March 21, 2023

In the picturesque hamlet of Azhimala in Vizhinjam, there is a surreal blend of divinity and nature. While the gorgeous beach and green surroundings invite travellers, the much revered Azhimala Shiva Temple adds a mystic touch to the place. The temple which is perched on the cliff adjoining the sea is an ancient one that envelops the whole region in a pious aura. The temple is noted for its 58-ft-tall statue of Lord Shiva in the Gangadhareswara form, all made in concrete. The massive structure with Shiva’s hair flowing in the wind and holding Goddess Ganga has a charm of its own and lends a magnificent appeal to the temple. The sculpture was created by a 29-year-old artist P. S. Devadathan who is a native of Azhimala. 

the country’s tallest statue of Lord Shiva has gone viral — both on land and on social media. Sculpted by 29-year-old P S Devadathan over six long years, the concrete statue, mounted on a rock at an altitude of 20 ft from the sea,  invokes a magnificent grandeur and a sense of sacredness. The Azhimala native was handed over the mission by the temple priest. 

The largest Shiva sculpture in Kerala – the largest Shiva statue in Kerala, is the cynosure of all eyes at the Azhimala Temple near Kovalam. The grand ode to Lord Shiva was dedicated to the people on the 31st of December, 2021, and since then has been pulling devotees like a celestial lodestone.

A steep and narrow road leads down to the Azhimala Shiva temple. You can drive straight to the door of the temple if you are in an autorickshaw (tuk-tuk) or a car. However, if you are in a larger vehicle, like a bus, you would have to walk about a kilometre to reach the temple.

The Azhimala Lord Shiva statue towers to a height of 58 feet and seems to be touching the sky. Shiva’s voluminous matted locks flutter in the sea breeze, as he gazes towards the heavens. He is seated on a rock in a classic posture, one hand rests on his right thigh, while another holds aloft a Trishul (Trident). Another of his four hands holds the Damaru, while another hand is lost in his matted hair.

The form of Ganga can be seen trapped in Shiva’s matted hair, as this is a representation of Shiva as Gangadhareshwar. Lord Shiva’s neck is adorned with the snake Vasuki and a necklace of Rudraksha beads. His wrists and arms are also adorned with rudraksha beads, and an anklet can be seen on his left ankle.

A thrill runs through the entire body when you look at the beautiful Azhimala Lord Shiva Statue. The statue took 6 years to complete and is the labour of love of P.S.Devadathan, who was only 29 when the sculpture was completed and unveiled.

He is an alumnus of the Government Fine Arts College in Trivandrum and lives in Azhimala. Devadathan has literally breathed life into the Azhimala Beach Shiva Statue with minute detailing.

If you observe the sculpture closely, you will be astounded to see the nails on Shiva’s fingers, the veins that run from his legs, bulging muscles, and much more sculpted to perfection. The sculpture is made from concrete.

The angular and chiselled face along with the masculine body conveys the aspect of the infinite power of Shiva. One can spend hours, just gazing at this divine Azhimala Temple Shiva statue, that seems to emerge from the sea.

The Azhimala Shiva Statue has been commissioned by the Pulinkudi Azhimala Shiva Temple Devaswom Trust. A large meditation hall is being built beneath the Gangadhareshwara statue.

The Aazhimala Siva Temple itself predates the Shiva statue. The place has mythological connections. It is believed that this was the place where the Pandavas spent some time during their exile.

According to local legend, once Draupadi felt thirsty, there was only the salty seawater around. Bhimasena immediately made a hollow in a rock with his elbow, and a freshwater spring emerged, enabling Draupadi to quench her thirst.

The Aazhimala Siva Temple is so named, as it stands between the sea and huge rocks. Its original name is believed to have been Aazhimala Pulinkudi Sree Mahadeva Temple. The area was known as Pulinkudi in ancient times because of the presence of tigers in the vicinity.

The colossal statue of Shiva dwarfs the original temple, where ritualistic worship continues, and you can offer poojas of your choice. There is a board outside the temple put up by the Aazhimala Shivakshetra Devaswom Trust Pulinkudi, which gives instructions to the visitors to the temple.

  • Entry only for those who come for prayers
  • Please note that entering the temple during the menstruation period is against temple culture
  • Please wash your hands and feet before coming to the temple or come after a shower
  • Please keep your footwear outside the temple
  • Mobile, Photo, Video, etc., are strictly prohibited inside the temple
  • Keep silence

Azhimala Shiva temple timings are from 5.30 AM to 11.00 AM in the mornings and from 5.00 PM to 8.00 PM in the evening. The Azhimala Darshan timings too are the same as mentioned above. However, you are advised to check updated timings before visiting the temple.

For the devotees wishing to offer puja at the Azhimala Siva temple, there is a large list of Sevas to choose from. These include special poojas like Udayasthamaya Pooja, Pradosha Pooja, Divasa Pooja, and Umamaheshwari Pooja.

Azhimala Shiva Statue

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