Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple or Old Sreekanteswaram Temple, located at Puthenchantha in Thiruvananthapuram, is one of the ancient Shiva temples in Kerala. According to the renowned historian Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, this temple existed even in the 9th century AD. This temple is the original abode of the Lord of the new Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temple. The new temple is situated just outside the “North Fort” in Thiruvananthapuram. As noted by Dr. M. G. Sasibhooshan, the old temple was on the route taken by the King of Travancore and his retinue in connection with the Pallivetta of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
Lord Siva and Lord Krishna (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) are the principal deities in the temple. The linga of Sreekanteswara (Siva) is believed to be on the samadhi of Sage Kanwa. Chettikulam is a pond nearby that was reclaimed decades ago is referred to in Syanandura Purana Samuchaya and Anantapura Varnana as Kanvatirtha. This lends credence to the belief that Old Sreekanteswaram and Chettikulangara formed part of Kanwa Tapovana. The idol of Sri Krishna was installed later to reduce the ferocity of Shiva.
The annual festival of Sreekanteswaram is the Thiruvathira Mahotsavam is held during the Malayalam month of Dhanu (March – April). This ten-day festival starts with the hoisting of the temple flag called Thirukkodiyettu. Shivaratri is another major festival celebrated at the Temple on a large scale in the month of Kumbham. During Shivratri, devotees circumambulate the temple 108 times chanting the mantras and stotras of Shiva. The deity is carried out in a procession on silver Rishabhavahana at 3:00 AM.
Pazhaya Srikanteswaram Temple Timings:
Morning: 5:00 AM to 10:30 Noon
Evening: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Monday & Thursday:
Morning: 5:00 to 11:00
Evening: 5:00 to 8:00
Pazhaya Srikanteswaram Temple Address:
2313, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
s.m.v. school Overbridge,
Kerala – 695001.