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Kerala is a state in Southern India that has a rich cultural heritage. Kerala which is also known as God’s own Country is one of the most popular holiday destinations among tourists from all over the world. Kerala which is also known as Keralam is believed to have been originated from the work “Kera” and “alam”. Kera means coconut and alam is location or land. This state is also known as “The Land Of Coconut Trees”. Kerala is well-known for its rich culture, lovely lakes, Ayurveda, art, vibrant fairs and festivals, beautiful hill stations, breathtaking backwaters, roaring beach and also wonderful temples. Every year numerous tourists all over the world visit India for Kerala tours. This state is considered remarkable and spiritual tourist destinations in India. To know more about a cultural and religious aspect of the state, it is necessary to plan for a visit to some of the most famous temples in Kerala that are absolutely worth the visit.

  1. Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram: This is a very rich Hindu Temple in the world. This Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is situated at Trivandrum. This temple is one of the oldest and famous holy places in Kerala. The temple has a 100 feet height gopuram built in the Dravidian style of architecture which was built in the 8th century. The large pond near to the temple is the main attraction of this place. There are two major festivals celebrated in this temple with great enthusiasm that draws a large number of tourists from all over the world. The best time to visit this temple is March/April during Panguni festival and October/November during the Alpashy festival.

  2. Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple: This temple is located on the hilltop of Western Ghats. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa which is surrounded by thick forests and mountains. This is one of the most popular temples in Kerala situated near Periyar Tiger Reserve. The most famous Sabarimala temple is one of those places where pilgrimage is visited on a very large scale. The pilgrims to Sabarimala wear blue or black clothes, smear sandal(Chandan) on their forehead and remain unshaven until the end of the journey. It is to be noted that only men are allowed to enter the temple. Ladies between the age of 10 to 50 are not allowed inside the temple. This temple opens only during the two major festivals. The Mandal Pooja and Makara Sankranthi Pooja are celebrated in the month of November till mid-January. This temple also remains open during the first six days of every Malayalam month.

  3. Guruvayoor Temple: This is one of the most religious temples which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple is popular for witnessing several rice feeding ceremonies. The tradition of the new born’s first meal takes place at this temple. The best time to visit this temple is during Ulsavam (Feb/March), Kuchela’s Day (Dec/Jan) and The Malayali New Year (Mid-April).

  4. Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple, Kannur: This is one of the most beautiful temples located on the banks of river Valapattanam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muthappan. Visitors offer liquor bottles or alcohol to Lord Muthappan. This is the only temple in Kerala with the entrance gate having embellishment of dog’s statue on both the sides and therefore, even the dogs are allowed in this temple. This is the only temple that allows the entry of people from all the castes and religion. The best time to visit this temple is during Feb/March for Muthappan Thiruvopanna Mahotsavam and also during Dec/Jan for Puthari Thiruvappana festival.

  5. Thirunelli Temple: This is an ancient temple of Maha Vishnu which is also the most popular tourist spots in South India. The temple is situated on the Brahmagiri of Wayanad. It is said that a dip in the holy water of this place washes away all the sins. It is believed that Thirunelli is installed by Brahma as this temple has also been mentioned in the Puranas. This place of worship is not to be missed when visiting Kerala.

  6. Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple: This temple is located in Pathanamthitta district and is dedicated to Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple has become famous for being one of the stops during the procession of carrying the holy jewels called as Thiruvabharanam. This Thiruvabharanam of Ayyapan is carried in a procession annually to Sabarimala. The temple also safeguards the golden attire of Ayyapa called Thanka Anki which was donated by the King of Travancore. Aranmula is also famous for the annual Snake Boat Race in the nearby river called the Pamba river and this is considered as the best time to visit the temple.

  7. Sivagiri Temple: The temple protects the tomb of social reformer and sage Shree Narayana Guru. This is one of the best and sacred pilgrimage temples in Kerala. The Samadhi holds great importance. Every year pilgrims visit this temple between December 30 and January 1. The pilgrims are seen in yellow attire during their pilgrimage days. The best time to visit this temple is during Samadhi day (August/September) and Sri Narayana Jayanthi.

  8. Vaikom Temple: Vaikom Mahadeva temple is situated in Kottayam district. This is one of the very few temples that is visited by both Shaivaites and Vashnavaites. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that those who visit temple along with Ettumanoor Siva Temple and Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple, all their wishes get fulfilled. This temple is built in Keralan style of architecture. Vaikom temple is also famous for Vaikkathashtami. Vaikom Ashtami is one of the famous festivals which is held in the month of November or December and the date is fixed as per the Malayalam calendar.

  9. Thiruvalla Temple: This is the only temple in Kerala that is dedicated to Purusha as Lord Sreevallabhan. It is situated on the Banks of Karamana river. This is a highly orthodox temple and is one of the most ancient temples of South India. Kathakali is staged in this temple every day. The best time to visit this temple is during the Thiru Utsavam (Feb/Mar) and Uthira Sreebali (March/April).

  10. Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in the country. Ettumanoor Mahadeva is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture. The shape of the sanctum is circular with a conical copper plated roof. There are mural paintings on the interior as well as the exterior portions of the temple. The famous festival which is known as “Arattu festival” is celebrated on the “Thiruvathira” day which comes in the month of February/March every year.

  11. Ambalapuzha Srikrishna Temple: Devotees visit this temple to worship Unni Krishna which is the child form of Lord Krishna. It is believed that the temple was built in the 17th century. The prasadam offered here is very famous and also has a unique taste which is made of milk, rice and sugar. The annual temple festival which is known as the Ambalapuzha festival that is held in July and Arattu Festival in the month of March/April. This is also the best time to visit the temple.

  12. Mannarasala –Nagaraja Temple: This is an ancient and the world famous temple that is dedicated to the serpent God. This is the largest Serpent God temple in the state and is located amidst the lush green forest. The temple has more than 30000 images of snakes on the trees. This draws visitors from all over the world to visit the place. Women visit this temple to carry thanksgiving ceremonies after the childbirth and they offer snake images. Hence once the wish is fulfilled, the devotees bring new images of snakes as an offering. The best time to visit this temple is during Mannarsala Aayilyam which is held in the month of Oct/Nov.

The temples in Kerala has been one of the wonderful factors for its uniqueness in traditions, culture, customs, rituals, offerings etc. All the temples in Kerala can be visited throughout the year, but the annual temple festivals are held only during the specific times of the year. Thus the great time to visit these temple is during their annual festivals. The devotee's visit during the annual festivals would not only be a great visit but would also get to witness age-old traditional rituals here. Most of the temples have ‘annadanam’ as prasadam in the afternoon that is offered to the devotees. Kerala is truly one of the most religious spots that make it amazing. This can also be known from the list of above magnificent temples and surroundings. Kerala attracts a large number of tourists every year and also inspires everyone