Kottukal cave temple
Kottukkal cave temple, also known as Kaltrikkovil in Malayalam, is an existing example of rock cut architecture, built between 6th and 8th centuries CE. It is situated in the village of Kotthukkal, near Anchal, Kollam district, Kerala, India. The name Kothukkal (which means Kothiya Kallu- carved rock) is a reference to rock cut shrine. There are two caves of unequal size, both facing the east with the sculpture of the main deity Ganapathy in between. The smaller cave has an idol of Hanuman and the larger one has a monolithic Nandi (bull) in it. Lord Shiva is also a deity in the temple in the form of a Shiva Ling.
According to local traditions, the big rock was brought to the area by the incarnations of Shiva including Nandi to the area, and another small rock near to it called 'chummaadu para' is believed to be the support to relieve the pain when the bigger hard rock kept in head. Historians read its origin back to the 7th century AD when 'Nedila Paranthaka Nedumchadayan' who ruled Chadayamangalam the nearby place, made the rock cut temple. It is now situated in the centre of a large extent of paddy fields and daily rituals are done under Travancore Devaswom Board. The calmness and tranquility of the area attracts the travellers, and one can reach the spot travelling 45 kilometers from Kollam.
From Thiruvananthapuram, the MC Road leads to Nilamel, and from there local road leads to Kadakkal and reach Kottukkal. From Kollam, local roads lead to Ayoor first and from there to Kottukkal via Manjappara.
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