to have been built by Viswakarma, the legendary creator of Kerala and on an auspicious day devotees crawl through the half kilometer cave to get rid of their sins.
Sree Parthasarathy Temple, Chembai (14 km from Palakkad)
The six- day annual festival here honoring Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar features Carnatic music concerts by veteran musicians.
Sree Viswanatha Temple, Kalpathy (3 km from Palakkad) Built in 1425 on the lines of the temple at Benaras, this temple is famous for the Chariot festival held every November.
Vayillamkunnu Bhagavathy Temple, Katampazhipuram (27 kill from Palakkad)
The deity here is believed to be one of the members of the legendary family, Paratcbi Petta Palltbeerukulam (the clan of twelve given birth by Paratcbi, an aboriginal woman). Kalamezhuthupattuis a special feature during the seven-day annual festival.
Jain Temple, Jainamedu
One of the few existing Jain temples in Kerala is the Jain temple at Jainamedu in the Vadakkanthara village on the Western border. With granite walls devoid of any decorations, this temple comprises four divisions and is 32 feet high and 20 feet wide. Legend has it that the temple was built about 500 years ago by a Jain head named Inchanna Satur for the Jain sage, Chandranatha Swamy. At a Jain house here, renowned poet, Kumaranasan wrote the monumental poem, Veenapoovu (the fallen flower).
Juma Masjid (1 km from Palakkad)
Mortal remains of Uthman Auliya, a revered man in Muslim Communities are entombed here. Prayers are held in this mosque on Fridays. Annual festival is held in January February. During the festival a grand procession bringing ceremoniously various articles such as rice, coconut, etc to the mosque as offerings is held. A grand feast is held for the poor, the next day.
Guru Madhom, Chittur(13 km from Palakkad)
This was founded by Thunchath Ezhuthachan. The Samadhi (final resting-place) of Ezhuthachan is also located in this village on the banks of River Bharathapuzha.
The Jama-at mosque (2 km from Malappuram)
This is an important pilgrim centre for the Muslims of Kerala. The annual Nercha festival of the mosque is celebrated for four days in April. Adjoining the mosque is a mausoleum of the Malappuram Shaheeds whose brave exploits have been immortalized in Mappilla Ballads.
Pazhayangadi Mosque, Kondotti (18 km east of Manjeri on the way to Kozhikode)
Kondotti is a prominent pilgrim centre for Muslims. The Valia Nercha festival at the 500- year old Pazhayangadi Mosque, celebrated for five days in February-March, draws a large number of devotees. While the focus of the Nercha here is the reverence shown to Shaykh Muhammad Shah, *e founder of the Kondotti Thangals, the ceremonial rituals are derived from the worship of folk deities of Kerala. During the special ceremony of the Kondotti cannon, the cannons that are kept in the Kondotti Police Station are taken out to a road near the mosque, charged with powder and ignited. These cannons are believed to have special sanctity and an important offering during the festival is oil for them. The oil that is left over after cleaning of these cannons is believed to have curative powers.
Kadaampuzha Bhagavathy temple, Tirur(3km north of Vettichira on the highway connecting Kozhikode and Thrissur)
Dedicated to Kiraatha Parvathi, this is one of the most sacred Shakthi centres in Kerala. The uniqueness of the temple here is the absence of idols. Pooja is performed at a hole (about 6 cm in diameter) in the earth where the Goddess is said to have disappeared after showing her presence to Adi Sankaracharya. Poomootal i.e. offering flowers of thecchi (Ixora indica) to the hole is the important vazhipaadu . Matturakkal is another vazhipaadu that involves breaking of coconuts, the purpose of which is to remove the obstacles faced in day-to-day life.
Thirumandhaamkunnu Bhagavathi temple, Angadippuram (3 km from Perinthalmanna town)
Dedicated to Bhadrakaali, this is one of the ancient and renowned temples in Kerala. According to legends, King Mandhatha of Soorya dynasty, after tough meditation received from Shiva, the l illga worshipped by Parvathi. On his downward journey from Kailash he kept down the l illga at Thirumandhankunnu where it got fixed to the earth. The Shivalillgam in the Sreemoolasthanam here is split into two. This is attributed to the fight that took place between Mandhatha and Kali, who was ordered by Parvathi to get back her precious linga . Parvathi, who could not bear a separation from the linga is said to have entered it, instructing Mandhatha to install Kali near her on whose name all the pooja and festivals were to be conducted. An important custom of this festival is the arrival of Vellathiri to give audience to the Malayanlkutty, the headman of the Palla tribal community. Kalampattu is an important vazhipaadu here and is perhaps one of the longest to be performed, starting from first Vrishichikam to the end of Memam. Mallgalya pooja, Rigveda LakJharchalla and Challdattam are some of the other important poojas.
Navamukundha Temple, Thirunavaya(8km South of Tirur)
Thirunavaya, on the banks of the River Bharathapuzha, said to be the traditional headquarters of the mythical Brahmin hero, Parasurama, is a place of historical and religious significance. Thousands flock here on karkidaka vavu Day to perform the pithrukriya rites for the departed souls. The Navamukunda temple is said to be the sacred spot blessed with the presence of Saraswathi , Gayathri, Lakshmi, Parvathy, Shami, Ganga, and Yamuna.
Vettakkorumakan Temple, Nilambur(36 km from Malappuram) The Nilambur Pattu festival that is held here every year is a unique event, marked by the participation of tribal. It starts with Kodiydtam, the hoisting of the festival flag brought by the tribes from the forest, who are warmly received by the royal family. The festival reaches a climax on Dhanu 23 with the singing of hymns in praise of the temple's presiding deity, Vettakkorumakan by the members of the Nilambur royal family, as well as the tribes. This temple is maintained by the Nilambur Kovilakam.
