Chottanikkara temple, dating back to early 10th century, is situated about 18 km from the city. Here, Goddess Bhagavathy is worshipped in three forms – Saraswathi, Bhadrakali and Durga.
It is believed that mentally ill patients who come to the temple and pray to the goddess will be cured by her. Near the temple, one can see a tree covered with long nails. These nails have been hammered in by devotees using their foreheads only. This practice is believed to have the effect of permanently disabling the evil spirit residing in the patient’s body and causing his mental imbalance.
Bhajana - staying at the temple premises for a period of time for the purpose of engaging in prayer and meditation– is also seen.