The Kottiyoor Ulsavam Festival

The monsoon arrives in India in June, so it’s an excellent month to enjoy the wet weather at a monsoon festival in India! And throughout the month, Sydney’s Darbar Indian Restaurant will be the place to be for dining and celebration. Join us as we celebrate the Indian Festivals of June, whether for our delicious Darbar Lunch or Dinner Buffet or for a sumptuous a la carte dinner.

The Kottiyoor Ulsavam Festival

Kottiyoor Utsavam is a popular Indian festival commonly known as Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam. The 27-day festival is observed by Hindus recalling the tradition of Daksha Yaga. It is similar to the world-famous Kumbh Mela of Prayag. Both events include performing ablutions, puja, and other religious activities.

The word “Kottiyoor” came from Koodi and Uuru. Koodi means meeting and Uuru means precinct. According to Hinduism, Akkare Kottiyoor is the location where Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma Shiva Bhutaganas, Bhadrakali, revered Sages, Veerabhadra, and other holy figures met together to complete the Daksha Yaga.

It is also claimed that this is the place where Sati Devi tragically ended her life. Sati is the Hindu goddess of marital felicity and longevity and is the first wife of Shiva. Shiva had discouraged Sati to attend the Daksha Yaga, however she visited the meeting without her husband. She was insulted in front of the guests and afterwards took her life.

Many places around the festival location highlight the journey of Sati Devi. Many places are named after her. For instance, Manathana is the place where she missed her husband and felt sad while Kanneer char is the village where she cried.

The exact construction date of the The famous Ikkare Kottiyoor temple is unknown however pilgrims have been visiting the holy location for many centuries.

How Kottiyoor Vysakha Mahotsavam is Celebrated?

According to the Saka calendar, the event is celebrated from the month of Vaisakha to Chitra Nakshatra. If you follow the Malayalam calendar, it is celebrated during moths of Medam-Edavam to Edavam-Mithunam. In the Gregorian calendar, the event is witnessed from May-June to June-July. This year, the Kottiyoor Utsavam festival begins on 25th May 2021 and ends on 20th June 2021.

The Kottiyoor temple is the venue of the celebration. Located close to a river and in the middle of a forest, the festival is a huge attraction for visitors from around India. There are two temples in the village.

  • Thruchherumana Vadakkeshwaram Temple
  • Akkare Kottiyoor

Thruchherumana Vadakkeshwaram Temple is known as Ikkare Kottiyoor temple by locals. It remains open the entire year except during the Utsavam festival. The temple has Shiva Linga and people believe it is swayambhu (self-manifested). In other words, it is not manmade. Using coconut water, ghee and milk, pilgrims perform abhishekams for the Shiva Linga.

Not far away, you can witness another heap called Amarakkallu. This is the place where Parvati (Goddess) is worshipped. The temple is one of few locations in India where both Parvati and Shiva are worshipped together.

Coming back to the Kottiyoor Utsavam festival, Akkare Kottiyoor is the prime location of the event. It is a temporary shrine opened during the festival only. At the same prehistoric Vedic location, Hindus performed Puja in a temporary temple.

Temporary thatch huts are built for the festival and removed after it with thousands of Hindus visiting the location each year. At Swayambhu Shivalinga, pilgrims perform ablutions.

With no formal structure, the temple is famous for its design. Manithara (created with river stones) is the raised platform that is used to place the deity.

Similar to Muslim’s Hajj pilgrimage, Hindus gather here for a specific period of time. They circumambulate the temple, especially while raining. The event occurs during the monsoon because of plentiful rainfall.

Although it is popular as a “festival”, it consists of religious rituals only. It doesn’t include any entertainment activities.

A sword is brought from Muthirerikavu from Vayanda to initiate the festival. The Visakham star Bhandaram Ezhunnallath ritual is organized on the second day. Elaneer Vayppu is an important ritual when pilgrims offer coconuts to Shiva Linga.

Thousands of coconuts are brought from nearby villages to meet the demand. On the next day, the senior priest of the shrine pours the collected coconut water on the idol.

Kurumathoor Nayikan Brahman is the title of the head of the local Vaishnavite family. Being a representation of Vishnu, he has the birthright to perform the ritual, Rohini Aaradhana. The event highlights the incident of Daksha Yaga. It shows how Shiva felt after losing his wife Sati and it is believed that Brahma worshipped Shiva to reduce the loss of Sati.

During the festival, Ezhunnallippu is the ritual when two elephants carry the idols of Parvathi and Shiva. These elephants are treated with huge respect. Pilgrims offer them plenty of food and a special farewell.

What Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine Has to Offer?

No matter how far you are from India, you can still celebrate festivals in some way. At Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine, we invite you to experience our South Indian buffets (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Our buffets change every week and often are tailored to festivals occurring throughout the year.
Although far from India, come and celebrate at Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine!

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