This hidden gem is located in Kollam district. Though easily reachable by road, its slightly off location from the main circuit has kept it out of the typically tourist itinerary of this area.
Howevere another giant rock nearby – the Jatayupara- is better known , thanks to its size and prominent location near the M C Road.
Kottukal is about 10 kilometers from Jatayupara.
Kottukal Rock Cut Cave Temple is scoped out of a giant protruding boulder located in an a otherwise plain terrain. This brownish outcrop stands in stark contrast with the sea of palm fringed green paddy fields all around.
On stylistic ground the rock cut temple is estimated to be about 700 years old. The exact age and , more importantly who made it is not really known. This area many decades back was part of the forest cover that fringes the Western Ghats.
Rectangular entrances are cut on the vertical face of the rock. One can spot the images of deities next to the entrances of the cave.
A rectangular alcove like shrine in the center has the image of Ganapati carved on the rock. On either sides of it are two larger porches. Inside of each porch are the entrances to the inner shrines. In front of one of the portico you can spot the image of a Nandi carved on the ground. It’s a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Acces map for Kottukal : From Ayoor junction to Kottukal is about 20 minutes drive.
Currently this works as a shrine with active worship by the local communities. Visitors are welcome.
On MC Road at Ayoor junction , take the road that goes to Anchal town. About midway between Ayoor and Anchal town , a small road branches out on your right at Kurissu mukku.
You may even spot a signboard here directing to the Kottulak Cave temple. A few kilometers down the road you reach Kottukal village. The temple is on your right a bit deep into the paddy fields.
In size and grandeur Kottukal cave temple is no way near the much famous Ajanta and Ellora cave temples of Maharastra . Nevertheless the Kotukkal is a fine example of the rock cut architecture and plesent surprise in Kerala’s tourism map.