Cheranalloor Shiva Temple, Ernakulam, Kerala

Cheranalloor Shiva Temple, Ernakulam, Kerala
Cheranalloor Shiva Temple, Ernakulam, Kerala By RajeshUnuppally - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Cheranalloor Shiva Temple, a venerable shrine with a history spanning over 1300 years, graces the town of Cheranalloor in Ernakulam, Kerala, India. This sacred site is easily accessible from both Kalady and Perumbavoor, drawing pilgrims and devotees from near and far.

A Place Among the 108 Shiva Temples:

The Cheranalloor Shiva Temple holds a distinguished place among the 108 Shiva temples scattered across the state of Kerala. Here, Lord Shiva is revered in his ascetic form, and traditional offerings like fragrant flowers and incense sticks are not part of the worship rituals.

Historical Significance and Land Holdings:

In its heyday, this temple boasted extensive land holdings and received around 24 tons of paddy annually. However, the sweeping agrarian reforms of the past led to the temple relinquishing most of its lands, leaving only a few acres where the temple now stands. This decline from its prosperous past has presented challenges, and the temple today faces a struggle for its survival.

Temple Administration:

The administration of the Cheranalloor Shiva Temple involves various groups, including Gurukkal and Ambalavasis such as Nambiars, Sharodys, Marars, among others. These individuals play pivotal roles in the management and upkeep of the temple.

Deity and Annual Poojas:

The main deity of the temple is known as Rn Mochaka, symbolizing the liberator of debts. Annual poojas and rituals are conducted in March every year, drawing devotees to participate in the festivities and seek blessings.

Architectural Beauty:

The temple’s architecture showcases the rich heritage of Kerala. The central sanctum sanctorum is designed in a circular manner, exhibiting the Kerala-Dravidian architectural style. An ornate namaskara mandapom adorns the eastern porch, built atop a square structure. The sheer size of the nalambalam (enclosure) is striking, and the adjacent thidappalli (kitchen) has undergone reconstruction. The Cheranalloor Temple is a treasure trove of rare and exceptional architecture.

Legends and Folklore:

Local folklore links the temple to the sage Parashurama, a prominent figure in Kerala’s history, who is said to have established the idol of Lord Shiva here during the Treta Yuga, adding to its historical and spiritual significance.

How to reach:

To reach the Cheranalloor Shiva Temple in Ernakulam, Kerala, India, you can follow these directions:

By Air:

The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is approximately 20-30 kilometers (12-18 miles) from Cheranalloor. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.

By Train:

The nearest major railway station is the Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, which is well-connected to various parts of Kerala and India. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local train to a nearby station, if available.

By Bus:

Cheranalloor is well-connected by bus services from various towns and cities in Kerala. You can take a bus to the nearest bus stop to the temple. Buses typically pass through the area, and you can inquire with locals or at the bus station for the most convenient route.

By Road:

1. From Ernakulam City: If you are in the city of Ernakulam, you can reach Cheranalloor by taking a taxi or auto-rickshaw. The temple is approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city center, and the journey should take around 30-40 minutes.

2. From Kalady: If you are coming from Kalady, which is known for its significance in the life of Adi Shankaracharya, the temple is accessible by road. The distance is approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles), and it takes about 15-20 minutes by taxi or private vehicle.

3. From Perumbavoor: If you are in Perumbavoor, the temple is around 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. You can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Cheranalloor. The journey should take around 20-30 minutes.