Thunchan Parambu, Tirur (52 km from Malappuram)
This is the birth- place of Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam language and the hallowed ground where children are initiated into the world of alphabets. On Vijayadasami day, people from different places come here for Vidyaramoham, the ceremony in which children are initiated into learning. The iron stylus with which Ezhuthachan wrote on palm leaves and the ancient kanjira tree (Nux vomica) under which he taught his disciples and composed his poems, are treasured exhibits here. Unlike the fruits of kanjira trees found elsewhere, the fruit of this tree is not bitter. The memorial also boasts of granite Sarawathi mandapam and a library with rare manuscripts.
Poonthanam Illam, Kizhatoor, Perinthalmanna
This is the house of Poonthanam Namboothiri, a great exponent of the Krishna cult of the Bhakthi Movement, known for his work Jnanapana(song of knowledge). In February every year, the ill am hosts the Poonthanam literary festival coinciding with the poet's birthday. The illam and the family temple are being turned into a memorial.
Melpatthur Illam, Ponnani (52 km from Malappuram)
The site of the home of Melpatthur Narayana Bhattathiri, renowned poet and author of Narayaneeyam is situated on the northern side of the Bharathapuzha about 2 miles away from the Thirunavaya Temple.
Lokanar Kavu (6 km east ofVadakara)
Dedicated to Bhadrakali, this temple finds mention in the Northern Ballads (Vadakkan Pattukal). Thacholi Othenan, the legendary hero of Kalaripayattu, Kerala's martial art form used to worship the deity here. The offering of Eratttipayasam is said to please the Goddess here.
Vettakkorumakan temple, Balusseri (25 km from Kozhikode)
This temple was once famous for its vazhipaadu (offering) of breaking ten thousand coconuts overnight by a single person. The idol of this war-god is in the form of a mirror.
Thali temple(Kozhikode city)
Associated with the Zamorins of Calicut, this temple is the venue for the famous Sanskrit discourse, Revathy Pattathallam.
Mother of God Church (1/2 km from Kozhikode city)
Built in the Roman architectural style, this church dates back to 1513 AD and is only one of its kind in Kerala. It houses a portrait of St. Mary, believed to be 200 years old.
Thirunelly Vishnu Temple (32 km south – east of Mananthavady)
Tucked away in the Brahmagiri hills and encircled by the River Papanasini is Thirunelly temple. Several myths are woven around the temple. One of the mythical strands says the idol of Vishnu was installed by Brahma (creator) himself. The Papanasini River is believed to have the divine power to wipe away all the sins committed through generations. It is believed that the pithru-tharpana (oblations to manes) done here will also lead to the transformation of the spirits of the departed to salvation. The Koothambalam here is one of the best in the State and rare paintings adorn the temple walls.
Glass Temple of Kottamunda(20 km from Kalpettta) Located on the slope of Vellarimala, this is dedicated to Parswanatha Swami, third Thirthankara of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect the image of the icons in the temple sanctum.
Sree Maha Ganapathy Temple, Sulthanbathery(Heart of the town)
This temple is more than 800 years old and has a beautiful image of Lord Ganapathi.
Erulam Sita Devi Temple, Pulpally (8 km from Sultan Battery)
This temple is dedicated to Sita Devi and her sons, Luv and Kush. The three-day festival known as Thira Ulsavam, features Theyyam and Paniyarkali.
Thrichambaram Sree Krishna Temple, Taliparamba(20km from Kannur)
A sacred place of the Vaishnava cult, the deity here is Sree Krishna. The fortnight festival begins on 22nd Kumbham (February - March). Another temple dedicated to Sree Balarama, brother of Lord Krishna is at Mazhoor, Thrichambaram. On the first day, the idol of Balarama is taken out in procession from Mazhoor temple and brought to the Thrichambaram temple. The procession marks the beginning of the festival, on the last day of which the idols of Sree Krishna and Balarama are taken out ceremoniously. The festivities end with Lord Krishna retreating to His abode that is Thrichambaram temple, while his brother Balarama returns to Dharmakulangara temple. The procession in this festival is sans elephants.
Parassinikadavu Madapura Sree Muthapan Temple(16 km from Kannur town)
The significant feature of this temple is the daily performance of Theyyam, the ritualistic art form of Kerala. The presiding deity is Muthappan, a manifestation of Lord Shiva in the guise of a kiratha (hunter).
Kizhakkan Kottam, Valakai, Taliparamba(50 km from Kannur)
This is perhaps the only temple dedicated to Sugreeva, the deposed monkey-king who helped Lord Rama in the encounter with Ravana.
Madayi Mosque (28 km from Kannur)
This was built by Malik Ibn Dinar in the 12th century, with white marble brought from Arabia.
Akkara Kottiyur, Ikkara Kottiyur (64 km from Kannur)
Lying in the deep forests, these temples are famed for the annual festival which starts with Neyyattom on Swati asterism in May-June and ends with Thirukalasattu after 28 days.
Mahaganapathi Temple, Madur (7 km from Kasaragod)
This imposing temple represents a fine blend of Kerala and Karnataka architecture.
Madiyankulam Temple (3 km from Kasaragod)
Situated near Kanhangad in Hosdurg, this temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali, the fierce form of Goddess. The Bhutha Dance is performed during the festival in May-June and December - January.