A raised platform on the side of the road at Thottada in Kannur with a board which says Urumbachan Kottam – this structure, trust us, does not look like a temple. But, it is – and a rather very unique temple. A temple that is dedicated to the humble ant.
People from far and wide come here now, to offer prayers at the platform to the Urumbachan – or the Father Ant. They bring with them coconuts; break them open and pour the water at the platform. The belief being, the Father Ant will accept the offerings and not cause any trouble at the devotees house. And, in this village, people take care not to hurt the ants.
Now, for a bit of history. Long long ago a carpenter fixed a stick to mark the place for a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The next day, when they returned, the stick was not there and there was a small ant hill in the place. The carpenters stick was found a little way away, the place where the Ganesha temple is now. The people of the area took it as a sign from god and since that day, began worshiping the ants at the place. Later on a small platform was raised here and called the Urumbachan Kottam.
The locals light the lamp at the Gurusthanam almost everyday. But the main festivals fall during the 'Karthika' day in the month of Vrishchikam (November – December). Coconut water is the main offering at the Gurusthanam.