Pronunciation and Phonetics

Learning proper pronunciation can be done without much knowledge of phonetics, actually. A basic knowledge, however, helps to make pronunciation clearer and thus facilitates the process of learning how to speak a foreign language properly.

eAmbalam introduces a phonetic chart which is based on Dhevanagari script. The sounds of vowels and consonants and other speech sounds in Sanskrit and the languages which have completely or mostly borrowed from it can be covered with the help of the chart. A few other sounds common to some languages in this group and outside are also put in. Unique sounds of some languages are specified too.

Diacritical marks are used to aid perfect pronunciation. World over, these marks have been created and propagated by scholars to make understanding of the differences in speech sounds in different languages better. Team eAmbalam also has created a phonetic chart which helps even first timers to pronounce words accurately.

Our Phonetic chart is unique, comprehensive, learner friendly and is divided into four columns wherein:
  • In the first column, the letter is written with the associated diacritical mark.
  • In the second column, an example is given in Dhevanagari language containing the letter.
  • In the third column, an example is given in English, which contains the sound closes to the letter or instructions in few cases, to facilitate better understanding.
  • In the fourth column, an audio button is placed with the help of which you can hear the actual pronunciation of the letter.
An open minded approach with the above introduction and guidelines will definitely enable the user to understand the speech sounds of any language and pronounce it like a native, which is eAmbalam’s aim in this exercise.

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
A or a Aḍavu Arise
Ā or ā Ānanda Vast
I or i Indhira Sing
Ī or ī Īśha Meal
U or u U ṣhā Good
Ū or ū Ū rdhhva Boost
R or r Riṣh i Try
Ṛ or ṛ Ni ṛ uti Grr!
Lr or lr   Pronounce L and R together.
E or e Eka Ate
AI or ai Aikya Sight
O or o Ojas Robe
AU or au Audh ā rya Now
A M or am Śhiva m Drum
A HA or aha R ā ma ha Aha!
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
KA or ka Kavi Car
KHA or kha Khalu Mark -Him
GA or ga Gamana Gut
GHA or gha Ghata Ugh!
Ṅ A or ṅa Tura ṅ ga Ring
CHA or ca Chakra Chart
CHHA or cha Chhandas Branch
JA or ja Jagath Jug
JHA or jha Jhallari Fudge
NYA or nya Gnyana Knew
Ṭ A or ṭ Ṭ anka Top
ṬHA or ṭha Pāṭha Pothole
ḌA or da Ḍ amaruka Dog
Ḍ HA or ḍ ha Mūḍ ha Madhouse
Ṇ A or ṇ a Ga ṇ a Wander
THA or tha Thanu Health
THHA or thha Athha Theater
DHA or dha Dha śha This
DHHA or dhha Dhhana m Dha with an additional H sound
NA or na Namask ā raha Nut
PA or pa   Path ā ka Past
PHA or pha Phala m P with a H sound
BA or ba Bandhhu Ball
BHA or bha Bhadra Abhor
MA or ma Manas Money
YA or ya Yama Yummy
RA or ra Rajas Rub
LA or la Lath ā Lust
VA or WA, va /wa A śh va or A śhwa Water/Valour
ŚHA or śha Śhakthi Shutter
ṢHA or ṣ ha Ṣh a ṇ mukha Shunt
SA or sa Sarasvatī Sun
HA or ha Hari Hum
Ḷ A or ḷ a Ar āḷ a Bold
KṢHA or k ṣ ha Ak ṣh i Try to pronounce Ka, Sa & Ha – all at one time.
Extra Vowels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam Scripts    
É or é Éṇi Angel
Ō or ō Ō m Ō M
ZHA Exclusive to Tamil & Malayalam Fold the tip of your tongue backwards and try to pronounce it with the aid of the audio button.
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Chottānikara Bhagavathi temple

Name of the Temple

  • Chottānikkara Bhagavathi temple


  • Kochi, Erṇākuḷam district, Keraḷa
How to reach there?
  • By Air: The nearest airport is Neḍumbaśheri International airport which is about 45 km north from Chottānikkara. To reach Chottānikara take the National Highway 544.
  • By Train : The nearest railway station to Chōṭṭānikara is Thrupūṇithura, which is only 4 km away from the temple. The major railway station nearby is the Erṇākuḷam Junction, which is well connected to all cities in India. The station is about 20 km away from Chōṭṭānikara.
  • By Road : Chōṭṭānikara is connected through the National Highway 85 from Kochi to Tondi Point and 66 from Kanyākumari to Panvel. Chōṭṭānikara is around 17 km east of Kochi.

