The Tali temple is the oldest temple of Kozhikode. The temple is in the middle of Kozhikode town and was built during the 14th century. The temple worships Lord Shiva. The deity is a blended form of Goddess Uma and Lord Shiva. It is known as Uma Maheshwara. This temple is also remarkable with a perfect blend of wood and laterite. Also, brass has been used largely to decorate the shrine. Moreover, the serene environment brings out prayers from the heart.
History and Legend of Tali Temple
This 400 years old temple paints the picture of religious India.
• The shrine was constructed at the end of Dwaparayuga. Saint Parasurama built this temple. Saint Parasurama is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
• As per another myth, the Tali Temple was a small temple in a village. 50 Namboothiri families looked after the temple.
• The temple gained importance 1500 years ago. It was under the Zamorins. The Zamorins executed the Namboothiri families and took over the temple. They were also called Sailabdheswara. Sailabdheswara means the lord of the mountain and the sea. Swamy Thirumulpad made the temple within his palace complex. After sometime, another Zamorin, Manavikraman gave the temple its present shape. The temple is still looked after by them.
• The temple was almost damaged when Tipu Sultan invaded Kozhikode in the 18th century. Again the shrine was renovated in 1964.
• Revathi Pattathanam function started at this temple. Eminent people and philosophers came to this function. Bharatha Meemamsa, Prabhakara Meemamsa, Vedanta Meemamsa and Vyakarana were discussed at the functions. During 15th and 16th centuries eighteen poets came to this function. This function also takes place at present.
• Moreover, the temple is a God gift to locals. They believe that the temple has brought richness to Kozhikode.
• Some historians believe the temple was made even before the city was built.
Significance of Tali Temple
The Tali Temple is historically important. It is a treasure house with numerous deities and beautiful built.
• This is a two storied sanctum. It is in the chariot form and is decorated with mural paintings.
• The temple is protected by large walls on all sides, which are in the form of an elephant belly.
• Also, there are fine granite sculptures within the temple complex. These sculptures show Lord Shiva. Also, birds and animal sculptures are present. These portray different stories from the Puranas.
• Moreover, there is a Jyotirlingam in the sanctum. 5 of the 12 Jyotirlingas are located in and around Pune in Maharashtra. Umamaheshwara, Tali Ganapathy, Thevarathil Ganapathy and Thrumandhakunnu Bhagavathy are also there within the inner walls. The outer walls have deities of Lord Ayyappa, Thevarathil Bhagavathy and Lord Naga.
• There is a separate Lord Vishnu temple within the complex. The temple also has its own Dwajastambam.
• The idol of Sreevalayanad Bhagavati is also present in the Lord Vishnu temple.
• There is another small temple. The presiding deity is Narasimha Moorthy. This temple is at the southern part of the Vishnu Temple.
• The northern part has the Eranjipuram. It is also beautiful with lights from all sides.
• The main temple has four main parts. The Dwajastambam refers to the flag poles. People also believe these are connections of heaven to earth. The Anakottil is the flag staff platform. It was built for the elephants. The gopurams are large. These gateways are another treat to eyes with intricate carvings, while the Deepasthambhum are the beautiful lighting pillars.
• The various temples within the complex are Sivakshetram, Nalambalam and Krishnakshetram.
Tali Temple Timings and Poojas
Like any traditional Hindu temple, the Tali Temple opens during the early morning. It opens at 4.30 am and is open till 11.00 am. The temple again opens at 5.00 pm and closes at 8.30 pm. Furthermore, there are five different religious programs that take place every day at this temple.
• Nadathurakkal Abishekam is the first puja. It starts at 4.30 am. This puja takes place at Sivakshetram.
• Dhara Usha pooja takes place at Sivakshetram. This worship is at 5.30 am.
• Ganapathihomam puja is at 6.00 am. It takes place at the Nalambalam temple.
• Ravilathe worship is at 6.30 am. The puja takes place at Sivakshetram.
• At 7.00 am and 7.15 am, Seeveli Pooja takes place both at Sivakshetram and Krishnakshetram.
• Navagraha Pooja along with Mrithyunjaya Homam takes place at 7.30 am. It is at Sivakshetram temple.
• Pantheeradi Puja is at 8.00 am and 9.00 am.This is first at Krishnakshetram shrine and then at Sivakshetram. Lakshminarayana Pooja also takes place at Krishnakshetram but at 8.30 am.
• Ucha Pooja takes place at 9.45 am and then at 10.00 am; first at Krishnakshetram and then at Sivakshetram.
• Seeveli worship takes place at 10.30 am and then at 10.45 am; first at Krishnakshetram and then at Sivakshetram.
• Nadayadaykkal worship is at 11.00 am. It takes place at Nalambalam.
• Nadathurakkal occurs at 5.00 pm. This takes place at Krishnakshetram and Sivakshetram.
• Dheep Aaradhana is at 6.30 pm. This takes place at Krishnakshetram and Sivakshetram. This is a sacred moment as the priests worship with traditional towered oiled lamps and to the beats of drums.
• Umamaheshwara Puja and Bhaghavathi Seva take place at 7.00 pm. It is both at Sivakshetram and Nalambalam.
