Sreekanteswaram Temple

Sreekanteswaram Temple or Srikanteswaram Temple is one of the most popular Shiva Temples in Kerala, situated at Sreekanteswaram, around 1 km from East Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a Shiva Lingam facing east. Lord Shiva is known by the names Sreekanteswaran (the lord of Sreekanteswaram), Mahadeva, Kailasanatha, and Gowri Shankara.

Sreekanteswaram Temple also has separate shrines of Sree Mahaganapathy (Ganesha), Sree Dharmasastha (Swamy Ayyappa), Sree Nagaraja, Sree Murugan (Lord Subramanya), Sree Krishna and Sree Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman). The holy pond is seen on the eastern side of the temple. Sreekanteswaram Temple is situated to the south-west of the Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple (Old Sreekanteswaram Temple) in Trivandrum.

Palliyunarth, the traditional waking up of the Lord Shiva, is at 3.30 am. Abhishekam (pouring of paneer, ghee, oil and pure water from head to foot of the deity) starts at 4.20 am and Abhisekha Deeparadhana at 5 am. Ganapathy Homam, a special ritual for Lord Ganesh, begins at 5.15 am. Dhara (pouring of paneer and pure water on the main deity) starts at 7 am. Ushapooja (morning pooja) is held at 7.40 am, followed by taking the idol in procession (Shiveli) around the temple at 8.10 am.

Another important pooja conducted at Sreekanteswaram Temple is the Pantheeradi Pooja, which means the time when the shadow of a person with normal height becomes 12 feet long. This is conducted at 8.30 am. Mrithyumjaya Homam, a common ritual in Shiva temples, is conducted here at 10.00 am. After this is the Ksheeradhara (pouring of milk from head-to-foot on the deity) held at 11.00 am. Naivedyam is offered to the Lord after this. Uchapooja (mid-day pooja) starts at 11.30 am, followed by ‘Shiveli’ again at 11.45 am. After all these poojas, the shrine is closed by 12 noon.

In the evening, the idol of Nataraja (dancing form of Lord Shiva) is decorated with sandalwood paste and garlands and is kept behind the main deity. Deeparadhana is conducted at 7 pm. Athazha Pooja (the night pooja) is at 7.45 pm, Athazha Sreebali is at 8.10 pm and Ardhayama Pooja at 8.25 pm is held to make the Lord to sleep.

Worship Timings

Sreekanteswaram Temple opens daily from 4 AM to 12 PM and from 5 PM to 8.30 PM.

Legend of Sreekanteswaram Temple

According to the popular legend, there was an old sweeper-maid who worked in Pazhaya Sreekanteswaram Temple. She used to take rest after the work under the shade of a tree, keeping the broom and the pot called Kalayakkudam beside her. One day when she tried to lift the pot, it did not move and she tried to break the pot using a stone. All of a sudden, she found that the pot was bleeding. It is said that Lord Shiva gave darshan to the old lady in the form of Swayambhu Shiva Lingam. A temple was built on the spot and later it is called as Sreekanteswaram Temple.

Sreekanteswaram Temple Festivals

Thiruvathira Mahotsavam - The annual festival of Sreekanteswaram is the Thiruvathira Mahotsavam is held during the Malayalam month of Dhanu (March – April). This ten day festival starts with the hoisting of the temple flag called Thirukkodiyettu. The 9th day of the festival is the Pallivetta (royal hunt). Adryadarshan is on the 10th day morning. Magnificent processions and special rituals are held on all the ten Thiruvathira Mahotsavam festival days.

Maha Shivarathri Festival - Shivaratri Festival is another major festival celebrated at Sreekanteswaram Temple in a grand scale in the Malayalam month of Kumbham. During the Shivrathri festival, devotees circumambulate the temple 108 times chanting the mantras and stotras of Shiva. The deity is carried out in procession on the silver Rishabhavahana at 3 am. This procession is conducted only on the 5th day of temple festival and during Shivaratri.

How to reach Thiruvananthapuram

Sreekanteswaram Shiva Temple is just 2 km from Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, one of the major railway stations in Kerala.

The nearest long distance bus station is Trivandrum Central Bus Station, which is located opposite to Trivandrum Central Railway Station.

The City Bus Station at East Fort is just 1 km from Sreekanteswaram Temple.