Ernakulam Shiva Temple, also known as Ernakulathappan Temple is one of the major temples of Kerala, located in heart of Ernakulam, The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is considered as the city temple, with the presiding deity as the protector of the city, as per local Hindu faiths and traditions. As per the common practice in Kerala, the deity is reverently called Eranakulathappan, which means Lord of Eranakulam.
The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, considered to be Swayambhoo (Divinely derived) in Gourisankara form, located in main sanctum sanctorum, facing West. On the southern side, a small shrine for Lord Ganesha is seen. There is a small area behind the main sanctum sanctorum, considered as abode of Goddess Parvati, hence the east gate is known as the Devi Gate. Outside the Inner temple circle, shrines for Lord Ayyappa and Nagaraja are worshiped.
Adjacent to the main Shiva Temple, two other temples are constructed in the temple grounds, which makes the Ernakulam Temple Complex. On the Northern side, a Murugan Kovil was built in Tamil style by Tamil residents of Kochi. The presiding deity is Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli and Devanyani. There are two separate shrines for Navagrahas and Ganesha, within
this Sri Murugan Temple.
On the Eastern side, a Hanuman temple exists in Udupi style. built in year 1850, as per the records available. This is one of the very few temples constructed in Madhwa Sampradaya without Krishna as main deity. The presiding deity is Lord Hanuman facing towards Shiva temple on eastern side. A small idol of Lord Rama also worshiped in main sanctum sanctorum. Apart from this, shrines for lord Nagaraja and Raghavendra Swami are also worshiped.
More or less, I visit Ernakulam every year in connection with Sabarimala Yatra and I make it a point to visit this temple complex. I have a liking to this temple since all my favorite Gods are present in this complex. We normally visit in the early hours of morning to have peace of mind and to have a wonderful darshan. Later we go for breakfast before leaving this place for onward journey.
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