Tali Shiva Temple or Tali Mahakshetram is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Lord Shiva, situated in the heart of the Kozhikode city, Kerala. The temple was built in the 14th Century by Zamorin of Calicut.
Tali temple is one of the oldest temples in Kozhikode. The founding and prosperity of Kozhikode city is closely linked with the sanctity of this ancient temple. It is believed that the lingam in the sanctum of the Temple was installed towards the end of Dwaparayuga by Sri. Parasurama. The posture in the sanctum is that of Umamaheswara. Though this divine power existed from time immemorial, the attention of the citizens of Kozhikode was (bestowed on the temple) only by about 1500 years ago. Later on the temple reached its zenith during the rule of the Zamorin of Calicut, who had the prestigious title Sailabdheswara. The temple to its present state was built in the 14th century.
It was, originally, a small temple in the village of Tali and belonged to 50 Namboothiri families. The Namboothiris maintained good relations with the erstwhile ruler of the territory, the Polathiris. When the Zamorin invaded the territory, he took control of the temple. When he met with resistance from the Namboothiris, who were the temple trustees, he ordered them executed.
A Zamorin who came to power some time later, Manavikraman, renovated the temple and gave it its current structure. During Tipu Sultan’s conquest of Malabar in the 18th century, it was damaged but was renovated in 1964.
Legends say that Parasurama, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, worshipped Shiva at this temple. Several tales of feudal rivalry and curses are told in relation to the temple.
Revathi Pattathanam and Other festivals
Revathi Pattathanam, an annual cultural and intellectual seven-day event is the main festival of the temple. The festival date falls in the Malayalam month of Thulam (October/November). It is said that this festival was started by the Zamorin as a penance for killing the Namboothiris in Tali. The event celebrates learning and letters. Scholars are awarded prizes on the seventh day of the festival. Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, the author of Narayaneeyam, had been one of the prize recipients.