The Mahadeva temple dates back to the period of Cheraman Perumal Naayanar (9th century). It is one of the rare temples in Kerala, which retains its ancient Tamil flavor and connections. The temple holds the images of two Shaivite saints, who are believed to have reached the Paramapadam (Shiva loka) from Thiruvanchikulam on the day of Chothi (Swathi) asterism in Karkidakom (July-August).
The temple’s connection with the
Nataraja temple at Chidambaram is revealed from the Sannidhi of Tillai Sabhapati on the northern side of the
shrikovil. A pair of old Konna trees, forming a canopy over the
Shivlinga, is in the outer prakaram. The temple also holds many inscriptions. There is a
Namaskara Mandapam in front of the shrikovil with 16 pillars, where it is depicted that the temple was renovated during 1801. The specialty of the mandapam is the dvitala roof, which is a landmark in contrast to the simple pyramidal roofs of namaskara mandapams in other temples. In the west base of the shrine is a vattezhuttu inscription that refers about a garden.
This is the only Shiva temple in Kerala with the idols of Shaivite Naayanmars. In this temple, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Uma Maheswara, in contrast to other temples where the Lord's consort has a separate sanctum.
Dampathi pooja (pooja for divine couple) and Pallikuruppu (divine slumber) are the main offerings in this temple. The shrikovil walls bear murals portraying Lord Ram and other mythological characters in five panels. The exterior of Palliyara walls also have mural paintings. Out of 274 Shaivite Thiruppathies in India, this is the only one in Kerala.
The annual festival is celebrated for 8 days in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February–March), which ends with the Arattu in the sea on the new moon day. Aanayottam is also conducted as part of the festival. Shivratri is celebrated in a grand manner.
The western entrance of the temple is on the Kodungallur-
Ernakulam highway (NH 17).