After visiting the beautiful St Angelo fort of Kannur the next destination that I was very keen to visit was the Muthappan temple. This temple is quite famous for its unique ceremonies and offerings and its interesting mythologies relating to the presiding deity. Also known as the Parassinikadavu Muthappan temple it lies at a distance of 22 kilometres from the Kannur town.
The major bus terminal that lies nearest to the temple is the Kannur municipal bus stand. The Muthappan temple is a famous tourist attraction of Kerala and is flooded with huge volumes of devotees every year who gather to offer gratitude to the deity.
The temple’s presiding deity is Muthappan and it is built in Kerala Kavu style of architecture. This eminent Hindu temple is located on the banks of the ricer Valapattanam. Tghe presiding deity of this temple is said to be a manifestation of two mythical characters the Vellattam and Thiruvappana. According to the local sayings lord Muthappan is not of Vedic origin in fact he is linked to the folklores of Kerala. Many believers also link the deity to lord Shiva and Vishnu.
The rituals of this temple are very peculiar and distinctive and do not follow any Satvic Brahmanical form of worship that is widely followed in other Hindu temples of the state. The most interesting part about the Muthappan worship is the Muthappan Theyyam which is a traditional dance which enacts the characters of Muthappan. Unlike other Hindu temples the main offerings made to the presiding deity of this temple are meat, toddy and fish.
The Muthappan Thruvoppana Mahothsavam is a major festival that is celebrated with great pomp and show on 3rd, 4th and 5th march every year in the temple. Another distinctive feature about this temple is that dogs are considered divine here and the temple entrance also has dog statues at its both sides.
There are other Muthappan temples also in Kerala and Karnataka showing how famous this deity is among the residents of this region. It was indeed a very different experience for us to visit this unconventional temple of Kannur.