• Athaazha puja is at 7.30 pm. It is first at Krishnakshetram and then at Sivakshetram.
• 8.00 pm is the time for Seeveli at Sivakshetram.
• The day ends with Trippuka, Nadayadaykkal at 8.30 pm. It takes place at Krishnakshetram and Sivakshetram.
• Vazhipadu is a special puja. It takes place on special requests of the devotees. People interested in performing this puja need to book 3 days before the date. Also, worshipers can book for Vazhipadu online.
• Appam, Vilakku, Maala, Nei Vilakku, Pin Vilakku, Ganapathi Homam, Ashtadravya Ganapathi Homam, Mrithyunjaya Homam, Dhara, Karuka Homam, Koovala mala, Uma Maheswara pooja and Ada are some of the special worships.
Appam is a tasty snack available at the temple after worship. This is popular as Prasadam.
Devotees need to come in traditional wear. People with jeans and western dress cannot enter the temple. You can hire traditional dress (Mundu) from the temple counter. Also, men cannot come within the temple with shirts. They can drape a Veshti instead of a shirt.
Festivals celebrated at Tali Temple
Locals call festivals as Utsavam at the Tali Temple.
• Revathi Pattathanam: This festival still takes place at the temple. This cultural program is a seven days function. It is during October or November. As per myth, the Zamorins started the festival as a penance of killing the Namboothiris. The performing scholars also get rewards.
• The largest festival is during the Malayalam New Year. The festival is for seven days. People worship Lord Shiva during this time.
How to reach: Road, Rail and Air
As the temple is at the center of the town, it is easily accessible from all parts of Kerala. Kozhikode is 184 kms from Kochi, 191 kms from Coimbatore, 232 kms from Mangalore, 359 kms from Bangalore and 378 kms from Trivandrum.
By Air: Kozhikode is just 23 km from the Calicut International Airport. This airport is connected to the various Indian metropolitan cities and gulf countries. There are private cabs available from the airport area which can take you directly to the temple.
By Rail: Kozhikode has own railway station. Therefore, there are regular trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore to the place. Mngla Lksdp Exp, Kerala S Kranti, Ypr Cannanore Exp, Mangalore Exp Ypr Cannanore Exp are some of the express trains travelling on a daily basis to Kozhikode.
By Road: There are several tourist buses that travel from Karnataka and Kerala to the Tali Temple. Besides these private air conditioned buses, you can also avail buses from KSRTC. The buses connect important cities like, Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore and Trivandrum to Kozhikode. Both luxury and semi-deluxe buses are available. If you are travelling via road on your own private car or bike, you can opt for the routes like, Lakkidito, Nilamburto, Thalasseryto, Pattambito, Tholpettyto, Bandipur National Park to Kozhikode.
Where to stay
The Tali Temple has great importance in the religious life of the people in and around Kerala. Hence there are several hotels near the shrine for people from all classes. The Gateway Hotel Beach Road, Khaleej Residency, Chamundeshwari Tourist Home and Malabar Palace are some of the hotels just at 0.4 kms from the Tali Temple.
Where to eat
There are multiple food courts near the shrine. The Arya Bhawan and Aryabhavan Restaurant are just 0.3 km from the temple. Both these eat outs serve vegetarian food. Hotel Rahamth, KTDC and Hotel Komala Bhavan are just 0.2 km from the temple and serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. You can also buy banana chips and Shastha chips near the temple.
Kozhikode is a pilgrimage and has many temples around.
• The Balasubramania Temple: Just beside the Tali temple, there is an old temple. The presiding deities here are Balasubramania and Lord Ganesha.
• Varakkal Devi Temple, Kozhikode: Lord Parasurama built this as the last Devi temple. This is the 108th temple built by the saint. As per myths, Parasurama ploughed the area and Goddess Varakkal appeared. The temple is at the shores of the Arabian Sea. Vavu Bali is the largest festival here. Devotees perform funeral rites during the festival. The temple is open from 5.00 am to 12.00 pm and again from 5.30 pm t0 8.00 pm.
• Valayanad Devi temple: This temple is at Govindapuram. The place is at 6 km from Kozhikode. As per myths, the Zamorins built this temple. They were not able to get control over Govindapuram and were able to do so only after worshipping the Goddess. Lord Shiva, Ayyappa and Vigneswara are the other deities here. Priests follow the Saktheya tradition here. There is also a ‘Sreechakra’. Sivayogi Thayyavur Sivasankar made the ‘Sreechakra.’ Makaram is the annual festival here. This takes place for 8 days. Guruthy Tharpanam is also practiced here.
• Pattalapalli: It means the Soldier’s Mosque. This is a four storied building. It has a domed roof and a round hall. There is a library and a well.
• Mother of God Cathedral: This church is at the Beach Road of Kozhikode. It has Gothic built. Italian architects built the temple. There are spiral colonnades and the curved arches on the doors and the windows at the church. There is also a 200 years old picture of St. Mary here.
The best part of travelling to the Tali temple in Kozhikode is that you can visit the place anytime of the year. The natural beauty of the place changes with every season. Visit the Tali temple to increase the joy of life.