Kaviyoor is a small village in the Pathanamthita district of Kerala. Kaviyoor is well renowned for its temples. The village is one of the 64 major ancient Brahmin settlements in and around Kerala and the emphasis around this village are the Brahmins and the Hindu temples. Kaviyoor is located on the western bank of the Manimala River and used to be dependent on agriculture for living which is not the case now. Kaviyoor was part of the Kingdom of Travancore since 1752 when the Maharaja of Travancore Marthanda Varma subjugated territories in and out of Kaviyoor.
The Brahmins who moved to Kaviyoor were attracted by the rich agricultural economy of the village. Their houses were called ‘illams’, each representing a Brahmin family. They initially settled down as priests and later brought the entire village under the ownership of the temples. The temples were under the control of the Brahmins and hence were the incomes of Kaviyoor temples. The income from the temples was divided among the Brahmin families with each family getting almost one-tenth of the total income. Today there are very few illams in Kaviyoor, as most families have moved out or did not have any heirs to carry on with the family name. But the village even today is renowned for its temples and high literacy rate of 97%. The village also had its tryst with Jainism and Buddhism before Hinduism got its place as the widely accepted religion.
The Kaviyoor Thrikkakkudi Cave Temple as the name indicates is an ancient cave temple carved out of a single rock. It is of historical significance as it was built during the reign of the Pallavas who ruled the Southern part of India between 608 and 850 AD. The sanctum sanctorum houses a three foot tall ‘Shivalinga’ carved out of a single rock.
The Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple also known as Thrikkaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Sambashiva. Built on a small hillock, this temple is one of the most prominent temples of Kerala’s spiritual tourist destinations. The wood carvings here are a definite marvel and one of its kinds. The temple complex also houses shrines of Lord Hanuman, Dakshinamoorthy, Nagadevathas, Sri Krishna and Yakshi.
Njaliyil Bhagavathy Temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali and located at a place called Njalikandam in Kaviyoor. It is at a distance of just one km from the Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple. The temple was owned by the Naithallur Illam during ancient times.
Other temples here are Swami Ayyappa Temple at Padinjattumcherry, Subrahmanya temple at Kottoor, Kuruthikamankavu and Thiruvamanpuram.
Churches in Kaviyoor belong to different Christian sects like Catholic, Marthoma, CSI, Orthodox, Kannaya and Pentecost.
How to Reach
The nearest Airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 119 km from Pathanamthitta. The nearest Railway Station is Thiruvalla, at 5 km from Kaviyoor. Pathanamthitta is well connected by road with all major cities of Kerala. Lots of Buses and Taxis ply between Pathanamthitta and Kaviyoor.
Summer is hot and humid between the months of March and June; after which rains are at its furious best. It is ideal to visit Kaviyoor between September and February during the winters as the temperatures are mild with fewer rains.