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



The temporary huts set up for the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam, Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

A shop selling Odappu, a “flower” made of bamboo pieces purchased by devotees for the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam



A shop selling Odappu, a "flower" made of bamboo pieces purchased by devotees for the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam, Photograph Courtesy: Vinayaraj/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Vinayaraj/Wikimedia Commons

Elephant at the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam

Elephant at the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam, Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Ikkare Kottiyoor temple at the time of the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam

Ikkare Kottiyoor temple at the time of the Kottiyoor Mahotsavam, Photograph Courtesy: Satheesan.vn/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Satheesan.vn/Wikimedia Commons

Entrance to the Akkare Kottiyoor temple

Entrance to the Akkare Kottiyoor temple at Kottiyoor Mahotsavam, Photograph Courtesy: Vinayaraj/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Vinayaraj/Wikimedia Commons

Devotees worship the deity at the Akkare Kottiyoor temple

An idol at the Kottiyoor temple festival

An idol at the Kottiyoor temple festival, Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Devotees drenched in the monsoon rain at the festival

Devotees drenched in the monsoon rain at the festival, Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

An idol with offerings around it at the festival

An idol with offerings around it at the festival, Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Sivavkm/Wikimedia Commons

NOW READ: Festivals in June 2017 in India

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