Kottukal Cave Temple - 4 Things to Know Before Visiting

Hindu Temples


About Kottukal Cave Temple

The 8th century cave temple carved out of a large boulder.

Hotels near Kottukal Cave Temple

Hotels to stay near Kottukal Cave Temple


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Kottukal Cave Temple, as the name suggest is carved out from a gigantic piece of rock. The temple lay in the middle of a paddy field and from a distance gives the impression of a sleeping elephant.

Meaning behind the name and little bit of history of the temple

The name Kottukal in Malayalam is a shorter version of ‘Kottiya Kallu’ which means ‘carved rock’. Hence the name Kottukal Cave Temple or ‘carved rock cave temple’.

The temple is believed to be constructed in 8th century during the time of Pallava Dynasty. The exact age of the temple and name of the person who constructed it are not known.

Currently the temple is administered by the Travancore Devaswom Board and there are daily offerings conducted. The temple is declared as a protected monument by Government of Kerala in 1966.

Exploring the temple premises

The size and grandeur of the temple in no way can be compared to that of the much larger Ajanta and Ellora cave temples in Maharashtra. Kottukal Cave Temple is comparatively small, yet offers a pleasant change from the temple architecture that is generally seen in Kerala.

The temple has two square caves of uneven size carved into the rock. The larger cave has a mukha-mandapam (rectangular hall) in front that is supported by two massive stone pillars while the smaller one does not have any hall.  Bas relief image of the deity- the elephant god Ganapathi is present in-between these two caves. In addition to Ganapathi, deities of Lord Shiva in the form of Shiva Lingam (an iconic representation of Shiva) with Hanuman- the monkey god and Nandikeswara- the celestial bull on the sides are also present at the temple. 

The temple also has a well that never dries up due to the presence of paddy fields in the adjacent areas.

Reaching Kottukal Cave Temple

Kottukal Cave Temple is located in Kottukal Village in Kollam District of Kerala State in Southern India. The nearest major railway station is at Punalur (17km) from where there are bus services to Anchal Town (6km) nearby the temple. From Anchal, you can either take buses to Kottukal or hire a taxi.

Activities Around

Attractions Near Kottukal Cave Temple



4.91km from Kottukal Cave Temple

A giant rock cladded in legends, and an incredible opportunity for adventures.



8.46km from Kottukal Cave Temple

Kudukkathupara is situated at a height of 850 meters above sea level. It consists of three large rocks out of which you can climb the first two rocks. The tops of the last rock, which is also the tallest is inaccessible. About four districts of Kerala and some parts of the neighbouring Tamil Nadu state can be viewed from the top of the second rock.

Thenmala Dam

Thenmala Dam

19.47km from Kottukal Cave Temple

Thenmala Dam, located in Kollam district of Kerala is the second largest irrigation project in the state of Kerala. The water from the dam is used for irrigation and for power generation. It has the longest reservoir of the state.

Pathimoonnu Kannara Bridge

Pathimoonnu Kannara Bridge

22.17km from Kottukal Cave Temple

The 13 Kannara bridge or 13 Arch Bridge (Pathimoonu Kannara Bridge) is a 108-year-old bridge from the British era consisting of 13 arches. It is a major landmark on the Kollam-Sengottai railway line. The bridge connects two hillocks and stands on thirteen granite pillars each almost a hundred feet tall. The bridge is sandwiched by the Kollam-Thirumangalam National Highway on one side and the River Kazhuthurutti on the other. It is 102.72 meters (337.0 ft) long and 5.18 meters (17.0 ft) tall.

Ponmudi Hill Station

Ponmudi Hill Station

27.39km from Kottukal Cave Temple

The golden peaks of Ponmudi with its year-round cool climate and amazing scenery.

Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach

28.03km from Kottukal Cave Temple

Also known as Papanasham Beach by its historical beliefs.Only place in Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea

Discover More Attractions in Kollam, Home of Kottukal Cave Temple



9 attractions

The Kollam district has a cross section of Kerala's natural attributes. It is endowed with a longer coatstline

Location of Kottukal Cave Temple


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