Ettumanoor Ezhara ponnana
- Celebrated on/during: January
Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple is an ancient Shiva temple in Kottayam. It has brought glory and fame to the place. Myths have it that the Pandavas and the sage Vyasa had worshipped at this temple.
Ezhara Ponnana refers to the seven-and-a-half golden elephants which are kept in the temple vault and taken out once in an year for darshan by the devotees. The eight statuettes, seven having a height of two ft. each and the eighth one, half the size, hence the name Ezhara seven-and- a- half Ponnana Golden elephant has a rich legacy behind it. According to legend, it was presented to the temple by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the founder of the Travancore kingdom. According to another story, while Marthanda Varma had made the pledge to present the ponnana the offering was made during the reign of his successor, Maharaja Karthika Thirunal. There are also differing stories about the reason for the offering: some believe it was offered as a penalty for the damages suffered by the temple during the annexation of Thekkumcore with Travancore, some others believe it was the offering made when the marauding army of Tipu Sultan was hammering on the gates of Travancore. The statuettes are made of jackfruit tree and covered with nearly 13 kg of gold plates.
Ezhara Ponnana Darshan, is one of the high points of the temple festival which is being held in the midnight of the eighth day of the ten day festival. Ezhara Ponnana Darshan begins with the ceremonial procession carrying the eight golden statuettes of elephants and they are later kept at the Asthana Mndapam for the annual darshan by the devotees.