Rulers/builders and Time Period

  • The 'sthala  purāṇa ' of this temple tells that once the place this temple is located was a dense forest.
  • There lived a tribal called Kaṇṇappan, whose wife had died. Kaṇṇappan was a great devotee of Goddess Pārvathi. Since he was a hunter, he used to daily sacrifice an animal to his favourite Goddess. He had a cute little daughter who was very fond of her pet, which was a cow. One day Kaṇappan could not get any other animal to sacrifice to her Goddess, and hence he ordered his daughter to give her pet cow for that day's sacrifice. His daughter requested Kaṇṇappan that she be sacrificed instead of her cow.
  • Kaṇṇappan's heart melted and he was a changed man. He realized that he was doing a wrong thing by practicing animal sacrifice. He and the pet cow stayed near the temple's Bali stone the entire night. In the morning, the cow herself had turned in to a stone. That place is called 'Pavizha malli thara' (Place of the coral jasmine flower).
  • People believe that the pet cow of Kaṇṇappan's daughter was indeed Goddess Mahālakṣhmi. That day Lord  Viṣhṇu  appeared before Kaṇṇappan and pardoned his sins and decided to be present in the temple along with the Goddess. That is how the concept of Lakṣhmi Nārāyaṇa came to this temple. The place where Kaṇṇappan used to sacrifice his cows is the location of the Kīzh kāvu Bhagawathi.
  • It seems that the location of this temple was rediscovered accidentally by a grass cutter, who found that blood was oozing out of a stone which she had accidentally hit. That day, the elder Brahmin of the Yeḍatthu house came along with some puffed rice in a coconut shell and this was offered to the Goddess for the first time. Even today this system of offering puffed rice in a coconut shell continues. The Brahmins of Yeḍatthu house became the hereditary priests at this temple since those days.
  • It was Ādhi Śhankara who visited the temple, and brought in to the idol the presence and power of Mūkāmbikā. The legend goes that after doing thapas in the Himalayas, he was blessed with the 'darshan' of Goddess Saraswathi whom he requested to accompany back to Kerala. The Goddess agreed to do so on the condition that Śhankara was not to look back while she accompanied him. After a long travel when Śhankara felt he was not able to hear the tinkle of the Goddess's anklets, and with doubt, he looked back. But alas! the Goddess then turned into a golden statue since he had broken his promise. This place where this incident took place was in Kollūr, near Mangalore, Karṇāṭaka. There the famous Mūkāmbikā temple was built and Śhankara consecrated the idol. Śhankara was saddened by the turn of events and begged the forgiveness of Saraswathi whose heart melted for her devotee and promised that she would present herself at Chottanikkara in the mornings and he could meet her there.
  • It seems when Vilwamangalam Swāmiyār visited this temple he saw a powerful halo of light over the temple pond. He instituted a search and the present statue of Kīzhkāvu was found in the tank.

Deities’ - Goddess

  • The Goddess here is very powerful and Chottānikkara Bhagavathi is worshipped as Saraswathi (Goddess of learning) early in the morning, Lakṣhmi (Goddess of wealth) in the noon and as Dhurgā (Goddess of power) in the evening.
  • The deity is called Rājarājeśhwari and is adorned with white sari when she is worshipped as Saraswathi and for the other two worship periods, she is decked up with colourful silks and ornaments.
  • The main idol here is a Swayambhu and does not have a regular shape. There is also an image of Viṣhnu inside the sanctum hence people refer to the Goddess here as Amme Nārāyaṇa Bhadhre Nārāyaṇa.
  • Lord Śhiva is also worshiped at the temple.


