Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple is located in Nilakkal, on the eastern side of the Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is one of the important “idathavalam” or halting places for the Sabarimala pilgrims. The shrine is maintained by Travancore Devaswom Board. During the Sabarimala pilgrimage, lots of devotees visit the temple.
Lord Shiva is the presiding deity and it’s believed to be in two moods, Ugramoorthy (fierce) and Mangala Pradayakan (auspicious). A common belief is that Lord Shiva is showering his blessings on his son Lord Ayyappa to fight against all evil spirits while throwing all anger to the evils. As in many Shiva shrines, a number of oxen are protected on the temple premises.
There are only two Upa Prathishtas (sub-deities) here, Lord Kannimoola Ganapathi and Nandi.
Three Poojas are held here every day. The morning session includes Usha pooja, the noon session with Ucha pooja and the dusk session concludes with Deeparadhana. Special weekly days are Sunday, Monday and Friday.
The “Maha Shivaratri” held annually is one of the noted festivals of the temple. Besides Shivarathri, the temple celebrates its Thiruvutsavam every year in grand style. During the Sabarimala pilgrimage, devotees from various states visit the temple for their welfare and sake.
Nilakkal Mahadevar Temple Timings:
Morning: 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Evening: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Nilakkal Shiva Temple History:
There have been attempts to build a church in front of the Nilakkal Mahadeva temple (on the way to the temple). It was considered Poonkavanam (garden) of Ayyappa. As church planters often do, a cross was found near the Nilakkal Temple on March 24, 1983.
News of the church’s discovery was published in the media claiming that it was planted by none other than the disciple of Jesus Christ, Saint Thomas. Christian pilgrims started arriving at the place. Soon the road leading to the temple was named St Thomas Road and Christians started calling Nilakkal Hill St Thomas Mount.
On May 19, a month after the discovery, the Kerala government approved a one-hectare land grant to build a church in Nilakkal. Organizations fiercely opposed it and thousands of believers demonstrated. And the planters had to move the cross to a new location.
How to Reach Nilakkal Siva Temple:
Cochin International Airport is 136 km and Thiruvananthapuram international airport is 138 km from the temple. There is also a heliport at Perunad, near Nilakkal, which operates at times of the Sabarimala pilgrimage.
The nearest railway stations are Chengannur 68 km and Thiruvalla 73 km.
Mannarakulanji – Chalakayam route (SH 67) is the main highway. It passes through Nilakkal and Adoor. Vandiperiyar highway passes through Plappally which is 8 km west of Nilakkal. During the Sabarimala pilgrimage, state-owned K.S.R.T.C buses provide chain services from Pamba to Nilakkal at fair charges for the devotees. Private buses ply through adjoining places like Angamoozhy and Thulappally. Transportation is comparatively less in this region.
Nilakkal Shiva Temple Address:
Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple,
Kerala – 689662.