The Cherai Gowreeshwara temple is one of the prominent temples in Cherai. The temple, preserved by the Vinjana Vardhini Sabha (V V Sabha) is only 700 m away from the Cherai town. It is the only temple in Asia, which has chathurmukha kovil (sree kovil with four doors). Though the name is dedicated to Gowri and Shankara, that means Parvati and Shiva, the main deity of the temple is Lord Murugan. Built in 1912, the temple is known to be the ‘Palani’ of Kerala (original Palani is at Tamil Nadu). The festival here, known to be the ‘Cherai Gowreeshwara’ festival is one of the major festivals in the Ernakulam district. The festival falls every year on the month from January to February.
Azheekkal Sree Varaha Temple
Constructed in AD 1869, this temple in Cherai is considered to be the ‘sampoorna kshetram’ or complete temple in South India. Here both the deities – Varaha and Venketeshwara is placed side by side and worshipped as a single deity. The unique ratha (chariot), found in this temple, is built entirely with silver and Chinese glass. The chariot, which was dedicated to the deities in the year 1901, is the only chariot in the world which runs on rails. The famous chariot festival is conducted in this temple twice in a year. On this occasion, the chariot is pulled by the devotees around the temple.
Pallipuram Fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1503. The fort is considered to be the oldest existing European monument in India. The fort is also known as Ayikotta or Alikotta and is of a gigantic hexagonal structure. The fort had quite beautiful architecture and laterite, wood and mortor are used here for construction. You can also find a cellar inside the fort. There is an open passage leading to the cellar. Local people here believe that the cellar is a tunnel that is leading to the Cheraman Masjid, Kodungallur. The port built by Portuguese later went to the hands of Dutch. Now it is the protected monument under the Kerala Archeological Department.
The church dedicated to Our Lady is a minor Basilica. The church was constructed by the Portuguese in the year 1577. It is one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Kottappuram and also among the three churches in South India dedicated to Our Lady in the 16th century. There is an interesting legend behind the church and its name. During his invasion, Tipu Sulthan with its army reached at this church also. Their motive was to destroy the church but the church was seen to be covered with mist preventing Tipu and its army to locate the church. It was not a winter season and from where the mist came was an unknowing fact. From then onwards the church came to be known as Our lady of Snow or Manjumatha.
Munambam beach is placed at the northern end of Cherai Beach. Though less known, this is one of the beautiful beaches in Kerala. This is from here the Periyar River flows into the Arabian Sea. Munambam beach is also known as Muziris Golden Beach. The beach is a perfect place for kite flying and to enjoy a stunning sunset. The beach premises are very neat and the most attractive one you find here will be the Chinese fishing nets. Have a lazy walk through the walkway here. If you are lucky enough, you may spot dolphins also.
The 18th century house in memory of social and political reformer Sahodharan Ayyappan is ideally located in the banks of River Periyar. Sahodharan Ayyapan was an ardent follower of Sree Narayana Guru and the messages of Guru and Sree Narayana Guru Dharma Paripalana Sangham (SNDP) was preached by him through his ‘Sahodhara Sangham’. He was born in 1889 and he worked as a social reformer, journalist and also as a politician. He was a revolutionary who stood against the concept of untouchability. The ‘Sahodhara Bhavan’ is the house that he had lived. The house is now open to public and you can also find here a public library and a research centre.
Break Water Point
Break water point is situated in the northern end of Cherai beach. This is a point, where Periyar River flows to the Arabian Sea. A perfect getaway to cool your mind, watching the enchanting sunsets and getting closer to the nature.
The sight of the greenish paddy fields is one of the most fascinating one in Cherai. Farm fish and prawns are cultivated in this paddy field after harvesting. These paddy fields are rich with exotic flora and fauna and you can also spot dozens of butterflies too.