In Palakkad district there are numerous temples, churches and mosques and they also celebrate quite a large number of fairs and festivals. Some of the major Hindu temples in this district are Karnaki Amman Temple, Thiruvegappura Temple, Sri Parakkad Bhagavathy Temple, Kasi Viswanathaswamy Temple etc. The Kalpathy Ratholsavam is an important festival of Palakkad which is held in , Kasi Viswanathaswamy Temple. Some of the churches in Palakkad include C.S.I Church of Hope, Blessed Mother Teresa Church, Robinson Memorial Church. The first church in the world dedicated to Mother Teresa is in Palakkad and is called the Kayarady Mother Teresa church. One of the famous mosques in Palakkad is the Pattambi Mosque and it is here that the famous festival of the Muslims called the Pattambi Nercha is conducted annually.
Temples in Palakkad
Karnaki Amman Temple
This temple known as Sri Kachanam Kulam Thirupuraikkal Bhagawathy Templeis located in Moothanthara. The deity here is Karnaki and is the only such temple in Kerala. Another temple called Visalakshi Sametha Shiva Temple is located in the same temple complex. In Karnaki temple, the rituals are performed in Kerala style while in the Siva temple the rituals are performed in Tamil Shaiva style. People can experience the cultural mix of two states in their visit to this temple. The main festival celebrated here is the Valiya Arattu that is held for 3 days in the Malayalam month Medam. During this festival Annadhanam which is the feast is provided to all and is the largest event that takes place in Palakkad.
The Siva temple in Thiruvegappura has Lord Siva, Lord Sankaranarayana and Lord Vishnu has the main deities. This temple is also called as Moonnumoorthy temple as there are 3 deities here. This temple was built in 14th century. A specialty of this temple is that there are 3 separate Sreekovils for all three seities with 3 flag masts, 3 Balikallu and 3 separate set of sub deities also. There is a Koothambalam in this temple built in 15th century and is in typical Kerala style architecture. The main festival celebrated here includes Vaikkathashtami held in Malayalam month Vrishchikam, Sivarathri held in Kumbham etc.
Sri Parakkad Bhagavathy Temple
This Bhagavathy temple is located in Parakkad near Alathur and is on the banks of River Gayathri. The temple lies amidst evergreen forest. The main deity here is Parashakthi which is made of wood. The annual festival is Pooram which is held in the Malayalam month Meenam. One of the main attractions of this festival is the Pancha vadyam. Some other festivals celebrated here include Navarathri and Ramayana Month.
Sri Killikkurussi Mahadeva Kshetram
This is a Lord Siva temple located in Killikkurussi near Ottappalam. It is an ancient temple and is believed to be found by the Sage Suka Brahma Hrishi. The temple has a sacred pond nearby.
Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanathaswamy Temple
This temple which is also called as Kasi Viswanathaswamy Temple is located in Kalpathy. This is an ancient temple and is believed to be the oldest Siva temple in Malabar area. It is at this temple that the famous festival Kalpathy Ratholsavam is held annually. This temple is dedicated to Lord Siva and Goddess Lakshmi. There are 4 traditional villages that surround this temple namely New Kalpathy, Old Kalpathy, Chathapuram and Govindarajapuram.
Govindarajapuram Varadaraja Perumal Temple
This temple which is dedicated to Lord Varadaraja Perumal and Goddesses Sree Devi and Bhoo Devi is located in Govindarajapuram. The deity here is in the standing posture and is the only temple which is dedicated to this Lord. Some of the annual festivals include Kumbhabhishekam and Gridha Sahasradhara Abhishekam which are held annually. There is an Agraharam or traditional village at Govindarajapuram and it is famous for its religious activities.
Vadakkanthara Bhagavathy Temple
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kannaki and is believed to be consecrated by Parasurama. This temple is located in Vadakkanthara. This is an old temple and is beautifully carved in wood. There are many festivals celebrated here which includes Vadakkanthara Valiya Villaku Vela that is held once in 3 years in the Malayalam month Kumbham. Navarathri festival is also another main festival celebrated here.
Emoor Bhagavathy Temple
This Bhagavathy temple is located in Kallekulangara and is also known by the names Hemambika temple, Kaipathi Ambalam or Kallekulangara Bhagavathy temple. The idol of the Goddess is an upraised hand. The idol here is unique and hence the temple is also called as Kaipathi Ambalam where Kaipathi means the palm of hand. The temple is surrounded on all 3 sides by water and the sanctum sanctorum lies in the same level as that of the water. The Goddess is believed to appear in three forms in a day as Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Durga in the morning, afternoon and evening respectively.
This is an important and ancient Bhagavathy temple located in Yakkara village in Palakkad. The temple is believed to be around 1200 years old. The original idol here was the Swayambu and another idol was also installed later. The important festival conducted here is the Vela festival and is held during February-March.
This Jain temple is located in Kalpathy and is around 500 years old. In the temple there are idols of Chandranathswamy, Vijayalaxmi, Jwalamohini, Rishabhanathan and Parswanathan. The temple is made of granite and the interiors are very simple. The region where this temple lies is called as Jainimedu and vestiges of Jainism can be still found here.
Some other main temples in Palakkad are
Brahmeeswaran Temple, Thiruvalathoor Shiva Temple, Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple, Pallassana Pazhayakavu Devi Temple, Nenmara Nellikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Thrippallavoor Mahadeva Temple, Kodumbu Subramanya Swamy Temple etc.
Churches in Palakkad
C.S.I Church of Hope
This church is located at Mepparamba in Palakkad. The consecration of this church was done in 1911 and was constructed beautifully. The church then became an independent church and was named as the Church of Hope. The centenary celebration of the church was held in 2010 and was celebrated grandly.
Blessed Mother Teresa Church
This is the first church in the world which is dedicated to Mother Teresa and is located at Kayarady. Also known as Kayarady church has 54 families in the parish. This beautiful church was constructed in 2003 and was consecrated when Mother Teresa was given the status of the Blessed. The relics of Mother Teresa are kept for public worship. The building was made out of a single rock and as one enters the building, they feel like standing inside a deep huge rock. People irrespective of caste and religion visit this church.
Some other churches in Palakkad are
Robinson Memorial Church, Chakkanthara Palli, English Church, Nithya Sajaya Matha Town Church at Mankavu, Sharon Fellowship Church, St.Joseph’s Church at Kallekkulangara etc.
Mosques in Palakkad
A famous mosque in Palakkad is the Pattambi mosque located in Pattambi. This church is famous for the annual festival celebrated here called the Pattambi Nercha which is held in the first week of February. This festival is conducted in memory of the Malabar Muslim Saint named Aloor Valiya Pookunjikoya Thangal. This is a very colorful festival with beautiful floats, procession of caparisoned elephants, Panchavadyam etc. The procession ends at the banks of River Bharathapuzha.
Urdu Jama Masjid
This is an old mosque located in Palakkad town. Here the Friday Sermon is done in Urdu and is the only mosque in Palakkad where it is done in Urdu.