Thali Mahadeva Temple which is situated in the heart of Kozhikode City is a 1500 years old holy shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.This tall Shiva temple is a classical example of temple architecture of Kerala.There one can find abundant beautiful sculptures and carvings both on wood and stone.The 'Zamorins of Kozhokode' took over the temple administration in 13th century from the Brahmins who owned the temple.It was renovated in 18th century and in the late 20th century.
Revathy Pattathanam, a seven day celebration in which scholars and Philosophers were adorned with scholarships and awards was started here by the Zamorins to propitiate Lord Shiva.This was celebrated with much pomp and glory during Zamorins rule but the tradition is still done.
The temple suffered destruction from Hyderali and Tipu Sultan and the demolished structures were renovated.The current structure dates back to the period of ruler 'Manavikraman'.
The two storied Sanctum has works of art in terms of stone sculptures and mural paintings which are depicted from Puranic themes.
The temple is surrounded by gigantic walls of elephant belly(Aana Palla) type with broad base and narrow neck at the top.There are two temple tanks attached to the temple.There is a separate shrine for Lord Krishna here.
Recently a renovation work which was funded by 'the heredity project of Oil and Natural Gas Commission' was done in this temple.
As per the project, renovating the Sanctum Sanctorum was the most important and precise work.The Sanctum made of granite rocks in two levels and adorned with numerous fine sculptures which are of much interest to devotees and tourists as well as historians, archaeologists etc should have to be preserved and restored as existed.The ancient mural paintings on the four outer walls of the sanctum had to be restored as existed.
The condition of many of the murals were like as if erased by the passage of time, but four artists from Aranmula Vasthu Vidya Gurukulam took it as a challenge and worked on that project with immense dedication.
They used fibres of arrow grass boiled in cow's milk erected on bamboo sticks used as brushes.41 coats of white washing was done with a mixture of coconut water added to lime.
They used prime five colours which are all made from natural materials.Five colors represent 'five elements' or 'Pancha bhoothas'.In addition ot white,yellow and red,black and green are also used.Black is obtained from
lamp soot,green from a plant known as 'Neela Amari'.When indigo is mixed with it a bluish green is obtained.There are such traditional methods to make pigments as per the requisite mural paintings.The artists refer an old text 'Silparatna' of the 16th century and follows the traditional path strictly.
The main renderings of this temple murals are 'Swayamvara Parvathy,Parthasaradhy,Mahavishnu,Maha Lakshmi,Parashakthi,Ganapathi,Shiva Parvathy,Dakshina Murthy' etc.
The frescoes illustrated the ethereal world of divinities.They are all considered divine since it appears on the walls of the holy Sanctum, the puranic themes and depiction of God's images.Further it is believed that the sacredness of the deity is transposed onto these paintings lending them spiritual power as the main 'murthi' or idol.