Architecture Style

  • Chottānikkara Bhagavathi Temple is one of the most popular temples in the state and in terms of temple architecture, this temple stands out to be an ultimate testimonial for the ancient Viśhwakarma sthapathis (wooden sculpture) who sculpted this temple along with Śhabarimala.
  • It is situated on the crest of a hillock. Many prominent classical performances are held during the Navarāthri festival at the temple (October/November).
  • Chottānikkara Bhagavathi Temple is the most important Temple among the 393 shrines spread over 3 Districts of Kerala.

Special Reference to Fine Arts

  • Vriṣhchikam - The Vriṣhchicka Maṇḍala mahotsavam (festival) is celebrated during the entire period of maṇḍalam season.
  • Daily Annadhānam, stage programmes, Nāma japam etc. are conducted. During this month, Thrikkārthika festival comes. It is the birthday of the Goddess and the festival runs for three days, Kārthika, Rohiṇi and Makayiram. On these days, there is Ezhunnellippu, Kazhcha sīveli, stage programme, Dhīpālaṅkāram, Kārthika viḷakku, fireworks etc.

Other Special Features

  • "MAKOM Thozhal" (worship on the Makom day) is the most important festival of the temple which is celebrated in the month of Kumbham. (Feb / March).
  • It is believed that Bhagavathi in her full attire gave darśhan to Vilwamaṅgalam Sāmiyār on the Makom day and appears on the same day every year for giving darśhan to the devotees in her special appearance.
  • The Bhadrakāḷi at Kīzhukkāvu is believed to exorcise evil spirit from devotees, after conducting Bhajanam, a specific worship for the Goddess.
  • People suffering from mental illnesses commonly visit the temple, as Bhagawati is thought to cure her devotees.
  • One should not miss the 'Guruthi Pooja' in the 'Kīzhkāvu' temple at Choṭṭānikkara. This is a ritual done at late evening to invoke the goddess. Earlier 'Guruthi Pooja' was done only on Fridays. But nowadays, it is performed every day.
  • An ancient 'Pala' tree standing on the northeastern side of the sanctum sanctorum is covered with long iron nails hammered on by haunted victims with their foreheads.
  • Thousands of pilgrims and devotees of the Goddess visit here and make their reverential offerings to redeem them of their afflictions.

Any Other/Remarks

  • Apart from the main deity, the temple complex consists of Kīzhukkāvu Bhagavathi temple, temples for Śhāstha, Śhiva, Gaṇapathi, Nāgas and other Upa-Dhevas.
  • Karkiṭakam - Rāmāyaṇa māsam (Rāmāyaṇa Ramayana Month) is celebrated during this period.
  • Daily purāṇam reading (Rāmāyaṇa, Bhāgavatham, etc.,) daily Annadhānam, devotional speeches and discourse etc., is conducted - there is also Illam Nira, when fresh paddy of the year is offered to God.
  • Mahārāja Rāma Varma (popularly known as Madrassil Thīpeṭṭa Thampurān), who reigned from 1914 to 1932, was assisted by a particularly able consort named Pārukutty Nethyar Amma(b.1874). She married the Mahārāja, then fourth in line to the succession, when she was fourteen years old in 1888. It is said that she was especially blessed by the Devi at the Chottānikkara Temple.

Special References

  • The temple of Chottānikkara is a living legend crowned in magnificent mythology and awe-inspiring truth. Its historical appeal and traditional influence on generations of people is tremendous.
  • Legends say that the presence of Divinity here was worshipped by Bhogāchārya. The deity which is swayambhu in latrite called Rudhrākṣha Śhila was worshipped by divine souls like Ādhi Śhankarāchārya, Vilwamaṅgaḷam Sāmiyār, Kākkasseri Bhaṭṭāthiri and Chemmangāṭṭu Bhaṭṭāthiri.
  • The golden hued Idol bedecked with flowers, garlands, jewels and bathed in myriad of light shines splendidly. It is the cynosure of thousands of devotees swarming from all over the world on all auspicious and festive occasions.


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