Presiding deity : Katkaraiappan (Appan)
Position Standing: facing south
Mother : Perunchelvanayaki, Vatsalyavalli
Holy water: Kabila theertham
Vimanam : tower Pushkala Vimanam
Place : Thirukakkarai
District : Kochi
Kabila Maharshi had the Darshan of the Lord in this place
Mangalasasanam by Nammalwar
Emperor Mahabali was noted for his charitable qualities. He was very good natured though born in the demon community. But he failed in one thing, by developing pride thinking that he was too great in offering alms to others. It should be avoided by good people. Lord Vishnu, with a view to correct him came in the form of a dwarf.
He sought a piece of land from Mahabali measuring three steps by his legs. Mahabali told the dwarf that so small a piece of land would be of no use and advised the Lord to ask more. But his Guru (teacher) Sukra found out that the dwarf was no less a person than the Lord himself and prevented the king from giving the charity. But Mahabali did not heed to the advice of the Guru. He accepted to offer the land to the Lord.
The lord grew shockingly taller, measured the earth by one step and the sky by the other and there was no space left to be measured further. Mahabali bowed down before the Lord and offered his head for the third step. The Lord pushed Bali below the earth and took him with Himself.
This is one of the 108 Divyadesas. The court of Mahabali is in the entrance of the temple which has now a throne telling this story. People use to light lamps here and worship Mahabali.
The temple is constructed in the Kerala pattern in a round shape. The dwarf form of Vamana the lord is carved in a wood in the temple.
In a separate shrine outside the temple, Devi Bagavathy, Sastha, Sundarayakshi, Goplakrishnan and Nagar are installed. The temple is said to have been established by Parasurama. The Shivalinga worshipped by Mahabali is still kept in the temple. The temple is revered both by the saivites and the Vaishnavite as the story is linked to both sects. This is an ancient temple in Kerala, 4,500 years old. There are Tamil stone inscriptions in the temple. Between the 9th and 12th centuries Kerala kings made the temple very famous. The Travancore state took charge of the temple 1825 and renovated and consecrated in the year 1948. The temple looks quite new even today.
Devotees, calling their dear deity Thirukakkarai Appan offer milk porridge to him as nivedhana and distribute it to others. For any requirement, the devotees only depend on Thirukakkarai Appan. A majority of people come here seeking boon of wisdom.
Onam festival is observed in a grand manner in the month of Avani (September-October) for 10 days which in the past was celebrated for 28 days.
Thirukakkarai is 20 kms from Ernakulam. Bus facility is available in short frequencies. Nearest railway station is Ernakulam. Airport Kochi.