Festival at Kottarakara Ganapathy temple
The thiruvathira festival at the famed Kottarakara Ganapathy temple is held in the Malayalam months Meenam/Medam (April). This well-known temple has a rare specialty that makes it different from many other ganapathy temples. The fact is this is a Siva temple, but it is not known by the principal deity's name. The principal deity here is Paramasiva having an eastward darshan and ganapathy is in fact an upadevan here. Moreover, the Ganapathy idol here was not installed according to the tantra rituals. Still people generally know this temple as a ganapathy temple. Legend has it that it was it was Perumthachan who installed the ganapathy idol here. Perumthachan, the master craftsman had done the idol in wood and had seeked the permission of the tantri of Padinajarekkara temple to install the idol there. The tantri denied permission and that prompted Perumthachan to change his plans and later, having secured the permission of the tantri of Kizhakkekara temple installed the idol there. The melsanthi (head priest) was preparing neyvedyam (offerings for the Lord) there. Perumthachan had studied the place and had found it ideal to install the deity there in the southeast direction. He felt that it was like kailasa (abode of Lord Shiva). He had asked the head priest what the neyvedyam for ganapathy will be. The priest suggested unniyappam and Perumthachan readily agreed. It is said that Perumthachan immediately offered half a dozen unniyappams in a plantain leaf before the deity. And still, koottappam is considered the favourite neyvedyam of ganapathy.
Perumthachan had then predicted that even though the principal deity is father (Siva), the son (Ganapathy)will become more famous. Now, Kizhakkekara siva temple is known as Kottarakkara ganapathy temple. The festival concludes with an arat (procession) and the active participation of the devotees and the local people make it the grand success that it is.