According to legends, Lord Shiva took incarnation in a Hunter’s form which came to be known as ‘Muthappan’, and to whom the temple is dedicated. It is believed that a childless Namboothiri (priest) couple found a child lying abandoned upon a flowerbed and who they later raised as their own. The child however grew up with a keen interest in hunting, and would often take his pray to the villagers of backward caste, a practice against the Namboodhiri customs. Then after much resistance, one day the child revealed to the couple his divine form who realized that the boy is in fact god incarnated. Several other miracles and incidents followed including the raising from the dead of toddy tapper named Chandan, an incidence that led to the birth of ‘Muthappa’ name meaning Grandfather in Malayalam. Finally, Lord Mutthappa decided to take up permanent shelter at Parassini where the famous Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple stands today.
The major attraction of Muthappan temple is its ‘Theyyam’ ritual and this is the only place in Kerala where the ritual is performed every day. It is basically a form of art that involves men in colorful costumes and mask performing a form of dance, although the general belief is that Lord Muthappan himself enters into the person who then carries out the divine instructions. The ritual is performed here twice daily at 6.30 in the morning when the temple opens, and 5.45 in the evening when the temple closes. The inherent message of the ritual is that in the battle between God and evil, good always triumphs.
Sri Muthappan Temple stands as a symbol of secularism and unity, which is apparent in its motto-‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ a Sanskrit verse which means ‘the whole world is one family’.
It is not uncommon to see people from all religions, cast and creed visiting the temple to pay tribute. Dogs are considered sacred here and the ‘Prasadam’ consisting of fish, toddy and grams are offered first to the canines and then distributed amongst the devotees.
Situated about 18 km north of Kannur district, Sri Muthappan temple is located on the banks of River Valapattanam, providing picturesque views to complement the blissful environment.
DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council) provides boating service upon the river that opens up to the sea ahead.
How to Reach Sri Muthappan Temple
By Air : The Karipur airport is located at a distance of 94 kilometers.
By Rail : The Kannur railway station is located at a distance of 20 kilometers from this temple.
By Road : This temple can be easily reached from anywhere in Kerala as Kannur boasts of a well connected network of roads.