Ochira Temple is an ancient temple located in Oachira in the Kollam district of Kerala. This very ancient pilgrimage center is centered on the ParaBrahma temple (that is dedicated to the Para Brahman or Param Brahman or Omkaram, the Universal Consciousness), and covers thirty-six acres of land.
The legend behind the Ochira Temple is described in the famous Malayalam classic “The Aithihyamala”. Aithihyamala is a collection of Kerala folklore. In Aithihyamala, there is a mention of a saint named “Akavoor Chathan”. He was the servant of a Namboodiri Brahimin. One day Chathan observed that his master was constantly doing Sadhana to a “Para Brahmam“. Chathan asked him what this ‘Parabrahmam’ looked like. Enjoying the innocence of Akavoor Chathan, the brahmin out of mischief told that it looks exactly like the bull which they use in their farms. Many days and years passed after this incident. One day the Brahmin decided to go for a pilgrimage and asked Chathan to accompany him. They started their journey and after a few days, they reached a place where there were lots of bushes and small plants around. Suddenly Brahmin found that Chathan had falled back and is not following him. Worried, he started going back. There he saw Chathan sitting on the ground, giving directions such as ‘turn left’, ‘now put down your head’ etc. though he could not find anybody else there. He asked him to whom he was talking to. Then Chathan replied that he was talking to the bull which was following him. Quite surprised by this answer Brahmin asked him what bull is he talking about. He told him that it was the bull which appeared in front of him when he started worshipping ‘Parabrahma’. Then Brahmin told him that he is not able to see. Akavoor Chathan asked his master to touch him and then look at it. Now the Brahmin was able to see the bull which has been caught inside a bunch of creepers and not able to move. Witnessing this, the Brahmin fell on the feet of Chathan and told him that he is far greater than himself and taught a good lesson to him. Sincerity, dedication, and devotion are the three things required to get divine blessings and everything else is just peripheral. (Temple Festival at Ochira) When the Brahmin asked Chathan to continue their journey, he refused to accompany him saying that he cannot come without the bull. The Brahmin went on and the bull and Chathan stayed back. This is the place where the present day Ochira Temple is situated.
Ochirakkaala (Sacred Bull) is an icon of Ochira. The first thought about Ochira is symbolized by this animal which is a beautiful sight in the Padanilam. Well decorated bulls are considered to be sacred in this temple and is believed to be the vehicle for Parabrahmam. Devotees can make donations to the bulls in both the Nadas. Also, devotees can donate calves to the temple as an offering. Ettukandam Urilicha(Procession accompanied by the bulls and Nadaswaram), another offering in this temple is a wonderful sight to the pilgrims.