Historical Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva Temple, Kerala

Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva Temple. Kerala FindMessages.com
Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva Temple, Kerala. Epuja.co.in
Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva Temple is an ancient Shiva temple situated in Kandiyoor near Mavelikara, Kerala  on the banks of Achankovil River. Kandiyoor, once the capital of the Odanadu kingdom has a famous Hindu temple known as Sree Mahadeva Temple.  One among the 108 great Shiva temples of ancient Kerala consecrated by Lord Parashurama himself, it is  is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) west of Mavelikara town.  The Kandiyoor temple is a place of great antiquity dating back to  A.D 823 during the reign of Rajasekhara Varman. The Kandiyoor inscriptions  (K. E. 393) dated 1218  suggest that Rama Kotha Varma of Odanad  rebuilt the temple and the Kalasam ceremony was graced by  devadicci Unni wife of Ravi Kerala Varma King of Venad.
The rear door of the temple is closed for centuries after the defeat of Kayamkulam  by Odanadu. It is through the door the ruler of Kayankulam made his exit. Later the land was annexed by   Marthanda Varma of Travancore. 
Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva Temple, Kerala.Travancore Devaswom Board
Evey Hindu temple has a legend behind it and this temple is no exception. Once  Mrikandu, father of Rishi Markandeya  accidentally got the idol of Lord Shiva in Kirathamoorthy form while bathing in  the Ganga river. To his astonishment, he heard an oracle, a sort of  prophecy that the idol be enshrined in  a holy and worthy  place. After a prolonged search for a befitting place for the lingam  the  sage - Rishi came  down to Kerala and  chose the bank of Achankovil and built the temple  in Kandiyoor. The name is a corrupt form of  Kandathil nalla uru (best place seen).

According to another legend the temple is established  at the site where Lord Shiva is believed to have cut off Lord Brahma's head. The name Kandiyoor is based  on the  name of Shiva - Sri Kantan. It was  Lord Parasurama  who renovated the temple and  entrusted the tanthrik rights - conducting pujas, temple rituals, etc with the  Tharananallur family.
Kandiyoor Sree Mahadeva TempleTemple.Kerala Advisor
The primary deity  Lord Shiva known as Kandiyoorappan (the ruling deity of Kandiyoor) is in the two tired Sri Kovil  - sanctum santorum  and there is a platform in the front for devotees, a feature that is reminiscent  of the Hoysala style. The bottom tier is oval in shape while the top tier is rectangular. There is a 10 feet (3.0 m) Gajaprishta style wall that is believed to have been  constructed by Shiva's Bhothaganas. Stone inscriptions depict various episodes from the Puranas.

A fascinating feature of this Shiva temple, unknown in other states like Tamil  Nadu is,  the main deity, Kandiyoorappan is worshiped as Dakshinamoorthy in the morning, Umamaheshwaran in the noon, Kirathamoorthy in the evening,  as Panchmukha from South-West corner of Pradakshina Vazhy by viewing five Thazikakudams of Shiva temples and as Vaikatappan (ruling deity of Vaikom) during sunset. 

The sub-deities in the temple include Vishnu, Nagaraja and Nagayakshi, Gosala Krishnan, Sastha, Sankaran, Sreekandan, Vadakkumnathan, Annapoomeswari, Ganapathy, Subramanyan,  Brahma Rakshas and others