On the heart of the Kottayam town in Kerala; famous for the beautiful sculptures around the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Legend is that the then local ruler of the area was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva of Vadakkunatha temple at Trissur. He used to visit this temple regularly. When he became old and in firmed, he could not make this visit anymore. Thus, he prayed to Lord Shiva to find a solution; Vadakunatha said to have appeared to him on his dream. The Lord promised that he shall come near to his devotee.
The Lord directed the ruler of dig the Tirunakkara area. On digging it, the ruler saw a Shiva linga beneath the rock. So he built this temple and installed the Shiva Linga in this temple.
This is one of the 108 Shivalayas (abode of Lord Shiva) of Lord Shiva in Kerala.
The Aarattu festival in the Malayalam month of Meena(March-April) is important. The traditional art forms like Velakali and Mayilattom are performed during this festival.