The Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam, more commonly referred to as the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam or simply the Kottiyoor festival, is a rather unique temple festival in the state. Kerala temple festivals are known for their pomp and show, with plenty of percussion instruments playing, fireworks and decked-up elephants standing in line. But the Kottiyoor festival is none of these things; it is underway in Kerala right now and will go on for 27 days. Held in the middle of the forest along the river Baveli, there isn’t even a temple standing in the area. In fact, the only permanent temple is the Ikkare Kottiyoor temple on the western banks of the river, dedicated to the god Shiva. The festival takes place on a makeshift temple called the Akkara Kottiyoor, and it is the experience of a lifetime.
The temporary huts set up for the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam
A shop selling Odappu, a “flower” made of bamboo pieces purchased by devotees for the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam
Elephant at the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam
Ikkare Kottiyoor temple at the time of the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam
Entrance to the Akkare Kottiyoor temple
Devotees worship the deity at the Akkare Kottiyoor temple
An idol at the Kottiyoor temple festival
Devotees drenched in the monsoon rain at the festival
An idol with offerings around it at the festival
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