Sasthamkotta sreedharma sastha temple , holy pilgrim center in kerala
Sasthamkotta sreedharma sastha temple, one of the five ayyappa temples
Sasthamkotta sreedharma sastha temple, one of the ancient temple worship to lord ayyappa, sastha is the other name of him. sasthamkotta sreedharma sastha temple is a main pilgrim center of lord ayyappa located in kollam district. the place sasthamkotta is well known by the lake, which is the largest fresh water lake in kerala, the three sides of the temple is surrounded by this precious water. the temple is famous by the monkeys ost here, there is a mytological view with this monkeys present here.
According to hindu mythology, from the epic ramayana, after won of the war against lanka, rama, lakshmana and sita with the betalian of vanarasena return to ayodhya, during that time rama required to do ancestral rites in the holy water of sasthamkotta lake. he done it in the banks, Neelan to serve his host. it is believed that the monkeys occupies here belong to the generation of vanara. the annual festival is well celebrated in this temple that lasts for 10 days, it falls on the malayalam month kumbham usually in february or march. the festival initiate with flag hoist and ends with arattu.
kollam district is famous for kettu kazhcha, without this process the festival is not complete. kettukazcha is the artificial statues of horse bullock that is very huge in size. other religous festivals in the temple are Navaratri, Thiruvonam, Makara Sankrama pooja, Painkuni Utram, Sivaratr, Pathamudayami, Karkidaka Vavu etc mandala mohotsav specially dedicate to lord ayyappa.
The temple timings start from 4.30 am to 11.30 am and 5.00 pm to 7.30 pm. the present form of sasthamkotta sreedharma sastha temple built by the king of kayamkulam. NH 47 passes through karunagappalli and chavara, both these two cities are close to this temple at a distance about 12- 15 km, karunagappalli railway station situated 12 km from here, kollam and kayamkulam are the main stations.