Sree Dharmasastha Temple is located at Sasthamkotta
in Kollam District
. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and the surroundings of the temple are covered by hills and forests. There are many monkeys inhabiting the premises, which are considered holy.
The Dharmasastha (deity) here is said to have the same powers as that of Lord Ayyappa in
Sabarimala and the place derives the name from the diety, the former name being Kota. The temple was built by a prince of
Pandalam Royal family. Folklore has that the idol consecrated at Sasthamcotta temple is none other than the
swayambhu idol worshipped by Lord Ram during his trip to Lanka (Sri Lanka) in search of his consort, Sita.
The highlight of this temple is the ten-day annual festival. During the festival, the colourful Kettukazhcha ritual procession, along with various folk arts such as Mayilattam, Kaala (bull motif), Kuthira (horse motif), Ammankudam are performed. The festival concludes with the Arattu ceremony, five caparisoned elephants take part in a procession held at midnight.